UNDERSTANDING THESE TIMES IN WHICH WE LIVE

Translated from the French by Tim Gupwell.

In the Wall Street Journal today:

Since the beginning of the crisis in 2007, one thing has become clear in European politics: the outgoing parties are not voted back in. Confronted by the incapacity of the governments and the majorities in place to resolve the problems of the moment, the electors – at least, those increasingly few and far between who still go to the trouble of travelling to the urns – vote for the opposition, whoever it may be.

In these conditions, the merry go-round can only make a restricted number of turns before passing to national unity governments, which are really warm-ups for some kind of dictatorship.

The French Government has only just celebrated its first 100 days in power, but it is not too early for it to start thinking about this new trend which is starting to emerge in the European electorates.

“What we need is audacity, more audacity and then yet more audacity!” This is exactly what is needed if we are to get out of the rut we are stuck in; even more so when this rut is merely symptomatic of the immense quagmire that the Eurozone has now become in its entirety.

Nonetheless, the European treaty which France has to ratify in October is anything but audacious. The famous balanced budget offers a false sense of security when things are going well – if indeed this could ever go well again– and it dramatically worsens the situation when things are going badly.

A nation’s expenses are not measured in Gross Domestic Product points; they are measured rather more mundanely by its fiscal receipts. The GDP is a poor yardstick at the best of times since the more it contributes to the destruction of the planet, the better it seems. But that isn’t even the point: in a world where jobs are fast disappearing and where the concentration of capital is scaling new heights due to the excessive manner in which the wealth created is distributed (and which we tolerate) the GDP of nations nowadays are like bodies attacked by a fever, and it seems therefore a very inappropriate moment to use it as a thermometer.

If, since 2007, those leaving power are no longer being re-elected in Europe, it is because they have kept a low profile, gone with the flow, waited for things to sort themselves out. However, unfortunately things won’t sort themselves out any more: the crisis we have endured since 2007 – a crisis stemming from substituting leveraging and easy credit for salary – is within a whisker of being transformed into a full-blown depression. This is what all this is about; this is what needs to be attacked, since there has already been a tremendous delay – five years in fact.

“The means must be commensurate with the gravity of the situation” said Barroso a few years ago. But neither him, nor any of his European colleagues, nor anyone at the head of one of the 17 nations making up the Eurozone, has really understood the true meaning of these words. Those who in the future speak as members of government, or as representatives of the French nation, need to bear these words in mind.

Marching in perfect unison works well for a regiment which is progressing calmly through the countryside, but here there is something else at stake: saving one’s skin as the bombs rain down!

 

2 thoughts on “UNDERSTANDING THESE TIMES IN WHICH WE LIVE

  1. Since this blog is in English, I offer the following: When OCCUPY first came on the scene, I was a fan and immediately designed and produced signs to carry in the coming general manifestations, hopefully on Market Street in San Francisco. I still have those signs, growing old, unused in my guest room. OCCUPY was a large disappointment as those young people did not have a clue what was necessary to go up against the powers-that-be. The only group with the critical thinking, understanding and experience to go up against the take-over of the country by International Finance, the Military and the paid Lobbyists are the seniors who, young, went up against the Vietnam War. The present-day young are not up to it. They are dumbed down via the electronic medias and lots and lots of propaganda 24/7.

    THE MEDIA is controlled by only a few large corporations, all in on the need to keep the people quiet and accepting of whatever. When marketing/advertising was first introduced as a concept at the beginning of the 20th Century, the first book on the subject was entitled PROPAGANDA. That was soon changed to ADVERTISING AND MARKETING, for greater popularity.

    If one is counting on the young to rise up and save us all, think again. It is NOT going to happen. Instead, the seniors, even in wheelchairs, need to get out there and protest before they die off. I say that for the USA, but in Europe, it holds true as well. Only the older people I know in Europe understand what is happening and are disgusted. Who will demand a return to Democracy for the people to vote against these take-away-freedom treaties? You tell me.

    Jeanette

  2. Only the older people I know in Europe understand what is happening and are disgusted. Who will demand a return to Democracy for the people to vote against these take-away-freedom treaties

    .

    I’m not sure I agree with you on this point. If you look at the profile of the Greeks who voted for New Democracy, they were primarily older voters. The young have been subjected to years of brainwashing and TINA, but a few more years of mass youth employment will probably change their ideas!!!

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