In early 2010, Greece, a weak and peripheral economy in the euro area, went bankrupt but was subsequently "bailed out" by its euro partners and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Ever since, the small southern Mediterranean nation and birthplace of democracy has been a guinea pig for the policy prescriptions of a neoliberal European Union (EU) under the command of Germany and its northern allies, with the IMF serving as a junior partner. A public debt crisis has been used as an opportunity to dismantle a rudimentary social state, to sell off profitable public enterprises and state assets at bargain prices, to deprive labor of even its most basic rights after decades of hard-fought struggles against capital, and to substantially reduce wages, salaries and pensions, creating a de facto banana republic. It has been done with the support of a significant segment of the Greek industrial-financial class and with the assistance of the domestic political elite, which since the onset of the crisis has relied heavily on dictatorial action to carry out the commands of the country's foreign creditors.
WHAT IS “ALTERNATIVES”?
“ALTERNATIVES” – it is Alter-Globalist Net-Work, created for the support of the social initiatives, which provides different directions of social, political, educational and research activity:
Capitalism and Unemployment
Jaime Rodriguez, who said he interviewed unsuccessfully with at least eight companies since being laid off, volunteers with Alba Davila, right, at a community resource center in New York, February 6, 2013. (Photo: Karsten Moran / The New York Times)Capitalism as a system seems incapable of solving its unemployment problem. It keeps generating long-term joblessness, punctuated by spikes of recurring short-term extreme joblessness. The system's leaders cannot solve or overcome the problem. Before the latest capitalist crisis hit in 2007, the unemployment rate was near 5 percent. In 2013, it is near 7.5 percent. That is 50 percent higher despite the last six years of so-called "effective policies to address unemployment."
Capitalism and the Destruction of Life on Earth: Six Theses on Saving the HumansWhen, on May 10, 2013, scientists at Mauna Loa Observatory on the big island of Hawaii announced that global CO2 emissions had crossed a threshold at 400 parts per million for the first time in millions of years, a sense of dread spread around the world - not only among climate scientists.
CO2 emissions have been relentlessly climbing since Charles David Keeling first set up his tracking station near the summit of Mauna Loa Observatory in 1958 to monitor average daily global CO2 levels. At that time, CO2 concentrations registered 315ppm. CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentrations have been climbing ever since and, as the records show, temperatures rises will follow. For all the climate summits, the promises of "voluntary restraint," the carbon trading and carbon taxes, the growth of CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentrations has not just been relentless, it has been accelerating in what scientists have dubbed the “Keeling Curve."
De-Americanizing the World
During the latest episode of the Washington farce that has astonished a bemused world, a Chinese commentator wrote that if the United States cannot be a responsible member of the world system, perhaps the world should become "de-Americanized" — and separate itself from the rogue state that is the reigning military power but is losing credibility in other domains.
The Tragedy of Greece as a Case Study of Neo-Imperial Pillage and the Demise of Social Europe
An Alternative View of Events in Russia
1. The Russian Academy of Sciences: The Struggle Continues
As a result of efforts by the scientific intelligentsia, the struggle against legislation aimed at reforming the Russian Academy of Sciences remains as before at the centre of public attention.
On Suvorov Square in Moscow on 24 August more than a thousand people, including scientists, teachers, other members of the intelligentsia and concerned citizens took part in a demonstration against the reform of the Academy. The protest action was aimed at drawing the attention of society prior to the opening of the autumn session of the State Duma, at which it is proposed to adopt the fundamentally antisocial draft law on Russia’s leading scientific body. In their slogans, the demonstrators put special emphasis on the government’s aim of transforming science and education from areas of social benefit, and values in themselves, into objects of sale and purchase.
«Russia enters in the summer with a series of protests against capitalist reforms of social sphere»
Monitoring of major events by All Russian movement "Alternatives"
1. Reform of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Education and Science met resistance from the public.
The Ministry of Education and Science at the end of June 2013 had introduced to the State Duma a bill of the Federal Law № 305828-6 «On the Russian Academy of Sciences ...". The bill requires a radical reform of the Academies of Sciences.
Art as Resistance: New York Festival Crosses the Line
French playwright and director Pascal Rambert wants to teach you a world history of economics - through dance.
His large-scale dance performance piece called "A (Micro) History of World Economics, Danced," is one of 17 works from international artists heading to New York City in 2013 for the seventh edition of the French Institute Alliance Française's Crossing the Line interdisciplinary art festival Crossing the Line interdisciplinary art festival.
THE All-RUSSIAN MOVEMENT
"ALTERNATIVY" EXPRESSES ITS SOLIDARITY
WITH THE SAVAS MATSAS-MICHAEL!
The "ALTERNATIVY" movement condemns the unjust initiative to bring into trial the 3 September 2013 a Greek Marxist intellectual, and Secretary General of the Workers' Revolutionary Party (EEK) of Greece, Savas Michael Matsas. He is being falsely accused of "disturbing the civic peace" in the events of May 2009. That time there were huge police pogroms against the immigrants in Athens, in the neighbourhood of Aghios Panteleimonas, where the "Golden Dawn" murder squads terrorised the immigrants with the cover and in coordination of the local police.
In the five years since the Global Financial Crisis, no policies have been developed to effectively ensure against another systemic failure of banking and insurance systems.
It has now been five years since the beginnings of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). What has been learned - if anything - by international agencies about the nature of the crisis and how to manage macroeconomic policy? In the wake of the crisis, ongoing problems of the Eurozone, slow and fragile growth in the United States and a slowdown of emerging economies, governments around the world have been reviewing the risks to insure economies against the systematic failure of banking and insurance systems.
The GFC drew attention to market volatility, to knock-on effects of "too big to fail" entities, the dangers of high levels of public debt and the risks associated with the massive growth and expansiveness of the finance sector vis-a-vis the real productive economy. Suddenly the role of the state and other extra-state agencies is back on the policy agenda as governments explore the scope of new regulatory tools designed to restructure banks, introduce new capital reserve levels and monitor professional standards. Greater thought has been given to the threats that the finance sector pose to the economy as a whole, and European governments in particular have sought to deal with these problems by pursuing austerity measures designed to cut levels of unsustainable public debt.
US imperialism spreads across Latin America through military bases and trade deals, corporate exploitation and debt. It also relies on a vast communications surveillance network, the recent uncovering of which laid bare Washington’s reach into the region’s streets and halls of power. Yet more than McDonald’s and bullets, an empire depends on fear, and fear of the empire is lacking these days in Latin America.
The controversy stirred up by Edward Snowden’s leaked documents reached the region on July 7th, when the first of a series of articles drawing from the leaks were published in the major Brazilian newspaper O Globo. The articles outlined how the US National Security Agency (NSA) had for years been spying on and indiscriminately collecting the emails and telephone records of millions of people in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Argentina, just as it had done in the US, Europe and elsewhere.
Egypt is one of the most important countries in the world, geopolitically speaking. With a history spanning some 7,000 years, it is one of the oldest civilizations in the world, sitting at the point at which Africa meets the Middle East, across the Mediterranean from Europe. Once home to its own empire, it became a prized possession in the imperial designs of other civilizations, including the Persians, Greeks, Romans, and Byzantine to the Islamic and Ottoman Empires, and subsequently the French, British and Americans. For any and every empire that has sought to exert control over the Middle East, Asia or Africa, control over Egypt has been a pre-requisite. Its strategic location has only become more important with each subsequent empire.
Rio De Janeiro - The young people who have been protesting in Brazil over the last few weeks, who say they are apolitical and who have organised over the social networking sites, were not entirely pleased with Thursday’s demonstrations by the country’s trade unions and social and popular movements.
During a “National Day of Struggle” Thursday, strikes, protests and roadblocks were organised by the CUT central trade union and 77 urban and rural social organisations.
The demands of the new and more organised protests included better wages, a reduction of the work week to 40 hours, job security and an end to outsourcing, higher pensions, 10 percent of GDP for education, higher spending on public health, and improved public transport.
We are in the midst of an epic battle between the people of the world and transnational corporations. Wealthy governments and corporations are merging in a global system in which private corporations have absolute power over your life. This is a battle the people can win and when we do it will show that we can defeat corporate power on issue after issue.
The 1999 battle in Seattle to stop the World Trade Organization (WTO) from granting increased power to transnational corporations and the negative consequences of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created broad public awareness about the ways that ‘free trade’ hurts people and the planet. As a result, in the past few decades, the WTO has effectively been unable to move forward with its neoliberal economic agenda. And the United States was forced to move to smaller country-by-country trade agreements, many of which were stopped by public pressure.