Saturday, June 22, 2013

Peter Beaumont — Global protest grows as citizens lose faith in politics and the state

The myriad protests from Istanbul to São Paulo have one thing in common - growing dissent among the young, educated and better-off protesting against the very system that once enriched them. And therein lies the danger for governments....
If the "new protest" can be summed up, it is not in specifics of the complaints but in a wider idea about organisation encapsulated on a banner spotted in Brazil last week: "We are the social network." ...
So what's going on? An examination of the global Edelman Trust Barometer reveals a loose correlation between the ranking of a country on the trust scale and the likelihood of protests. The trust barometer is a measure of public confidence in institutions compiled by the US firm Edelman, the world's largest privately owned PR company.
In 2011, at the time the Occupy movement was being born in Zuccoti Park on Wall Street, the UK and the US were both firmly placed at the bottom of the "distrusters" while Brazil topped the "trusters". By this year Brazil had dropped 30 points on the table, while Spain and Turkey, which have both seen protests this year, were both in the distrusted category.
And as usual the pundits speculating about this global phenomenon are clueless.

The Guardian | The Observer (UK)
Global protest grows as citizens lose faith in politics and the state
Peter Beaumont | The Observer


9 comments:

Dan Kervick said...

These sprawling movements seem to represent a cultural and generational shift, only loosely connected with politics. Politically, they seem to be all over the map. The concept of "occupation" seems to be all about a generation coming together to send socially observable signals to declare they are taking over, for better or worse.

So far I am underwhelmed by the political and economic thinking to emerge from the movements, which just seems to be a routine resurgence of bourgeois liberal anti-institutionalism. But who knows? Maybe something will come of it.

F. Beard said...

What's to distrust about a banking cartel that lends money it does not have to drive people into debt they cannot pay?

Andrew said...


It takes a while to understand the depths of depravity we are in, digest the alternatives and pick a horse to back.

Before the GFC I happily accepted the status quo. I was a moderate conservative, mildly attracted to egalitarian/ socialist ideals.

I'm now ready to start rewriting the property laws and overthrow Capitalism permanently. If a stronger peacefull movement develops in the left wing/ anti authoritarian space they can count me in.

It's taken me 5 years of intensive investigation and discovery to arrive at the radical position I am in now. I still look and behave so much like the petite bourgeoisie, I can hardly believe myself.

How depraved do things have to get? How long will it take the apolitical, apathetic mainstream to figure out just how badly they are being shafted. I'm slightly optimistic because I know I will never again accept neoliberalism. Once a person understands the corruption they are unlikely to worship at the altar again.

F. Beard said...

There's no need for violence. A metered, equal, universal bailout with new fiat combined with at least a temporary ban on new credit creation could fix every one from the bottom up, including the banks. And once all deposits are 100% backed by reserves, then the banks could be fully privatized - assuming they could survive as truly private institutions.

Let's not oscillate between fascism and communism. That's no progress.

F. Beard said...

Andrew, not that I am accusing you of desiring violence but we are truly in a dilemma our money system has caused. It has literally divided the entire population into opposing camps: savers vs borrowers, the rich vs the poor, the young vs the old, bankers vs everyone, including themselves, etc.

There is a solution but the money system has to go.

Andrew said...

F. Beard,

The problem is the concentration and abuse of power. Whether it is economic power in the hands of feudal land lords, monopolists, bankers or violently enforced political power in the hands of so called socialist dictators like Stalin.

We need to eradicate the root causes by which power accumulates in the hands of minorities. There is no one size fits all solution. We need to fundamentally change the design of our institutions, property laws and our democratic processes. There is plenty of validity in your argument but it is just one element in a much broader picture.

Let it be a peaceful process with widespread consent and majority decision making.... Revolution all the same.

andy blatchford said...

"Before the GFC I happily accepted the status quo. I was a moderate conservative, mildly attracted to egalitarian/ socialist ideals."

Had to check that I didnt write that, exactly the same for myself. I have come to despise neoliberalism as it is quite literally ripping the face off the planet.

Greg said...

"There's no need for violence"

"There is a solution but the money system has to go"

F Beard

If you think the money system will "go" without violence I have a bridge to sell you. Not that the violence needs to be started by those wanting to overturn the system but violence WILL be used to stop the overturning..... it already has been. We cannot get to where most of us here want to be without substantial pain and probable bloodshed. I do not plan on spilling anyones blood myself... but I will defend myself. The current system is held in place with a substantial amount of overt and covert force and that force must be broken to substantially change things.

COULD it happen peacefully? Its certainly on the spectrum of possibilities, but we aretoo violent a society I fear for that to happen.

F. Beard said...

We cannot get to where most of us here want to be without substantial pain and probable bloodshed. Andrew

Nope. A universal bailout with new fiat would fix everyone nominally from the bottom up including savers, borrowers, banks and State and local governments.

And if the bailout was combined with at least a temporary ban on new credit creation then no one need suffer loss in real terms either.