Awareness | Debate | Action
As I write this, I am watching the economic chaos in Greece. I’m sure we’re all sharing the feelings of fear of economic collapse that is rampant among the other European countries – and in fact, around the world.
These events are classic cases of what I detail in my books – “Confesssions of An Economic Hit Man” and “Hoodwinked.”
Greece has been struck by economic hit men. Set to default on its debts, the Athens government is leading the pack of the 17 eurozone states as the first country using the common currency to be declared in “selective default” on its debt. In the process, this nation, where democracy was first defined more than 2000 years ago, is clearly demonstrating how predatory capitalism works to undue the freedoms of its citizens. The Greek people were not the ones who agreed to accept these debts and for the most part they did not benefit from them; yet they will be burdened for years to come because they were hoodwinked by the international banking community and their own corrupt leaders.
Bailouts serve the creditors; they enslave the debtors. Although protesters swarm the streets of Athens, objecting to the draconian measures being imposed by the EU and the IMF, the country’s leaders are crumbling; they are accepting the bailouts. It has become evident that bailouts in our own U.S. crisis have only benefited the corporatocracy, with CEO’s paying themselves outrageous bonuses. This method of borrowing against the well-being of a country’s citizens merely serves to increase the power of the central banks, the IMF and corporate CEOs.
In my books, I write about how world economics and politics today are controlled by a very few people – the corporatocracy. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that whenever “debt restructuring” or “debt forgiveness” deals are struck they include privatizing parts of the economy that were previously considered public. Utilities, schools, prisons, even significant parts of the military are sold to multinational corps. Those who demand smaller government, are – knowingly or not – supporting a new brand of corporate imperialism.
These corporations are usurping the economic engines of growth that historically have been considered as belonging to the public domain. When I was an economic hit man during the 1970s, I was ordered to implement these policies in many “Third World” countries. It took me nearly a decade to see beyond the smoke and mirrors of the World Bank/Business School models, but eventually I came to understand that this was nothing less than the Big Steal. Now it has struck Iceland, Ireland, and Greece; Spain, and Portugal are in the cross-hairs. The Big Steal is escalating in the US, with the current round of budget-cutting anti-government campaigns.
I personally am outraged by elected officials who play into the hands of the corporatocracy. They tell us that our civil servants are incapable — and that corporations can do a better job. The so-called “patriots” denigrate the very government that won WWII, built our highway systems, and helped us become the wealthiest nation in history. Army generals are replaced by Blackwater mercenaries. Water and sewer systems are turned over to CEOs whose salaries exceed those of all the men and women who lay the pipes and keep the water flowing.
When our corporate-financed elected officials forced the government to step back, cut away at the regulations that were safety nets established after the Great Depression, the corporations brought down Wall Street, took us into this horrible recession, and then demanded that the government finance their recovery and sell them its assets. Our assets.
Please remember, none of this is about creating a better world for us or our children. It is about destroying democracy, emasculating government-by-the people, and replacing it with government-by-the corporatocracy. Despite the red-white-and-blue rhetoric, all these actions strengthen this New World Order of imperialistic rule by the corporatocracy.
We must not accede to a corporate-run government. We must vote out those who are on the corporate lobbyist bank roll and vote in those who can truly make a difference. We must reject the robber barons of the corporatocracy.
About 2400 years ago a Greek general named Pericles stood before an Athens audience and proclaimed, “We are called a democracy, for the administration is in the hands of the many and not the few, with equal justice to all alike in their private dispute.” Let this current Greek crisis serve as a reminder to all of us that democracy is under attack today. It will only survive if you and I – We the People – insist on governments that are “in the hands of the many and not the few.
Please join me in rejecting predatory capitalism and support organizations like Dream Change, The Pachamama Alliance, and the Green Festivals.
Posted from John Perkin's Newsletter blog Aug 2011