David Cameron goaded over The Smiths at Prime Minister's Questions

Qvist

Active Member
It has to take the form of vandalism. It has to take the form of law-breaking. The situation is not the same as it was 30 years ago. Power is entirely on the side of the market. The police and the government serve the corporations and other businesses. Anarchy is the only efficacious means of fighting back. Short-circuiting the system is the only alternative because the system is a dominant entity, a totality. No reforms in the system are possible. Cuts in services and education are only the beginning and apparently a few people have smartened up to this fact. Today Athens, Dublin, and London, tomorrow Washington, Paris, Brussels...
What, Denmark is run by the corporations? :) This is a social democratic welfare state we're talking about. You can't just extend an analysis of the US to the rest of the modernised world. And of course reform is possible, what are you talking about?

Cuts in services and education is a result of the financial crisis, which has left quite a few states exposed to the consequences of years of overspending and other structural problems. There is no way any government of any persuasion in these countries can avoid very painful cuts in public expenditure. In Greece, we're talking about a deeply entrenched culture of black economy and corruption that encompasses virtually the whole of society. Sooner or later the shit hits the fan, and quite frankly the average Greek is as responsible for that as any corporation. This is the bed they made for themselves - not just the top politicians who took bib bribes but also Mr Giorgios Studentikos who wasn't out in the streets demonstrating against that fact while the going was good and was as happy as anyone else about bribing the traffic cop to get out of the fine. The fact that hundreds of thousands of greeks have no better response to a quagmire they have totally created themselves than burning tires in the streets of Athens speaks volumes of why they are where they are in the first place.

Britain and Ireland simply have to cut. Deeply. If they don't, they're screwed.
 

lnathan

New Member
I think your "spoiled brats" anlaysis is spot on. I don't have much first-hand knowledge of Denmark, but I would presume it's not too different from the rest of Scandinavia, or possibly a little bit worse in this respect. I can't help but remember a documentary I once saw that compared elementary schools in the nordic countries - the one in Copenhagen being an "open office landscape" sort of thing full of snooty, insufferable übercool brats who went around high-fiving their teachers. I also think you are right that these kids are some of the best of the bunch - those who actually bother to care about something they can't buy at the mall.

But surely this makes them another symptom rather than the antidote? I mean, if this is what you get from the best segment of the kids, those with the highest capacity to care and understand issues and formulate responses to it, what does that show? They go in for a mode of activism that is vaguely and instinctually opposed to a system they don't understand and have no alternative to, and that otherwise emphasises cheap thrills and tribal bonding. It is, in fact, a deeply selfish and very spoiled form of idealism, the kind that doesn't seem to care if it makes any difference or not because that's not the point. That makes me pessimistic for the future - the best kids should be capable of something better, and less selfish, than this.
Oh don't get me wrong, I am quite pessimistic. But I do like seeing really young people actually do something, that involves some kind of thought for other people. I don't think I ever said that these kids are necessarily the best of the bunch, I just used it as an example because I remember hearing The Smiths in there. This is, of course not the only thing these kids do and it's not the only form of activism that happens in Denmark. And, you are right, it doesn't make a huge difference in society at large.
Still, I don't understand why you put this particular action in the category of, as you call it, "X-Box activism". They are not destroying anything, they are creating something. Maybe it's not a big thing, it's a very small thing in fact, but it's something. It's also a symbolic act that oppose the injustice on a global scale: while people are starving in other places, we destroy perfectly good food here, because we are so discustingly wealthy. The least we can do is finish our plates.
It's a small drop in the ocean but it's something. And, to be honest, I don't even think the supermarkets mind that much.
 

lnathan

New Member
What, Denmark is run by the corporations? :) This is a social democratic welfare state we're talking about. You can't just extend an analysis of the US to the rest of the modernised world. And of course reform is possible, what are you talking about?
You really think Denmark exist in a little bubble, completely unaffected by multinationals? You think the Danish government has any real power to put over the biggest companies? Have you heard of Maersk?
And McDonalds is another example - like I mentioned earlier, they have existed in Denmark since the 80's without paying any tax in the country. These things make people angry.
And most Danes realise that there is a world outside the borders as well.

Also, just because Denmark is a very comfortable and wealthy social democracy, it doesn't mean there is nothing to fight for. I am happy to give examples when I have more time.

Where are you from, byt the way? Just curious.
 
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