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05 November, 2012

A new doctrine with an old recipe

by system failure

The policy of austerity and absolute commitment to the fiscal discipline imposed on the eurozone states, seems to fail completely. Not only does not give any sign of hope for the future, but neither improves the economies of the states, but worsens them instead. Unemployment in Greece and Spain has broken every record while the picture even in the most developed countries does not seem to improve.

The similarities with the period that followed the Great Depression in US in 1929 is, one might say, shocking. The gap between rich and poor is widening, while extreme nationalism is gaining ground in Europe despite the great suffering that brought in the past. If history is repeated, we should, unfortunately, expect new major upheavals and conflicts worldwide, towards the end of this decade or at the beginning of the next one. But today, there are also some differences from the Interwar period. The most significant are, the great expansion of the middle class in the West, the economic growth of the developing countries, and the full deregulation of the free market as well as the rapid transfer of capital globaly with the help of technology.

We experiencing the paradox of a totalitarianism which manages to spread despite the destruction that brings. The collective memory that works in societies currently prevents major conflicts, but the new doctrine of globalization, adjusted to the big banks and corporations, is using the old tested recipe of "divide and rule", to impose the final victory of this totalitarianism.

The divided middle class is a key weapon that is used by the new doctrine. Within states, conflicting interests of the middle class groups are mobilized, as a result mainly of the current crisis. Typical examples in Greece are, the controversy between hotel owners and hotel staff about the salary reductions of the last, pharmacists and patients, private sector and public sector employees about the different levels of wages and different risk of firing, unions that remain attached to defend exclusively their own interests. A typical recent example is the judiciary, which due to the new cuts in their wages are threatening with new strikes, while they don't seem that they care to contribute in serious issues for the Greek society like the possibility of audit of public debt, or, the deep investigation of a plethora of serious scandals concerning the Greek political class. As long as there are conflicting interests within the middle class, massive street protests are ineffective.

At an international level, the middle classes of countries are divided by stereotypes which the mouthpieces of the new doctrine build. Recent examples are the characteristics that are given to the peoples of the eurozone periphery, such as lazy, PIGS, etc., while in southern Europe, the perception that Germany continues to benefit from the crisis becomes quite popular. All these crude generalities which are spreading by the mouthpieces of the new doctrine, are aiming to prevent a possible dynamic mass mobilization of the middle class across Europe, which could be crusial for the termination of policies that the new doctrine promotes.

Additionaly, the argument of the new doctrine that the West cannot compete against the very cheap labor of China, India and South-East Asia, manages to maintain the phobia between the peoples of the West and those of the developing countries, as workers in Western countries gradually loose all labor rights, while workers in developing countries want to conquer benefits that they couldn't afford for decades and which capitalism "promises" for a better life. The paradox is that, workers in most developing countries are working for starvation wages and under totally unacceptable conditions, waiting patiently for this "promise" of capitalism, since many of them in many regions, have experienced also at first hand the authoritarianism of the Soviet Communism.

The economic indexes in some developing countries are rising but most people suffer. Capitalism is trying to "redeem" the peoples of developing countries while simultaneously attempting to create new tanks of consumers in an effort to survive, but the financial capitalism-casino creates bubbles that burst much faster than the growth of the real economy around the world. Only two things can survive in this outrageous situation: banks and multinational corporations. Nation states are deconstructed gradually and most of the small-medium businesses - although faithful to capitalism - eventually disapear or at best redeemed, because it's impossible to withstand the competition.

But there also other areas of conflict which the new doctrine feeds and exploits. In the market's arena, capitalism-casino creates the illusion that everyone has the opportunity to participate equally. A significant part of the middle class is gambling in the stock markets and finally self-destructed or redeemed, but some never loose, because even when the financial storm comes, they are rescued by the governments with taxpayers' money. A characteristic example is the independent holders of the Greek government bonds that lost their money during the debt crisis, while the big Greek and European banks that are exposed, either secured their money through the terms of the new loan to the Greek state, or, rescued with bailout packages of billions.

The new doctrine exploits also the ideological polarization that grows in times of crisis. A characteristic example in Greece is the rise of the radical Left and extreme Nationalism. The rhetoric which is used by the anti-memorandum opposition parties regarding the debt crisis is almost identical. If someone could hide the logo in their announcements it would be hard to understand whether the announcement comes from a Left-wing, Right-wing or extreme Nationalist party. However, all these parties are giving absolute priority to defend their ideology and spend their effords in conflicts between them, putting, quite often, their struggle against the policies of troika's memorandum in second place. It is characteristic that, in a period of such a wild economic war, even the moderate parties (mainly SYRIZA and Indepentent Hellenes), have difficulties to meet and form a solid united front against the policies which eliminate the society.

Capitalism has succeeded in maximizing the middle class in the West, but now, it's most horrible mutation, exploits the large heterogeneity of the middle class - which was well hidden beneath a veil of fake prosperity - in order to survive and totally dominate. This new mutation of capitalism, either will be able to create new tanks of consumers and therefore survive through a global cultural totalitarianism, or, through its frenzied course, will eliminate the middle class, violate its "promise" for a better life, and eventually, destroy itself.

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