Monday, October 8, 2012

Chavez' Win and Europe's Crisis

Even the mainstream media today admit that Hugo Chavez’ re-election to a fourth term as President of Venezuela is thanks to the oil money he has consistently spent on his people’s welfare.

Yesterday, for the first time I heard a pundit declare with evident satisfaction that the Euro crisis signals an end to the European Welfare State built up after the Second World War. If this is true, we can only wonder why after half a century, that model is in peril, and we would probably have to conclude that a new element has been introduced into the system.

A financial expert recently remarked that the European Union is the biggest economy in the world, followed by the United States. This suggests that economies can in fact remain buoyant while taking equitable care of populations, as long as they steer clear of the dicey games of global finance which, over the last ten or so years, have increasingly affected systems worldwide.

The unraveling of the European Union would constitute a crushing blow to peace in the world, exposing the multi-ethnic Eurasian peninsula to yet another replay of past conflicts between neighbors, while Eurasia’s southern, Muslim tier explodes in religious wars that increasingly enfold demands for equity.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the period since the Second World War has also seen repeated, determined efforts by the United States to prevent Latin America from wresting control of its assets from American companies in order to better the lives of its peoples.  In the last ten or so years, the number of Latin American countries having elected left of center governments has seen an unprecedented increase, to the certain displeasure of international mineral and agricultural conglomerates.

If we add to these developments Washington’s pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, supposedly to contain China, we have to seriously consider the possibility that what is actually driving the world today is international finance's determination to keep the global 1% on top, with war as an economic tool in service of that goal - as it was after the Great Depression.

We will have to face the fact that the great conflict of the twentieth century between right and left has not ended, but is merely disguised as ethnic and religious intolerance.


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