We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Several doctrines for the same shock

Click here to access article by Eric Toussaint from CADTM.  [Éric Toussaint, doctor in political science from the universities of Liège and Paris VIII, is chairman of Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt (CADTM).]

The author reveals how the political operatives of the global capitalists have shrewdly employed austerity policies a little differently in various countries based on considerations of political consequences. It really all boils down to the timing of austerity policies: brutal and immediate in less consequential countries (e.g., Greece, Latvia, Iceland, Ireland, Portugal) and delayed and more gradual in the more powerful countries. The end result is likely to be the same: workers will be sacrificed to pay for the gambling sins of the rich. 
During the first phase of the world economic crisis (2007-2009), the governments of the countries most affected by the crisis, starting with the United States, have taken strong measures [to lessen the immediate effects], drawing upon lessons of the first months following the Wall Street crash in October 1929. Back then, the lack of State intervention to support both the financial system and demand led to very grave consequences in terms of recession and bankruptcy, then to political and social radicalisation. (my emphasis)