The Arab Spring began when Mohammed Bouazizi, set himself on fire after a policewoman confiscated his vegetable cart, slapped him, spat in his face and insulted his dead father. According to his mother, “Mohammed did what he did for the sake of his dignity.”
In America, Wall Street bankers have taken the place of that policewoman. In his article, “The Black Death and Bankers”, Mike Foster likens our situation today with “…the 14th century …when bankers conducting business across Europe were as unpopular as the current lot. And, that time round, it was the bankers of Lombardy who held King Edward III of England in their thrall and the King of Naples at their mercy.”
I’m reminded of the ‘90s. News articles, YouTube, and books such as From Naked Ape to Superspecies: Humanity and the Global Eco-Crisis look back on the consumerism of the ‘90s where Washington’s hands-off attitude seemed to be paying off. Honors were bestowed on Alan Greenspan. The wizard applied the free-market philosophies of Ayn Rand to good effect, it seemed.
The presidencies of Ronald Reagan, H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush prospered under the philosophy of “government is the problem.” Powerful Wall Street forces were allowed to practice pro-business, anti-government policies. It was the “Go Go 90s.” Time magazine proclaimed Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin, and Larry Summers “The Committee to Save the World.” Times were good.
However, George Bush’s second term degenerated into a Mike Foster horror movie titled King Edward and the Bankers of Lombardy, where “…the cost of loan capital contributed to a collapse in the rural economy as the Black Death started to make its presence felt, carried by rodents brought to Europe from the east on the ships funded by Lombard loans. Local wars did not help – they never did.”
Sound familiar— even to the rats and wars?
What happened to rob us of the “good life”?
My next few blogs will explore factors contributing to the economic downturn:
- The Supreme Court decision known as Citizens United
- The effect of free-market policies
- Congress’ open contempt for the needs of the 99%
- The plan to “wall in” the next president regardless of party affiliation
Although Mohammed Bouazizi did not intentionally start the Arab Spring, his act of protest will not be lost. We will rediscover the power of the many “for the sake of our dignity.”
What can you do—you are only one person? True, but you are only “six degrees of separation,” on average, from any other person on Earth. You become powerful when you share information with your friends and ask them to share it with their friends—it becomes a global revolution. As Stephen King suggests in The Long Walk, when these “society-supported sociopaths” come, step aside, and find the strength to run…