Barcelona Photoblog: This is not Crisis, It is Capitalism!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

This is not Crisis, It is Capitalism!

Banesto Bank Barcelona: Protest sign against Capitalism [enlarge]

It is rather ironic that an emblematic building like Banesto's bank headquarters in Barcelona was recently occupied by anti new world order members defying police forces, wielding their particular urban guerrilla war. Progress, evolution, sometimes does not go hand in hand with peace, that's a fact in history. How many times have we seen students start a revolution from what seemed to be chaos and anarchy. I am not justifying anyone here. I see them destroy businesses, banks, burn garbage containers, make barricades, destroy cash dispensers, throw Molotov cocktails. The more I look, the less I understand the wrath. I just see people that reject the system because it sucks but I notice no real plan to make a better world. They just want to wipe off this one. But then again, who knows, maybe this is the new way of organizing a revolution, no parties, no unions, no leaders, no nothing, just plain rage against the machine. I must be getting too old to understand. Although it is true that when the people is overburden with oppression spontaneous revolutions tend to appear and I think that global exploitation generates anti global power movements. The scenario has shifted from a local level to the international arena and we are unable to appreciate what's happening if focusing the problem from local perspectives. Of course, inside a movement like this there are the violent ones and the rational members, what we would call the intellectuals. I prefer not to judge them although if I were sure they could make this a better world and this was the real revolution I would support them. One thing is certain, this is not just a crisis, this is Capitalism and because we live in a Capitalist system we have cyclic crises. No one said that socialism or communism were better though, cause they simply lack an economy that makes sense. If I knew what the answer is! Democracy is so corrupted!. By the way, the Pope was here today. It was for a good cause and it is great that that action made a lot of people happy and comforted their hearts. But I certainly distrust the church as an institution and it is very, very difficult to justify all that money treasured at the Vatican, when just a small portion would solve half of this planet's problems. I mean the intention was good in the beginning but now I simply can't see the result. True religious people are those who work anonymously directly with the poor in the wildest places with no luxury, no art, no palaces, no gold. You will have to excuse me today if I talk too much and I sound irreverent both with power and its antithesis but I wanted to get it off my chest.


  1. Anonymous2:34 AM

    Hopefully everything will remain calm and peaceful within your city. A good new week for you as well.

    daily athens

  2. Nice photo. Sometimes you just have to get if off your chest. Better than holding it in.

  3. Anonymous3:17 AM

    The art treasures in Vatican city can be compared with that of the Hermitage, Louvre, etc. Not even selling the art work of the main museums in the world would solve the problem. if you sell those masterpieces who would take care of them? the amount of money raised would be enough to do what?

  4. Actually, it is government, not capitalism that causes recessions. Inflation, undertaken by politicians looking to get re-elected use the printing press to fund projects to curry favor with special interest groups. This inflation causes malinvestment due to the fact that inflation enters the economy unevenly (like a ripple in a pond), causing relative price distortions that make it appear as if some industries suddenly became extremely profitable. These industries undertake expansion (hire more workers and build more productive capacity) to meet this apparent increase in demand. Only when the inflation has worked itself through the entire economy do these industries realize it was inflation and not an increase in demand, so they are forced into a recession as resources are allocated back to where consumer demand dictates.

    Professor Roger Garrison has a simple powerpoint presentation of this:

    I agree with you on democracy being corrupt, and socialism and communism being infeasible (and even more subject to corruption). The corruption in 'capitalism' only comes from corporations that curry favors from politicians in power. Michael Moore's film 'Capitalism: A Love Story details what happens when corporations get in bed with politicians. BUT, that is not capitalism, that is corporatism. In true capitalism, politicians would not be able to use government power to grant special favors and powers to corporations. Since democracy, as you note, is corrupt, the way to get capitalism without this corruption is anarcho-capitalism. For an introduction to this see:

    Best Regards,

    Daniel J. Smith

  5. Khali5:19 PM

    I completely agree with you, especially concerning the Pope's visit. I don't trust church, I trust people's heart...and yes...all this money spent on what? What example does the Pope give to the believers?

  6. -Thanks Robert. The same for you!
    -It is a pleasure Daniel to receive such kind of replies to my post. It means it generates debate.I am sure you are more keen on economy than I am. What I mentioned about cycles and Capitalism was said by Marx I think. He and Engels also made a lot of mistakes or borrowed from German and English philosophers but there is some true behind that, call it government or call it capitalism. In essence what you say is that capitalism could be improved or applied in such a way that it really works and the answer would be anarcho-capitalism. That is, yet another theory. Utopia was an interesting idea but it never worked. I think it is the very nature of the system that is wrong and not just the government although I find no solutions unless we start from scratch, take the clubs and the spears and go hunting again, trade animal skins and shells and believe in the true nature of human kind instead of relying on money, markets, riches, class differences. I mean the whole idea is wrong. That does not mean I cannot stand living here. This is my time, my epoch and this is what've got. I won't make a better world but I can dream of it and cast ideas out of thin air. I find your approach really interesting though and I truly appreciate your words.

  7. It's not just capitalism, it's rampant and unfettered capitalism that's the problem.

    Lots of greedy people wanting to make huge amounts of money with no responsibility for the mistakes they make. Governments especially in the USA have let them do it and other people then have to pick up the pieces and pay. The banks now have no credibility and yet are still continuing to make mega bucks. No wonder people get angry but it's no use just creating mayhem. You have to be constructive not destructive or you're no better than the people you're angry with.

  8. You are totally right Winifred. Very well put

  9. -Randy you are right. I feel much better now.
    -to Anonymous: Undoubtedly art is to be preserved and selling it will not solve the problems. Are you sure it is just art what they treasure? Is the church poor? And well, what if they just are guardians of such art, such treasures. It simply does not look right in the eyes of the poor. I can understand Louvre, Hermitage or El Prado hold our cultural past but when I think of religion I don't need to be impressed with art and valuable stuff.

  10. Thank you Carlos for this post.
    It is very interesting for us to see how things are perceived in your country, so close to us (Barcelona is only a 3 or 4 hour drive from Avignon). While we do not have the same activism, we do have the same unrest and yes I think we can critic wild capitalism as the cause for it.

    I am glad we live in Europe and not the US where the poor just get dumped by the rich who only get richer through intense lobbying & unfair market practices.

    I worry about this rapidly-changing world, I'm afraid that lots of people will be left behind in the wake of globalization.

    I think it's the pride of a government to look after their people's welfare.

    The idea that when corporations get richer the populations get richer too is no longer true, if it ever was.

  11. I do agree with you Nathalie, they should look after us and yes, the American dream fairy tale has vanished. But they do have an effect on us in spite of being in Europe. Look at the subprime mortgages et al.

  12. Actually, the Vatican runs on a yearly budget smaller than Harvard University. Yes, they hold tremendous cultural wealth, but they can't sell it. They hold it in trust just like any other institution to which such things have been bequested. FInally, if you look at the charitable works of that institution (Caritas International, Aid for the CHurch in Need, CRS, Cross International, Salesian Missions), as well as all of the schools, missions, and hospitals it operates throughout the world, you cannot say that the Church does nothing. It is the largest source of charity in the world.

  13. My dear Theocoid, as I said, the anonymous work of many people in the church all over the world is well known and that is great. That, is following the word of God, helping the needed. There is a lot of information about what the other church does and its power. Just a tiny example: Found at the Huffington Post:


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