While the world had its eyes on an inflammatory film made to mock the Prophet Muhammad, The US Chamber of Commerce was brokering a midday Cairo brunch in the Four Seasons between American and Egyptian businessmen.
The US Consulate in Cairo has been the target for many actions before this moment – in response to the Iraq War, in protest of the Mubarak regime’s relationship to the US, etc. This time the trigger might have been the film, but concurrent actions happening across the country prove that Egyptians have a much broader agenda.
Greece has been featured heavily in the news lately because of its ‘dire’ economic situation and the steps the European Union has taken to ‘bail it out’. Here is our comrade Sycorax’s analysis of why the economic situation in Greece actually shares some similarities with what’s going on in California.
Here’s the first post on the parallels:
Parallels between Greece and California: Understanding the Budget Cuts Means Understanding the Way our Global Economic System Works
Greek Farmers Blockading the Border Between Greece and Bulgaria
There’s also some coverage of the General Strikes that have been going on in Greece, which are also very applicable to the situation in California. Greece has had serious austerity measures placed on it, and there is tremendous pressure from the entire EU being put on Greece to cut its government spending.
In response, Greek public sector workers are not backing down. Their declaration? We did not make the crisis and we will not pay for it. This is a war on workers and we will respond with war.
Greek Public Workers on Strike
Check it out: Greek Public Workers on Strike!
So, what do ya’ll think? Parallels between Greece and California, is the comparison valid or not? What can we learn from both the crisis and the resistance to it, here and abroad?
Something to marinate on.
Here’s an Interview with Robert Wallace from Democracy Now!, who says the swine flu is partly the outcome of neoliberal policies that forced poorer countries to open their markets to poorly regulated Western agribusiness giants.
The Swine flu highlights two aspects of life under capitalism:
1) Under capitalism everything is commodified even our food. Commodities compete on the market, so the ones with the lowest price tend to win the competition and sell the best. A natural result of this are things like the “livestock revolution”. Because capitalists constantly need to undercut each others competition there is a tendency towards large scale operations that make production cheaper and more efficient. With whole cities of livestock living together in the tens of thousands, the potential for health crisis multiplies exponentially.
2) The new factories that came with the livestock revolution are symptomatic of capitalism’s tendency towards accumulation of capital. It is through the accumulation process that people get concentrated in ever-expanding factories and cities. Meat processing industries located largely in the mid-west and the southern U.S. have become a major pull for workers to migrate. As we know, some of the biggest immigration raids have taken place at livestock processing factories. Its also no coincidence that the politicians are now using Swine Flu to whip up racist hysteria and as a pretense to further militarize the border.