If positive social and political change worked top down, we wouldn’t have to make this programme. Sadly, it doesn’t. So at a time when the political class is out of ideas and the corporate class is out of excuses for its behaviour, the job of finding new perspectives and insights and ideas falls to the independent media. As a busy year draws to a close we look back at those people who have inspired and enlightened us in 2017. This is the first of two shows that are a whistle-stop tour around the thinkers, writers, doers and Renegade types we met over the last 12 months.
One can’t fault a casual reader for getting the idea that Spain takes its law and order seriously. The season finale of the Catalonia Spain drama seems to be drawing to an end. But for those more familiar with the country, this is an example of the Spanish government’s cynical hypocrisy. By amplifying a political problem into a full blown constitutional crisis, PM Mariano Rajoy and the Partido Popular (PP) are deflecting attention from the core issues facing Spain, namely their corruption.
NATO wants Europe to upgrade its roads, bridges and rail networks. Not because of dilapidated infrastructure, or to make it easier for people to travel across the continent – let alone their own countries – but so they can handle the weight of its heavy tanks and military equipment for what it deems an inevitable invasion of Russia. Though it has yet to commit a single crime, up to 10,000 NATO troops have amassed on Russia’s border states, in lieu of a war that hasn’t happened yet.
There is no other way to describe economics in 2017 than wilful blindness, writes economist Professor Steven Keen. Nobel Laureates who claimed financial crises were now impossible also claimed the 2008 Global Financial Crisis could not have been predicted. This is all, of course, nonsense. The evidence was there all along. Those with the power to change the course of history simply chose to ignore it.
The public service has been made a mockery. Neoliberal ideology now competes with the laws of Parliament. The rule of law is compromised. Every part of the state has become subject to a totalitarian and nihilistic ideology, usurping even classical economics where work was an element of demand, to the extent there was respect for workers. Neoliberalism is a form of economism that strikes at every moment and every sector of our community. It is a form of extremism.