Economist: ‘we are in the midst of a revolution caused by near collapse of free-market capitalism’

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Top Tier Gear USA


The demonstrations in Brazil began after a small rise in bus fares triggered mass protests. Within days this had become a nationwide movement whose concerns had spread far beyond fares: more than a million people were on the streets shouting about everything from corruption to the cost of living to the amount of money being spent on the World Cup. In Turkey, it was a similar story. A protest over the future of a city park in Istanbul – violently disrupted by police – snowballed too into something bigger, a wider-ranging political confrontation with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which has scarcely been brought to a close by the clearing of Gezi Park. If the scenes have seemed familiar, it is because they shared common features: viral, loosely organized with fractured messages and mostly taking place in urban public locations. Unlike the protest movement of 1968 or even the end of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe in 1989, these are movements with few discernible leaders and with often conflicting ideologies. Their points of reference are not even necessarily ideological but take inspiration from other protests, including those of the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement. The result has been a wave of social movements – sometimes short-lived – from Wall St to Tel Aviv and from Istanbul to Rio de Janeiro, often engaging younger, better educated and wealthier members of society. What is striking for those who, like myself, have covered these protests is how discursive and open-ended they often are.

People go not necessarily to hear a message but to take over a location and discuss their discontents (even if the stunning consequence can be the fall of an autocratic leader such as Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak). If the “new protest” can be summed up, it is not in specifics of the complaints but in a wider idea about organization encapsulated on a banner spotted in Brazil last week: “We are the social network.” In Brazil, the varied banners underlined the difficulty of easy categorization as protesters held aloft signs expressing a range of demands from education reforms to free bus fares while denouncing the billions of public dollars spent on stadiums for the 2014 World Cup and the Olympics two years later. “It’s sort of a Catch-22,” Rodrigues da Cunha, a 63-year-old protester, said. “On the one hand we need some sort of leadership, on the other we don’t want this to be compromised by being affiliated with any political party.” As the Economist pointed out last week, while mass movements in Britain, France, Sweden and Turkey have been inspired by a variety of causes, including falling living standards, authoritarian government and worries about immigration, Brazil does not fit the picture, with youth unemployment at a record low and the country enjoying the biggest leap in living standards in its history. Paul Mason, economics editor of BBC2′s Newsnight and author of Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions, has argued that a key factor, largely driven by new communication technologies, is that people have not only a better understanding of power but are more aware of its abuse, both economically and politically. Mason believes we are in the midst of a “revolution caused by the near collapse of free-market capitalism combined with an upswing in technical innovation” – but not everyone is so convinced. What does ring true, however, is his assertion that a driving force from Tahrir Square to Occupy is a redefinition of notions of both what “freedom” means and its relationship to governments that seem ever more distant. –NZ Herald

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  • Andy

    Goes back to the NWO orchestrating the fall of every government in the world,so they can step in with all the answers,and all that we will have to do is take a chip in our hand,and let them run the whole show,they have this all planned out,and it is in motion and won’t stop until they get what they want,total control over every human on the planet.This is Biblical stuff folks,it is not just everyday stuff!It is coming together we are about to get into WW3 in the Middle East,economies are in dire straits,and civility between people is waning.Put your faith in God.Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

    • Row Weil

      Interesting point, though – just, try (as bizarre as this sounds) to put yourself in the mindset of the protestors in Brazil or Greece – without being intimately familiar with those populations, i have a strong feeling that they would not accept NWO rule or a chip in their hands… I think (especially if those things were offered to them in a time of crisis) they’d say “Fuck off!” and molotov the NWO patrol that’s making the rounds in their neighborhood.

      But Andy, i disagree with you on something:

      In my understanding of the Bible, ‘God’ is not overseeing everything on Earth, making sure of a good outcome, and all we have to do to achieve victory is ‘Put our Faith in Him’ – Humans broke out of God’s dominion during The Fall, and now our destiny will be decided not by His love but by our own actions!

      So I think a message to “Put Your Faith In [anything]” is the wrong message. “Work against Evil for the Kingdom of God” might be a more appropriate message for Christians in these times of upheaval.

  • Barn Cat

    There hasn’t been a failure of free market capitalism because it doesn’t exist. It’s been crippled by regulations, government incompetence, governments that want bribes, and courts that won’t uphold the rule of law.

    • roman

      People blame capitalism, but real capitalism hasn’t existed since the creation of labor unions at least.

  • Barn Cat

    What’s really happening is lawlessness on a global scale. They aren’t peaceful protests. There’s rioting, looting, and assaults. The Occupy idiots were tools of their Marxist professors.