Friday, 17 February 2012

Humanity as an expense

  • Children disowned into orphanages because their parents cannot be feed and clothe them adequately.
  • Epidemics of HIV-AIDS and malaria because of inefficient funding for public medicine. 
  • An increase in suicide rates from one of the lowest to the highest in its region.
  • Students in schools deprived of books to read in overcrowded classrooms.
This is not some third world country. This is Greece, the birthplace of democracy. A honoured region of mainstream western Europe, who's people are now being forced into virtual poverty en masse under the power of an unelected one party state and the jurisdiction to international neoliberal bureaucracies.

One punitive austerity tax by the Greek government is a property tax attached to electricity. Those who cannot afford it have their power disconnected, which is why there are local authorities and mercenary electricians voluntarily reconnecting homes to the power supply in defiance of the state. On the BBC World Service, I heard an interview with a woman who was caring full-time for her disabled mother, terminally ill with cancer, and unable to pay the property tax. Their home was going to be denied heating and electricity for this, due to the expense of the mother's care.

Like Joseph Stalin's referral to genocidal purges as "liquidation", or the U.S. military's use of "collateral damage" to refer to civilian deaths, the scientific terminology of austerity economics is conveniently detached from such realities. Besides the insular and self-distracting existences of compliant workers, only through obscurantism and deception can dictatorial powers get away with such moral atrocities. They otherwise depend upon violence and intimidation in the forces censorship and the brutality of riot squads. The multinational corporate agendas that caused the financial crisis are Big Brother, and the degraded and statistical human being made to suffer (or even die) to preserve their vested interests are the equivalent non-persons of Orwell's dystopia.

This nihilism depends upon an ingrained nihilism. A nihilism of fear, ignorance and complacency. In order for this inhumanity to impose itself it must deprive humanity and condition inhumanity. Inhumanity is that without compassion, philosophy, or culture. A consumerist 1984 with its prolefeed and reeducation is the ultimate neoliberal destination and ideal.

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