Sunday, January 25, 2015
Look toward the birth place of Democracy. Syriza what is new?
After the gross supreme court ruling on the Citizens United case activists have shouted "GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS". Groups like Move to Amend and Wolf Pac have put enormous effort towards ending corporate person-hood and campaign finance reform. These efforts should be applauded and the activists who spend their time doing things like phone banking and social outreach deserve credit, where credit is due.
Looking at the way wealth has concentrated since the industrial revolution picked up steam, we see patterns of protectionism and efforts to free the so-called market from state intervention. It seems to me that with or without protectionist efforts wealth would eventually concentrate into the hands of the few. This assertion makes me look back to those words echoing from activists. With these words and wealth concentration in mind we need to recognize that when we say "GET THE MONEY OUT..." what we are really saying is ""break the strangle hold the market economy has over our political sphere, and our lives as a whole."
One way to reduce the strangle hold the market has over our lives, is social programs. Social programs that are based on need, not on ability to pay. Each social program that breaks from the "market" allows the person who is in need to have a small amount of economic freedom. Economic freedom to spend time raising her or his family, walking on the beach, blogging or whatever. This freedom also creates an amount of dependence on the entity who provides the social program, so it is give and take. I will not try to convince anyone that the market or the state is the path to any kind of notion of unhampered freedom, whatever that means., but we need to recognize this give and take open avenues where some roads are closed.
What happens when neither market solutions are available and social programs have been cut through measures of austerity like the citizens of Greece are currently experiencing? What happens is (at different times) more than a million unemployed Greek men and women, unable to pay their debts and adequately feed their families. We see social unrest and a state unable to use police forces to quell the angry voices of desperate citizens.
This has been the case in Greece since the great recession forced the hand of The European Union toward austerity measures for Greece (Portugal, Spain and Italy). On this day (January 25th 2015) the Greek Syriza party (a coalition of parties) looks to have won a near majority in the Greek parliament. This victory is a dismissal of The International Monetary fund, the predatory lending by EU central banking policies and most of all the failed austerity measures. This vote and the Syriza party looks to reject the mix of economic interests that has corrupted and controlled the political process of Greece. This vote looks to defy the laws of oligarchy, looking to re-negotiate terms relating to the sizable Greek debt.
After the re-negotiating process begins I hope the Syriza party will look to create an example that provides new answers that do not overtly rely on the faux potential of mixed market solutions. This is a good day to be hopeful for new solutions to old problems, and it is only fitting to look to the birthplace of democracy for new solutions to the strangle hold the "market" economy has over our lives as a whole.