1. The Greek debt crisis marks a new stage in the global recession triggered by the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2008. Governments all over the world reacted by handing over trillions to debt-ridden banks so as to avoid a complete financial breakdown. By moving to make workers pay for rescuing the banks, these governments are acting on behalf of finance capital. Their attempt to set back workers’ living standards by several generations must lead to a tremendous escalation of class conflict within Europe and throughout the world. As Moody’s, the credit rating agency, warned in a report issued on March 15, the measures that governments will be compelled to take in order to maintain the confidence of large global investors “will inevitably require fiscal adjustments of a magnitude that, in some cases, will test social cohesion.” Significantly, Moody’s statement came in a report that warned that debt levels in the United States were dangerously high.
And it just goes on like that. For a while. Really.
Right now it’s a lazy theory; I’ll give it some more thought tomorrow. Or later today. Or, just … later.
But it’s not just the economy. Something about what’s happening seems almost spiritually—or, if you prefer, mass psychologically—apropos the American decline.
But how is it that as we Americans prepare to rally behind a new president and (here’s an ill-fated phrase) a new hope, other parts of the world are falling apart?
No, I’m not talking about Thailand, where, as one scholar I heard discussing the situation described it, there are no good guys in the current political turmoil. But think about it: Canada’s Parliament is dissolved in order to stave off a no-confidence vote, the British Parliament is in an uproar over the nine-hour arrest of a Tory MP suspected of leaking sensitive information, and in Greece several days of youth riots are being followed by a general strike protesting government economic policies.
I can’t figure it out, but there is a note of irony echoing in my brain that I can’t get rid of. On the one hand, I’m sure it’s all connected insofar as everything in the Universe is. But gravity doesn’t explain this, so … yeah.