Been thinking about elections, an appetite for change and why it feels like we are living through something very special just now….
Guy Rundle in the Sunday Age commented that “Obama is an incarnation of change. That’s why people cried at his win” (9-Nov-08 p 13). Similar sentiments flowed after the Nov 07 election here in Australia.
I think Eva Cox best expressed the reason for the palpable uneasiness and disaffection that many people in Australia felt prior to the Nov 07 election when she succinctly summed it up thus:
We live in a society not an economy…
Eva’s comments were made just prior to the Nov 07 Australian election on the Insight program talking about what to do with the budget surplus. I will never forget that ‘aha’ moment when I finally had the means to give voice to my concerns–that although we had a budget surplus, our education and health systems were in bad shape and there were decisions being made in my name around immigration etc that I was extremely uneasy about.
We are now seeing similar changes in the US and–it seems–for much the same reasons, as Rundle again reports:
For months the right wing had focused on the ‘vacuousness’ of Obama’s theme of ‘change’, while everyone [but them] knew what it meant.
It was the right, in the wake of Iraq, Katrina, subprimes, the September meltdown, who have shown themselves incapable of making government work, in their ceaseless pursuit of an angle by why which one social group could be set against the other.
[So now] everywhere, across the city, across the nation, across the world, are people who know what it means. No one needs to explain to anyone else what we’re celebrating.
Is this the beginning of the end for economic rationalism too?
“Let the markets decide” arguments can never again be taken seriously after the events of the last few months. The ‘free market’ fiction is on life support now with the US govt buying into their banks to keep them afloat.