Have you been following the Spanish rebellion? On May 15, Spain’s disaffected (los indignados) organized themselves to stage plaza occupations in several cities. Though hundreds of thousands people converged on the city squares in encampments lasting several weeks, the logistics were handled very well via various commissions and able coordination of volunteers. The one thing that failed was the grassroots-democratic process meant to address the various severe problems Spain is facing, among them a debt-ravaged economy, endemic corruption, few prospects for young people, and a sense of general hopelessness. This is particularly ironic in view of the fact that the encampments were initially organized by a Facebook group calling itself Democracia Real Ya (Real Democracy Now). As one of the participants noted, the new democracy was soon indistinguishable from the old democracy, as centralized mass processes took over and quickly bogged down. “In cities where the central structure was not challenged and critiqued, it soon consolidated power, pushed out critical voices, … and imploded in a spectacle of boredom as most people left rather than sitting through an umpteenth meeting in which all they could do was listen to someone else talk.” We truly have very little idea of how to work with one another politically… which is not surprising, since our political processes have been largely hijacked by the aggrandizer faction.
I have gathered several links where participants describe in detail what they experienced. I looked for articles by knowledgeable people living in Spain and writing in English who have the wit to look under the surface of events and to reflect. The rebellion is expected to gain new urgency when the summer is over, and it is already spreading to other European countries.
Spanish Revolution at a Crossroads: The Lines of Conflict
Indignant and Organized: from 15M to 19J
Demonstrations in Spain: what the indignados are saying
Fire Extinguishers and Fire Starters: Anarchist Interventions in the #Spanish Revolution (long, lots of pics)
Ilargi at Automatic Earth has written about the hopeless and ongoing financial shenanigans involving Greece. (So far, only Iceland was able to mount a somewhat reasonable response to the financial crisis, refusing to bail out speculators at the expense of taxpayers, and one of the bankster culprits — the fall guy, of course — is being tried. “They” are trying to induct Iceland into EU to make sure it never happens again.) Anyway… here is what Ilargi concludes about the recent “revolutions”:
I’ll never be one to call for a revolution, or to man barricades or carry banners, but still, you know, I’m thinking there’s not all that much available in the range of options. Electing different politicians, whatever country you’re in, makes no difference anymore, whatsoever. The financial world’s grip on public coffers all over the place has reached a pretty “absolute form”. Perhaps when you look at the ways in which the ECB and IMF are planning to drain and sell off Greece, you shouldn’t just shudder, you should also realize that that gravy train will one day make a full stop in your country, city, community, load up all the goodies and leave with them. And why? Because you let them.
The best hope there seems to be on the horizon for many places is the very young and unemployed that have begun taking over the squares of their cities, from Spain to Greece to Yemen to Egypt et al. If these kids don’t make it, if they don’t persevere in those squares, their communities stand to be sucked dry of all remaining wealth by the financiers’ army of politicians and police forces and what have you, which have all, oh sweet irony, been paid for with your very own tax money.
If you want to know what the state of affairs is in the world, and in your particular part of it, don’t listen any longer to Bernanke, or Obama, or Merkel, Smaghi, Christine Lagarde, or Trichet. Start listening to the kids in the squares. Their version of reality has a lot more to do with yours, and certainly yours in the future, than any of the mouthpieces bought and paid for in the political slave auction we for some obscure reason still insist on calling democracy.
We’re not going to solve our predicaments by working from within the systems that brought us these same predicaments. I have no particular political leanings, other than I don’t like politics in general, and I don’t want to call for any political action either. But through simply looking at what I see happening, and trying to analyze it, I don’t see much hope for a change for the better for the people who are losing more of their wealth every day than those kids in the squares. The Generation of Junk, as the Portuguese ones call themselves.
So I guess that’s sort of a mission statement after all. And don’t worry, I’m easily smart enough to understand that that will rub some people the wrong way. I just don’t see another way out anymore, it’s all just about analysis and pattern recognition from where I’m sitting. I’m temporarily lodged in France, to work on the new Automatic Earth website. People here say that if austerity measures like those in Greece and Spain and Portugal would ever reach here, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The French know protest, and proudly so. Me, I’m wondering what’s going to happen when police start shooting live ammo in the EU periphery. And how far away that moment could be.
Well said, Ilargi. But there is always the hope that the henchmen of the system feel the rot and refuse to serve it.
We’ve handed the financial elites absolute powers over our economies, and thereby our lives and well being, as well as our childrens’ futures. We’ll have to wrestle it back from their cold dead hands. And that’s not going to be an easy one.
Actually, Ilargi, “we” have not handed them absolute power. They stole it. Just as their precursors from the lugals to pharaohs to kings did before them. Their bully-boy brinkmanship has reached its apotheosis. The logic of the system is playing out its endgame.
And on that happy note: it’s too hot to think. I am taking a vacation. Wishing you a languorous summer, everyone up planetary north!