Revista Mensual y Gratuita
Nº108, August 2012
Editor’s Note | Editors’ Note
Legend has it that a peasant from Anatolia named Gordius carried his oxen tied in such a way that it was impossible to untie them and that whoever managed to untie the Gordian knot could conquer Orient. On the way to conquering the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great faced that dilemma and solved it by cutting the knot with his sword. Today cutting a Gordian knot refers to a situation that cannot be solved with traditional solutions but ‘severing it’ with brave unconventional solutions.
A dramatic case is the current global crisis centered in the affluent countries but also affecting the rest of the world. None of the dozens of ‘solutions’ proposed to adjust the fiscal chaos and the enormous over indebtedness has proven to be effective because they do not aim to transform the dynamic that generated the crisis and that extends it in time. They do have a common denominator: they do not affect privileged minorities but conversely they burden the stricken majorities with the weight of the adjustment. The clamor today is ‘no more of the same!’ Not only are those ‘solutions’ of absolute futility generating vicious circles of despondency and social dissolution, but they unmercifully punish those who are victims of the concentration process.
Sustainable solutions exist and they will be specific for each country and community even though they may have another common denominator: extracting value from those who have uncontrollably extracted it through financial speculation. In this XXI century some of the most relevant Gordian knots to be cut include, among others, the following:
(i) Being financial capital the main responsible for the concentration process and recurrent systemic crises, it is in order to impose taxation on assets, incomes and financial transactions, same as the rest of economic actors are taxed.
(ii) It is of the utmost importance to eliminate the sinister tax havens (called ‘tax heavens’ with the purpose of camouflaging their true nature) where ill-gotten capitals take refuge and reproduce in complicity with the jurisdictions that shelter them.
(iii) It is essential to abolish the shocking evasion and capital flight carried out by the most affluent sectors in every country in the world. Two examples among many other similar cases are those of Greece and Spain. Ever since the beginning of the recession and during a full blown national chaos, the wealthier Greeks moved 280 billion euros from their country while the entire Greek debt reaches 350 billion euros: evasion represents a trade of around 40 billion a year, a figure equivalent to a fifth of the GDP. Between January and May of this year 2012 no less than 200 billion dollars were moved out of Spain, a figure equivalent to 16% of the gross domestic product.
The real option is not between whether going or not going through with these changes, but between going for a fair, peaceful and sustainable transformation or awaiting a violent and traumatic rising from the thousands of millions of people affected. For those of us who recognize the values of a full democracy that overcomes the traps that today distort its functioning and makes way to universal possibilities for greater realization and meaning; for those who believe in the creative potential of workers, producers, entrepreneurs, public officers, common citizens; for those who adhere to the desire of living in peace, with dignity, taking care of others and the planet as a whole, the alternative is clear: we are going for a fair and sustainable transformation.
Opinion Sur Collection
Introducing three new additions to our collection
Getting out of the Crisis towards a sustainable development
STORM: The ways of the crisis and the ways out of it
International Crisis: Adjusting the Course and Improving the Systemic Functioning