15 July 2011

Actualities of today: € EU crisis, $ US crisis

Today two news pieces came to my attention.

The first was a link posted on Facebook by my friend Maria. It is an article published in the Guardian by British writer John Lanchester titled 'Can the eurozone survive the Greek debt crisis?' This astute piece of journalism outlines the reasons for the current Greek economic collapse (structurally implicit within the historic/material functionings of the Euro itself, it seems to me), and predicts the possible outcomes of this situation for the Eurozone at large (the domino effect which will ensue from the Greek crisis), whilst problematising these realities in the broader context of the European Union (if you think Britain is exempt from Euro-related troubles, think again).

Lanchester evokes the disturbing days to come for the Eurozone (and all those involved in any way with Euros!). Basically, whether Germany (the Eurozone's richest) further 'bails out' Greece (euphemism for creates more crazybig loans), or whether Greece goes down Argentina's path and defaults entirely on all loans - renders it's debt void and cuts itself off from the IMF - the Euro is in a supersticky situation.

In the former case, the already-precarious situation is intensified by merely buying Greece a bit more time before the imminent demise of the current financial set-up (for all involved) - because the debt will effectively just get larger and thus more destructive. In the latter case, Greece puts itself into an exceptional situation, where preparation is minimal and risk enormous. One must also ask whether such a self-exile is possible in this festering economic swamp in which we all reside. They say it is working for Argentina, but I must question whether being South America's 'fastest-growing economy' is really anything to be proud of? Whose standard of 'fast-growing' are they measuring by? Yes, I thought so.

Lastly, whichever way it goes, the risk of further EU-nation implosions being spurred by that of Greece is very high. Will Germany pay for those, too? Or refuse? Lanchester says they have no choice but to 'bail out' any of the weaker Euro economies if they want to 'save' the Euro itself. Ireland, Portugal, Spain? Once Spain goes down, the Euro goes with it. Spain is the twelfth biggest economy in the world; Germany, France, even Britain, must go with it.

You can read the article here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/13/eurozone-greek-debt-crisis-euro

The second news was a surprising newsletter from Adbusters. They are announcing a so-called 'shift in revolutionary tactics', with their plan to 'flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months.' This intervention is scheduled to commence on the 17 September.

Their one demand (inspired by the recent events in Egypt): 'that Barack Obama ordain a Presidential Commission tasked with ending the influence money has over our representatives in Washington. It's time for DEMOCRACY NOT CORPORATOCRACY.'

My major query about this demand is that it seems to be missing one crucial point: Obama (or any president or 'representative') is part of the problem, not the cure. In his current incarnation, the president figure is merely the puppet of corporatocracy, he represents it and exists because of it. I am thus not sure if he is the one to call to for the end of money's rule. But who knows, it's worth a try.

In any case, if this occupation actually does occur (with such a long lead-up and such self-conscious planning one wonders if it won't be suppressed before the tents are even pitched) we could be in for a very interesting rattling of Wall Street dominance over American politics and psyche (and for that matter the world's). Either that, or an unprecedented suppression of rights of expression and protest in the capital of global capitalism.

Let's see the dice roll. And hope, at least, the players are paying attention to their opponents' every move. The Wall Streets of the world don't give a toss about people's lives.


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