the freedom of the rich and powerful, and the freedom of the artist and the monk who renounces possessions."
So whats the realistic option here for the vast majority of us in these ,here British Isles and, more specifically, in the now destroyed Republic of Ireland?
I've been thinking a lot this week about democracy...and what it has become and I've come to the conclusion that the above quote is true.
Democracy generally exists hand in hand with capitalism. Even in our democratic countries there is no such thing as freedom unless you are rich and poweful or opt out of the system entirely. Unless you have the means to take your money offshore using one of the many oh so convenient loopholes...the governmnet can take as much of your money as they want as can your employer. The government can give all the public money to the banks and demand more from your pocket...Your employer can impose pay cuts even when they are still making enormous profits and I know people that have had their salaries cut by up to 45%...
You earn as much as you are allowed to earn.
I'm not just talking about money here...although I'm gonna come back to that in a bit...I'm talking about our rights too. Look at the Patriot Act in the U.S.A., anti-terrorist acts in the U.K. and the anti-blasphemy laws in Ireland not to mention the governments hired thugs a.k.a. the Garda Siochana.
Fear and greed and ambition...that's what it all boils down to and the more our leaders are infected with these the more we will suffer. Everyone says that Communism is a great idea on paper. The Communust Manifesto is a work of genius but it fails to take human nature into consideration. Well the same thing applies to democracy. It's a great idea on paper but it does not take human nature into consideration...no matter how fair you make the system...those with money will always have the power...
Of course we have to keep trying to make our systems of government fairer, but having witnessed what happened with the British General Election and knowing exactly what is going to happen with the Irish General Election, it is painfully obvious that there isn't a political party that represents a fair and honest manifesto. A two party or a two and a half party race isn't gonna cut it anymore. What we need is constitutional reform and a decentralisation of power.
I honestly think Ireland needs to wave goodbye to the Euro and go back to good aul fashioned punts. I know all too well that whatever currency we will be left with will be as valuable as a snowball but screw the ECB. If we're not part of the single currency they will have to mind their own bloody business and there really is no need for the IMF to be involved. As Paul Krugman said in yesterdays NY Times:
"You might have expected those who lent money to the banks to share in the losses. After all, they were consenting adults, and if they failed to understand the risks they were taking that was nobody’s fault but their own. But, no, the Irish government stepped in to guarantee the banks’ debt, turning private losses into public obligations....These debts were incurred, not to pay for public programs, but by private wheeler-dealers seeking nothing but their own profit. Yet ordinary Irish citizens are now bearing the burden of those debts"
Surely the most logical, fair and grown up thing to do about all this would be to close loopholes and bring all wealth back to Ireland. Seize the assets of those known to have caused this crisis (even if they have transferred everything into their wive's names), sell them and use the money to reduce national debt. At this stage it's not gonna cover everthing but it would severely reduce the debt burden on tax payers. But no....the lord of the manor doesn't want to piss off his friends so us poor serfs have to pay the price. Taking a €1 off minimum wage will take a huge amount of money out of the economy and could lead to social welfare cuts of up to €40 a week. Which would be devastating to all of the 450,000 people depending on it at the moment. There is no jobs strategy either. How stupid are they?
The long and short of it is that we are paying the debts of the super wealthy and refinancing European banks through our tax and our pensions and with our sovereignty, our jobs and even the food on our tables and there isn't a political party that is likely to get into power that will do anything about it. So ya see there is no real freedom...we are all slaves to the system unless we change it. I want to change it...I think the Socialist Party do as well but they haven't the support unfortunately and don't get the kind of donations from big business that Fianna Fail and Fine Gael get...see...the system is poisoned with it.
The protest march today was a great success, with numbers exceeding 100,000. The restrained anger amongst the crowd was palpable and contagious. Fintan O'Toole Said "Irish people are not subjects, but citizens, and want their republic back" He also declared the death of democracy in Ireland due to unelected representatives selling our sovereignty to try to save the elite of Irish society. I think he just summed up the feelings of an entire nation.
Something rather mischievous
6 months ago