I spent 9 months in Greece last year when I witnessed the rise of the political party Syriza. It was the first time in modern European history that a left leaning party rose to national power. Syriza's sensational rise was a direct result of how Greece's own corrupt politicians, who followed the orders of the 1% ruling powers in the European Union (orchestrated by Germany, the IMF, the World Bank and the European Commission) put the Greek people into massive debt. This debt was then used to discipline the country of Greece into absolute enslaved obedience to the policies of the 1% which is called, "austerity." This was a designed program of the 1%, especially Germany, private investors, and above all the banks that systematically forced Greece into selling off their precious public assets including islands, artwork, agricultural and public infrastructure to private corporations and the financial industry. By forcing Greece into debts via corrupt politicians from the mid-90s to 2014, Greece would be beholden to the non-democratic technocrats' agenda no matter what the people of Greece desired. It was a coup d'etat not by tanks (as in WWII when Germany occupied Greece) but by banks. The word we have for this is called, "neoliberalism" an anti-democratic economic ideology that sides with the 1% over the rest of us.
Syriza's rise to power in the national elections in January 2015 was the Greek response to fight against the policies of the 1% designed to literally sell their country off to the rich and powerful. As soon as Syriza took power in parliament the war between the ultra-rich 1% and the people of Greece began. The Greeks wanted their country back, they wanted democracy. The ultra-rich wanted to continue the financial enslavement policies they were not only exacting on Greece but also on Spain, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and other smaller countries on the periphery of the European Union.
Essentially what the world was observing was a literal class-war waged by the .001% against democracy and the autonomy of countries to make decisions best for themselves and not the banker. I was there observing this war from the streets of Greece even while the US media continued to irresponsibly misrepresent the real issues in order to assist the ultra-rich in succeeding in their scheme to enslave humanity to the financial industry. I even helped organize an international conference, "Democracy Rising" in which leading intellectuals, economists, theorists, political parties, artists, and activists came together to draw awareness of this unjust war leveled against the Greek people.
This war between Syriza and the global financial elites (including the IMF in the US) came to a boiling point in early July 2015 when Greece's Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras called for national referendum (vote). For the first time in decades the people of Greece could democratically vote on whether or not they wanted to continue accepting these dehumanizing austerity financial policies.
Within hours of Tsipras calling for this vote the banks were shutdown and the corporate media (who were siding with the ultra-rich) launched a fear-mongering campaign to ironically scare people into voting against their own democracy and accept another round of crippling economic policies that by any measure was economically impossible to ever repay.
This same war that happened in Greece last year has been taking place in the United States since the early 1980s when Ronald Reagan took office and embraced the economic ideology of "neoliberalism." It has taken three and a half decades for someone like a Bernie Sanders with the help of Occupy Wall Street in 2011, to raise enough awareness that this financial war against democracy is a reality of such proportions that it's difficult to even comprehend. The Sanders platform is designed to call us to arms to finally fight against the financial technocrats who have bought the government and its politicians like for example, Hillary Clinton who represents the face of neoliberalism. The irony of Donald Trump is that its a sign that the billionaire class no longer even needs politicians like Clinton to do its dirty work in waging a war against us, against democracy and against the American way of life forgotten for the better part of the past half-century.
Back in the the States, I've observed the primary elections of both the Republicans and Democrats, and I cannot help but feel a deja vu: What I saw in Greece last year is happening here in the United States. The media of the ultra-rich (Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, etc.) are, in their own way, orchestrating a campaign of fear to keep the 99% of us locked into ignorance in order to further perpetuate and spread the power of the ultra-rich against us. There are countless examples of the media manipulating us into accepting a system that has already been bought and sold out from under our democratic control. You can easily observe this when Trump has received over 65% of the election coverage and Clinton the other 30% while Sanders has received less than 3% and yet he has done something so unprecedented in the history of American democracy that it raises serious questions about the credibility of the media that so nakedly peddles the ultra-rich's agenda to the detriment of our future.
Just recently Alex Seitz-Wald of MSNBC published the story that presents Sanders as dangerous to the Democratic National Party. "But Sanders' unique small-dollar fundraising machine" he says, "and commitment to change the party at the convention have kept him alive, and that makes the DNC's transition process this year especially fraught."
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the point of a democracy is to contest power so that power is maximally expressed for the people, by the people and of the people. But for the likes of Seitz-Wald and the rest of the anti-democratic media, the core questions that Sanders is raising not to mention the way he's campaigning, are considered a threat and serve as a road-block to the two-party political system that has already sold its soul to the banks. Instead of observing that the way Sanders has raised his campaign funds via a record breaking individual contribution of 27 bucks, which is the most democratic way to raise funds, it's dismissed as a "machine". Such an unsavory metaphor could have never been more misguided. To reduce the millions of financial supports to an impersonal "machine" is not only insulting but gets it exactly wrong. Hillary and Trump (who inherited his funds) are the machine of the 1% not the Sander's campaign.
Who said History Doesn't Repeat itself?
In the end, we have a historic possibility before us: We have Donald Trump who's grandparents are German whereas Sander's father, Elias immigrated from Poland to the US in 1921 and many of his Jewish relatives died at the hands of Germany's fascist policies during the Holocaust. When Trump speaks of walls and against ethnicities and minority groups you cannot help but hear the echoes of Germany's own policies during economically fraught times such as in the early 1930 when Hitler rose to power. Hillary, on the other hand, appears to just be "neutral" a mainstream candidate who is a Methodist, but, in the end, the cards are being stacked against the American people if our only choice is between a neoliberal multi-millionaire Clinton or the billionaire Trump who can literally buy his way into the Oval office.