Friday, December 12, 2008

The Psychology of the Global Economic Crisis in Greece

In refusing to resign in the midst of the riots against brutality, corruption and greed, the Prime Minister Karamanlis in Greece says that Greece needs to focus instead on the global financial crisis.

Why is that? What's in it for Karamanlis if Greek citizens spend the next fifty years trying to make the financial markets work well for corporations and wealthy investors? What's in it for those power holders if Greek citizens join hands to secure and expand the power and wealth of the few at the expense of the many? What's in it for Karamanlis's government if he convinces Greek citizens to think globally instead of nationally? And what's in it for the citizens if he convinces them of all of the above?

The most crucial question people have to ask themselves about Karamanlis's statement: Why, in the midst of the riots, is he asking citizens to address the global financial crisis and not Greece's financial crisis? In examining Karamanlis's statement, we can learn a great deal about the alleged global economic crisis and its proposed solutions.

Even if we don't have access to the details, we can look at the psychological haze and the organized "webbing" effects such a statement generates.

The Psychological Haze

Karamanlis's extraordinary manipulative statement weaves together diversion, falsehoods and truth as it manipulates to help shape the growing cultural myth that we are one global economic system and all countries must join hands to maintain this system. The phrase creates a psychological haze around Greece's national economy, as if it's no longer relevant beyond its statistics.

Make no mistake, Greece is not alone. The "global economic crisis" is the new cosmopolitan buzz concept made up of underlying sinister webs. Across continents citizens in its grips are being quickly hurdled into psychological camps and force fed on the new perceptions that go along with this fashionable buzz word. Guided by fear and uncertainty, ordinary people are being asked to passively, willingly, and quickly put aside desires for justice, equity and freedom to help the power holders restructure national economies into a new global economy and make it strong. Ethics is put on hold.

For what purpose?

In Greece, is the concept hurled at the people just to divert from the horror of a single incident of police brutality by a weak government? In America, is the statement used by its elite rulers just to get the citizens to go along with the massive bailouts to banks and insurance companies? In Japan and England, is it used to make the stock exchange the binding quantifier between countries? To know we have to consider the psychological effects.

The list is long. Many reasons will get discovered as we slip deeper into this crisis. Tami Luhby at CNNmoney paraphrases George W. Bush as saying, "it is vital that countries work together so that their actions don't undermine others." But under the surface, the loaded statement seems designed to delude ordinary citizens into a web of global consumerism in which they are asked to spend money and take out loans. To accept finanacial hardship. We can't rule out an attempt to garnish obedience by shaping perceptions so that citizens believe the functionality of the world is dependent on ordinary citizens holding up the ship, with the very wealthy deciders inside eating ten-course meals, getting the best health care and education, and creating and maintaining self-created privileges.

To clear up the psychological haze, we have to understand we have many options to fix the crisis. We don't have to go along with the current system the wealthy group are trying to force on middle and working class people. We are smart and educated now. Not peasants who swear by superstitions and cower in the face of a demented hierarchy of power and privilege. The streets of Greece are showing a lot of people there understand government officials are managers and not rulers. They can be hired and fired for corruption and incompetence. The streets are showing many Greeks are not fooled by Karamanlis and what he represents. It doesn't take an anarchist to fight back.

What about the rest of the world caught up in this psychological web of staged hysteria on the part of world officials and wealthy corporate hounds? What will it take to root out the imbalances? Will consumers globally have to stop making their credit card payments to lower interest rates to 2 or 3%? Will unions have to call a general strike to demand higher wages, a lower work week, better working conditions and benefits? Who sane really believes today that one person's time is of more value than another's? That's a cultural myth that finds its roots in feudalism, which found its roots in slavery. Speaking of global togetherness, we could use a global think tank made up of extraordinary ordinary people who want to really balance the global economy.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Riots in Greece

"The riots that have ravaged Greece's big cities - especially Athens - the last three days testify to the disequilibria of a society that over several years only went from being part of the Balkans to part of Europe. The December 6 death of a fifteen-year-old, Andreas Grigoropoulos, from police fire was the spark thrown into a powder keg primed to explode. Faced with thousands of young people who are conducting a veritable urban guerilla action - burning shops and cars, stoning the forces of order - the government seems incapable of restoring the peace.

"It is impotent because it is in decay, undermined for a long time by pork, corruption and cronyism. It had already demonstrated its incompetence during the wave of fires that enflamed the Peloponnesus and Attica during the summer of 2007."
Read the full post at Truthout, Greece Without a State, Le Monde Editorial.