Archive for November, 2011|Monthly archive page

“Honey, I Shrunk Lady Liberty!”

In OWS on November 13, 2011 at 3:31 am

Re: Berlusconi Steps Down, and Italy Pulses With Change

If all of Europe is sold, country by country, to \”private investors\” to appease the Anonymous Bondholders, how will Europe look any different than Disney’s miniature Europe in Florida? Would it even matter whether Disney or The European People owned the streets?

If the people of Europe don’t care if their world is privatized, maybe the name of the next Disney feature should be, \”Honey, I shrunk Lady Liberty\”…A funny thing happened to liberty on the way to government privatization: it shrank, in the same bathtub the government was drowned in.

Think about what the difference between privately and publicly owned really means: Disney charges an arm and a leg to visit its faux Europe streets, and imposes normal business hours—i.e., closes the streets at night.

Are so many countries, full of vibrant histories, willing to give up their individualism to comply with the mandates of culture-crushing dictates of debt, bondholders, and the ill-conceived Euro? Are you willing to sell your culture to pay a debt that is almost impossible to repay because you lack the sovereign power of government to print your own currency to ease your liquidity trap?

The people of Greece have seemed the feistiest, and the most aware of what is at stake, by taking to the streets literally with burning torches in opposition to austerity and privatization of government.  If they don’t save their own government, no one will save them, least of all the bondholders, whom they are supposed to help in return for–?  Not liberty.   Just the enrichment of the bondholders.   Stability?   Yes, if you prefer the \”stability\” of a completely privatized world, with no public squares, no public utilities, no public workers.   I believe this was the original vision of Monarchy that Democracy has been fighting for hundreds of years….

But perhaps Europe believes Monarchy, not Democracy, is its true birthright…or, maybe humanity’s latest progress is to regress, making sure to take every single step backwards, retracing the path of the Enlightenment and the Renaissance,  all the way to bowing before the throne and restoring The Crown to His Majesty.

Luckily, the new King doesn’t have to bother even with administering to his subjects anymore—his appointed shareholders do that for him.  The CEOs of the world take a tip from the group Anonymous, agreeing it is easier to be less of a target when you don’t have a name.     The few thousand CEOs of the world’s richest corporations are the new monarchy, buying governments Left, Right, Right-of-Center, and Center-0f-Left, as long as they are willing to make money into speech.  From Italy, NYTimes:

“The austerity measures approved by lawmakers include selling state assets and increasing the retirement age to 67 from 65 by 2026. They would also decrease the power of professional guilds, privatize municipal services and offer tax breaks to companies that hire young workers.

Key political parties, with the exception of the Northern League, an important member of Mr. Berlusconi’s center-right coalition, have said they will support Mr. Monti.”

As if each word in this essay were valuable not for its meaning, but only if I declare that each word was worth $1,000, and anyone who reads this essay must pay me $1,000 a word–why?  Because that is how the contract is written!  What contract, you say–you didn’t sign a contract, you were just reading this essay.  Well, equally, the people of Europe did not get to vote for austerity, for bailing out the bondholders at banks who unwisely poured too much money into, ultimately, junk bonds, without cushioning potential losses on their own bank balance sheets (the Greek referendum was cancelled), nor were they raging in the streets for their democratically elected leaders to step down—The Greecians were rallying only to protect democratic ( ie, non-profiteering, public, for all) institutions FROM cuts/austerity/privatization…It was the Bondholders who seemed to think that Democratically-elected leaders are ruining “confidence.”  Somehow, freedom, rule by the people, causes the market “jitters.”

And no one in their right mind would vote for austerity, unless they were duped into voting against their best interests.     Voting for austerity is the equivalent of a madman reading this essay mailing in a check for $1,000 a word because I said so, because money is speech,  and thus the madman only listens to what anyone else tells him–  He can no longer distinguish his own freedom, individual discretion, and liberty to partake of thought freely without price tags,  from the  false rumors, and false gods of the marketplace “demanding” that he spend his money as the only way,  literally, to be “heard.”

This is the battle between finance and democracy that is being fought not only in Europe, but here at home with our own Austerity Police.   To the extent the issues are blurred and complicated, intentionally,  by politicians who stand to gain from the privatization of the world,  our Democracy is lost as the world is privatized.   If not enough people care, then we never deserved a government to begin with.