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. 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. 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.” 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. 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.
The system of unfettered capitalism is designed to callously extract money from the most vulnerable and funnel it upward to the elites. Corporate profit is God. 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. 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.
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.