I was reading in the news this morning more articles on the upcoming G20 convention which, it is assumed, is either going to save us all or is going to plunge us into a period of rioting and anarchy if the politicians get it wrong.
Personally I am happy with either result – not that I condone violence, but sometimes when an injustice is suffered for so long by so many and when our ‘leaders’ appear so steadfastly reluctant to listen to our pleas, well… it creates volatile situations and sometimes they can explode, often with dramatic effects. We may have passed the ‘age of revolution’, but it doesn’t mean that sometimes the people in charge can do with a sound kick up the bum to remind them where their mandate lies.
Anyway, it got me to thinking. Specifically, this article from The Gaurdian. Terry Smith reminds us that it has not only been a failure of the global banking system reflected through the sheer greed of the top-level bankers which has culminated in the current economic crisis, but that it has been the desire for prolonged prosperity without suffering any form of downturn and in particular America’s rejection fo the gold standard for the dollar in 1971 which has pushed the global economy to the brink it is at now.
What it made me ask is, “how free are we truly?”. You can talk to me about social rights, civil liberties and the free market as much as you like, but currently from where I am standing it appears that the plight which many people today are suffering was caused by matters which were entirely out of their control.
How many people have lost their jobs because of the bankers untapped greed? How many people are now struggling to make ends meet, to support a family, all because the economists refused to accept the boom and bust nature of their capitalist system and instead tried to maintain the boom for as long as possible, with no thought to the impact it would have upon future generations? How many people have been thrust into desperate situations though no fault of their own, and despite their best efforts face little prospect of change in the near future? That our own governments could be so crass in gambling with the lives of their citizens sickens me.
Is this really true freedom, when our own lives can be influenced to such a great extent by factors over which we have no direct control?