It’s really heartening. Though it might sound hokey, there is something romantic and symbolically important about people taking to, and over, the streets of Athens, the birthplace of democracy.
Two decades ago, the old “Eastern Bloc” moved, resulting in titanic shifts in our world order. Earlier this year the Arab world started to move. Now, Europe seems to be getting the bug, fortunately! Spain and Greece are the examples du jour. But most of what one gets in the U.S. media is on the order “violent demonstrators want to continue their lazy ways” and not the reality, fully contextualized.
There is a corrupt system in place. But that exists throughout the world. And, yes, many mere mortals benefit from it. But mostly and overwhelmingly it’s the moneyed elites that get to turn the whole world’s financial system (and its component parts) into their own personal Las Vegas or Monte Carlo. They do well for themselves. But just like any Ponzi scheme, eventually things collapse and these same “financial geniuses” are all of a sudden crying “how could we have known?” while the rest of us foot the bill for their excesses.
That’s what Greeks are being asked to do, and they’re saying “no” to a bad deal. I’m curious, just what would happen if Greece said “screw you” to its creditors? Who would lose money? Mostly, it would be the same class of cretins who created the mess. And, there’s the example of Argentina which a decade ago did just that, and is now far better off economically than if it had retained that millstone of debt around its economic neck. And, not only is the economy better off, but PEOPLE are better off, too (unlike the “jobless recovery” the U.S experienced half a dozen years ago).
If this “infection” travels through Europe, then maybe it will even hit the U.S. There’s already been unrest in France, though for different reasons. There’s even been some action in the U.S., e.g. Wisconsin last winter. But the surging power of people has not yet reached its critical mass. And, for whatever reason, people in the U.S. are far more docile, depoliticized, jaded, even passive, and misled. The “misled” part is key, because big money interests in the U.S. have been able to co-opt people with legitimate economic gripes by virtue of those same people’s convictions on social issues.
What’s most hope inspiring is that people are fed up all over the world, and an avalanche of movements of the masses could easily topple the hereditary, war mongering “president” of Azerbaijan and his kleptocracy. Similarly, Armenia could witness dramatic change, if the cooptation of the opposition by older parts of the crooked ruling elite (i.e. Levon Der Bedrossian and gang) could be undone. Georgia and Turkey are also susceptible, given the arrogance of their current rulers.
Whether this beneficial contagion reaches our homeland through Europe or the Arab/Islamic world, it can only be an improvement. Let’s work on making it so.