October 10, 2011
Who would have thought it possible? Greece, a tiny country on the Mediterranean which is, in the grand scheme of things, economically insignificant, has become the centerpiece of the global financial media and the “make or break” sovereign debt battle for the entire European Union. Let’s face it; Greece dominates the psychology of the markets. Even after a “partial” default this year, equities still hang upon every new EU meeting, every new IMF press release, every meaningless conference between Merkel and Sarkozy, causes violent swings in the Dow, not to mention every other stock index across the world. Greece collapsed months ago. The discussion is over. Yet, global investors still wait anxiously for a sign that all is well in the land of the Parthenon and the Gyro.
The reality of the situation in Greece is clear for anyone who is willing to look at the facts as they stand. Greek debt is a dead end investment. The percentage lost on bond payouts grows by the quarter due to partial bankruptcy. Unemployment hovers around 16% (officially). Despite trends which are often associated with a deflationary collapse, the Greek cost of living remains quite high, meaning prices are not falling comparatively with wages and employment as they should. Austerity is in full force, pensions are being cut or confiscated outright, and riots are a monthly if not weekly occurrence. Corruption in the Greek government and influence by international banks such as Goldman Sachs led to extreme exposure of the country’s assets to the derivatives crisis as well as a massively expanded debt to GDP ratio, yet, Papoulias and many other Greek officials have decided to place full responsibility for the crisis directly in the laps of the Greek people, claiming that it is they who must sacrifice, and they who are to blame if the system crumbles beneath their feet. Violence, even beyond the furious protests prevalent today, is inevitable in the face of such hypocrisy.
In the meantime, the mainstream media has, as it always does, turned towards disturbing attempts at quirk and fluff to pass the time between catastrophes. One of these stories is that of “Sausage The Riot Dog”, a stray mutt caught in the middle of street actions and civil unrest in the center of Athens. Sausage has apparently chosen sides in the battle, snarling at armored riot cops and braving the front lines in the face of stomping boots and tear gas. We find the canine endearing because he seems to call the situation just as it is, unlike many bureaucrats and talking heads out there. If a mere stray animal understands the line between the people and the tyranny of misused state power, then what excuse does the Greek establishment have?
Unfortunately, in the U.S., a very similar process of corruption and default is taking place, and the question of whether or not large scale civil actions are imminent in the face of economic disparity has essentially been answered. While ‘Occupy Wall Street’ and ‘Occupy The Fed’ remain peaceful despite police abuses, the American collapse progresses, and our own Austerity measures will soon be instituted while taxes skyrocket and inflation creeps in. Public anger is growing. When our own government begins pointing the finger of blame at us for the financial seizures of the system and starts cracking down on dissent even further in order to maintain a posture of authority, reactionary riots will be just as common here as they are in Greece. The more people lose, the more they take to the streets. It’s an undeniable law of nature.
Sausage The Riot Dog (the quaint media image of him at least) may have to paddle across the Atlantic to combat the impositions of failed government, but in the meantime, perhaps we can apply a few lessons from his playbook, and focus our energies into something that truly matters…
1) When Freedom Is At Stake, Everyone Has To Choose A Side…
National crises have a way of forcing those on the fence to pick a direction whether they want to or not. There is entirely too much indecision and apathy amongst Americans today, and this is going to change. We will choose, or we will be compelled to choose.
However, in the fog of propaganda and misinformation, the concept of “sides” becomes blurred. Political, religious, and economic ideologies clash and people begin to forget who the REAL enemy is. The point of any civil action should be to unearth the root of the problems that face everyone, not quibble over peripheral conflicts amongst each other while the crooks and conmen sit back and laugh. Ultimately, there are only two sides in a fight for liberty, the oppressors, and the oppressed. Post success solutions may vary. Many will be ill conceived and incorrect. A few will be fundamentally solid.
Like the disagreements that sometimes occur between participants of Occupy Wall Street and Occupy The Fed, debate and reconciliation may have to wait until the greater threat (the Federal Reserve and Corporate Banking interests) is dealt with. All activists should take it upon themselves to become aware of the facts, not assumptions, surrounding the protests.
People have a tendency to complicate issues that are actually very simple. Sausage The Riot Dog aims his senses at the immediate and primary enemy. Perhaps we should as well.
2) Jackboot Tactics Are For The Dogs
Police violence solves nothing, not even for the establishment. When social liberties and economic security are plainly on the line, the citizenry will choose to escalate rather than back down from a show of force. Until recently, most activist movements have been in pursuit of public exposure to their ideas, and nothing more. Generally, such protests keep a passive attitude in the face of law enforcement aggression. This mentality is fading quickly. The stakes are much higher than ideological promotion now, and overt state violence will bring with it a civil storm this country has not seen in decades.
This pendulum, though, swings the opposite direction as well.
Unfocused and belligerent protests can lead to misdirected attacks and blind acts of idiocy so volatile they destroy the foundation of a movement. The high ground is held by those with an even hand. Unwarranted destruction, mindless collectivist herding, military coups, and brutality in the name of abstract Utopian nonsense are a path to defeat, not victory. Bite the bandits, not yourself.
3) Smart Dogs Know A Crook When They Smell One
When faced with a grassroots activist movement of any kind, establishment proponents always choose cooption as their first weapon. From the days of Cointelpro to now, when a mainstream party run by elitists suddenly takes up your cause for no apparent reason, its time to be concerned. Tea Party activists who were present at the movement’s inception (inspired by Ron Paul, not Fox News) know exactly how this works, especially after watching a hoard of admitted Neo-Cons (fake conservatives) suddenly join and profess a “love for the Constitution” after years of attempting to dismantle it. Today, we see Obama’s White House, funded, run, and populated by Wall Street banking interests, come out of nowhere to declare backing for the Occupy Wall Street uprising, while bloated and shameless self promoters like Michael Moore ooze out of the woodwork to become frontmen for a cause they have nothing to with. If your nose is not keen enough to sniff out a fraud, then you shouldn’t be out on the street in the first place. All you are is a danger to yourself, and an obstacle to the progress of legitimate protesters.
4) Never Underestimate The Underdog
Great coalitions and organizations for freedom always start small. They are always marginalized as “fringe” or “extremist”. They are generally ignored by the media and shunned by the mainstream. Society’s first reaction is invariably to cast them down the memory hole, and hope they go away. These out of touch masses only begin to pay attention when you DON’T go away. When you are stubborn, and impertinent, and defiant despite all the odds. When a protest group refuses to fade, people begin to take note. Your bite must be worse than your bark.
As such movements gain attention, they then face image attacks, misrepresentations, false flag police actions and engineered violence meant to defame, and eventually, a phalanx of armored riot cops trained to ignore their oaths to the Constitution and squash First Amendment expression. And still, activists must endure.
Being the underdog means having the will to face down any conflict regardless of the supposed odds. It means being fearless. It means taking risks and believing in the potential for something much more than we are often conditioned to accept. There is no going back. We can only move forward.
5) Tear Off The Leash
Most people live in an atmosphere of psychological containment. We tend to restrict ourselves far more than any government ever could, and in this way, we feed the corruption that later plagues us. Our leash is self imposed, and our reach as citizens is cut short by our inability to function without a master’s oversight. To go stray, or go wild, is an uncertain future filled with frightening possibilities. Freedom, for those used to servitude, is terrifying.
The question one must ask is; what causes the most pain in the end?
Complacency in the name of superficial comfort has certainly caused nothing but disaster so far, and this is just the beginning. Every aspect of the collapse in Greece is likely to strike here in the U.S. with exponentially greater weight and force. The protests we see in the streets of New York and at the Federal Reserve Banks across the country are but a shadow of what is to come, and this unrest is going to touch our lives no matter how we might detach and distract. At bottom, we can either contribute to the cause of truth and help to shape these movements into something positive, or we can wait idle until they break loose completely and arrive at our doorstep in a form we may not expect or intend.
Sausage The Riot Dog is a modern day Aesop fable, cartooned and lampooned by the MSM to fill dead air time and draw smirks from the masses in the face of something utterly horrific; an entire nation in rapid and wretched decline. We chuckle, tell our friends, and move on. But this is not the end. The world of that animal character is very real, even if he is a product of our musings. It is a world that parallels us, and begs us to examine tomorrow with far more discernment than we are accustomed to. How many “riot dogs” will we have to mascot our own crumbling infrastructure and economy? How many of us will set aside the idea or symbol of the thing, and step in to make it real? Will we treat Sausage and his sad Greek kingdom as entertainment and financial news fodder, or as a parable for a day not long away. Is the nobility we imagine in a dog in Athens a trait we might adopt within ourselves here at home? The time we have left to answer this question may be shorter than many realize…
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