Friday, April 01, 2011

From the Ruins

While the global anti-war protests that took place in early 2003 rejected the projection of economic power through military warfare, the European anti-austerity protests this winter rejected the projection of economic power through political warfare. The protests in North Africa, Central Asia, and the Middle East this spring reject both.

Unlike the 2003 protests, which sometimes included civil disobedience, the more recent ones include acts of sabotage, as well as armed insurrection against tyrants functioning as proxies for world economic powers. Protests in Latin America against austerity imposed by international economic powerhouses like the IMF and World Bank over the last decade have incorporated massive strikes, while in North America, comparatively tame consumer boycotts of goods made with child or slave labor have made some inroads into transforming our otherwise privileged consciousness.

As civilizations and societies succumb to the aftershocks of austerity, including collapsing public health and safety, the world will routinely become more chaotic, violent, and dysfunctional. At that not so distant point in time, we will have to find new ways of discussing and building a future from the ruins.

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