Tag Archives | anti-capitalism

Anti-austerity: Violent Protest and the Rolling Thunder

With anti-austerity protests breaking out in Greece, and her government in the midst of aggressive reshuffling, we are reminded of how necessary revolutionary violence is to pure ground-swell democracy. It is the political over-pour of mass frustration, the inevitable pressure release-valve of the underclass and economically damaged. While it can’t easily be characterised by such terms as good or justified, it is at least understandable in its appearance at such times – as the only available reaction the powerless have left to use once democracy has failed them. Fear the desperate animal so cornered.

It is possible to see, through the eyes of Greece’s vulnerable and downtrodden, that economic scarcity and austerity are the natural enemies of social justice, and that extreme neoliberal ideology exists in direct conflict with the collective spirit, with the actionable soul of democracy and her common-good offspring.… Read the rest

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The Eurozone Crisis: Neoliberal Economic Terrorism

"Alexis Tsipras on Subversive Festival" by Robert Crc - Subversive festival media. Licensed under FAL via Wikimedia Commons.

Alexis Tsipras on Subversive Festival” by Robert Crc – Subversive festival media. Licensed under FAL via Wikimedia Commons.

During the ongoing negotiations and humiliations of the Eurozone crisis, it has been surreal to hear repeated concerns by the EU about Greece’s apparent untrustworthiness. When the word manipulation is used in this context, by diplomats and global creditors, it loses all power of meaning. The pot calling the kettle black. One EU diplomat suggested frustration and fatigue, stating they were the victims of “five months of manipulation” at the hands of Greece. Perhaps they would prefer to live through five years of crippling austerity measures.

It is hard to take such concerns seriously, especially in the face of the cruelty and maneuvering by the Troika et al. Before they talk so freely of manipulation and wrongdoings, they would do well to consider the reality of life among austerity, unemployment and poverty.… Read the rest

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Further Notes From Greece: Compromise and Capitulation

With the deadline fast approaching for an embattled and financially desperate Greece, Alexis Tsipras and his left-right coalition rallied and tabled a bail-out and reform proposal to the European creditors Thursday evening. Saturday morning saw the government of Greece, by a large majority, accept and back the proposal for negotiations in the coming days. In comes the desperate proposal, in come the compromises and capitulations.

Photo: Philly boy92 (CC)

Photo: Philly boy92 (CC)

Five months of stalemate and bluff have led to this weekend and, after everything that’s happened, it’s not surprising that Tsipras has finally been beaten into submission, made malleable enough to seek the reinstatement of austerity to his damaged and struggling country in the hope of debt restructuring and further bailout. It’s not surprising, but it is disappointing. Politics is the grinding wheel of disappointment.

Even when one is the wielder of great power and influence, political negotiation can be difficult and laced with traps, but when vulnerable, in a position of weakness and without any recognisable leverage, it becomes virtually impossible without compromising your position or appealing to humanitarian compassion.… Read the rest

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Notes from the Greek Crisis: the collective spirit

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It is hard sometimes in this modern age, to wake up and continue living without the weight of accumulated worry seeming too heavy to carry. Another day full of dread – complete with the cranial pressures of global news. Another day full of sorrow – worn thin by the liquid demands of human existence.

The world woke up this morning – Monday morning here in the Southern hemisphere – to face the reality of Greece’s resounding referendum. It took a while to sink in – ‘No’ to more austerity measures, ‘No’ to more troika bully tactics. And while we know it’s not that simple – as nothing gets wrapped up so easily without more trouble to follow – it still counts as a piece of old-fashioned magic, something not seen for so long we’ve forgotten what to call it. Sometimes a gift comes wrapped in a problem.

There is so much to say about the state of our global realities that it often pours out in streams, uncontrollable and chaotic, and without any clear signifying thread.… Read the rest

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Notes from ‘Death Bird’ #1: Political alchemy and modern fakery

Rennett Stowe (CC BY 2.0)

Rennett Stowe (CC BY 2.0)

Frustration has its causes in the media-machine of last words. There are too many sources, too many crass and obvious newsrooms, and too many of the whirling sandstorms of ignorant opinions and plutocratic delivery-boys. Ah, the Poetry of Unlimited Bad Choice – who should one trust when everyone’s crooked and on the take? It seems an obvious thing to say – it’s been repeated ad nauseam – but most of it is propaganda, agenda or illusion; bullshit that gets churned up and out at such frequency and speed that saturation is inevitable. The stink ends up on everything, you can taste it in the back of your throat. God damn it… nothing is free from the contamination.

Wading through the sludge of the Media Machine leaves one feeling hollowed out, overused. The sheer bulk of information and data inflicts a drastic overstimulation of the cerebrum.… Read the rest

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The Rise of Anti-Capitalism

391px-McKinley_ProsperityJeremy Rifkin, author of “The Zero Marginal Cost Society” suggests in his op-ed for the New York Times that we are experiencing the “creeping reality of a zero-marginal-cost economy”:

We are beginning to witness a paradox at the heart of capitalism, one that has propelled it to greatness but is now threatening its future: The inherent dynamism of competitive markets is bringing costs so far down that many goods and services are becoming nearly free, abundant, and no longer subject to market forces. While economists have always welcomed a reduction in marginal cost, they never anticipated the possibility of a technological revolution that might bring those costs to near zero.

The first inkling of the paradox came in 1999 when Napster, the music service, developed a network enabling millions of people to share music without paying the producers and artists, wreaking havoc on the music industry. Similar phenomena went on to severely disrupt the newspaper and book publishing industries.

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Six Arguments For The Elimination of Capitalism

Shout out to Anarchy Pony for the link. An ‘insider’s’ perspective on the flaws of our economic system.

Via Dissident Voice

Jerry Mander’s new book, The Capitalism Papers, has a promising subtitle: Fatal Flaws of an Obsolete System. None of the hedging of bets there that constrains much progressive social critique in the US. In liberal punditry, the acceptable spectrum of discourse does not even permit use of the word, and in the foundation-sponsored non-profit sector, such talk would be financial suicide. Nor are US trade unions, what’s left of them, anti-capitalist. (In fact their leaders explicitly claim their aim is to get capitalism to work better.) As he correctly points out, there is an unspoken consensus: “it is as if global capitalism” – a human creation – “occupies a virtually permanent existence, like a religion, a gift of God, infallible.”

This unmasking of the unspoken, invisible, assumed, is what Jerry Mander’s books do best, and it is a promising start.

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