Arnold Vandenhoek

Our Voices Matter

Some Thoughts About Greenberg’s Analysis of Political Frustration in the United States, Printed Recently in the New York Times

A few days ago I discovered an article, relegated to the opinion page in the New York Times, that deserves our attention because it sheds light on the disillusionment of a large portion of the U.S. public with politicians and political parties.(1) It is a disillusionment we discover in very similar ways in Europe and a couple of other areas of the world, whereas it appears that in still other regions, especially in South America and North Africa, we witness a new popular élan and real signs of increasing hope.

This opinion piece (according to the New York Times), which is in fact a sober account based on empirical research, was written by a man called Stanley B. Greenberg. A fair-minded person, it seems, who doesn’t hide his party loyalies but transcends partisanship in order to attain an unbiased view of things. He tells us, for instance, that he is married to  Rosa L. DeLauro, a Democratic congresswoman representing voters in Connecticut. And he lets us know that he is the chief executive of a polling company that “works for center-left parties in the United States and abroad.”(2)  But apparently he is more than a mere executive; he seems to be not above doing real field work. And that, and what people told him – first-hand experience – makes his report interesting, as he does not attempt to paint a picture in rosy colors. No, he states what must be for him, and for the Democratic Party,  grim facts.

One thing Greenberg found out is that the present austerity policies advocated by both Republicans and the Obama administration to appease the financial markets are not popular. In fact, he says,

“When we conducted our election-night national survey after last year’s Republican sweep, voters strongly chose new investment over a new national austerity.”(3)

He adds that “many voters prefer the policies of Democrats to the policies of Republicans. They just don’t trust the Democrats to carry out those promises.”(4) 

Are we surprised? No. It’s the same in Europe. People like to believe the promises of Social Democratic leaders but when voting them into office feel they are deceived by them. So next time quite a few of them switch to the Conservatives, and are disappointed again. Others, of course, rise up in protest, something we have seen in Greece, in Italy, in Spain, and even in Britain and Germany.(5)

Greenberg is very candid about his findings, given his closeness to the Democratic Party. Close scrutiny provided evidence that “in smaller, more probing focus groups, voters show they are fairly cynical about Democratic politicians’ stands. They tune out the politicians’ fine speeches and plans and express sentiments like these: “It’s just words.” “There’s just such a control of government by the wealthy that whatever happens, it’s not working for all the people; it’s working for a few of the people.” “We don’t have a representative government anymore.”(6)

According to Greenberg, “[t]his distrust of government and politicians is unfolding as a full-blown crisis of legitimacy” and it hurts above all those who once were perceived as advocates of the common people, it “sidelines Democrats and liberalism.”(7) The stark figures provided by polls are devastating.

“Just a quarter of the country is optimistic about our system of government — the lowest since polls by ABC and others began asking this question in 1974. But a crisis of government legitimacy is a crisis of liberalism. It doesn’t hurt Republicans. If government is seen as useless, what is the point of electing Democrats who aim to use government to advance some public end?”(8) 

Looking back at the age of ‘liberal’ (and, in Europe, “Social Democratic) interventionism, the age of Keynesian policies and increasing efforts of big government to soften the effects of a disruptive, crisis-ridden Capitalist economy through unemployment benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, generally measures connected with the concept of the welfare state, Greenberg does not leave us in doubt that this policy depended on considerable economic growth rates. He is correct in his analysis. “In earlier periods, confidence in the economy and rising personal incomes put limits on voter discontent.”(9) This foundation, in the real economy, of the old liberal reformist policies has dissipated.

“Today, a dispiriting economy” has made the fundamental contradictions of society very apparent. (10) A recent study supplying information on the level of social justice achieved in OECD countries put the U.S. in the worst group, together with Greece, Turkey, Mexico, Chile, Eire, South Korea, Poland and Japan.(11)  The economic and social plight of millions of Americans, the fear and actual experience of so-called downward mobility, the disappearance of the ‘American dream’ have all contributed, for many decades already, to a  “a well-developed critique of government” shared by some, and a vague feeling that you cannot trust politicians, shared by many others. And by now, in 2011, in the context of the gravest economic crisis since the 1930s, it “leaves government not just distrusted but illegitimate.”(12)

Talking to people, surveying them, and evaluating polls, Stanley Greenberg found that more and more, probably the vast majority of ordinary Americans think that things are fundamentally wrong.

“GOVERNMENT operates by the wrong values and rules, for the wrong people and purposes, the Americans I’ve surveyed believe. Government rushes to help the irresponsible and does little for the responsible. Wall Street lobbyists govern, not Main Street voters. […] Lost jobs, soaring spending and crippling debt make America ever weaker, unable to meet its basic obligations to educate and protect its citizens. Yet politicians take care of themselves and party interests, while government grows remote and unresponsive, leaving people feeling powerless.”(13)

Greenberg adds that in a  recent Web survey of 2,000 respondents, people strongly desire politicians who would comprehend that ordinary Americans  “won’t catch a break until we confront the power of money and the lobbyists.”(14)  And who would act accordingly. But they don’t seem to believe that any such politicians are around, in either of the two major parties. And people are not yet ready to say, ‘Let’s do it ourselves. Yes, we the people can confront the power of big money, and politicians, and courts, and the lobbyists.’

Listening to Greenberg, we hear again what the common people have known all along. Everyone who is not entirely deluded knows that times have been getting hard. That inequality has become more outrageous than ever. That most big corporations are flush with cash.(15)  But they don’t invest much, and do not create a significant amount of jobs.(16) The number of those who go to bed hungry is on the rise. The number of the homeless, including homeless parents with kids, is on the rise. There are more people lining up in front of soup kitchens. There are more who lose hope. 

Greenberg says the obvious: “When presented with vivid descriptions of income inequality in America,  [many] people are deflated” – that is to say, they are merely discouraged.(17) They are pushed into a stance that amounts to apathy. They are giving in to a feeling that they cannot do anything about it,  rather than feeling an urge to empower themselves, which could bring about joined action: action that can bring real change.

“In surveys,” Greenberg says,  “they tell me that they think the politicians and the chief executives are ‘piggybacking off each other.’ 
They think that the game is rigged 
and that the wealthy and big industries 
get policies that reinforce their advantage. 
And they do not think 
their voices matter.”(18) 

Greenberg gives us a picture of what is. Of the moment that is now. Not of what will be tomorrow. Yes, he is right. The fact “[t]hat government and the elite […] blithely […] promote globalization and economic integration, while the working population loses income, makes the frustration [of ordinary Americans] more intense.”(19) 

Where will it lead? What will happen? Especially now, as the deep economic crisis drags on…

Greenberg’s research has focused on the political effects of the Wall Street bailout.  He notes that “[t]he public watched the elite and leaders of both parties rush to the rescue. The government saved irresponsible executives who bankrupted their own companies, hurt many people and threatened the welfare of the country. When Mr. Obama championed the bailout of the auto companies and allowed senior executives at bailed-out companies to take bonuses, voters concluded that he was part of the operating elite consensus. If you owned a small business that was in trouble or a home or pension that lost much of its value, you were on your own. As people across the country told me, the average citizen doesn’t ‘get money for free.’ Their conclusion: Government works for the irresponsible, not the responsible.”(20)

Based on his empirical research, Greenberg concludes that everything that ordinary Americans witnessed and comprehended at the time “affirm[ed] the public’s developing view of how government really works. They see a nexus of money and power, greased by special interest lobbyists and large campaign donations, that makes these outcomes irresistible. They do not believe the fundamentals have really changed in Mr. Obama’s Washington.”(21) 

Greenberg, being close to the Democratic party, of course continues by asking himself and us, “What should Democrats do?”(22) And he comes up with a few suggestions, some of them heard many times before but never followed up they way it could have been done.

ONE OF THESE SUGGESTIONS is that Democrats in Congress should honestly and in a determined way fight for  legislation that would “severely limit or bar individual and corporate campaign contributions” – which, he admits, would mean a fight with the Supreme Court that has been stacked with Conservative judges in the past, people in league with Big Business and bought politicians, not with the people.(23)

Secondly, Democrats in Congres should “make the case for public financing of campaigns”.(24)

The third suggestion is that they should work for legislation that would “force the broadcast and cable networks to provide free time for candidate ads.”(25) 

And of course, “they must become the strongest advocates for transparency in campaign donations and in the lobbying of elected officials.”(26)

This amounts in fact to just one item on the list of items that cause public concern. It all refers to campaign finance, to the fact that on the whole, in today’s U.S. political system, you must either be wealthy or enjoy the support of very wealthy backers in order to run successfully for office. Few exceptions to this rule seem to exist. In recent elections, big business routinely supported both parties though preferences are sometimes clear. There was an unmistakable closeness of Big Oil to politicians like Cheney and Bush, and generally to the Republican Party. And of course, the same was observable in the case of those corporations that are an active part of the military-industrial complex. On the other hand, perhaps because of the Health Reform project and the added turnover it promises, Big Pharma was leaning towards the Democrats. And so was the nuclear industry (not just Exxelon, which is based in Illinois, Obama’s home state).

Greenberg adds to his campaign reform proposals a few very modest proposals. His suggestion that Democratic members of Congress should work for legislation that would “put a small fee on the sale of stocks, bonds and other financial instruments”  echos a similar proposal recently made by Barroso and others in the European Union.(27) It remains within the mainstream and will not change things in a significant way though it is a step in the right direction. Better than nothing, so to speak.

Another proposal might be more far-reaching if enacted in a rigorous rather than a timid way. Greenberg says that “[b]y radically simplifying the tax code to allow only a few deductions, the Democrats would generate new revenue and remove the loopholes that allow special interests to win favorable treatment.”(28)

This tax reform should include tax increases for the very wealthy and for corporations, and a significant lowering of direct taxes on all but luxury goods and luxury homes. 

It should raise the inheritance tax for large fortunes.
Generally speaking, Greenberg is right when  he observes that a reform agendas should be concerned with “making government accountable to the ordinary citizen.”(29)

This would entail an increase in the elements that favor participatory democracy and direct democracy, in our political system. 

The present way of electing presidents is fundamentally flawed because it is indirect and it distorts the popular vote. And the internal influence of party leaders on the selection of candidates is still too big, despite the primaries (and also because of the costly primaries).

‘Television democracy’ – as we have it now, more than ever – tends to favor the manipulation of public opinion, because it submits a mass audience to the unlimited influence of networks ‘in a few hands,’ among them people like Murdoch who have been linked to the most unethical practices.(30)

In many ways, Greenberg’s analysis is clear-sighted, his intentions are laudible, his belief in the capacity of the Democratic Party to reform itself is understandable. But can the present Democratic Party reform itself enough to give genuine impulses to the much needed political and economic reform in America?

My fear is that the majority of those who are involved in that party today are too close to ‘vested interests’ to really want real change. And that is true of the Republican Party, as well. The Tea Party movement, judging by its rank-and-file members, is a movement of disenchanted Americans. But it is already in the grip and under the influence of the “fortunate few” who want things to stay as they are.
Is there any chance then, to overcome the kind of stalemate we have seen when Republican and Democratic politicians in Washington kept acting like children when they were supposed to deal quickly with the immediate problem that the government was running out of cash?(31) 

Perhaps when things look really hopeless there is a real potential for change. Or, as Timothy Garton Ash says, “American politics have become so hopeless that I begin to be hopeful. From anger and disgust flow the energy for reform.”(32) All of us who sense today the revulsion caused by the political game that is felt by so many– and this in fact, regardless of their former Republican or Democratic preferences –  will understand this sentiment of hope that lets him add, “if things get bad enough, this kind of political system – shall we call it democracy? – can find sufficient inner resources to start reforming itself […].”(33) 

Perhaps, what the U.S. needs today is a merger: of the Tea Party movement which would give up its closeness to the Republican Party, and other grass-roots organizations, like Move On, the NAACP, etc., who would give up their closeness to the Democratic Party.

What we need is such a merger, of grass-roots Republicans and grass-roots Democrats and grass-roots Independents, against the “elite”, against the profiteers and the corrupt. Against Obama, Bush, Kerry, McCain, Palin, Bachman, Pelosi, and so on.

FOR A NEW PARTY, a party of ordinary Americans, a party of democratization, of grass-roots empowerment.(34)

The agenda?

The people involved would have to decide it.
Much is possible. Much can be imagined. 
Modest proposals like: Fair wages, fair taxes.
More far-reaching ones, envisioning the permanent closing and dissolution of all stock exchanges in the country, and the break-up of corporations.(35)

The break-up of the big banks and the transformation of the pieces of the puzzle into cooperating People’s Banks, owned by local communities (cities,  counties) and controlled democratically by the local population.

The erasure of all individual debt up to a maximum of, say, $100,000.

The erasure of all public debt. No interest payments and no back-payments of money owed by the federal government, state governments, cities and counties.

The local (municipal)  take-over of the pieces in the puzzle, left over by the break-up of public utilities, big oil and big pharma.

People who would lose money in the closing of the commercial banks and the abolition of stocks, or due to the debt moratorium, could be reimbursed, up to say $ 750,000, in the form of people’s shares in public (municipal) utilities. A value that should be non-transferrable, except to a spouse. (Transfer to other heirs excluded.)

All citizens might be accorded a fair share in the national wealth represented by the entities resulting from the break-up of the present big banks and other big corporations, in the form of people’s shares. 

And in order to avoid a new dynamics of unfair concentration, such people’s shares could be declared permanently non-transferrable. We all remember the story of the guy who sold his birth right for practically nothing. In Europe, people on the verge of starving sold people’s shares obtained after the privatization of industry for next to nothing to those clever tricksters and conmen who became the new oligarchs. 

Not a nice development really. It really makes non-transferrability, that you cannot sell or give away such shares to others, a must. In fact, even your children do not need to inherit them; they would get their own fair share as a birth right whereas the deceased person’s would become invalid.

There is a lot to be said against inheritance of vast, unearned fortunes. Inheritance taxes can take care of that. There is nothing to be said against inheriting your mom’s house, your dad’s car, a family farm, a family business. And there is a lot to be said against taxes, against interest payments that drive a family farm or a family business into bankruptcy. There is a lot to be said against unemployment and losing your home and not knowing how to feed your kids and fill your own stomach.

So, in a grass-roots democracy, flexible answers, required by solidarity, by the will to lend a helping hand to those in need, should be the rule. Without exception. If there is scarcity, don’t let the burden fall on just a few. Share. The biblical examples exist. And so do examples in all religions we know of.

I know that much of what has been suggested here may sound wild and too impracticable to some, and mild and too reformist to others. I was just trying to show that we, every one of us, can throw a lot of things into the debate, suggestions meant to improve the lot of the vast majority of Americans. Suggestions that should also focus on cultural issues, on educational issues, on issues like ‘Peak Oil,’ and of course on ecological issues.

If we get something done together, if we get a movement into full action, then the participants in such a movement will debate, among themselves and with the rest of the population, such questions as ‘How do we avert a catastrophic climate change?’ ‘How do we cope with unemployment, with hunger and homelessness in America?’ ‘How do we make democratic participation, and the possibility of being heard and respected, a possibility for every one?’ So there is still time to set up a number of fundamental goals. The basic direction, the basic orientation must be clear. It is to give back, to each of us, the dignity and the voice  that a citizen deserves. Together, we can build a country that lets us say, ‘This land is our land.’ ‘We have not been excluded.’
 

Notes

(1)Stanley B. Greenberg  “Why Voters Tune Out Democrats”, in: The New  York Times, July 30, 2011 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/31/opinion/sunday/tuning-out-the-democrats.html?src=me&
ref=general

(2) Stanley B. Greenberg, ibidem

(3) Ibidem

(4) Ibidem

(5) The most remarkable of these protest movements has been the movement of the 
“indignant” young and old people in Spain. Inspired by the protesting masses that occupied the Tahir Square in Cairo since February, 2011, they took to the streets and occupied the central squares of many Spanish towns for weeks on end, since May 15, 2011. They have declared openly that they distrust all politicians, shouting “They don’t represent us!” They demand “real democracy.” And they focus on problems such as high unemployment and increasing poverty that is spreading among the common people.
In Greece, popular assemblies and political debates among the indignant protesters who advocate real democracy have taken place on the Syntagma Square in Athens, in front of the Greek parliament.
In Germany, 150,000 Stuttgarters occupied the center of their city last fall. Many protesters appeared in front of the Stuttgart state capitol, shouting “Liars, liars!” and tossing shoes against the walls of the building – a sign of contempt familiar to Arab demonstrators that the press and various television channels in Germany had documented a while ago. Quite obviously the protesters in Stuttgart felt contempt for the governing politicians and so they decided to make use of this symbolic act. Quite a few of them demand better ways to ensure citizens’ participation in public decision-making processes.

(6) Stanley B. Greenberg, ibidem

(7) Ibidem

(8) Ibidem

(9) Ibidem

(10) Ibidem

(11) Cf. [N.N.,] “Soziale Gerechtigkeit in der OECD: Wo steht Deutschland?“, in: Change 1/2011, pp.68-69 – The journal Change is published by the neo-liberal Bertelsmann Foundation. 

(12) Stanley B. Greenberg, ibidem

(13) Ibidem

(14) Ibidem

(15) According to the economist Jack Rasmus, U.S.-based “corporations [are] flush with trillions in cash”. Cf. Jack Rasmus, “How to Create 15 Million Jobs: Suggestions for a way out of the current economic swamp”, in: Z Magazine, February 2011. http://www.zcommunications.org/how-to-create-15-million-jobs-by-jack-rasmus) - Practically all colleagues of Rasmus would agree with the assessment that most corporations in the U.S. are not cash-squeezed. They have pocketed enormous profits in recent years. As global players, quite a few of them continue to ‘repatriate’ considerable profits even now, in the middle of the worldwide economic crisis

(16) Rasmus notes that regardless of their financial capacity to invest in production, U.S. capital by and large prefers other investment (often abroad) and continues to create jobs inside the United States at a rate that is frivolously below the number of jobs they could be creating here. In the words of Jack Rasmus, they “refuse to hire sufficiently to reduce unemployment [...]” in a significant way.  – 
See: Jack Rasmus, ibidem.

(17) Stanley B. Greenberg,  Ibidem

(18) Ibidem

(19) Ibidem

(20) Ibidem

(21) Ibidem

(22) Ibidem

(23) Ibidem

(24) Ibidem

(25) Ibidem

(26) Ibidem

(27) What Greenberg (in the New York Times) and Barroso referred to is of course the Tobin tax, an instrument also favored by such NGOs as Attac.

(28) Stanley B. Greenberg, ibidem 

(29) Ibidem

(30) Top management personnel of Murdoch has met repeatedly in recent months, practically in private, with the British prime minister. Certainly not for a cup of tea and innocent small talk. This is far more scandalous than the ‘eavesdropping scandal’ highlighted in the media. The closeness if not intimate relationship that can be quite generally observed between media personnel and leading politicians is a fact that causes concern in many countries among those who care for democracy and who reject subservience of politicians to big business. It is a well-known fact that the ‘free’ press and television networks in Western countries are largely owned by a few big media corporations and that the media pay attention to the preferences of their large clients, i.e. advertising corporations (and what they want reported and don’t want reported). This jeopardizes unbiased reporting and subjects the general audience to the undue influence of the economically powerful.

(31) Timothy Garton Ash has noted in the Guardian that in a recent poll taken on behalf of CNN,  “77 % of  Americans say elected officials in Washington behaved like ‘spoiled children’ in the crisis over the debt ceiling; 84% disappove of the way Congress is doing its job.” -  Cf. Timothy Garton Ash, “Facing gridlock and hysteria, the US may yet be reformed”, in: The Guardian, Aug.3, 2011 http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/03/gridlock-the-us-may-be-
reformed?INTCMP=SRCH

(32) Timothy Garton Ash, ibidem. – Timothy Garton Ash of course is a centrist who trusts the typical Washingtonian elite that we saw in the past, at a time when high growth rates, Keynesian economics and big bureaucratic government did not exclude Republican and Democratic ‘welfare state’ politics and when people like Lyndon Baines Johnson and Nelson Rockefeller were not miles apart. 
But let’s not kid ourselves, Obama and George W. Bush, Clinton and Romney are not miles apart either. And the political leaders of today represent the banks and generally, big business, as much as Johnson and Rockefeller did. The difference is, today they minimize the ‘welfare state’ because corporations pay hardly any taxes in comparison with the 1960s and as a result of this and the wars, public coffers are near-empty. 
It is obvious that today political discourse that rails against welfare is finding a positive echo among certain segments of the public. This is not only due to the jealousy of self-employed people and hard-working employees who begrudge the poor what little assistance they get because their own life is so hard and nobody helps them. I think that a large part of the American public is also sick of welfare because it humiliates people, and they want job and decent lives instead. 
It’s possible indeed to scrap welfare if we eliminate the lousy wages of the working poor and see to it that every able-bodied, mentally fit (!) jobless adult between 18 and 60 gets a decent and decently-paid job, as well. (Of course, those in college  are joining the work force a bit later.) Why not pass laws that set a fair minimum wage for unskilled and semi-skilled work (certainly above what foreign car-makers pay today in the South) and mandate fair wages for skilled work, as well? Why not enforce “repatriation” of “exported jobs”?  Why not remove barriers that harm unions? Which would matter especially if we would get more new, grass-roots- based unions that would help us to overcome the power of entrenched union bosses who have been too close to corporate America and often ‘in bed’ with the political establishment. 
As for seniors above 60 (or perhaps 57), they should get a pension that allows them to retire and seek new forms of free activity. It is obscene to make seniors depend on welfare.

(33) Timothy Garton Ash, ibidem

(34) A new party – does that sound strange? Can it be a successful remedy, in the face of widespread distrust of ‘politicians’ and contempt for ‘politics’? We all know that Nader’s party, the Green party, concentrating on just two key issues, environmental protection and consumer protection, did not experience a fantastic ‘take-off.’  And yet, the need for some alternative to things as they are in American politics is very obvious.
Timothy Garton Ash summarizes the way in which the leaders of the two dominant parties defend a basically flawed political system that disempowers the population and makes alternating government by these parties in league with banks and big business almost inevitable: “On one thing,”  he writes, “Democrats and Republicans [and here he is referring to the professional politicians, not the voters] all agree. In the great game of politics, there can be only two teams: Republicans and Democrats. Ballot access regulations, for example, are stacked against outsiders. This is a two-party political cartel: a duopoly. Yet two of every three Americans now say they would like another choice in elections.” (Timothy Garton Ash, ibidem.)
Perhaps it is this desire for change, felt by at least two out of every three Americans, that can lead to a new beginning, a better, more participative, grass-roots democracy. Timothy Garton Ash of course has something else in mind – a technocratic, “centrist” government stacked with so-called experts who would claim to be independent. But this would only provide a temporary smokescreen for continued political influence by the so-called ‘elite.’

(35) Some will say, “But can we do without the entrepreneurial quality that Joseph Schumpeter celebrated?” Well, if that entrepreneurial quality consists in conning consumers, sacking workers merely in order to increase profits, and creating corporations flush with money that don’t invest but spoil the environment and wreck peoples’ lives, we can well do without it. Perhaps a sustainable economy, not based on fierce competition but on cooperation, needs other talents than those of our present myopic, profit-obsessed managers and absentee owners who tend to disregard the social and ecological cost of their narrow-minded strategies. I’m sure many ordinary Americans have the talents needed in a different economy based on the principles of cooperation, solidarity and sustainability. Or at least, they have the capacity to develop them immediately if the need (and the chance to do so) arises.
 
 
 
 
 

Check...:http://www.democracynow.org/2011/2/17/democracy_uprising_in_the_usa_noam
 

Check: http://www.democracynow.org/2011/2/17/democracy_uprising_in_the_usa_noam
 

 
LINKS
 

U.S. SITES

The New York Times

Stanley B. Greenberg“Why Voters Tune Out Democrats”, in: The New  York Times, July 30, 2011 

backup copy
 

Occupy Wall Street 
www.occupywallstreet.us

www.occupyyoutube.com

http://occupyyoutube.blogspot.com/

http://twitter.com/#!/OccupyYoutube
 
 

Democracy Now
www.democracynow.org
 

We Are Change
http://www.WeAreChange.org
 
 

Chomskyon decentralized solidarity movements

Noam Chomskyon Occupy Wall Street protests 
 

Z Communications  AND Z mag
http://www.zcommunications.org/

M.Albert/Wilpert, "The State 
of the U.S. Left", in: Z Communications (backup copy)

Michael Albert,
Occupy Wall Street Entreaty &
Spanish Anarchists Interview 
(Z Communications, Sept.2011)
[backup copy]
 

Left Forum
www.leftforum.org
 
 

Local to global.org
www.localtoglobal.org
 
 

Nathan Schneider, "From Occupy 
Wall Street to Occupy Everywhere"
(The Nation, Oct. 31, 2011)

backup-copy
 
 

Can you remain neutral?
 
 

John E. Jacobsen, "Wall Street Already Finding Loopholes in Financial Reform Legislation" 

backup copy
 
 

Louise Story, "A Secretive Banking Elite Rules Trading in Derivatives"

backup copy
 
 

Slate.com
Readers' comments on
Obama's tax cut for the rich

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Matthew Cardinale,"New and 
Old US Groups Forge Broad Alliances"

backup copy
 
 

Libcom.org, Theses on the global crisis

backup copy
 
 
 
 

SPANISH SITES
AND INFORMATION
IN ENGLISH (ON SPAIN)

Democracy real YA!
http://www.democraciarealya.es
 

Manifesto of Democracia real YA!

backup copy
 

Inés Benítez, "Spain:
'Indignant' Protests Heat Up Election Campaign" (IPS news net, Oct.4,2011)

backup copy
 

Tito Drago,"'Indignant' 
Demonstrators Marching to 
Brussels to Protest Effects 
of Crisis" (IPS news net, July 30, 2011) 
 

Tito Drago, "Spain: Streets Paved 
with Evicted Families" (IPS, Oct.7, 2011)

backup copy
 
 

CHILE

Students in Chile are protesting against the privatization of higher education that took place
under Pinochet, and against the underfinanced public education system
(xinhua net, Oct.20, 2011)

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GREEK SITES 

To VIMAon the general strike (Oct.19-20,2011)

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ELEFTHEROTYPIA on the general strike 
(Oct.19-20,2011)

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Athens (Greece) indymedia
http://athens.indymedia.org

backup copy
 

www.poesy.gr
POESY'S CALL TO JOIN
THE GENERAL STRIKE
backup copy
 

Mavroulis Argyros on the general strike 
(in: Real.gr, Oct.20, 2011)

backup copy
 
 
 

EGYPTIAN SITES

Al Ahram Weekly
http://weekly.ahram.org.eg

Galal Nassar, "The Arab Spring and the crisis of the elite" 

backup copy
 
 
 

Al MasryAlyoum.com
http://www.almasryalyoum.com

Mohamed Azouz, Egypt govt mulls 
raising workers' incentives in bid to thwart labor strikes 
 
 

Ahmad Fouad Najem, "Forbidden"

backup copy
 
 
 
 

international 
SITES 

Support Julian Assange
www.support-julian-assange.com
 

Forum Social Mundial
www.forumsocialmundial.org
 

www.anticapitalistas.org
Retos anticapitalistas

backup copy
 
 

Alternative web.es
www.alternativeweb.es
 
 

Esther Vivas
http://esthervivas.wordpress.com/

backup copy

backup copy (doc.file)
 
 

Z Communications  AND Z mag
http://www.zcommunications.org/
 
 
 

documenta 11:
demokratie als permanenter,
unabgeschlossener  prozess
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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                                                                                                 go back to URBAN DEMOCRACY issue  # 7

 
 

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