What we have witnessed over the past week is not one but two brilliantly executed coup d’etat’s by the financial markets undermining the democratically elected government Italy and the rest of the world; the market have already deposed one Prime Minister, Georges Papandreou of Greece, and has turned its guns on Italy.
Whilst it would not be too far an exagerration to say Berlusconi was a slur on democracy and whilst I should be celebrating his bloodless demise it would be a lot more palatable if it had been done by the Italian Courts or through the Ballot Box – not only would this have given more than passing satisfaction than has been achieved.
In the jubilation of Bersculoni’s departure it has been overlooked that workers rights have been severely infringed under the austerity measures, giving more power to the Corporations and Banks to whom out countries – and we have to take some of the responsibility as well – are now indebted. In the classic style international capital have given us what we can’t afford so that we then most obey those who are holding our debt’ Loan Sharks have become global!
In much the same that Thatcher sold the ‘Working Classes’ what they already owned in the social housing pool held by Local Authorities to ensure a compliant workface in fear of losing their jobs and being unable to repay their mortgages so the national governments are now compliant with corporate wealth.
It is now the corporation that supplies us with both the ‘bread and circuses’ of ancient Roma and also the threat of Fagin as Gang Master.
At the beginning of this economic crisis three years ago there was a hope we could find another way, that we could move from the material to the social, from the ‘me’ to the ‘you’ but the strength of our addiction to the iPhone proved too much. Not a scientific poll but I do not see much change in the habits of myself our my colleagues, we are wedded to consumption.
Other than our inability to move away from the individual to the social we seem to be unable to move from the individual to the political, though here – as I am sure as in the social but not in my circle – there are glimmers of hope with the ‘Occupy’ protests, some people are becoming political as the welfare system crumbles.
As the democratic institutions take for themselves more power, threats of Internet denial, evictions from social housing, and seeking the repeal of Human Rights Act and Health and Safety legislation (and this is only in the United Kingdom) then the individual is forced to ‘grass roots’ solutions. The European Union at the G20 Conference a few weeks summoned a democratically leader of the birthplace of democracy and demanded what changes must be made. I have the utmost respect for the EU and an avid supporter, but this showed the political change taking place, the formation of an embryonic Europa which, I am really sad to say, I think the UK will not be a part of. The fact was that ‘Europa’ flexed its muscle and took its first breath; a State removed from direct accountability to the electorate.
We are living in very interesting times, and the next few years, if not months, will define our society for the next 50 years; the changes are starting gradually through reaction but will change as the logic of decisions are implemented – already the EuroZone will meet twice a year to take political decisions that will affect the rest fo the EU.
The logic is simple, a core of nations with peripheral nations gradually disengaging, perhaps to ‘associate’ status if not total withdrawl. The democratic make of the core group will always be elected heads of governments, but increasingly forced to alter their agenda’s to suit the needs of the greater.
As always is the case ‘he who pays the Piper calls the tune’.