That was the chant of thousands of Spanish youth as they took to the streets last week. The youth—photographic evidence implies a median age of 28—are unhappy with their station in life.
What they want is more and they want their government to give it to them.
The youth claim to be without houses and jobs, but apparently they are not sin vestimenta nor sin iPhones. The photograph at the right (courtesy El Páis) is of a typical protester being led away by la poli (click the link for many more similar shots). Note the protester’s expensive backpack, two sweaters, one coat, one pair of jeans, all well kept and not cheap. Who paid for these?
The Spanish youth claim that they live in fear. They say that all they have to look forward to is a “futuro de mierda” because “trabajo precari” and because they say that their government is in “en manos de banqueros.” They have a point about the bankers.
You will recall that our own leaders, anxious to prove that they have a sense of humor, rushed to loan our tax money to bankers who purposely and knowingly made bad loans to us after we had defaulted on those loans in record numbers. The bankers told the government that they were too big to fail, that they needed to be taken care of.
The bankers then proved that they could be just as funny as the politicians. The bankers saw the massive government-provided inflow and congratulated themselves for securing it by handing out multi-million dollar bonuses to themselves.
It wasn’t just money that was swapped, but situations, too. In many cases, bankers turned into government officials and government officials became bankers. Since these men wrote the laws and rules that authorized the transactions and job exchanges, it was not called corruption. They named it stimulus.
The situation is summarized with ease: people everywhere, and in increasing number and frequency, are rushing to their governments and asking to be taken care of. This includes the rich and the poor and those that consider themselves poor but who are far from starving, like the Spanish youth.
Governments oblige. But since governments are fictions—the word is a device, or shorthand—people’s desire to have somebody besides themselves fix all their troubles, power actually flows into the hands of fewer and fewer people.
Decision making becomes centralized, the people become used to have their needs met. They become more servile. A positive feedback develops. Where will it end?