Masters Of War

Come you masters of war You that build all the guns You that build the death planes You that build all the bombs You that hide behind walls You that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks. You that never done nothin' But build to destroy You play with my world Like it's your little toy You put a gun in my hand And you hide from my eyes And you turn and run farther When the fast bullets fly. Like Judas of old You lie and deceive A world war can be won You want me to believe But I see through your eyes And I see through your brain Like I see through the water That runs down my drain. You fasten all the triggers For the others to fire Then you set back and watch When the death count gets higher You hide in your mansion' As young people's blood Flows out of their bodies And is buried in the mud. You've thrown the worst fear That can ever be hurled Fear to bring children Into the world For threatening my baby Unborn and unnamed You ain't worth the blood That runs in your veins. How much do I know To talk out of turn You might say that I'm young You might say I'm unlearned But there's one thing I know Though I'm younger than you That even Jesus would never Forgive what you do. Let me ask you one question Is your money that good Will it buy you forgiveness Do you think that it could I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul. And I hope that you die And your death'll come soon I will follow your casket In the pale afternoon And I'll watch while you're lowered Down to your deathbed And I'll stand over your grave 'Til I'm sure that you're dead.------- Bob Dylan 1963

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Servants of the 1%?: Politicians and the Economic Elite


In recent years millions of citizens across the Western world have taken to the streets calling for real democracy.  These massive demonstration began in North Africa, but spread rapidly to Greece, Portugal and Iceland, and then to North America and much of the rest of Europe.  The most popular slogan of this international movement, ‘We are 99%’ – borrowed from an article by the Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz[1] – encapsulates the widespread sense that governments are serving the interests of a tiny elite, over those of the broader public.
The idea that democracy is dysfunctional and is serving a wealthy elite is not new.  In 2004 Collin Crouch published Post-democracy, one of the most inspiring books on this topic.[2]  It summarizes several years of work and explains how in spite of the regularity of elections in the Western world, in practice politicians do not represent the majority of the population. 
Crouch argues that the power of the working class followed a parabolic trajectory: After the Second World War, workers started to organise and press their demands though the agendas of labour parties.  The height of their power and representation was achieved in the seventies, when states recognised their rights and provided substantial public services.  The arrival of globalisation changed this post-war paradigm.  Industrial workers lost their jobs, which were transferred to emerging economies, and multinational corporations began to acquire the tremendous power which they enjoy today. READ MORE

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