Pic of the day: La Grenouillere, by Claude Monet
Many clever men like you have trusted to civilization. Many clever Babylonians, many clever Egyptians, many clever men at the end of Rome. Can you tell me, in a world that is flagrant with the failures of civilisation, what there is particularly immortal about yours?
G.K. Chesterton, The Napolean of Notting Hill
There is pain amongst the people. Not enough of them have work. They don’t see the people in power doing the things they should be doing. Too many see the rich get richer and they get nothing, and they are angered. They are asked to foot the bill for someone else’s mistake. Not enough of them have the lives they want, need, feel they deserve.
People looked around and saw that they did not like what they saw and decided to change things. The pain was there because of misjudgments made by them and others, and there was not a damned thing they could do about it. Governments tried to fix things, and failed because their vision was too narrow, and did not encompass all who lived within their borders. Businesses tried to fix things, and failed because their vision was too weak, and only encompassed their own personal profits. Individuals tried to fix things and failed, because their hands were too weak, no one person unaided can lift a world alone.
As a consequence, the nations of France, Greece and to a lesser extent Germany, are sending a clear message to their leaders. Your austerity measures have failed us. We don’t need you anymore. No more austerity.
It may not work, the new governments may not be any better than the one that they replaced because of all the lack in their lives. But they have to try, the alternative is unacceptable.
In France, Sarkozy and his center-right/ right wing government were deemed insufficient, and a socialist has been placed in power. There hasn’t been a socialist in power in France in nearly 2 decades, and it is due to the political failings of the right that the left now gets their chance to do better.
In Greece, support is weak on both sides of the political divide. PASOK (socialists) lost many seats, but their rivals, New Democracy (conservatives) didn’t win enough votes to get a majority. The one thing they had in common? They both backed austerity. Now they are both left to try and form a coalition government, and Greece is left to try and make deals with neo-nazis, who are growing strong in a weakened nation and the radical left which has it seems taken power from both PASOK and New Democracy.
In Germany it is too early to tell what will happen, but the spin doctors are already hard at work trying to drum up support for the faltering coalition, in particular her friends in the fringe F.D.P. (libertarians) that helps to keep Angela Merkel in power.
It’s going to be a bumpy future, at least short term for Europe, and the ripples will be felt worldwide.
I don’t know that the events of today are anything more than the frustration of a continent boiling over. But I don’t know that it isn’t something more either. Whether the changes people want to see in the world can come about due to picking our leaders when there are people as powerful as those we choose to lead us who don’t answer to us will become self evident over time. I hope it works, but I’m not sure that it will, that it can.
So long as there is power out there that equals government, there will be those who will control government and be outside our control. Whether governments work with our best interests at heart, or are even capable of such is up to those who have power that equals or surpasses our capacity to control government activities.
That’s it from here, America. G’night.