September 25, 2012

September 26 - closed because of general strike

For what they were... we are adheres to the general strike against social expending cuts, which simply put: kill people and destroy societies. This strike has been called separately in the Basque Country, Greece and Galicia - as far as I know.

I may comment further if there are important news in my other blog, For what we are... they will be, but expect no activity whatsoever in this blog until Thursday. 

Sorry for whatever inconvenience.

Closed!
September 26 - General Strike
For labor and social rights
Let's face the cuts, the reform and the impositions!

6 comments:

  1. Maju
    If I may take your title and update it. For I truly do not understand who you are striking against.
    Am I wrong to think that the people of Spain elected the governments who allowed the policies that resulted in your current economic condition. No one did it TO YOU. You did it to yourselves.Yes it was a classic boom and bust cycle- like the arctic hares and foxes.
    Where there demonstrations in the streets that the economy should be reined in etc???

    Well here you are now and you don't like the bed you made. So you riot. Against whom? Who has done you an injustice? Who do you feel you have a right to demand they pay your bar tab.? The fat sweaty Germans who I am sure were the butt of endless snickers in Basque cafes. The Finns, the Dutch? The IMF ?
    Maybe China or the US
    I grew up in John Wayne's America, and learned that a man,
    and indeed his manhood was based on taking responsibility for what he had done and went from there. So your demanding that somebody take you off the hook seems unManly. The action of a weakling or a child. I expect your culture sees it another way. When you return perhaps you could tell from your culture how these riots are justified.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First of all this was not (sadly maybe) an all-Spain general strike but one occurring only in the Basque Country, called by Basque nationalist unions (vast majority of affiliates and votes), other smaller revolutionary unions and Basque social organizations, including some political parties.

      It has as much relation with Spain as a Kurdish protest may have with Turkey, a Chechen one with Russia or a Tibetan one with China. There is connection, yes, but it's not the same thing.

      Together with all or at least most grievances as Spaniards may have we also have our own pains, like iSPain itself. You may not be aware but Catalans and Basques massively want to break out with Spain, whose rule we suffer only out of military imposition.

      As such, whatever government is in iSPain, it is our enemy: all of them since there is written history, even before Spain was born as state with that name some 300 years ago.

      Additionally we have not been allowed to choose freely even our own "regional" government, because major forces representing large swathes of the citizenry were declared illegal. So for the last three years and a half we have been suffering a particularly unbearable imposed unionist government, representing nobody but Madrid.

      This in what regards to the Basque Country, which is not Spain.

      Delete
    2. Then, in what regards to Spain, whose citizens are also taking to the streets in large numbers, there are several realities that may make the current government illegitimate:

      1.- They never mustered 50% of the votes, never mind the potential voters, yet they hold absolute majority: the representation is distorted by a very much gerrymandered electoral system established in the Constitution itself. You cannot claim to "be the majority" when you are clearly just 30%.

      2.- Most importantly, they made promises that never even tried to fulfill: they are governing 99% against their own promises, what many of their voters feel as clear betrayal. There are no legal mechanisms other than popular protests (general strike, demonstrations, etc.) to force a legally "elect" government to fulfill their promises. They began defaulting on them right after taking power and, if nothing is done, they will keep with that for the next three-plus years. Well, they probably do anyhow but they must pay the cost.

      Right now official polls show massive discontent, with support for the ruling party (and also the opposition, who ruled before them) plummeting.

      Nowadays (official opinion poll of August 6) they have the support of some 18% of the citizenry each. Not more. That's not a democratic government anymore: you cannot rule with the vast majority of the people against you and claim to be democratic.

      Like in Greece before, there is true legitimacy problem, not just for the current government but for all the "democractic" system as-it-is (low representativity, excessive rigidity, etc.) Many people just do not feel represented at all anymore and are wildly looking for alternatives or even creating these themselves almost out of the blue.

      Unlike Greece, which has the strongest radical left in Europe since long ago, the Spanish true left has been weak for too long, the people mesmerized by the illusion of prosperity that was nothing but a housing bubble fed by the European banksters, parallel but even larger than the housing bubbles in Britain and the USA and aggravated by fascist-like laws that do not allow to close the mortgage debt by giving the home in payment, leaving people in de facto perpetual debt-slavery, even after losing all.

      Both mainstream parties (the twin-party system, mere sockpuppet of the Capitalist Dictatorship) are guilty of this and people know that and hate them for it.

      Delete
    3. And as for our bar tab: it is paid and repaid. The Basque Country has one of the best productivities of all the continent with one of the worst salaries and working conditions. See here.

      Much of this can also be said of Greeks who work more than anyone else in all EU (only Koreans best them in the OECD) but get almost the lowest salaries. See here and here, for example.

      The myth of German hardworkingness is not real at all but something that the Anglosaxon and German media have been promoting to force this internal adjustment in the IV Reich (aka Eurozone). Germans are among those working less and enjoying most benefits in Europe by far, but they have some of the most developed industrial (and to lesser extent banking) sectors, holding the rest of the economies for ransom.

      We are paying that ransom now, rescuing banks in order to get indebted in order to pay to banks... in an endless "Haitian vicious circle". The only realistic solution now is to stop paying altogether and force creditors to assume their part of the blame.

      I would go a step further or two and nationalize every large company with only nominal (bonds) compensation or no compensation whatsoever (if the owner can be sent to court, what is usually the case). But I would keep the euro for ransom, printing it locally regardless of the ECB... at least for a while.

      And of course, I would make sure that no government can ignore and abuse the people the way is happening by holding elections every 24 months (by means of a more representative and decentralized system).

      "I grew up in John Wayne's America"...

      Were you born in a movie? I don't think so. Although you may have lived all your live in a bubble, the speculative bubble of Capitalism against Earth, so your notion of reality is confuse.

      Delete
  2. "2.- Most importantly, they made promises that never even tried to fulfill: they are governing 99% against their own promises, what many of their voters feel as clear betrayal".

    That was mentioned on the radio this morning as one of the main reasons. My wife immediately remarked, 'isn't that what governments do?' It is certainly what they do here. I'm not, for a moment, agreeing with Aeolius though. It was the wealthy that overspent, and now it is the poor who have to pay. Same in the USA, so I'm surprised that Aeolius can't see that.

    "the representation is distorted by a very much gerrymandered electoral system established in the Constitution itself. You cannot claim to "be the majority" when you are clearly just 30%".

    That's where New Zealand is quite fortunate, or less unfortunate. We have a proportional representation system. There was quite a bit of pressure to drop it at the last election 9from the wealthier section mostly) but the people were not so easily fooled, luckily.

    "Both mainstream parties (the twin-party system, mere sockpuppet of the Capitalist Dictatorship) are guilty of this and people know that and hate them for it".

    That was the original reason people here demanded a proportional system, and why the powerful opposed it. It meant they had to buy off more than just two parties.

    "the Spanish true left has been weak for too long"

    Well, it did get rather hammered in the 1930s. I visited just a few years after Franco died and there was much optimism, although I didn't visit the Basque region.

    "We are paying that ransom now, rescuing banks in order to get indebted in order to pay to banks".

    I cannot at all understand why the banks had to be propped up. Sure, failure of the banks would have caused hardship for a while, but we could have all started with a fresh slate. Instead the Governments of the USA, Britain and especially Germany made the taxpayers of each country subsidise the banking system. At the same time extolling the virtues of the 'free market'. Now the hardship goes on and on. Ridiculous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "... isn't that what governments do?"...

      They are always expected to hold at least some of their promises, and certainly not betray all them cynically since day one.

      And also these are most important matters: people are losing their living, their very lives, the lives of their children, their homes... you can't toy with that and not expect a reaction. Not here and not anywhere on Earth.

      "We have a proportional representation system".

      Sounds much better. I know it has some cons because it forces coalition give-and-take most of the time but also guarantees that representatives actually represent the citizenry overall.

      The Spanish system is not "winner-takes-all" but it's terribly devious, almost forcing the twin-party system in most of the territory and priming purely territorial representation over actual numbers. The provinces (equivalent of English county or French department, having almost no distinct personality) are the backbone of the system, and in most provinces you can only vote A or B. And A and B are these days essentially the same thing.

      The people protesting in Madrid demanded an ex-novo constitutional process because the current constitution was a patch made up to get out of the fascist system without upsetting the fascists.

      "I visited just a few years after Franco died and there was much optimism"...

      Spaniards have, with some moments of difficulty, lived in the local version of the Reaganist bubble since the late 80s or so, so they are used to believe in the system. However unemployment has always been very high, the highest in the OECD and many chronic problems have never been addressed at all.

      Key was the housing bubble: if you bought a home for 2 million pesetas in 1980, you could sell for the euro-equivalent of 40 million in 2000 or 2005 for example. Relatives of mine sold a bourgeois flat (no particular luxuries, just large with views to the sea in a rich zone) for the equivalent of one million US dollars in 2006 or so. My father was going nuts thinking it made no sense whatsoever, while other relatives wanted to ask for even more.

      Lots of people were working in or around the "brick" sector, naturally. Now they are all unemployed, living on minimal welfare where it still exists. It's not just masons, plumbers and electricists but also transport, quarries, restaurants and what not!

      And because of all that they are cutting in key development sectors like solar energy and everything having the word "research" on it.

      "I cannot at all understand why the banks had to be propped up."

      There's nothing to understand: that's what all the economic and political circus is about nowadays, it seems. Forget about social well being, forget about stability... the USSR is not anymore a threat-by-comparison (full employment, free housing and healthcare for example) so no need to feed the slav... the workers anymore. Let them crawl at our feet while we drink the most expensive champagne (or their blood, why not?) in our limos.

      Nobody has ever given a satisfactory explanation for that: it is the goal of the system: keep the money flowing towards the real center of power, which is financial capital.

      But financial capital is degenerate like no other capital can be, signaling an end of an era. Naturally it is painful and will be much more. I'm not exempt: almost nobody is.

      If you begin seeing ads in this blog, it is that I really need to make money somehow, anyhow...

      Delete

Please, be reasonably respectful when making comments. I do not tolerate in particular sexism, racism nor homophobia. Personal attacks, manipulation and trolling are also very much unwelcome here.The author reserves the right to delete any abusive comment.

Preliminary comment moderation is... ON (sorry, too many trolls).