Terça-feira, 18 de Setembro de 2012

the conspiracy against Europe

Some Europeans must be wondering by now how was it possible that a financial crisis born within the deepest core of the capitalist principles in the U.S. suddenly became such a problem for Europeans. Not a problem to all of us, however, we should reckon that. The reasons are few and simple, regretfully to any conspiracy theory enthusiast, and can be summarized into three main issues: 1) the U.S. desperately needed to divert attention from the subprime mess and to guarantee the Dollar’s high value against its rival, the Euro, and thus obscure institutions run by obscurer individuals called the rating agencies quickly set the attack; 2) in a Europe almost entirely dominated by the right–wing, attacking the very essence of the social state by stating that it is just too expensive to keep was the ultimate, and long–wanted, leverage to revert the life of Europeans back to the Victorian age and 3) there are many of those in Europe that long realised that moving manufacturers and suppliers eastwards is not at all good business as once suspected – the best would be to have cheap labour within Schengen’s, therefore devoid of excessive tolls, taxes, long routes and products of uncontrolled quality. The Chinese are beginning to be a little tired of working themselves to the ground for a few bowls of rice, anyway, and their over–protective economy is not the ultimate capitalist El Dorado.


The obvious solution, as seen by Europe’s mediocre politicians, puppeteered by international banks and other corporations to whom human life is nothing else than collateral damage, was an old solution: the PIGS. In the past, Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain, all in famine, three of them in the hand of dictatorships supplied millions of cheap, semi–enslaved workers to the “developed” world, especially central and northern Europe. Imagine now what it would be for industrial corporations if they could settle in low–tax countries with cheap, compliant workers as a result of high unemployment, in a continent with tax–free borders. Forget about China. Or India. Or whoever. Portugal is the place for high–quality and low–cost fabrics. The Irish were once the cheap mill labourers of the British Isles.


Simple solutions generally imply simple requirements. Say their debts are too high and that you will not lend them any more money if they do not comply with your demands. Make wage reduction a demand and facilitate lay–offs and say that turns economy more competitive. Say they need to impoverish, an expression all too common nowadays, as if this would solve anyone’s problems. If you add old–fashioned, foolish nationalisms into it, you shall get all the favourable public opinion you need. Furthermore, right–wing politicians in these countries are only too keen to comply with all of this, if not for ideology, for personal benefit of just plain stupidity. For a few Masters–of–Europe this is a win–win situation to which is added the amazing profits of loansharking to indebted countries – the business of the hour for European and world–wide financial groups. Just look around: you will find a present, former of potential Goldman–Sachs employee at every political corner in the continent.


This means one thing, of course. One–fourth of the Europeans just lost their right to be Europeans. Yes, it’s true. More than one hundred millions PIGS lost their right to citizenship. Their right to fight for a better life and even to hope. And for what. To make a few Anglo–Saxon yuppies very very rich and very very happy. In any mid– or long–term perspective, the Germans the British the French and Scandinavians and many others (including in the U.S.) will lose more than one–hundred million consumers. Or one–hundred million European tax payers. Or potential scientists, engineers, artists, doctors, architects, politicians, why not, and other valuable assets to any nation. Not to mention the lost jobs from one region to another. Note that I do not write about human ethics. Or moral. Or humanity. There is no point in that, capitalism never had none of those and never will. Money and power speak only to money and power and understands nothing else. My appeal is not made to policy–makers, technocrats and to the fat of the land. I make it to Europeans. Yes, you and I. I am writing from Lisbon. In my quarter live people from all over Europe. We share these streets, our wealth, our well–being, our daily–bread. My call is to all of you. Let us think if we want to live inside guarded borders again. And inside regional hatred and envy. And imperialism. And divided by walls, especially those made from the bricks of prejudice. Think where that led us in the past.



publicado por Harpad às 22:41
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Sábado, 7 de Julho de 2012

something for the Europeans to think about

As many of my fellow countrymen, I would be lying if I said I particularly admire this character. I admit, though, he probably made the speech of his lifetime. I strongly suggest you listen to it till the end.


publicado por Harpad às 01:41
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Sábado, 31 de Dezembro de 2011

XXI European Manifesto

At the very beginning of a brand new millennium Europe is leaving behind almost three thousand years of history that gave birth and rise to the so-called Western Civilization and is now facing its definitive fall as an international reference. At the dawn of the twenty-first century we are now witnessing the definitive humiliation of Greece, mother of our civilization, followed by Italy, its second pillar, Portugal and Spain, the first overseas empires of the contemporary world. Others will follow at the hands of bureaucrats and technocrats and the ones they serve, namely old bourgeois families, remnants of old aristocrats, new local millionaires that made fortunes by every dubious mean and, most importantly, the yuppies to whom people, land and nation are nothing but collateral damage of their addiction to making millions.


Unlike what has been taught at schools, there were no winners or losers left in Europe after both World Wars. Europe lost. After centuries of foolish nationalisms, religious fundamentalisms, dictatorships, prejudice of all sort and, above all, fierce imperialism, Europe had lost its identity and its role in the World. However, our present leaders still insist to see Europe as a quilt made of unrelated patches, each regarding its neighbour as a vessel to draw money from and thus allegiances are made and lost to honour the most obscure benefits. In the process, Europeans were forgotten and are formatted to look at history as a succession of empires and the conflicts between them. As a result, the British rather become a protectorate of the US than work with their fellow neighbours. Germans and French easily criticize their southern counterparts regarding their finance, however submarines have been forcedly sold to indebted countries by unclear means that tend to leave a trail of corruption and waste. Rich countries forgot where their wealth is based on, meaning the cheap labour and commodity markets that are supplied by other countries. Not to mention who is benefiting from the abusive interest rates that are attacking poorer countries like ravaging swarms of wasps.


The mediocrity that grabbed the wheels of power is overwhelming. Unfortunately, this is not a problem restricted to our continent, of course, but such fact does not ameliorate the sadness of watching the motherland of so many philosophers, ideologists and revolutionaries so devoid of critical intellect. It is also clear that our leaders, high above in their pedestals, live in quite a different world from the one most Europeans dwell. Down here, our lives are played like if in a checkers game, mediocre politicians look at the very people they ought to serve like an embarrassing burden that makes statistics look bad. The very notion of the social state, which is the real reason why people came to live together, anyway, became an obstacle to finance, as once it was to the selfish objectives of sovereigns and dictators. Democracy itself is at its last when financial institutions now decide who is or not to govern a country. Remember Greece. And Ireland. And Portugal. And Spain. Others will, once again, follow. Meanwhile, our protests are ignored when not censored. Europeans are now collateral damage in their own home. History, however, repeats itself. Remember 1789 and 1917.


We should be fighting for our common home, without denying our ancestors, nationality or history. Europe should belong to all Europeans and all who wish to join us or become our allies. We should be proud that our home it the selection of all those who arrive at our shores in hope of a better life instead of chasing them away like unwanted beasts. We do not need more empires or weapons of mass destruction parading up and down the squares. And if we want oil, we shall simply buy it instead of supporting the dictator who may arrange the monopoly on our behalf. Our cities are now crowding with people from all over the continent, in fact from all over the world, taking benefit from free trade, liberty to travel anywhere and from our common currency which is under attack since it threatened the majestic USD. May all of us think if we wish to return to the era of fortified borders with little soldiers all around them. May we all look back and think if what we want is to return to the age of empires, dubious allegiances and treacheries that ultimately ended in two world wars, sixty-million dead bodies, a holocaust and a wall that divided the continent by the world’s new superpowers. May we think if we really want to go back to all that. 


publicado por Harpad às 18:03
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