Is austerity a crime against humanity?

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Re: Is austerity a crime against humanity?

Postby Sol Invictus » 2014-05-03, 23:24

So how is rise of fascism and war a better response? :D In adition - to add to my previous post (and answer stuff IpseDixit posted while I was writing)- this thread starts to look like ranting about austerity, not a discussion about if it is so bad that it should be considered crime against humanity. I didn't like austerity either, but it kind of worked for my country and it is rather disrespectfull to victims of crimes against humanity to devolve the concept by calling everything you dislike a crime against humanity, unless you can demonstrate how it is that (and in general concept of austerity does not automaticaly equate crime against humanity the way, say, the concept of ethnic cleaning does)

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Re: Is austerity a crime against humanity?

Postby md0 » 2014-05-03, 23:39

So how is rise of fascism and war a better response?

No one said it was better.
I just said that the US avoided fascism and war because they printed their way out of the recession.

And as I said earlier, austerity will most probably not be criminalised, because it's a policy. It would be a huge legal shake-up if the courts even accept the case. More over, the Troika deals include clauses that protect IMF, ECB and Eurogroup staff prom persecution. So at least in Greece, you can't sue them. Now, the link talks about an international court, so there's always the slim chance of the case being accepted.

But even if you can't call a police a crime, it doesn't mean that the specific policy is not destroying the people of the country it's applied in. Especially after the fourth or fifth mea cupla of the IMF over Greece's deal. Apparently they get something horribly wrong in their calculations every 15 months.
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Re: Is austerity a crime against humanity?

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-05-03, 23:43

Sol Invictus wrote:So how is rise of fascism and war a better response?


This is a gigantic strawman and is quite offensive to an average person's intelligence.
And anyway the rise of fascism is a direct consequence of austerity.

I didn't like austerity either, but it kind of worked for my country


Latvia's success with austerity is very questioned. Many economists are very critical about that, one of this is Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman.

Sol Invictus wrote:[code] and it is rather disrespectfull to victims of crimes against humanity to devolve the concept by calling everything you dislike a crime against humanity, unless you can demonstrate how it is that (and in general concept of austerity does not automaticaly equate crime against humanity the way, say, the concept of ethnic cleaning does)


Crimes against humanity, as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum, "are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of human beings."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimes_against_humanity

Whoever thinks that the Greek people (and probably not only the Greek people) hasn't been constantly humiliated in the last years is in a deep state of denial.

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Re: Is austerity a crime against humanity?

Postby Sol Invictus » 2014-05-04, 0:21

IpseDixit wrote:
Sol Invictus wrote:So how is rise of fascism and war a better response?


This is a gigantic strawman and is quite offensive to an average person's intelligence.
And anyway the rise of fascism is a direct consequence of austerity.

In that case the whole thread is a giant strawman. It is a very common assumption that WWII and rise of fascism (not just Italian, btw) was caused by economic issues. Similarily the global crisis was the first such occurance and they did not know what to do about it, the new deal too was not implemented at once

I didn't like austerity either, but it kind of worked for my country


Latvia's success with austerity is very questioned. Many economists are very critical about that, one of this is Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman.

Old news. There is no economic crisis here any longer, nor is anyone, but Putin supporters, who like historical revisionism, comparing it to crimes against humanity.
Sol Invictus wrote:[code] and it is rather disrespectfull to victims of crimes against humanity to devolve the concept by calling everything you dislike a crime against humanity, unless you can demonstrate how it is that (and in general concept of austerity does not automaticaly equate crime against humanity the way, say, the concept of ethnic cleaning does)


Crimes against humanity, as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum, "are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of human beings."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimes_against_humanity

Whoever thinks that the Greek people (and probably not only the Greek people) hasn't been constantly humiliated in the last years is in a deep state of denial.

Mind you that the article lists particular examples. Is austerity trying to wipe Greeks off the face of earth, turtoring and raping them or something? Also you missed the part where it says that such crime is deliberate act.

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Re: Is austerity a crime against humanity?

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-05-04, 0:38

In that case the whole thread is a giant strawman. It is a very common assumption that WWII and rise of fascism (not just Italian, btw) was caused by economic issues. Similarily the global crisis was the first such occurance and they did not know what to do about it, the new deal too was not implemented at once


Wut? I don't get you.

Old news. There is no economic crisis here any longer, nor is anyone, but Putin supporters, who like historical revisionism, comparing it to crimes against humanity.


Not sure what you mean, but I meant this:

So, suppose we go with this story: Latvia was a hugely, perhaps uniquely overheated economy that even a Keynesian would agree needed a lot of fiscal austerity, with very high rates of productivity growth making wage stickiness irrelevant. I’m not sure I believe this story, but if you do, what lessons does Latvia hold for other countries, and the euro in general?

And the answer, in brief, is none. Latvia’s story as I’ve just told it looks nothing like anything we’ve seen in the past, and probably not like anything we’re likely to see in the future – including, by the way, Latvia’s future. So I’m a little puzzled by the authors’ sanguine view about a Latvian entry into the euro; the next time there’s a euro crisis – and there will be another one, someday – there’s no reason to believe that anyone will be able to adjust in the way that Latvia, maybe, has.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/0 ... dventures/

Mind you that the article lists particular examples. Is austerity trying to wipe Greeks off the face of earth, turtoring and raping them or something? Also you missed the part where it says that such crime is deliberate act.


Examples are just examples. That's the general definition, just because something doesn't look like previous examples it doesn't mean it doesn't fall into the general definition. And yeah of course it's deliberate.

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Re: Is austerity a crime against humanity?

Postby Sol Invictus » 2014-05-04, 1:20

So basicly he's arguing that Latvia's example won't work for other countries. That does not prove your point that it didn't work for Latvia too

And anyways let's get back to the actual topic - austerity in itself is mix of budget cuts and tax rises, which in it self is not a crime against humanity, perhaps in a particular case the policies can be so skewed that a crime can be comited (just like holodmor was a crime, but famine isn't), but you need plenty more proof than just saying that it was deliberate

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Re: Is austerity a crime against humanity?

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-05-04, 1:29

Sol Invictus wrote:So basicly he's arguing that Latvia's example won't work for other countries. That does not prove your point that it didn't work for Latvia too


It also says that Latvia model could actually fit the Keynesian model, which is what is not being implemented in the eurozone. I never said the words you put in my mouth anyway.

And back to the other topic:

Austerity is a crime when kids pass out during classes because they haven't eaten enough. When parents have to leave their kids in orphanages because they don't have enough money to mantain them, when people can't afford electricity and things to heat up their house, when they have to live in their cars because they do not have a house anymore + all the things meidei already said some posts above. And of course all this could have been avoided...

If that's not humiliation then you have a really high bar...

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Re: Is austerity a crime against humanity?

Postby Sol Invictus » 2014-05-04, 1:58

Those are the consequences of economic crisis, even asuming that austerity made the crisis worse it still shows no deliberation - it might as well be unfortunate consequence of badly applied policy- where is the proof that those who implemented austerity intended for this to happen and what would they achieve by that?

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Re: Is austerity a crime against humanity?

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-05-04, 2:03

Sol Invictus wrote:Those are the consequences of economic crisis


No, those are the consequences of austerity.
Austerity is a deliberate political decision.
Ergo, that is deliberate crime against humanity.

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Re: Is austerity a crime against humanity?

Postby Massimiliano B » 2014-05-04, 2:19

I just want you all to know that I also think austerity is a deliberate crime against humanity when it determines those consequences.

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Re: Is austerity a crime against humanity?

Postby md0 » 2014-05-04, 2:42

Those are the consequences of economic crisis, even asuming that austerity made the crisis worse it still shows no deliberation

The IMF has been admitting miscalculations more than once. After how many apologies is the rest of the Troika accountable in continuing to enforce that policy?
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Re: Is austerity a crime against humanity?

Postby Sol Invictus » 2014-05-04, 2:54

IpseDixit wrote:
Sol Invictus wrote:Those are the consequences of economic crisis


No, those are the consequences of austerity.
Austerity is a deliberate political decision.
Ergo, that is deliberate crime against humanity.

That looks like textbook example of logical fallacy. There needs to be deliberate decision to caeuse the consequences, not a decision to implement policy, unless you are arguing that austerity always causes humanitarian catadtrophe
The IMF has been admitting miscalculations more than once. After how many apologies is the rest of the Troika accountable in continuing to enforce that policy?

Miscalculation is a mistake, not a deliberate act, unless after it was discovered they decided not to fix it because it would be better if people died or something

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Re: Is austerity a crime against humanity?

Postby md0 » 2014-05-04, 3:13

Yes, but it didn't happen once. The IMF has been apologising over mistakes for the last 6 years over Greece and Portugal.
Yet EC and ECB still work with them and follow the same policy (no clause of the memorandum was taken back).
Sure, IMF is not accountable, even if they screw up continuously, because they announce their mistakes. Are EC and ECB not accountable as well?

And I am not saying accountable from crimes against humanity, because as I already said, it will be a major breakthrough if policy is criminalised. But accountable for incompetence. Are they? Are they not?
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Re: Is austerity a crime against humanity?

Postby Sol Invictus » 2014-05-04, 4:14

Making them accountable and blaming them for crimes against humanity are two different things. People often suffer in economic crises, yet the government and other organizations are trying to do something about it, rather than fascilitate even worse situation developing (evem if they do more harm than good) - if you read up on cases considered crimes against humanity, you'll note that government wasn't trying to do anything about the issue or most likely intended it to happen and the victims could not protest or seek help in any way or they would be persecuted even further

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Re: Is austerity a crime against humanity?

Postby md0 » 2014-05-04, 5:17

Making them accountable and blaming them for crimes against humanity are two different things.


Er... can you read?

Like I have been saying since my first response to you:
There's the understanding, at least in Greece, that politicians cannot be prosecuted for their policy

And as I said earlier, austerity will most probably not be criminalised, because it's a policy. It would be a huge legal shake-up if the courts even accept the case.


you'll note that government wasn't trying to do anything about the issue or most likely intended it to happen and the victims could not protest or seek help in any way or they would be persecuted even further

Perhaps the reason those activists are trying to put together a crime against humanity case is because the Troika isn't adequately accountable. And in the countries under a Troika deal, freedom of press and freedom of gathering is heavily restricted, police brutality increased, the formerly unthinkable use of military force to disperse protests was brought forward, and elections are held under an atmosphere of terror (in Greece whenever people call for elections, the government says something along the lines of "do you want us to become Tahrir/Gezi/Aleppo/Maidan, depending on the year).

So, I do see this action as a welcome attempt to bring attention to the issue. I don't even expect the case to be taken on by the courts. That, without saying that it isn't actually a horrible thing. It is probably the most devastating series of political decisions to happen in Greece, and it has to stop.
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Re: Is austerity a crime against humanity?

Postby Sol Invictus » 2014-05-04, 5:51

meidei wrote:Er...
You never said you don't think it is a crime against humanity (in fact you likened it to holodmor), just that you think it won't be punished

And in the countries under a Troika deal, freedom of press and freedom of gathering is heavily restricted, police brutality increased, the formerly unthinkable use of military force to disperse protests was brought forward, and elections are held under an atmosphere of terror (in Greece whenever people call for elections, the government says something along the lines of "do you want us to become Tahrir/Gezi/Aleppo/Maidan, depending on the year).

It is not happening in every single country that has had austerity implemented. In Greek example, from what you are saying, it looks to be government's attempts to control the situation, which have resulted in limitation of human rights, which is still not a crime against humanity (it is not deliberate attempt to destroy people), nor a policy of other parties in the deal. If Greece decided to act by following in footsteps of governments in Tahrir/Gezi/Aleppo/Maidan and,say, persecute all opposition then it might end up with crime against humanity, but then their actions would be crime not their causes (economic situation and bad management), unless results of those actions were deliberate consequences of austerity policy itself

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Re: Is austerity a crime against humanity?

Postby md0 » 2014-05-04, 6:14

Yes, but I described Holodomor as bureaucracy gone horribly wrong and was caused by a ridiculous economic system.

I think you have a similar description, unless I missed something

Holodmor was not caused by austerity, it was caused by idiotic economic system, poor harvest and possibly the father of nations

---

It is not happening in every single country that has had austerity implemented.

Holds true for Greece and Spain (where they even got a law criminalising gathering near government buildings, which is similar to Greece's closing whole sectors of Athens where government is situated, when there's an underlying hint of unrest). I can't tell about Portugal and Ireland.

Do you want to address my point by any chance? Are the EC and ECB responsible in any way, for implementing austerity with a religious zeal, when the outcomes contradict them for 6 years, and when their partner IMF notices grave errors in the policies themselves suggest?
Ie, do they at least deserve to see their mandate removed?
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Re: Is austerity a crime against humanity?

Postby Sol Invictus » 2014-05-04, 7:02

meidei wrote:Yes, but I described Holodomor as bureaucracy gone horribly wrong and was caused by a ridiculous economic system.

I think you have a similar description, unless I missed something

Holodmor was not caused by austerity, it was caused by idiotic economic system, poor harvest and possibly the father of nations


The Soviet economic system was entirely different and it's issues were not caused by combination of spending cuts and tax rises. Besides Holodmor is considered crime against humanity only for the third thing of what I said - Stalin knowingly caused famine to curb Ukrainian nationalism i.e. it was genocide. Is IMF and friends implementing austerity with intent to kill all the Greeks?
It is not happening in every single country that has had austerity implemented.

Holds true for Greece and Spain (where they even got a law criminalising gathering near government buildings, which is similar to Greece's closing whole sectors of Athens where government is situated, when there's an underlying hint of unrest). I can't tell about Portugal and Ireland.
Austerity is not a new concept that applies only to Eurozone crisis
Do you want to address my point by any chance? Are the EC and ECB responsible in any way, for implementing austerity with a religious zeal, when the outcomes contradict them for 6 years, and when their partner IMF notices grave errors in the policies themselves suggest?
Ie, do they at least deserve to see their mandate removed?
I did

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Re: Is austerity a crime against humanity?

Postby md0 » 2014-05-04, 7:15

I did

Where?
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Re: Is austerity a crime against humanity?

Postby Sol Invictus » 2014-05-04, 8:54

Eh, to recap - I do not like austerity either, but I see why it's done and it does not fit definition of crime against humanity. If somebody makes a miscalculation that makes economic situation worse they should be held accountable, but not for crime against humanity, unless it can be demonstrated that austerity was implemented with the intent of causing inhumane harm to people of the country. Crimes against humanity usually are war crimes or genocide, not oppresion of civil rights and poverty


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