Fear as Economic Policy

Interesting easy read. Most articles like this ask the same question and then further down the piece, answer it and so it is with this one.

The question:
“On a sunny day in Warsaw, it’s difficult to understand why the city’s well-kept streets simmer with anger and discontent over the European vision. The economy has been growing at 3.6 percent, roughly twice the overall European rate, Poland is, or should be, Europe’s greatest success story. So why the anti-European sentiment?

And the answer:
“…PiS voters feel left out of the Europeanizing process that has made Poland richer. It’s not that these voters weren’t lifted by the rising economic tide — just that they haven’t benefited as much as urban elites.”

And my comment to this:
“But Poland today is a great reminder that we can’t attribute all nationalist political sentiment to purely economic causes…”

Well, yes we can. If Poles had decent paying jobs with a future they can believe in, on par with the EU which they’ve been told they are a part of, they would be too busy raising their families, planning their future, educating their children, going on vacation, buying homes and shopping to worry about foreigners invading their country. Economic policy has been replaced by fear. And not just in Poland. This also explains the success of Bernie, Trump, and far right parties in Europe.



Burning effigy of Jew in Wrocław, 1939, oops, I mean 2016


Context is Everything

Context is everything. Socialist policies were easy to put in place and necessary to build Europe from the ravages of WWII. In the US, where there was no war and no bombings, just a little rationing, it experienced an economic boom and the standard of living rose under capitalism. That plus the Cold War, plus the perception that Europe was a poor continent until Americans started visiting there, gave socialism a bad name. And now that the US is suffering the ravages of a post capitalist system much like the ravages of a post WWII in Europe, it’s acceptable to the Americans who have been personally affected, which is most of them.





Georgia on my Mind


My country had a revolution and all we go was this lousy street….

Well, that’s not really true. We also got this:


They could at least changed the slogan.

and this….


but also this:


and this……















The Revolution Will be Televised


13123094_10207815926947834_2853980655879200043_o I went to the big protest yesterday, not because I agree with this neo-liberal group but in solidarity with the Teacher’s Union (not being part of one myself) who decided to join them. Who knows, maybe this will start a trend with other marginalized groups….

No to Racism and Xenophobia in School!

“The politics of memory, initiated by PiS in 2005–2007, has peculiar effects today. The new fashion is for “consuming patriotism,” which means not broadening one’s knowledge of history and cultivating civic attitudes but rather making national symbolism an attractive product and lifestyle marker.

….this carnival may soon end if KOD does not combine its pleasant atmosphere and nice freedom slogans with specific social postulates which would make the movement stand out against the background of the current cagey opposition.”

read more here

I Say Tomato, You Say The Tomato

Interesting. I’ve heard this before about the use of “the” for Ukraine before and after “liberation” or is it “the liberation”? But linguistically, it makes me wonder just who decided to drop it. It’s one thing if you are a country where the main or widespread language is English but Ukrainian, like all other Slavic languages has no articles. So that official who dropped the “the”, was he a fluent English speaker with good understanding of articles and all the nuances of the language both socially and politically, or was he just trying to make trouble, egged on by unseen forces? Ukrainians don’t care as most of them don’t speak English and just call it Ukraina. If they do speak English they don’t use articles and won’t hear you use it either. And don’t write about the use of “he”. Chances are good it was a he.

Read more here