In our first hour, we hear a recent talk by Noam Chomsky
on the larger picture of global politics. To understand the truth about the Cold War
, he notes, we need only look at what happened when it came to an end; the US maintained the same policies (of global dominance by military means) but changed the pretexts - in so doing effectively admitting that the previous pretexts had been a fiction. Looking at the Middle East, especially Iran and Israel he highlights the hypocrisy of US's stated position. If Iran were to carry out 'cyberwafare' against them, or carry out hostile acts of finance, then this is sufficient ground for a military attack; at the same time, the US has already carried out both such attacks against Iran and is prou of the fact. The same amoral hypocrisy, he notes, is at play within the US - whereby an elite few dictate terms to the vast majority. Large corporations, for example, have been aggressively promoting what they called 'free market' doctrines. i.e. state support for bilking tax players. Chomsky concludes that this is likely to continue for as long as taxpayers allow the super rich to get away with it.
We start our second hour with the sound track of Story of Change, a recent short video by Annie Leonard, who highlights 3 key factors needed for social change: 1) An idea, 2) A group of people who unite behind it & 3) Their willingness to take action. Only the third factor is missing, she says.
Next we hear from Aaron
, an occupy
activist who reports on what the movement is doing to mark its first anniversary. As well as mass training for proactive resistance, Occupy is organizing a debt
resistance movement, which is 'gaining a lot of traction' in US. He also mentions that occupy activists are getting help from financiers who have given up believing that authorities will ever prosecute any of the fraud that is rampant in the 'financial services' sector. After the sound track of part 2 of the Keynes and Hayek
economics video which we first heard in episode 617
, we conclude the show by continuing reading from David Graeber
's Debt, The First 5000 Years
. In this, the final chapter, he looks at how neo-liberal policies served to put the populace on notice that 'all deals were off' as regards standard of living, and how even the rise of finance capital succeeded in putting more and more people in debt, a media machine swung into action that promoted "debt as the new fat" - emphasizing the role of 'discretionary spending' in debt as opposed to the main cause of medical bills. A 'double theology' was created, whereby the ability to make money out of nothing was a sign of divine blessing for the rich, but the poor were not encouraged to be so creative, simply to tighten their belts and keep working harder to pay down debts. ★ Start a Discussion about this episode