What the events in Greece this year have identified is the unregulated power the banks wield and that they are intent upon holding on to that power at the cost of vast human suffering. The ferocity with which they countered Syriza’s demands to end austerity was not anticipated by anyone, either in Greece or abroad.
The imposition of those harsher austerity terms demonstrated that the real power does not reside with our democratically elected leaders. This rise in their power has been achieved by ensuring that their activities remain shrouded in a level of secrecy that has been maintained for centuries.
This power is traditionally exerted behind closed doors, influencing and controlling political power through how and when they lend their money, thus keeping the public in ignorance. As their power has grown so too have their demands. They control the movement of money around the Planet and represent the ultimate monopoly, unchallenged by anything.
Henry Ford once said that, “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
Their work has continued in the shadows until this year when, I believe, a turning point was reached as they demonstrated their power in the full glare of global publicity, something that is quite unprecedented.
As part of this assault they were able to call upon their most effective propaganda weapon, in the shape of global media, who castigated and tried to humiliate and destroy Tsipras. What should also be recognised is that this same media reaction has been turned upon Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and before he even gets into government!
From the heady days of the Edward Snowden revelations, how lacking in resolve the Guardian and Observer have now become without the steady hand of Alan Rushbridger, as they too joined the assault upon Mr Corbyn and how it has upset their circulation numbers since!
The banks actions, whilst currently unchallenged, have left an unpleasant taste and woken us up to the unelected power that shapes our lives. Neoliberalism does not sit comfortably with the majority and its excesses are now igniting a reaction that is evident in the relection of Tsipras and the rise in popularity of Jeremy Corbyn.
That Alex Tsipras was returned to government speaks volumes about the deep desire in the Greek people (and the rest of us) to end the abuse that is austerity. In spite of his supposed U-turn he still has political credibility because, like Jeremy Corbyn, his thoughts and beliefs are our thoughts and beliefs.
Whilst the return of integrity to politics is much needed, the problems we face are not about ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ but about the suppression of democratic power through austerity, robbing this Planet and its people of any sustainable future.
The issue for any political party intent upon bringing about change is to return power to the people and that is the only issue of critical importance, I would suggest. Education, healthcare, transport and social care cannot be addressed satisfactorily whilst austerity neuters democratic political power. People must have the confidence and motivation to apply their votes and energy in the certain knowledge that they will be not only be listened to but that their demands will be acted upon.
For power to be returned to the people they must have an independent banking service that no longer neuters their power by enslaving them and government in debt. They must have access to independent news services that do not support the propaganda of the current establishment and truthfully report on the outcomes of people’s demands and actions – that they really know what is going on! Finally they must have an authentic and effective medium through which they can be heard and cause change to happen. This can only be achieved by people driven referendums.
Until such time as this ‘trinity of democracy’ is established people remain unempowered and incapable of working with their elected governments to create lasting change. The line has been drawn with the Troika’s actions in Greece, making it plain to see that they do not want people empowerment in any shape or form. The genie is out of the bottle and the task of any new political initiative is to step up to that line and confront it with people empowering visions and actions.
In Uruguay the notorious TTIP trade agreement has been unceremoniously thrown out, thus preserving the people’s democracy from corporate challenge. This action sets the benchmark by which we must judge all political intention now. Only when real power has been restored to the people can Society confidently remedy the problems of healthcare, education and everything else, creating a more meaningful future for all.
Until the next time
Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes