domingo, 29 de janeiro de 2012

Do not fret only: Dare! Have Ambition!

Do not fret only: Dare! Have Ambition!
Socialism for the Twenty-First Century: a Utopia, a lie or a solution? to Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 18:28
Stéphane Hessel wrote a book which calls for outrage against this type of society that encourages the exploitation of man by increasing the gap between the richest and the poorest. It is necessary to find a new model of distribution of wealth that privilege an increment of large middle class able to sustain a Welfare State that protects a number that if you want less and less needy people and to make a relentless fight against the handful of very rich that uses alllegal expedients to evade taxes.
It is usual to hear that the state's that we are is fault of the  politicians. In Democracy politicians are elected by the people and if we Think they ares incompetent is not enough just outrage. It is necessary to intervene civically, contributing to the replacement of politics by other more capable. Is not enough require the politicians to solve our problems with ad hoc gatherings of angry, occupation of squares and folklore. It is necessary to think, reflect, be informed, discuss problems in order to find innovative solutions that are sustainable, in order to effectively solve a problem that devastates the rights won through sweat and blood for several generations since the industrial revolution.
       The state of Social Welfare that we have today in Western societies is not innate, but a benefit gained  that only exists while it is preserved and to be preserved need to be viable in a world with more than 7 billion people who claim the same rights that we have and what we want for our children.
       It is legitimate aim for the impossible, because much of what we have today results from ambition and dream of some who often paid with their lives the utopia of a more just and fraternal world and that could make the impossible possible, but after that much work is needed, persistence, ability to cope with the vicissitudes of an innovative route to make feasible the legitimate ambition to live a better world.
Do not just an inconsequential and comfortable indignation. You need to step forward to take advantage of that 1 percent inspiration that only comes to fruition with 99 percent perspiration. However to get 1 percent of inspiration is sometimes also necessary to hear 99 percent of unconnected ideas and know-how filtering in order to use the wheat that is hidden in the midst of so much chaff.
Revolutions can be easy to do, but to make them bear fruit and contribute to improving the standard of living is already much more complicated and laborious. Sterile revolutions usually end in dictatorships, wars in the middle, as with the French Revolution gave rise to Napoleon Bonaparte, with the consequences we know.

sábado, 28 de janeiro de 2012

Self-instituted slavery

Self-instituted slavery
Socialism for the Twenty-First Century: a Utopia, a lie or a Solution?, Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 11:50
A song of Portuguese band "Deolinda" ("so syilly I'am" - creating the "silly generation" ) launched the theme for discussion of a reality that devastates the Portuguese youth and in general all the youth of the Western world. An increasingly educated generation who will collecting academic titles schemes is paradoxically confronted with the most demanding work and low paid that led to the outburst "to be a slave is to be studied."
            The self-proclaimed "silly generation" is the daughter of the generation that had the best quality of life in living memory and had the opportunity to educate their children and give them the best academic qualifications, they were expecting a reserved quality of life even higher than his, which in turn was already better than their parents.
For how cruel can be our destination, we were we gave ourselves the knot of the rope that now arises about ready to stretch our necks if we do not accept being treated as commodities by the bosses in of the money.
            By replacing the traditional values by ​​others that overvalue material goods, the marks "premium", the latest technology, fashion, appearance, and the futility superfluous, making life a competition without rules to achieve that the best agencies marketers want us to enforce, subvert the backbone of the principles that underpin the basic pillars of a solidary society. Nowadays, people are worth not what they are, but what they seem, in an escalation of consumerism that seems to justify everything.           The current society has lost the thread of a spiritual component that shaped a set of behaviors, turning only to the immediate and easy modeling of the associated laws governing courts, gave the glow ability to exploit man by man himself.
The greed of multinational corporations and the banking system led to a spiral of consumption of goods or services, unreasonably depleting our borrowing capacity.
To increase sales volume and consequent increase in dividends, big business companies battle everyday in search of ever better products and lower costs at a time.
To achieve lower prices for products with more quality the solution is on the one hand, by increasing the scale of production, achieved by building ever larger economic groups through mergers and acquisitions between companies and passes by on the other hand for decreased labor costs achieved by reducing the number of employees and their salaries. We have so many more copies thereof produced by fewer workers who earn smaller salaries, which contributed greatly to the relocation of production achieved in countries dominated by the cheap labor.
With globalization, the major economic groups achieved something great for the consumer, now have access to the latest gadgets of sophisticated technology at an affordable cost, simply by comparing what they cost and what cost equivalent articles 10 years ago (mobile phones, TV , laptops, etc.).
Only this small wonder is a catch: the consumer consumes only if you have to get money and the incurring of costs, many workers were thrown into unemployment and those who work are forced to work in ever more precarious.
To meet their interests as consumers, the occidentals have condemned their jobs, offering them to people in a quasi-slavery regimen, fill the shelves of our supermarkets with quality products at prices from China, consuming them without caring conditions in which they were produced. Maybe the toys we give our children for Christmas were made by children the same age who work long hours as true adults, but this does not seem to harass our consciousness ...            If nothing is done to the contrary, the Europeans will remain only on austerity over austerity and will soon be so poor that they have the money to buy the products that got used, not even to have access to quality public services taken for granted for decades and inalienable.            It is evident that a planet with 7 billion people, the money that begins to appear in developing countries must come from somewhere and capitalization of new economies must come from the disinvestment of the old economies.           Currently only the peripheral countries are paying the bill of globalization, but it will eventually reach the most industrialized countries, sooner or later.            To avoid solutions such as 1939/1945 is urgent to create a new paradigm of society that allows the satisfaction of natural desires of life with a quality that allows the technology and satisfying the legitimate aspirations of those who want to advance in their professional life, opening way to new horizons of science has much to hide, but this is done in a more harmonious and balanced with the resources of the planet.

Europe with fire and sword ... Coming soon to a TV near you?

Europe with fire and sword ... Coming soon to a TV near you?
Socialism for the Twenty-First Century: a Utopia, a lie or a Solution?, Saturday, November 5, 2011 at 13:01
With the bankruptcy of Greece in disguise, the imminent collapse of Portugal, the market pressure on Italy and Spain, translated into interest rates to rise gradually, Europe is being swept into a uncontrolled whirl that  threats to swallow us at any time.
            The attempt to bring Europe to march to the beat of the  German compasse, is to leave behind the peripheral countries who are forced to implement austerity over austerity to try to put on the public accounts, an exercise that does not result more than the forced impoverishment of the middle classes  of these countries, attacked by the rulers to pay bills that continue to grow.
The demonization of the civil servant is the first step in a strategy that aims to destroy the Welfare State, reduce labor costs and workers' rights in an unprecedented setback in the back at the beginning of the industrial revolution.
            Initially Europe wants to get rid of the Greeks to save Greece, then you will want to get rid of Greece to save Europe, as will hapen with Portugal, his secular disgrace fellow.
            Think the Germans and the French that the exemplary punishment of the PIGS safely put their standard of living and their social rights and think that their economies are strong enough to be immune to the attacks of the markets, but this is just an illusion because the forced impoverishment of middle class of the peripheral countries will lead to an exodus of more qualified professionals to richer countries that will eventually compete with the local workers, creating conditions for a devaluation of work in these countries, providing means for their contries enterprises to become more competitive market level. On the other hand, if the loss of purchasing power of the PIGS will decrease the volume of imports from developing countries relative to Germany and France, on the other side will also reduce imports of Chinese products, which exportation  enhances the importation in China of German luxury products with negative effects on the balance of payments on Germany / China.
            In the countries intervened, imposing more austerity leaves only the choice between misery and misery, bringing despair to the people that will provide an environment conducive to widespread violent opposition, especially the middle class with a deceased proletarianized, forcibly strong inducer of revolutions who knows how to start, but nobody knows how they ends, and that similar patterns could reach a civil war which inevitably culminate in the totalitarian regimes of exaggerated nationalism and conflicts between countries and ethnic groups.
If we look at history confirms that Germany has already led to two world wars and when Germanny will be subjected to the owners of capital receipts that are now imposed on peripheral countries, may come up xenophobic sentiments that we have seen recently in the former Yugoslavia, in account the increasing migrant population in the two most developed European economies, especially if those  that Sarkozy has called "scum" revolt and re-ignite the streets of major cities in Europe.
            A conflict in Europe is a breeding ground for a new intervention that the U.S. redeeming sag to their interests as they did in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan, this intervention will be paid to the reconstruction made by European and American companies is both a dark solution for a crowded planet.
Only a new Europe, built on solidarity, which treats equally all its inhabitants, with a common administration, a common foreign policy, a common official language, a military common castrating free cord that subjugates the interests U.S., only that Europe will be able to tap your foot to the U.S. (and the emerging powers) and defend the interest of Europeans.
The Germans must realize that only by defending Europe as it was originally thought is that they can defend their interests in particular by extending the security perimeter of its borders, otherwise again be more easily isolated and vulnerable to external threats.
The European solution to the crisis must be primarily political, taken by people with ability to historical and social context, with overall strategic vision, with ability to raise awareness so that they do not affect the immediate interests over the interests of future and lasting an ambitious project to create a space of prosperity, tolerance and peace in a region of the world rich in historical and scientific, but also the home of the largest and bloodiest wars that ravaged the planet.

Mobilising the European Socialist Parties in order to find an effective solution to the crisis, both within and outside Europe

Mobilising the European socialist parties in order to find an effective solution to the crisis, both within and outside Europe
Socialism for the Twenty-First Century: a Utopia, a lie or a Solution?, Sunday, October 2, 2011 at 11:22

The current economic crisis has already been extensively studied and discussed its causes. Factors such indebtedness motivated by the greed of easy money promoting banking credits for everything and anything, the relocation of jobs to countries with rudimentary standards of social protection, the complacency of political power and many other factors contributed to an easy diagnosis to the point where we are and to make us suspect that the worst days lie ahead.
One would expect a crisis that makes life difficult for workers, erodes the Welfare State, would lead citizens to seek the support of leftist parties, but, paradoxically, is that there is a rise in the whole of Europe right-wing parties and a "sweep" of the general European Socialist Parties, which ultimately bear the burden of blame for the state we have reached.
Revenues from international law to resolve the political crisis based on more and more austerity, reducing public spending and shrinking the Welfare State to a residual sample of what was until very recently.
Greece is an example and lab tests that show that the solutions suggested by the ideologues in the payed by  big business groups to solve the crisis only add crisis to crisis, increasing the number of unemployed workers, reduced consumption, a slowing economy, the contracting GDP. The miraculous solution to solve the chronic deficits of the public accounts of the states in distress (in which one has to include the United States ...) is to increase exports ... Therefore, Portugal has to increase exports, Greece has to increaseexports, Ireland needs to increase exports, the United States to increase exports, etc ...
Does the planet's resources can bear so great a burden of increased exports to GDP increased to balance the public accounts of the countries affected?
And exporting to whom? For emerging countries that have social costs of production much lower than ours?
In a European Union increasingly disunited and individualistic places to change course.
Not only is the Socialist Party of Portugal, which needs to initiate a new cycle, but all European Socialist Parties that must initiate a reflection on how it was possible to reach this state and especially how we can overcome this crisis while maintaining a cohesive society, which respects the rights of workers.
For new situations new responses are required. It is true that the ultra-liberal solution will only aggravate the difficulties of Europeans, increasing the intra-state and between states disparities, it is also true that the European Socialists can only aspire to be part of the solution if they dare to innovative solutions.
            I do not understand that makes sense to move towards self-enslaved creating unemployment in order to pay less to those who work, which in turn will have to work longer hours and more years they would lack a layer bound to highly qualified youth  with their parents.
I do not think also that we can continue to fill the commercial areas of low-cost products and ignore the social costs of these products.
You have to disassemble the whole neo-liberal model sponsored by the Socialists who were attracted to Blair's Third Way, it is necessary to go back to the sixties and find out why the human society planned for the year 2000 did not materialize.
Just doing a retrospective analysis of what should have been but was not, and only returned to the root of the problem, we can construct a path that allows to build a caring society that respects workers, which respects human dignity, which will be based on ethics and whose aim is the welfare of ordinary citizens and not just the profit of a few.
We'll probably have to rethink our current standard of welfare based on consumption, one or two steps down, but in return gaining more free time and other quality of life that dispenses the latest gadgets fashion, status symbols, the premium brands, but we ensure a healthy social life.
If we can not, among the Socialists and Democrats, to find the magic formula that will catch the cycle of self-destruction that we started, we will be co-responsible for a belician implosion of the European Union, equivalent to what happened in 1939.

And the Euro, man?

And the Euro, man?
Socialism for the Twenty-First Century: a Utopia, a lie or a Solution?, Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 02:15
The creation of the single European currency in 1999 and formalized in 2002, materialized seemed a big step forward in European economic integration and a factor of cohesion that would allow a harmonization of the standard of living of the inhabitants of the euro area.
The most optimistic of using the new currency were soon overshadowed by the onset of rapid inflation in which prices of some 100 PT escudos were "equivalent" to 1 or 50 euro cents to 50 PT centavos, doubling their value (while salaries have remained the same).
The stability of the single currency meant a great deal of control the public deficit by the acceding countries, preventing the artificial control promoted by the devaluation of the currency.
The tighter control of budgets led to more restrictive policies by governments and when it was not possible, some countries resorted to "skills" to reach the values ​​imposed by Brussels.
The recent global economic crisis with an epicenter in New York pressed budgets already in the "red" and the practical result is that the weaker economies of the eurozone could not stand the pace imposed by his sisters most articulate.
Consecutively Europe was dropping the weakest links, Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
Implemented slaughter of Portugal, the "following person" is our nearby Spain, like Portugal, stated that most protected compared to the former victim ...
The countries of northern and southern countries have their own ways of living in society: more stringent in the north, more "improvised" in the south.
Want to fine tune the economy of the countries of the South by German diapason may be an overly optimistic desire for a  currency that seems less and less in the European Union increasingly disunited in that until some are  "Real Finns" and others are not.
Perhaps Spain will hold on, but if this is likely to fall another country will follow the domino pre-programmed: Italy?
Maybe not much later that the Euro is just the Franc / Mark  and then just the Mark ...
            It is quite possible that on the trail ahead of the bureaucrats in Brussels led by Germany  will eventually delete Portugal and the related, from his currency.
            What's the solution?
The solution is in sight that the measures proposed by the IMF / EU to be effective and allow a recovery in the economy, which brings up some questions inevitably associated with the recession austerity policies, policies that seem to be more targeted to ensure the return of investment to allow the economic recovery of the interventionist state.
This solution would turn our life around and pursue a Germany that makes us ever farther back, a plan supported by a force of faith that sometimes in surprising and has already raised several times throughout history.            An alternative solution that may not be excluded, it would be the creation of a separate currency for the countries of the south, with an appreciation / depreciation controlled by Brussels, a European Euro  of the second species but that would adapt better to the reality of the countries of South .
            Analyzing the behavior of markets, individualism of the various states of the European Union, the actions of their leaders and the vices of our economy, I fear that sooner or later we wil be forced to return to PT Escudo, to  the rural Portugal without future, where one is born in order to emigrate. We probably have as partners Greece and perhaps other PIGS ...and a return to national currencies, isolating Germany (and maybe France or Britain).Does then the Euro / Mark still has not been completely overshadowed by another shining star ever stronger in the east?

What Welfare State?

What Welfare State?Socialism for the Twenty-First Century: a Utopia, a lie or a Solution?, Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 13:18
The Welfare State is considered one of the pillars of Democracy. The welfare state is based on a concept that aims to give a collective response to individual needs, acting as a correction factor of asymmetries of society, favoring those who have nothing at the expense of those who have more possessions, guaranteeing every individual to the satisfaction of a set of basic needs from birth until it dies. In doing so, the State takes upon itself a portion of earned income for those earning more and distributes this money, focusing on meeting basic needs of those it considers most in need.
An overly protective welfare state will, however, creating a sense of facilitating the potential beneficiaries and a sense of outrage and injustice for those who are amputees from much of their income of their work to support a monster that it gives them almost nothing in return and sponsors laziness and irresponsibility of an excessive number of citizens.
Politicians have become used to promise what the voter wants to hear and if the earnings of the state are not sufficient, then into debt to future generations by borrowing to the richest countries lack the money.
We now have free education for those who do not want to study, free health for those who are not sick and monthly income for those who did not work either.
No, there is someone who pays!
There are people who get up early in the morning, to get enough work all day, come home late, have little time to spend with family and rest up for work the next day.
There are people who apply to study, to acquire skills to qualify with a legitimate ambition that allows them to improve their quality of life.
For what? IRS to pay taxes, IUC, IMI, VAT and many other hidden taxes that the state can fund.
Work harder to live better? No! Work longer to pay more taxes!
Work harder to be considered "rich" and see diminished, the only reason, salary, on behalf of the crisis!
Work harder to take more responsibility in exchange for a salary that diminishes every year and is exactly equal to the partner's side that only seems to work!
Work harder to sustain Austerity!
Work harder to see in the media that the tip of an iceberg hiding thousands of "boys" and friends touching the public enterprises and public-private partnerships to suckle on the teat of the sweat of working people.
Work harder to see the rustic cunning be awarded against the merit and competence.
Work harder to keep trying to stay afloat in a middle class, shrinking the number and budget.
Working to give more and more people free education for those who do not want to study, free health for those who are not sick and monthly income for those who do not want to work ...
The Welfare State can only survive but if there is a strong middle class, because it is not the poors who will pay the costs of the Welfare State, much less the very rich (a lot of people are working on how to evade taxes, have many positions Administrator Non-Executive Director to provide "friendly" and can always change the tax domicile of companies and blackmail the thousands of unemployed who can create in the twinkling of an eye)!
We can only maintain a Welfare State that quality is selective and judicious.
We can only maintain a Welfare State for each quality is the underlying law is a duty!
We can only maintain a Welfare State quality if it is sustainable and will only be sustainable if it is worth working, or if the share of income that the state takes to whom work is not enough to compensate demotivating work and thus feed the state budget.
We can only maintain a quality Welfare State if the person holds has a better quality of life for him who is sustained.
We can only maintain a quality Welfare State if the economy grows, the GDP increase.
We can only maintain a Welfare State if we exercise a quality unrelenting fight against fraud and tax evasion in order to tax some  "fiscally poors" have not an improved quality of life that so-called "rich."
We can only maintain a quality Welfare State if we fail to give free education to those who do not want to study, free health care for those who are not sick and monthly income for those who did not work either.
And yet we can only maintain a Welfare State with the quality that our budget allows.
We can not provide excellent services to only have incomes that allow minimally acceptable quality of service (or what is possible ...)
Ensuring a Welfare State with the possible quality for our reality to be an ambition of all who want a society more inclusive, more just and more fraternal and they see not as a cost but as an investment.
Ensuring a Welfare State with the possible quality for our reality to be an ambition of all socialists.
Ensuring a Welfare State with the possible quality for our reality depends on income and manage amputees who works at the same time and ensure that work still worth it.
Ensuring a Welfare State with the possible quality for our reality depends on political honesty to say that there are limits to what can promise!
They are taxes that guarantee the Welfare State, not demagoguery!
We can continue to promise free education for those who do not want to study, free health for those who are not sick and monthly income for those who do not want to work, we can continue to promise all the rights and some more!
And yet even more promising Rights!
And even more rights and better!
... But without money, it will be just promises!

Europe, the end of a dream?

Europe, the end of a dream?Socialism for the Twenty-First Century: a Utopia, a lie or a Solution?, Sunday, April 17, 2011 at 03:29
I am of the generation that sang "I want to see Portugal in the EEC", a theme from the portuguse rock band "GNR". I have always believed in a European project that transformed Europe of states, in some real United States of Europe, where it could be Europe from Portugal to Greece, via Britain, Sweden and Germany. He believed in a political Europe, but also social, which encourages the development in order to achieve the living standards of more developed countries.
I had the opportunity to visit Berlin at the time of the fall of the Belin Wall and then left me no doubt that only a few years would be enough  for East Germany to be equivalent to its big brother. The reality however was contrary to my predictions and even today, after more than 20 years there are still "East Germans".
            Europe thought as I believed I would forget differences and hatreds secular realities separated by languages, morphological characteristics and ways of looking at life and live in society radically different principles in mixing immiscible surrounding a threshold of utopia.
The global economic crisis precipitated the weaker economies of the eurozone to distressing situations, making inevitable the use of foreign aid as a first test of European solidarity and unity.
At a time when one would expect support of the strongest economies of the European Union, which was observed was a shaking water from his coat, separating the European First Europeans, the European and North Second, in the South Europeans once we have Greeks, Germans, French, Irish, Portuguese, etc.. Instead of converging, our rich partners of the European Union say that we differ and impoverished.
Does that only one in Europe or under the table, which means we should be poor, with low wages, job security and more with less social rights is that Europe dreamed? Is it a Europe that interests us?
I'm still not for me "eurosceptic" but I'm not so convinced on the "want to see Portugal in the EEC" ...