Thursday, February 16, 2012

What's happening with Greece?

The Greek People Have Been Sacrificed to the Capitalist Gods of Speculation by William Wall

Mikis Theodorakis: An Open Letter On the Truth About Greece by Mikis Theodorakis

If you've wondered what's happening with Greece, these informative articles explain.

"When we casually use a term like "bailout", it is important to remember that it is not people who are being bailed out, or at least not the Greek people. The bailout will not save a single Greek life. The opposite is the case. What is being "bailed out" is the global financial system, including the banks, hedge funds and pension funds of the other EU member states, and it is the Greek people who are being ordered to pay – in money, time, physical pain, hopelessness and missed educational opportunities. The relatively neutral, even stoic, term "austerity", is a gross insult to the Greek people. This is not austerity; at best it is callousness.


In essence, this crisis is a failure of the EU states to show solidarity in the face of an onslaught from the financial markets .


This is the triumph of capitalism, that it has persuaded the world that capitalism is the world.

It has led to the undoing of 200 years of struggle between ordinary people and the super-rich. Trade unions didn't appear overnight, they were a response to exploitation. Their defeat has led to the ubiquity of precarious, and now free, labour. Workers are not protected in their workplace by capitalists, they are protected by the laws won by struggle against the capitalist. A sweatshop in China is a direct assault not just on the rights of the Chinese worker but on those of workers in, for example, the UK. Socialist internationalism and solidarity were conceived as a way of defeating that ploy. Old people do not die in the streets not because charity has saved them but because 200 years of struggle has brought us the old age pension and public health. The privatisation of those services is a return to the 19th century. None of this public good would have been won if people had identified with the super-rich of 1812. Now that we have been brought to such an identification, we stand to lose them all over again."

Of course you may have already figured out that the damage to Greece came at the hand of global financiers, but there is an angle he doesn't mention that I will, since I've spent my life in the world of computer technology.

Yes, computer technology. With it, those with control of the world's finances would/could never have managed the collosal undertakings we're seeing today, not the least of which is Greece.

I intend to explore this connection more over time, but for now, because time is always in short supply, will point out there is this connection.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Noam Chomsky: America's Decline Is Real -- and Increasingly Self-Inflicted

Please read these 2 important and highly thoughtful articles in today's Alternet. You will also see very interesting reader comments for both.

Noam Chomsky: America's Decline Is Real -- and Increasingly Self-Inflicted
By Noam Chomsky /

Dear Israel Lobby, We Give Up -- Please Give Us an Acceptable Way of Insulting You By Joshua Holland