The plight of the Roma people is largely unreported in mainstream media, but the awful conditions in which they are forced to live for decades are the shame of bourgeois EU governments and belie all their liberal talk of democracy, equality and what have you.
They face similar, if not worse, conditions in the countries of former Yugoslavia. Squalid slums on the outskirts are a pandemonium of dirt, aluminium, wood, cardboard and plastic put together haphazardly. With no employment opportunities, they often turn to music, or are otherwise peddling scrap metal and recycling garbage for living, often on horse-pulled carts straight out of 19th Century.
While they show a lot of effort to integrate, learning local languages and, more often than not, have well above the average interpersonal communication skills, society at large shows no inclination to accept them. They are victims of prejudice and targets of mass violence, your usual suspects every time something happens. And it’s usually the middle class liberal type, otherwise full of talk of human rights, etc., that is the first to attack them and accuse them for the conditions in which they are forced to exist, failing to see the irony in the double standard.
Their emancipation, like that of all other Balkans people, will have to be linked to the fight for international socialism, on the peninsula and beyond.
15 June 2011
Thanks, Bill. A timely analysis of the 40-year traverse in US politics and social relations! Chomsky has the view that Nixon was the most liberal American president since WWII (I suspect with his tongue firmly in his cheek), but on that basis, one could characterise Obama as the best GOP president since Nixon. That’s Jon Stewart territory! Still, it illustrates well the melding of the two big business parties into one, serving, and part of the business and imperial interests. This process can be observed in bourgeois countries around the world, including Australia, where Liberal Coalition and Labor politics are virtually indistinguishable. Here also we observe apathy and confusion in social relations and political perspective, a dangerous trend looking back at this 40-year traverse. It might be useful to become futurists and visualise what the world would be like in, say, 10 years from now, using the trajectory of the last 40 years! I doubt that it would be a pretty picture!
14 June 2011
The author hit the nail on the head when he said that Weiner must have crossed someone at some point in his career, and this minor transgression is the excuse to get rid of him. This is similar to the persecution of John Edwards. The difference is that the Democrats seem so anxious to get rid of Weiner that I can only conclude that, not only did he cross someone, he is too “progressive” for the Democrats, who want us to believe they are on the side of the people while serving the needs of the ruling corporations. Who says the Democrats are bad at messaging?
15 June 2011
My grandfather wisely predicted austerity, the rise of right-wing populism and nationalism nearly 30 years ago. I always had doubt about Labour, and, as a rule, I regularly check WSWS to correct falsehoods in the political arena.
15 June 2011