IM ZENTRUM DES ÜBELS : PLAN B FÜR EUROPA?

https://vimeo.com/141686195 (Link seems to work in Germany)

+++ please find the English version below +++

Podium mit Yanis Varoufakis, Franco „Bifo“ Berardi, Srećko Horvat und Guillaume Paoli

Der von Medien und Politik meist verleumdete Mann des Jahres 2015 kommt zurück nach Berlin, in die Höhle des Zuchtmeisters, ins „Zentrum des Übels“. Gescheitert an seinem Versuch, sein Land vom Diktat der Gläubiger zu befreien. Und doch erfolgreich: Yanis Varoufakis hat gezeigt, dass Intelligenz, Mut und Integrität zur politischen Praxis gehören können. Genau das wird ihm nicht verziehen.

Die Unnachgiebigkeit der griechischen Bevölkerung war nicht umsonst. Sie offenbart, in welch desolatem Zustand sich das europäische Projekt befindet. Um die Fiktion aufrecht zu erhalten, hochverschuldete Länder werden einmal ihre Schulden zurückzahlen können, werden Ressourcen geplündert und Menschen in die Armut getrieben. Für sie wie zu Breschnews Zeiten im Ostblock gilt nur noch die begrenzte Souveränität. Gegen die von nicht gewählten Institutionen auferlegten „Spielregeln“ wird keine demokratische Wahl geduldet.

Weil er sich weigerte, den Staatsstreich der EU gutzuheißen, trat Yanis Varoufakis als Finanzminister zurück. Seitdem tourt er über den Kontinent mit einer Botschaft: Es gibt keine nationale Lösung. Der Ausgang des Dramas kann nur auf der gesamteuropäischen Bühne entschieden werden. Unter Einschluss der Öffentlichkeit. Europa, Demokratie? Das sind gute Ideen, die noch immer darauf warten, verwirklicht zu werden.

Franco „Bifo“ Berardi (*1948) ist ein italienischer Semiologe und Aktivist. Er war in Bologna eine Galionsfigur der Autonomie-Bewegung und ist Autor zahlreicher Bücher, zuletzt auf Deutsch: Der Aufstand – Über Poesie und Finanzwirtschaft (2014)

Srećko Horvat (*1983) ist ein kroatischer Philosoph und war Direktor des Subversive Festival in Zagreb. Von ihm erschien in deutscher Sprache: Nach Ende der Geschichte (2013) sowie mit Slavoj Žižek: Was will Europa? Rettet uns vor den Rettern (2013).

Guillaume Paoli (*1959) ist ein französischer Autor und Kurator der monatlichen Reihe „Im Zentrum des Übels“ in der Volksbühne. Von ihm erschien zuletzt Demotivational Training (2013) und „Mao siegt – Sieg des Narzissmus-Nihilismus“ (2013).

Anmoderation: Sebastian Kaiser, Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz

ENGLISH

Podium discussion with Yanis Varoufakis, Franco „Bifo“ Berardi, Srećko Horvat and Guillaume Paoli

In English with simultaneous translation into German.

The most slandered man of the year 2015 is back in Berlin, in the vault of the martinet. Defeated in his attempt to free his land from the diktat of the creditors. And yet successful: Yanis Varoufakis has demonstrated that intelligence, courage and integrity can be part of the exercise of politics. He will not be forgiven for this.

The intransigence of the greek people was not in vain. It has revealed in which desolate state the european project is. Ressources are being plundered and people driven into misery in order to maintain the fiction that debt-ridden countries will be able to pay back some day. Akin to the Eastern bloc under Brezhnev only limited sovereignty is being granted. No democratic vote is tolerated as soon as it opposes the rules of a game dictated by non-elected institutions.

Yanis Varoufakis quit his functions as a finance minister because he refused to support the EU-led coup. Since then, he tours the continent with a message: There is no national solution. The outcome of the drama will be played on the all-european stage. Not behind closed doors, but with the involvement of the public. Europe, democracy? These are good ideas which still await being put into practice.

Introduction: Sebastian Kaiser, Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz

Alexander MERCOURIS; The Syrian War and Russia’s Diplomatic Play; RI, Oct 9, 2015

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS
Martin Zeis, 09.10.2015

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/syrian-war-and-russias-diplomatic-play/ri10358
The Syrian War and Russia’s Diplomatic Play
By Alexander MERCOURIS

Transcript* of meeting between Putin and Defence Minister Shoigu shows how Russia is holding on to the diplomatic initiative to support its military campaign

* see: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50458

E x c e r p t

… The transcript does nonetheless provide us with much information.
Firstly, the transcript gives an insight into the sort of targets the Russians have been attacking.
The primary target is the infrastructure the Islamic State and the other jihadi groups have created to support their military campaign against the Syrian government. In Shoigu’s words “command posts, ammunition depots, military hardware, and training camps for their fighters.”
It is the Islamic State and the jihadi rebels’ resources to conduct the war, rather than their fighters, who are the primary target.
The Russians are not out to kill lots of jihadis. They are focused on destroying the Islamic State’s and the jihadis’ ability to wage war, so that the Russians and their allies can win it.
This is in keeping with the aim of the operation: to support an offensive by the Syrian army. The Syrians say it has now begun. Doubtless now that it has begun, the Russians will also provide close air support. The transcript says that Putin has already been informed of plans involving the conduct of the Syrian offensive – showing that it is being carefully coordinated with the Russians.

The main emphasis of the discussion between Putin and Shoigu was however the political and diplomatic effort underway to support the military campaign.
Westerners may be surprised to find Putin discussing political and diplomatic questions with his Defence Minister – as opposed to say his Foreign Minister or his intelligence chiefs.
However this is consistent with the way the Russians conduct war.
They see war as an all-encompassing activity in which every instrument available to the state – diplomatic, military or economic – is used to achieve victory. Reducing war to its purely military aspects – as Western leaders too often do – is not the Russian way.

This means that when the Russians decide to wage war, they prepare carefully, and work hard to support their military with intense diplomatic activity. (…)

What comes over clearly from Putin’s discussion with Shoigu is the range of diplomatic contacts the Russians are engaging in.
They are talking to everybody, not just their allies but also to those who might be considered their adversaries: the US, the Turks, the Israelis and the Saudis and they are doing so moreover all the time. Dr. Gilbert Doctorow has described Moscow as a “hive of activity”, and he is right.
Doing so enables the Russians to know what is in their potential adversaries’ minds and – ideally – to keep them divided and off-balance, preventing an anti-Russian coalition such as the one they faced in Afghanistan in the 1980s from being formed.

Thus instead of the Russians engaging publicly in a row with the Turks over airspace violations – which might cause Turkish opposition to the Russian campaign to harden – the Turks are placated with an apology, and an offer – which they have accepted – of a direct link to the Russian command to reduce the risk of more violations.

Hollande’s fantasy of an anti-Islamic State alliance between the Syrian army and the rebel Free Syrian Army is treated seriously, though Putin cannot resist a dig (“True, we do not know yet where this army is and who heads it”).
The Russians know perfectly well that Hollande’s proposal is a fantasy. However, by going through the motions of considering it – and making the fact public – they save Hollande’s face, and make themselves look reasonable.

US complaints that the Russians are not striking the Islamic State but are striking “moderate” rebels are countered with the request – made with all the appearance of a straight face – that the US tell them where the “real terrorists” are – though here again Putin cannot resist a dig (“It is fair enough if they say they know the situation better because they have been conducting operations in this territory (on an unlawful basis, as I have said) for more than a year now”).
Again the Russians know perfectly well the US will not share intelligence with them. They have said their discussions with the US are at a purely “technical” level. However by making the request they keep the US on the back foot, and again make themselves look reasonable.

The Russian tactics are working. Despite the anger in Western capitals, there is no sign of an anti-Russian coalition coming together.
Meanwhile, the really important discussions, those the Russians are having with the Iranians, the Iraqis, the Syrians and – above all – the Chinese, are being kept secret. Putin and Shoigu tell us nothing about them – which proves that they are the ones that really matter.
— emphasis, m.z. —