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27 August 2011 @ 10:18 pm
Film at 11: Nothing To Lose But Our Chains  
As always, please click the links and read the full articles before commenting, rather than just the passages I quote.

What Argentina’s economic crisis could teach the West

... Argentina defaulted its international debt as a result of popular pressure. The dreaded default that was all over the news a mere week ago as a threatening fate due to the halt in negotiations between American political parties. The truth is, as dramatic as it may seem from the outside, the default was the best possible decision for Argentina.

During the aftermath of the default, capital flew overseas. As a result, many small and medium enterprises closed due to lack of funds, thereby exacerbating unemployment. Many workers at these enterprises, faced with a sudden loss of employment and no source of income, decided to reopen businesses on their own, without the presence of the owners and their capital, as self-managed cooperatives.

Iceland's Ongoing Revolution

What happened next was extraordinary. The belief that citizens had to pay for the mistakes of a financial monopoly, that an entire nation must be taxed to pay off private debts was shattered, transforming the relationship between citizens and their political institutions and eventually driving Iceland’s leaders to the side of their constituents. The Head of State, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, refused to ratify the law that would have made Iceland’s citizens responsible for its bankers’ debts, and accepted calls for a referendum.


In the March 2010 referendum, 93% voted against repayment of the debt. The IMF immediately froze its loan. But the revolution (though not televised in the United States), would not be intimidated. With the support of a furious citizenry, the government launched civil and penal investigations into those responsible for the financial crisis. Interpol put out an international arrest warrant for the ex-president of Kaupthing, Sigurdur Einarsson, as the other bankers implicated in the crash fled the country.

But Icelanders didn't stop there: they decided to draft a new constitution that would free the country from the exaggerated power of international finance and virtual money. ...

A strange game.
The only winning move is not to play.

Thank you, siege.

Araquan Skytracer: Spirit of '76araquan on August 28th, 2011 08:47 am (UTC)
If only.
Paka: pied crowpaka on August 28th, 2011 06:39 pm (UTC)
My concern about looking to these guys as examples are unemployment for Argentina and citizen involvement for Iceland. I can't imagine a situation in which unemployment in the US couldn't be made more difficult rather than less; and I don't think the USA is small enough to easily follow Iceland's example of citizen participation, especially because there when the Icelanders protested being billed for the banks' problems, there wasn't a component of ethnic/religious/sexual orientation based prejudice which seems to be the motivating factor behind American popular politics. This stuff is really hopeful, but I worry the hope isn't applicable to us.
Your Obedient Serpent: fascismathelind on August 28th, 2011 07:45 pm (UTC)
Despair is their best weapon against us.