Monday, March 14, 2011

The Empire Strikes Again

Three years ago, when the financial meltdown occured, Iceland, and later Ireland, went into default.  Every country on the planet was affected in one way or another, but the hardest hit were those who had most wholeheartedly bought into the American system.  As Lula da Silva, then President of Brazil underlined in an oblique reference to the IMF’s often harmful requirements of developing economies: “It was blue-eyed people who caused this.”

Now the world holds its breath as we await the final word on the possible melt-down of two nuclear reactors in Japan, following a huge earthquake and a tsunami.  Many Japanese must be remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki as they contemplate the possibility that even peaceful nuclear power can be deadly, wondering whether it was worth the risk when they decided to follow an American led world into nuclear power.

As the pictures on our TV screens make abundantly clear, there is one force that humans cannot stand up to, and that is nature; yet failing to stand up to America increasingly put us at the mercy of that greater power.

The synchronicity* between the Japanese catastrophe and the putsch in Wisconsin could be significant.  America’s heretofore docile workers could create another kind of tsunami: a prolonged general strike that would compel the Empire to join world efforts toward a more equitable and safer future.

* The simultaneous occurrence of two or more causally unrelated events, which nonetheless have meaning for the observer.

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