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Wednesday, 05 October 2011 10:06

Tipping Points to Massive Civil Unrest & Revolution, Part III

By:  wendy davis

Riot in Greece.(Part One is here; Part Two is here.)

This one is pretty simple.  As unrest spreads around the globe, it will lead inevitably to a broader global understanding that the Masters of the Universe are multinational corporations, banks, and privately-owned but publicly funded entities like the Central Banks, WTO, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank that have not only subverted our democracy and many others around the planet, but also support dictatorships as well as undermine nations that…do not want to play their brand of ball.

As more and more people of the 99%  around the world catch on, others will either directly or indirectly, through either the Hundredth Monkey phenomenon (unproven, but hopeful) or telecommunication…be infected with the Resistance Bug.

Nations around the world have been protesting both the IMF and World Bank since 2001, but US media outlets have only covered a scant few, so Americans may arguably be behind on the learning curve regarding the deleterious effects of these Masterful organizations, some of whose stated goals are to help nations economically, but have darker sides in practice.

From Wikipedia:

The IMF was conceived in July 1944 originally with 45 members and came into existence in December 1945 when 29 countries signed the agreement, with a goal to stabilize exchange rates and assist the reconstruction of the world’s international payment system. Countries contributed to a pool which could be borrowed from, on a temporary basis, by countries with payment imbalances. The IMF was important when it was first created because it helped the world stabilize the economic system. The IMF works to improve the economies of its member countries. The IMF describes itself as “an organization of 187 countries (as of July 2010), working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty.”

In this Bruce Cockburn song from 1983, he takes issue with this benevolent description of their work:

“Sinister cynical instrument
Who makes the gun into a sacrament --
The only response to the deification
Of tyranny by so-called "developed" nations'
Idolatry of ideology

North South East West

Kill the best and buy the rest
It's just spend a buck to make a buck
You don't really give a flying fuck
About the people in misery

IMF dirty MF

Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there's one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt”

From Wikipedia:

"Two criticisms from economists have been that financial aid is always bound to so-called Conditionalities, including SAPs. It is claimed that conditionalities (economic performance targets established as a precondition for IMF loans) retard social stability and hence inhibit the stated goals of the IMF, while Structural Adjustment Programs lead to an increase in poverty in recipient countries.

 

The IMF sometimes advocates “austerity programmes,” cutting public spending and increasing taxes even when the economy is weak, in order to bring budgets closer to a balance, thus reducing budget deficits. Countries are often advised to lower their corporate tax rate. In Globalization and Its Discontents, Joseph E. Stiglitz, former chief economist and senior vice president at the World Bank, criticizes these policies. He argues that by converting to a more monetarist approach, the purpose of the fund is no longer valid, as it was designed to provide funds for countries to carry out Keynesian reflations, and that the IMF “was not participating in a conspiracy, but it was reflecting the interests and ideology of the Western financial community.”

“When the IMF arrives in a country, they are interested in only one thing. How do we make sure the banks and financial institutions are paid?... It is the IMF that keeps the [financial] speculators in business. They’re not interested in development, or what helps a country to get out of poverty.”

~Joseph Stiglitz

 

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) has further explanations for their complaints, including the role of Bretton Woods institutions have played since the Cold War period, supporting military dictatorships friendly to the US and Europe and specifically anti-communist regimes.  Other charges include the fund’s apathy over human and labor rights, all issues that have sparked anti-globalization protests.

You will no doubt recall John Perkins and his Confessions of an Economic Hit Man; here he is speaking at the Wealth Masters International annual meeting: He’s also weighed in on Libya, the resources and failure of Libya to play along with the corporations and banks of the IMF and World Bank, as has Russ Baker (the paragraph on ‘Wall Street in Iraq?’ is pretty funny.). Remember also that the IMF gave loans to the provisional government early on, and the west help set up a central bank for them. Egyptians, of course, were well aware that the IMF and World Bank neoliberal economics were responsible for much of their citizenry’s misery: high food prices, austerity cuts, and privatization of national infrastructure.  Many outraged citizens around the globe have caught on sooner than Americans.

Perkins:

“History teaches that empires do not endure; they collapse or are overthrown. Wars ensue and another empire fills the vacuum. The past sends a compelling message. We must change. We cannot afford to watch history repeat itself.

Let us not allow this empire to collapse and be replaced by another. Instead, let us all vow to create a new consciousness. Let the grass-roots movements in the Middle East – fostered by the young who must live with the future and are fueled through social networks – inspire us to demand that our country, our financial institutions and the corporations that depend on us to buy their goods and services commit themselves to fashioning a world that is sustainable, just, peaceful, and prosperous for all.

We stand at the threshold. It is time for you and me to step across that threshold, to move out of the dark void of brutal exploitation and greed into the light of compassion and cooperation.”

A documentary called ‘The Four Horsemen Are Coming’ is about to be released.  It is an expose explaining ‘how the world really works’; twenty-three financial experts speak out, including several of my favorite economists who were once insiders at the IMF and World Bank; Noam Chomsky also appears.  The film’s website encourages citizens to demand their local theaters show it; the screenings section offers advice.  It’s shiver-inducing to see all these whistleblowers in one place; the film must be astounding, and the PTB may not want us to see it.  ;o)

As you read diaries and coverage of Occupy Wall Street, and tomorrow’s first day of ‘Fight the Machine’, please remember that Anonymous is now calling it: ‘Occupy the World’.  The 99%-ers around the world face the same enemy: greed, control, rising food and energy prices, disappearing or non-existent social safety programs, increasing starvation, death from poisoned air, water and soil, and more, due not only to financial speculation, wealth extraction and deregulation, but also a concerted and cavalier effort to maximize profit at our expenses: (in short: fascism) We are the 99%!  We are legion! ;o)

(the new Anonymous video is here, and Metallica’s ‘Four Horsemen’ is here.   ;o)

Become Dog Soldiers for a new democracy!

Occupy Wall Street, and support Stop the Machine! any way you can.

(cross-posted at www.my.firedoglake.com)

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 20 December 2011 14:07

comments  

 
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[-] kgb999 2011-10-05 13:24   (permalink)
Really nice. Have a couple observations and quibbles ... so, I'll be back (can't get tooo distracted yet :-).
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[-] wendy davis 2011-10-05 13:28   (permalink)
Replying to: kgb999
Shoot; if ya only have a few quibbles it'll be a miracle. My head was swimming with info the past two days. I figured I'd get some of it wrong, anyway. ;o)

Where'd my pageback scuttle off too? I swear it was there when I looked at it. Or did Obey steal it?
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[-] Obey or not obey 2011-10-05 14:31   (permalink)
Replying to: wendy davis
whatever a pageback is, yeah! I've got it! That'll be $2.99 or your pageback gets it. And not in a good way.
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[-] wendy davis 2011-10-05 16:05   (permalink)
Replying to: Obey or not obey
Cripes; I'd meant 'page-break; how much can I screw up every time I post? Arrrggh!

But: put your hands up and stand away from my page-break, Pug, if'n ya know what's good fer ya'.

I'll be back; Rl weatherman says it may freeze hard tonight, so I'm runnin' around tryin' ta harvest the garden since I posted these diaries. Kinda fun, but takin' lots o' time. Whole house is full o' flowers; purdy kewl. Oh: and veggies and apples and tomatoes and... (disregard typos; gotta run.)

Gotta get all the free food while I can. ;o)

Back soon so kgb can smack me around a little.... |8)|
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[-] Obey or not obey 2011-10-05 14:44   (permalink)
Oh, gotta love that WTO two-step.
1. Gotta drop tariffs all round, for efficiency. Everything will get much cheaper
2. Sure, the dirty hippies will say that dropping tariffs fucks with your industrial policy since you can't control or protect industries anymore, and labor loses it's negotiating power, so wages drop and more profits go to the capitalist class.
3. Ah, but if only you knew some economics, you'd realize that if wages drop and the profits go to the capitalist class, we'll just hike the taxes on latter and redistribute income to benefit everyone. AWESOME! It's called NEO LIBERALISM, dahling. It's all the rage at hahvahd...
4. oh, but yes, hmm, just realized, we can't hike the taxes on capitalists because with no trade or capital controls, they too will just go away. And anyway, the capitalists have all the money and all the power now that we've disolved the labor organizations.
5. So, sorry old chap, free trade is here to stay, and no tax hikes on the rich. Clearly the only solution is to funnel even more money to the capitalist class and destroy labor further and cut the social safety net - clearly inefficient all that...
6. What? No, you say? You want to raise taxes? WHAT, are you suggesting class war?!?!
dirty hippies understand nothing, pfft..

Okay, the WTO six-step....
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[-] Qumulonimbus 2011-10-05 15:12   (permalink)
Replying to: Obey or not obey
I always loved that bullshit - "we'll tax and then redistribute the additional, net gains."

My response in school was that since we'd forgotten to do that (raise taxes) in recent years, then it would be economically beneficial to play catch-up by raising taxes on the rich....

Funny, I've yet to see a neo-liberal policy paper recommending that.
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[-] wendy davis 2011-10-06 02:24   (permalink)
Replying to: Qumulonimbus
The trend seems to be that the sunset clauses for tax cuts are written in disappearing ink.

Yish; that just made me think about Constitutional disappearing ink; grim image.
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[-] Obey or not obey 2011-10-06 02:39   (permalink)
Replying to: wendy davis
Well they sure as shit aren't going to sunset under this president. It's funny how he loves the idea, but it's just never ever a good time to do it.
Maybe Romney. He's opened the door to it in some of his pronouncements. So that's encouraging.
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[-] wendy davis 2011-10-05 17:23   (permalink)
Replying to: Obey or not obey
I'm takin' down the 6-step video, Obey; not feelin' the funny right now.

Happy October 6.

These videos are hard to watch, but I gotta say it's amazing the protestors' non-violence so far makes the police look like utterly vengeful thugs.

Hey, Bloomie; what's up with this?

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/10/nypd-and-seattle-police-beat-up-protesters.html
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[-] OhioGringo 2011-10-05 16:11   (permalink)
Very nice and timely post, Wendy. I especially like the quote about the fate of empires. And you gotta love Anonymous. And your conclusion, "The 99%-ers around the world face the same enemy: greed, control, rising food and energy prices, disappearing or non-existent social safety programs, increasing starvation, death from poisoned air, water and soil, and more, due not only to financial speculation, wealth extraction and deregulation, but also a concerted and cavalier effort to maximize profit at our expenses: (in short: fascism) We are the 99%! We are legion! ;o)" is spot on.

While the growing protests are somewhat similar to the cry in the movie "Network" of "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take it anymore!", they also have a strong moral base that is supported in nearly all religions and humanistic philosophies, a bedrock belief that greed is just wrong.

It is also counter-evolutionary. When Barack Obama said that "Americans celebrate wealth, and they should," he would have been more honest if he had substituted "greed" for wealth, for that is what his policies have enhanced; the greed of the already wealthy for more wealth, more power, more of everything they desire.

Our species cannot survive if the dominance of greed is allowed to continue. It is time for humanity to change course. It is necessary for our survival and for the next step in our journey as a species. If we don't take it, rest assured that Mother Nature or Gaia or the biosphere will take the necessary steps to eradicate a failed species and give another one a chance.
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[-] wendy davis 2011-10-05 17:44   (permalink)
Replying to: OhioGringo
Chebetts at my.fdl talks about a sea-change in our psycho-spiritual development being on the wind. Heard from him today via email; much more conversant with all that, he is, than I.

I do agree with you that many more of us Lefties seem to extend ourselves to feel the pain of our brothers and sisters, which has been missing for some time, IMO. Or at least I am extrapolating from what you've said...

Wisdom seems to have taken a walk, but may be returning of necessity, Gringo. We'll be needing to remember or re-imagine community...heed the breath of our ancestors, I think. Create a new sort of society.

For some reason, your new diary is locked down, and I'm unable to feature it. If you can still edit it on your own, click the 'featured?' button, it will move to the center of the page.

wd/stardust
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[-] Qumulonimbus 2011-10-06 06:17   (permalink)
Replying to: wendy davis
Anyone still talking about a sea-change in our psycho-spiritual development, after these past 40-odd years, needs to be stripped naked, coated in chocolate, rolled into the nearest shopping mall and then have a "Free Food" sticker stuck on their ass.

That way, they'd get to see the precise state of our "psycho-spiritual development" up close and personal.

"Nom nom nom" - lyrics to our new national anthem.
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[-] wendy davis 2011-10-06 06:40   (permalink)
Replying to: Qumulonimbus
Ouch.
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[-] Qumulonimbus 2011-10-06 07:09   (permalink)
Replying to: wendy davis
Sorry..... Just a rare cynical moment that came over me.... ;-)
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[-] wendy davis 2011-10-06 07:23   (permalink)
Replying to: Qumulonimbus
Don't be, dear; life just handed me about seven new curves in the past 48 hours; I must be one o' them goofballs 'lookin' for hope' on accountta feelin' lower than a snake's belly.

Beyond that, I do almost here some far-off sound coming closer...like a forward echo...that sounds like something good.

When I'm at all susceptible, I listen to stuff like this:

(Shoot; I walked away listening, and forgot to press Send, lol!)

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