Home' Nova National : NOVA NATIONAL MARCH 12 Contents Around the world, from Occupy
Rio to the Greek Indignant
Citizens Movement, from the
Arab Spring and Tehrir Square,
to the recent Moscow protests of 485,000
ridiculing Putin's stolen election, this truth
may seem self evident: globally, people
are yearning for something better, more
real, shrugging off spin and the political
falsehood, the corporate greenwash and
the disappearing promises of economists
and the poisonous cures for debt-after-
the-night-before. In different places, it's
the same core yearning. In Beijing, they
want the skies to be blue and clear. In
Lhasa, they want China's People's Liberat-
ion Army to stop pretending they're
rescuing Tibet. In Karachi, they want the
government to stop harbouring the kind
of people who killed Bhutto. In Fukishima
© NOVA MARCH 2012
'It is a worldwide movement that simply yearns
for the truth.'
prefecture, they want the cascade of
radioactive failures to end. In the Torres
Straits, they want the issue of high king
tides breaking down the old sea walls to
be dealt with by more than fresh concrete.
This is not a movement of cynicism,
ennui, or opposition. It is a worldwide
movement that simply yearns for the
truth. It shows a love for truth and fairness.
Financially, for example, people ask
how do banks increase their interest rates
for loans, but the banks don't reflect this
increasing tendency for interest rates for
the money we leave with them in savings
accounts. Beyond the individual, many
people can't grasp how the same private
ratings agencies who overvalued dodgey
mortgages and junk bonds now punish
governments for letting them do that
and cost them by lowering their ratings
if they don't bring in harsher austerity
measures. In some debt-ridden countries,
those measures include the closing of
schools and the slashing of pensions
and hospital services.
In protest, many people trust in peace
and nonviolence and common decency,
but cannot explain why their own
governments turn on them. Old forms are
wearing thin. In failed states, people are
tired of corruption and tyrants, kleptocrats
taking billions and children not getting
primary education. In newly emerging
states, people are tired of ballot rigging
and vote buying and schoolteachers not
being paid; and in the more established
democracies, people doubt major parties,
recoiling at the numbers game.
People could have grown cynical,
but just as often people have settled for
being disconnected. For example, 10
years ago opinion polls around the world
showed that people everywhere, including
the US and Australia, were overwhelmingly
against the US and Australia going to war
in Iraq in 2003. But these "democratic"
governments ignored this sentiment and
a terrible war happened anyway. Instead
of pressing home the need for democracy,
people across the world retreated. With
oil, food and resource prices now at a
premium, the world at large is paying
significantly for the economic and human
devastation that came out from that twin-
headed monumental folly. Not just Iraq,
but the American economy has paid a
price. And now the US is inching towards
Iran. Stop already!
We understand there is poverty in
the world, but start to see that the early
rules of the economic road, written by
the Europeans and the Americans after
1945, helped aggravate the poverty of
Africa and the less developed nations,
to keep them in arrested development.
Our cheap rice, tea and coffee arose at
the expense of others' misery, far away.
Even when many richer countries gave
aid to these poorer countries, they often
paid their own First World companies and
services to do the development work,
so that much of the money stayed within
the "giving" country. And still countries
like India and Pakistan are given guns or
aircraft as "aid".
New schemes like damming one of
the largest rivers in Asia, the Mekong, in
11 places, seem to have learned nothing
from the giant engineering mistakes
elsewhere. The huge Chinese Three
Gorges Dam on the Yangtze, for example,
has led to 80% of the land in the area to
experience erosion, with downstream
riverbanks silting up, and Shanghai, 1600
km away, becoming more vulnerable to
At home and across the world, there's
a shared sense that things must change.
Adrian Glamorgan feels it is a yearning
for truth - and it won't go away.
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