"There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen."
—Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924)
(Swans - November 7, 2011) ACCORDING TO the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI), which has an excellent track record in forecasting recessions, "the US economy is indeed tipping into a new recession. And there's nothing that policy makers can do to head it off." In light of the debacle at the G20 summit in Cannes, France, one has to wonder whether policy makers can do anything right. (They have done everything wrong for 40 years.) The summit has been an abject failure, a display of disunity and incapacity to make any decision except kicking the proverbial can down the road with the hope that somehow, miraculously, the eurozone will be saved, economic growth reignited, and global recession avoided. Even the weather was not au rendezvous -- it didn't stop raining. Twenty heads of state kept bitching and haggling at each other. No decision was taken but for the creation of whatever taskforce charged to study whatever issue, and the need for further talks.
THEY COULD NOT agree on anything, like restructuring the financial sector, curbing speculation, forbidding Credit Default Swaps, implementing a tax on financial transactions, funding of the European Financial Stability Facility, increasing the role of the European Central Bank, stopping the bleeding of Italy, helping the countries already in recession... As a letter writer said, referring to France, "we borrow money that we do not have to lend it to a country [Greece] that will never pay it back" -- in order, it should be said, to save the big banks (and their investors), which we refuse to control and regulate, or curb the obscene pay and bonuses of the bankers. The kleptocracy keeps having a field day.
NO WONDER the Occupy Wall Street movement, under whatever local shape or form, is going viral in many parts of the world, and is viewed as a serious threat by the Establishment. No wonder either that agents provocateurs have begun to infiltrate these peaceful protest movements, thus allowing increased violent repression by the authorities, like in Oakland, California, and other cities around the country and in Europe. False flag operations, one should expect, will grow in the coming months and repression intensify in the name of law and order. When Scott Olsen, a former marine who did two tours in Iraq, gets his skull fractured by a local constable in Oakland, you know that things are going to get uglier real soon, or maybe, just maybe, the constables will realize that they too are part of the 99%...
I'VE HEARD talking heads and read bloviators whose main criticism of OWS, besides being so-called spoiled brats though technology-savvy kids, is that they do not have an agenda, a political program, or make clear demands. They proceed to offer advice and to tell them what they ought to do, ask, demand. The funny and galling part is that the co-opters are essentially all members of the baby-boom generation. The very same Boomers who created the mess in the first place and who are in control of all the branches of government and the myriad corporations that rule the land. In other words, they are in charge; they are in power; they have been utterly unable or unwilling to find solutions to the mess they created in the first place, BUT they want to tell the young kids, the Millennial generation, what should be done.
PERHAPS BOOMERS would be well advised to ponder and keep in mind what the late French biologist Jean Rostand wrote in Inquietudes d'un biologiste, « A entendre certains fracas, on souhaiterait, pour ce qu'on estime, la dignité du silence. » ("To hear some deafening news, one would wish, for what is esteemed, the dignity of silence.") These young people are very well informed. They know that almost 20 million of them (age 18-29) are unemployed. They know that the Boomers are leaving them with over $15 trillion in public debt, which will grow to $20 trillion by 2015. They know there is no way they can repay this debt in their lifetime. There are many young veterans among them who fought and died for wars chosen by their elders and who are fully aware of the $1 trillion a year spent on military adventurism. They sure know about Wall Street and the banksters, and their armies of lobbyists -- and how both Democratic and Republican parties have been captured by corpocracy. They are much more knowledgeable in many ways than the Boomers. What they do not know is how to change, or at least fix, the insane system they are inheriting, and since the creators of this insane system don't know either, they should simply shut up and let the new generation figure it out. They will.
AND THEY WILL NEED all the support they can gather because in light of the G20 colossal debacle we can expect much rougher times ahead. Unable to instigate a minimum of social justice and to tame the financial markets, our "dear leaders" are condemning us to an economic and financial collapse of unknown proportion.
AN ARDENT OBLIGATION for all of us: Work on positive solutions and cultural change, and learn with Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995) that "the self is only possible through the recognition of the Other."
. . . . .
C'est la vie...
And so it goes...
La vie, friends, is a cheap commodity, but worth maintaining when one can.the life line won't hurt you much, but it'll make a heck of a difference for Swans.
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