Saturday, October 15, 2011
Indignation over indignados and Wall Street
I would be more sympathetic to the "down with Wall Street" or their ancestors, the Indignados, if they showed a little bit more of realism, of desire to build something, of not looking like frustrated kids that cannot afford to change their cell phone to the latest IPhone. But let's look at the most "famous" ones, those of La Puerta del Sol in Madrid on May 15. Where are they today, what have they achieved? Nothing, zilch, just aimless revolt. I mean, they have a golden opportunity to do something, something perfect for people who claim that they want more "participative" democracy: Spain is voting in general elections next month. Have they endorsed anyone? Have they bargained with a small party so that they could show their strength through them like Quebec voters did in the latest Canadian elections? No, nothing, just aimless criticism that draws crowds, for sure, but that is it.
What do they want? To overthrow everything without offering a proposal for renewal? And let's not start witht he Greeks who we learn everyday new ways in which they pimped Europe to the point of having tenured bureaucracy with retirment age at 55.......
The problem with all these people is that they are not facing the real problems of the world: overpopulation and diminishing resources. They all want more money, more welfare, more Ipads....
I confess that I do not have a solution for all that is falling on us for the last few years, but I cannot join the indignados. Not that I did not do my share of protests in my younger days. When I lived in the US I rarely missed a gay rights march, and went to many an Act Up action, or at a NOW assembly (amen of volunteer work for related causes). The NOW rally in DC in, I believe, 1990 or 91, was the largest concentration I ever attended, with the flow of people going continuously from the Lincoln Memorial to Congress, as a gigantic arc above the Mall. You could see both ends when standing at the Washington Memorial. That was a rally, that had purpose even though we may be waiting for the results still. I was there with Baltimore ActUp even though we had little to do with birth rights. But we understood what was at stake and were more than welcome. It was not the crappy showings of today, even if global. The No Mas Chavez looks better considering its more limited scope.
But there is something that upsets me even more about these indignados , who seem clearly to be manipulated and financed by some leftist organizations as even Eva Golinger seems to have been dispatched by the Chavez regime to New York (business or first class flight?). Where were they in 2002 and 2003 when I, along 100 of thousands of Venezuelans marched to protect our democracy? Are they today at least saying that they were sorry they did not defend us them? That we were right? That Chavez is a dictator in the making?
It seems that the multi city show did not work much in Latin America today, except in Chile where they ride on the coattails of the student protest, another manipulated instance if you ask me, but I digress. The thing, maybe, is that in Latin America we are now finally putting our house in order and have little patience with spoiled brats from the Northern Hemisphere who when everything is said and done look over us with contempt or amusement. They are the lazy ones now it seems, for all their rhetoric. Even in Venezuela we are done with repeated rallies and unending plaza occupations: we are organizing politically and we are trying to recover democracy out of the hands of a dictator who reached office under the promise of "participative democracy". Look how he fucked us all and what we had to go through, to end up with a devastated country without the need of a war. May this serve as a cautionary tale and may those in Europe and the US who know better to react to that demagoguery anti Wall Street.
After all it is not Wall Street fault, it is the fault of the governments put into place that did not do their job, and the voters who thought for too long that you could have your cake and eat it if you could ever step into the Wall Street Casino. Let's not be fooled: the anger of many of these people is that they never managed to get to play Wall Street otherwise they would have done it (Listen to Don Giovanni of Mozart and you will understand what I mean: given a chance to go unpunished the human species is quite willing to forgo all ethics).
My main concern right now is that this venting, sometimes quite genuine, is only going to favor the right wing and unscrupulous politicians. In the US watch for the Tea Partiers and assorted evangelicals to benefit. In Spain and Greece wait for their chronic anarchist past to come back and ruin what they achieved in the last three decades. Elsewhere, well, you'll see.
And in Venezuela Chavez of course claims that there is no such "indignado" protest becasue he cleared up capitalism from us. But what about the constant protests, sometimes violent, all across Venezuela from people who actually want the Chavez regime to pay the wages that the regime pays less and less, to fulfill its promises after 13 years of failed promises? If there is an example of unscrupulous politician willing to exploit today's rallies it is Chavez. The indignados could do worse than to send a delegation to criticize Chavez failure to fulfill his obligations to his people.
Are the jerks in New York and Madrid aware of who they are working for?
PS: What about the down with Assad people? Don't they deserve support too? Who deserves more front pages inches: Damascus or Wall Street?
Posted by Daniel at 11:41 PM