On Sunday Tina and I went to see a very important film, one I am urging everyone to see. Inside Job .
We like to think we are reasonably knowledgeable on a fairly wide range of topics. We read a national newspaper along with a local. I read a fairly wide ranging variety of news blogs and web sites including The Guardian UK and BBC. Not to mention several Socialist publications and several economics Blogs. Tina reads more Economics news and points out things to me
When there is an anti-establishment general strike or riot going on in the US/Canada or Europe I am often aware of it even if my awareness comes a couple of days later.
I am not into Free Trade. I am anti-G20, anti-Globalization and pro-labor unions. I am unabashedly Socialist and a wealth redistributionist who sees what has been happening the last 30 years or so as a Class War waged by the rich upon working people.
I vaguely knew Iceland was in economic trouble. I didn’t realize that this was the result of a massive act of financial fraud that should be considered a huge crime with all involved prosecuted.
I have read my Naomi Klein, my Perkins, I know about Shock Doctrines and Economic Hitmen.
I pretty much figured out what put Greece in ruin. And I see why the anarchists are attempting to stage a rebellion if not a revolution.
The strikes in France brought greater focus on the class war that is aimed at reducing the status of workers in Europe and North America to the level of the Chinese workers. There is an effort to reduce wages and social programs, to deindustrialize in pursuit of the greater surplus value gained by using lower paid workers.
Through out the west access to public education is being reduced by raising fees and admissions requirements in such a manner as to exclude people of the lower classes thereby rendering them ignorant.
Already much of mass education has been converted to indoctrination and training programs aimed at producing complacent consumers willing to do menial jobs without too much awareness of being manipulated and fully enraptured by various forms of spectacle.
Educated people have the ability to analyze information and reason. People trained to do a task and little else, who are addicted to the fantasy world of consumption and spectacle don’t ask questions.
I was wondering when students in GB would show a little rebellion, how far things would need to be ratcheted down before people would say, “Enough!”
The Millbank Centre, action gave a hint.
As I said I knew the big money people had committed a crime and that was why our economy was in the tank but I wasn’t aware of the magnitude, and the magnitude is absolutely stunning.
They have destroyed Capitalism or brought it to a place roughly akin to where Tsarist Russia was just prior to the Communist Revolution.
They have robbed and gambled the wealth of entire nations and win or lose walked away with billions upon billions of dollars reducing the economies of whole nations to the point where the best these countries can offer are austerity measures to people already impoverished.
The stories are appearing all over, We have a world wide 21st century economic dust bowl with massive unemployment and people becoming developed nation economic refugees. Yet none dare describe it for what it is a world wide depression.
A couple of stories from the Guardian UK:
Many young people are seeking to emigrate rather than face a life of hardship as the republic lurches towards financial collapse
David Sharrock in Dublin
The Observer, Sunday 14 November 2010
Student Niamh Buffini works hard and plays hard. As Ireland‘s No 1 taekwondo martial arts practitioner – she is rated 12th in the world – her ambitions include winning Olympic gold for Ireland.
But by the end of this month her future will have been decided by forces not just beyond her control but seemingly those of her government also. Ireland is on the cusp of insolvency. Some economists argue that it already is.
Buffini will soon learn if her fees at the Institute of Technology in Tallaght, south Dublin, have climbed beyond her means. Her father is a self-employed builder, which has recently become a euphemism for “unemployed”.
“My class size will have dropped by 50% by next year,” Buffini said. “Even lecturers took part in the recent student protests over fees because society here is going to be left with very few educated people. My best friends have already left – they’re doing bar work in Spain and Australia.”
Last week was not a good week for Ireland. Speculation about a European Union-backed bailout pushed its borrowing costs to unprecedented heights.
Continue reading at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/14/ireland-economic-crisis
Ireland told: Take EU bailout or trigger crisis
Dublin warned it has 24 hours to make decision as EU emergency talks loom amid fears Irish banks’ contagion may spread to other eurozone countries
Henry McDonald, Elena Moya and Larry Elliott
guardian.co.uk, Monday 15 November 2010 17.59 GMT
An increasingly isolated Irish government was coming under mounting pressure tonight to seek an EU or International Monetary Fund bailout within 24 hours amid fears that contagion from its crippled banking sector might spread through the weaker eurozone countries.
Portugal, Spain, the European central bank and opposition parties urged Brian Cowen’s coalition government to remove the threat of a second crisis in six months by putting a firewall between Ireland and its 15 partners in the single currency.
With finance ministers from the eurozone due to hold emergency talks tomorrow night, financial markets were expecting Dublin to finalise negotiations with the EU over the terms of a deal to allow Ireland to rescue banks laid low by the collapse of the country’s construction boom.
“The Irish problem is spreading, but it could get more volatile,” said Ashok Shah, chief investment officer at London Capital, a fund management firm. “They have to get this bailout, they have a period of time before it gets impossible, before nasty things happen. The longer they leave it, the more difficult it will get.”
Continue reading at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/nov/15/ireland-portugal-spain-european-debt-crisis
From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/16/business/global/16euro.html?_r=1&hp
Europe Fears That Debt Crisis Is Ready to Spread
By LANDON THOMAS Jr. and JAMES KANTER
Published: November 15, 2010
LONDON — European officials, increasingly concerned that the Continent’s debt crisis will spread, are warning that any new rescue plans may need to cover Portugal as well as Ireland to contain the problem they tried to resolve six months ago.
Any such plan would have to be preceded by a formal request for assistance from each country before it would be put in place. And for months now, Ireland has insisted that it has enough funds to keep it going until spring. Portugal says it, too, needs no help and emphasizes that it is in a stronger position than Ireland.
While some important details are different, the current situation feels eerily similar to what happened months ago in Greece, where the cost of borrowing rose precipitously.
European authorities stepped in with a rescue package, expecting an economic recovery and the creation of new European rescue funds to fend off future panics by bond investors whose money is needed by countries to refinance their debt.
But with economic conditions weakening, markets are once again in turmoil. Rescuing Ireland may no longer be enough.
Stronger countries and weaker countries using the common currency of the euro are being pulled in different directions.
Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/16/business/global/16euro.html?_r=1&hp
Naomi Klein (Shock Doctrine) and John Perkins (Economic Hit Man) along with this film (Inside Job) lay out the magnitude of the crimes committed by the ultra rich masters of the universe as well as how they did it.
Perhaps it is time for us to reread Marx’s Capital and think what is to be done about it.