The Real Power in Politics. Millions of people across the globe are trying to save our planet’s ecosystems from the mega-crises bulldozing them into oblivion. But despite all this impressive positive global effort by humanity, the destruction continues. The oceans are getting more acidic, CO2 emissions have broken the catastrophic 400ppm barrier, and a wave of human-caused animal and plant extinctions is sweeping the Earth.
The 2011 Occupy movement forced me to stop and ask why. My conclusion was that we no longer live in a functioning democracy but rather in what I think of as (and this is the title of my next book) The Prostitute State. ONE: A Corrupted Democracy As a senior Lib Dem I got a wide range of eco-friendly policies democratically adopted by our party conference. Take for example the nuclear industry. The UK’s proposed new Lobbying Bill entrenches corporate lobbying still further. TWO: A Sponsored Academia THREE: Tax Havens FOUR: A Captured Media So what, if anything, can be done? Deep Democracy: Can it Help Solve the 'Wicked Problems We Face Today'?
Citizens and communities engaged in "deep democracy" have the potential to counteract the ills plaguing society, such as historically low voter turn-out, ideological extremism, rampant inequality, and expanding corporate influence, according to a report issued this week by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. In particular, the report's authors argue, "the efforts underway to make food systems more resilient and sustainable can be supported and facilitated through deep democratic processes.
" Food advocates face a system with insufficient access to affordable food, huge amounts of food waste, and obesity all at the same time. "How can we simultaneously counter trends in hunger, obesity, widening socioeconomic disparity, an aging farm population being squeezed out of sustainable livelihoods and environmental damage? " wonder M. Jahi Chappell and Jill Carlson, co-authors of "Deepening Food Democracy" (pdf). With deep democracy, that's how. Noam Chomsky: Austerity is just class war. This article originally appeared on AlterNet. As Greece defaults and faces a referendum this Sunday on a new bailout package, watch Noam Chomsky on Europe’s “savage response” to the pushback against austerity demands.
He spoke to Democracy Now! In March. Click here to watch Monday’s segment, “As Greece Heads for Default, Voters Prepare to Vote in Pivotal Referendum on More Austerity.” Below is an interview with Chomsky, followed by a transcript: AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask you about Syriza in Greece, a movement that started as a grassroots movement. PABLO IGLESIAS: Austerity means that people is expulsed of their homes.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Pablo Iglesias, the head of this new anti-austerity group in Spain called Podemos, which means in English “We can.” NOAM CHOMSKY: It’s very significant. AMY GOODMAN: You mean in dealing with the debt. NOAM CHOMSKY: In the dealing with them, and sort of forced them to back off from almost all their proposals. We Are All Greeks Now. By Chris Hedges / truthdig.com The poor and the working class in the United States know what it is to be Greek. They know underemployment and unemployment. They know life without a pension.
They know existence on a few dollars a day. They know gas and electricity being turned off because of unpaid bills. They know the crippling weight of debt. The Greeks and the U.S. working poor endure the same deprivations because they are being assaulted by the same system—corporate capitalism. The Greek government kneels before the bankers of Europe begging for mercy because it knows that if it leaves the eurozone, the international banking system will do to Greece what it did to the socialist government of Salvador Allende in 1973 in Chile; it will, as Richard Nixon promised to do in Chile, “make the economy scream.” Human life is of no concern to corporate capitalists. Fascist and communist firing squads sometimes charged the victim’s family for the bullets used in the execution. Greece’s solidarity movement: ‘it’s a whole new model – and it’s working’ “A long time ago, when I was a student,” said Olga Kesidou, sunk low in the single, somewhat clapped-out sofa of the waiting room at the Peristeri Solidarity Clinic, “I’d see myself volunteering.
You know, in Africa somewhere, treating sick people in a poor developing country. I never once imagined I’d be doing it in a suburb of Athens.” Few in Greece, even five years ago, would have imagined their recession- and austerity-ravaged country as it is now: 1.3 million people – 26% of the workforce – without a job (and most of them without benefits); wages down by 38% on 2009, pensions by 45%, GDP by a quarter; 18% of the country’s population unable to meet their food needs; 32% below the poverty line. And just under 3.1 million people, 33% of the population, without national health insurance. “We couldn’t just stand by and watch so many people, whole families, being excluded from public healthcare,” Kesidou said. “We’ve gained so much from people’s innovation,” she said.
Greek crisis: markets fall and bond yields rise as Varoufakis goes – live. The referendum of 5th July will stay in history as a unique moment when a small European nation rose up against debt-bondage. Like all struggles for democratic rights, so too this historic rejection of the Eurogroup’s 25th June ultimatum comes with a large price tag attached. It is, therefore, essential that the great capital bestowed upon our government by the splendid NO vote be invested immediately into a YES to a proper resolution – to an agreement that involves debt restructuring, less austerity, redistribution in favour of the needy, and real reforms. Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my… ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement.
For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today. And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride. Greece – What You are not Being Told by the Media. Every single mainstream media has the following narrative for the economic crisis in Greece: the government spent too much money and went broke; the generous banks gave them money, but Greece still can’t pay the bills because it mismanaged the money that was given. It sounds quite reasonable, right? Except that it is a big fat lie … not only about Greece, but about other European countries such as Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland who are all experiencing various degrees of austerity. It was also the same big, fat lie that was used by banks and corporations to exploit many Latin American, Asian and African countries for many decades. Greece did not fail on its own. It was made to fail. In summary, the banks wrecked the Greek government and deliberately pushed it into unsustainable debt so that oligarchs and international corporations can profit from the ensuing chaos and misery.
If you are a fan of mafia movies, you know how the mafia would take over a popular restaurant.