Each week we post a run-down of the best of our reader comments with the hopes of highlighting some of your most valuable insights and encouraging more people to join the fray. This week, blogger Greg Kaufmann delved into the comments and discussed readers’ reactions to his posts. It resulted in some interesting exchanges so we’ve included the best here. We were also excited to see that Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin took the time to share her thoughts on Roane Carey’s "Why Occupy AIPAC?"
As usual, let us know what you think—in the comments!
Yad061: I was really glad to read the first word of this article. What’s the matter with Arizona? The answer is: "nothing!"
It has been galling reading, over the years, about how some state or group had something "wrong" with them because they believed in something-or-other the writer disapproved of. The premise of these writers wasn’t that people were wrong about a particular policy as, for instance, President Obama was wrong about the stimulus keeping unemployment low or the necessity of closing Guantánamo or the need to let the Bush tax cuts expire or the projections of the size of the deficit.
No, the premise of these writers was that there was something "wrong" about the people concerned. But how do you deal with people who are "wrong?" Counseling? Institutionalization? Do you just brush them aside and get on with the important work that needs doing, ignoring their protests? Because if there is something "wrong" with them there’s no point to persuading them or submitting the issues to a vote or campaigning for office on a platform, is there?
So it’s refreshing to read someone who’s not putting down the electorate.
In response to Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto’s “What’s the Matter With Arizona.” February 28, 2012
Jacob Karolev: It truly was an impossible choice for the Grecian elite: default and be forced to leave the Euro, or accept that Germany will have its way and strip Greek sovereignty. Of course, the problems are societal as well as financial: nepotism and tax evasion was the game of the day, even with uncaring Germanic and Austrian banks feeding the boom. And as typical in capitalist societies, those who bear the brunt of pain are not the drug dealers—the foreign banks who provided the cheap credit and the bureaucrats who fudged the numbers, but the people who made the unforgivable choice of assuming all was well, and that they lived in a modern country. Unfortunately, with the death of Keynes in Europe, no slightest hint of compassion remains for the people, only the idol of austerity imposed by non-democratic rulers. Greece can survive this, even improve, but doing so would mean snubbing the established order by committing the gravest capitalist sin: breach of contract, especially through non-repayment of debt. Greece is bankrupt, its people even more so, the only fair and legitimate choice the state can offer its proletariat is simply by declaring the debts null, regardless of what the capitalist powers say—pulling an Argentina. It is a sovereign nation, beholden to nothing but itself and the constant bailouts only serve to reinforce the stereotype of lazy Greeks and undermine European solidarity by forcing the citizens of Germany, who abhor bailouts, to pay. Renege on the debts owed, whether it is to the IMF or the World Bank or any other predator (which by capitalist doublespeak are called creditors), and tend to your own peoples’ interest. It is not the fairest solution, after all, bankers and lenders are people too, but a government’s highest concern cannot be outside forces—it cannot be anything but the welfare of its citizens. The millions of ordinary Greek workers forced to live under the ruinous austerity imposed are the Greek state’s biggest interest. The consequences would be harsh, yet austerity is doubly so. And in forsaking debt, Greece can free itself of those premier enforcers of capitalist policy, the IMF, the World Bank, etc. Only that freedom will allow Greece to prosper, and its citizens and workers to thrive.
In response to Maria Margaronis’s “Greece in Meltdown.” February 29, 2012