A New Year e-message:
What a stunning year 2011 has been. Full of hope and horror. 2012 will see the continuation of the year of revolutions in the Arab world, including probably the fall (most probably, I would guess, the death) of Assad and I hope that real change will come to our continent, too. For, while we complacently think that we at least live in democracies, the truth is otherwise.
With the intensification of the financial crisis in Europe, which will I believe probably get much worse in the coming year, and with the coming to power of some 'technocratic' (read NOT democratic, tacitly very right-wing, pro-finance) governments, we cannot avoid now facing a defining question: _Are_ the nations of
The Occupy movement has arisen as a powerful response to this appalling undemocratic inegalitarianism:
So: I think it very important that we reject the widespread conservative/elitist failure to consider even for a moment the only way in which this crisis is actually likely to be solved: by a _deepening_ of democracy (rather than by its suspension, as has already pretty much explicitly happened in Greece and Italy). Here, the Occupy movement offers more than just inspiration: it offers an actual model. If our societies were actually allowed to become democratic, they would, I suggest, opt for a viable way out of the crisis, implementing the ideas offered by the likes of Steve Keen, Ann Pettifor, Caroline Lucas, Richard Murphy, and Nicholas Shaxson: a general debt jubilee, capital controls, real nationalisation or remutualisation of the banks, governments regaining control of the creation of money, a sustained assault on tax havens, a real Green New Deal, and so on. Whereas all that the technocrats will have to offer is yet more bailing out of the 1% and endlessly ruthlessly inegalitarian regimes.
If we had more democracy, rather than less, then we might even finally have a
So: I think that 2012 will be a crucial year for determining whether we start to live in democracies, or whether we lose even what power and financial resource we currently have.
Meanwhile, the huge financial and political threat hanging over us can make it hard to think long-term. But that is what we must do, with regard to the even greater long term challenges facing us.
That is why I wrote this piece, for Green House, on the attitude we need to have toward how to take care of the future: http://www.greenhousethinktank.org/page.php?pageid=gases . I hope you will find it a suitable seasonal offering
Solidarity for 2012!