dimanche, juillet 17, 2005


Why were the Winners angry?

Spartan aristocracy used to annually declare war against the Helots, their slaves, whom they kept under control with the help of the Krypteia (the Spartan secret police). Nowadays, things do not seem much different in the so called modern societies.

The Paulista Avenue is one of the most important streets of Sao Paulo and one of the epitomes of the opulence and social-economic divide of the World. It concentrates many institutions that represent the wealthy population of the entire world. After a football match, the poor fans of the winning team, the Sao Paulo Football Club, decided to celebrate their victory by committing several criminal acts, including generalised vandalism, larceny, arson and physical assault. The Police intervened and the hooligans simply counter-stroke with defiance and more violence.

Note that this is not about the fans of the loosing team, who were frustrated about their defeat. That was the manner the winners decided to celebrate their achievement. People are still trying to find out why. The fact coincides with the ongoing investigation of a great political scandal.

The truth is simple and obvious: the social economic deterioration of the Country, which has been worsened by both the present and the preceding governments' policies has created a climate of generalised hatred. It is an ongoing Civil War without organised militias or guerrilla groups. The perception that politicians only take money from the poor and make them poorer and poorer is undeniable and corresponds to the facts. The masses react by displaying pure anger. They do not need specific targets, strategies, leaders or ideology: they hate, they want avengeance, they re-tribute with the same violence they are subject to.

Comparisons with the despotism of Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham are evident: The current minimal wage is below 150 US dollars per month. The previous government had endeavoured all efforts to eliminate Fair Labour Standards altogether, with some degree of success, and cut retirement pensions. The present government has also cut retirement pensions again. Both governments have increased taxes that were already high. Both of them have kept interest rates high. All financial resources that should go to Education, Public Health and Social Sectors have been re-directed to pay debts. But the President has increased his expenditures with travels abroad and the current scandals are about millions of US dollars diverted from governmental agencies to bribe members of Congress, to enrich private companies illegally, to wash money and to finance partisan structures and electoral campaign.

In response to the current social unrest the government is promising more of the same recessive policies. The same policies that have increased the revolt of the poor.