STANISLAWSKI: The current situation in Greece reveals the political plight of the international left

A few days ago another political documentary about Greece struck the internet. All social forums are on fire again. Another wave of cheap excitement and pathetic lamentation is reaching its peak.

The title of the movie is ?Greece on the brink? and it has been produced by people I know from my past political activity. But, in fact, it does not matter. All movies regarding Greece I had seen before I came across that one are just the same. Bombastic, catastrophic atmosphere borrowed from cheap horror scenarios and a few dramatic monologues (background voice and interviews). And this is it. So far, I learned nothing new: the situation is tragic, Greece is (or is approaching it) a Third-World economy, the population drowns in poverty, the international financial elite exploits the poor people, not a single cent of the gigantic borrowings stays in the real Greek economy — everything is being immediately transferred to German, French and American banks as paybacks, the rate of suicides is growing, the social services are being completely dismantled, rampant privatization of everything you can imagine is going on… I know.

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Bosna on fire

It all really started 30 years ago. Since the early 1980s, living standards in Yugoslavia (as well as in other Eastern European countries) had started to decline sharply, falling 40% by the end of the decade which brought it back to the level it was in mid 1960s. The Yugoslav working class actively answered this pressure with a series of strikes in the 1980s. In the first nine months of 1987 over 1000 strikes were organised all over the country in which some 150,000 workers of all nationalities participated. In 1989, the number of workers on strike rose up to 900,000. It was by then obvious that things have changed for good.

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Roberts: Time for Noah’s Ark again again?

The world is experiencing extreme weather. In the US, California?s drought is the worst in 100-years while the East Coast faced a massive snowstorm with freezing temperatures. On the other side of the world, Australia continues to deal with intense summer heat and droughts, causing major bush fires. There has been severe winter flooding in the UK and Europe; extreme cold and snow in the Eastern US and Japan and so on.

Now this may just be random, outliers in the normal distribution of weather conditions, or it could be that the globe is reaching a peak in a cycle of weather, or it could be the ever-growing impact of climate change as the world heats up. In fact, it could be all three, as the first two possible causes can be considered as immediate or cyclical and the last (climate change) as structural or ?ultimate?. The facts speak. Since 1997, the world has experienced the 13 warmest years ever recorded out of 15, according to the UN. June 2012 marked the 328th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. In 2013, extreme weather events included several all-time temperature records. Snow cover in Europe and North America was above average, while the Arctic ice was 4,5% below the 1981?2010 average.

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Khoo: 1914 marked the birth of the modern world

This year marks the most poignant of all historical anniversaries, 1914. That year the modern world was born. A long period of gradual development, of rising living standards, increasing knowledge, culture, progress, science and hope, vanished overnight. In the bright European summer of 1914 humanity stumbled into a nightmare from which it has never escaped. Like some inexplicable childhood trauma, the events of that year continue to haunt our waking dreams and shape our worst fears. Through this descent into a world ruled by an automatic, unconscious, machinery of barbarism — reason appeared to drown, in oceans of gas, mud, barbed wire, missiles and machine gun fire.

The strongest man was reduced to a creature weaker than a squealing rat. His greatest quality measured by his ability to drive bayonets into the bellies of his unknown brother, whose guts would feed a hundred rats and ten thousand maggots. These creatures were the real victors of the titanic battles for an inch of mud fought in Europe during the four years 1914-1918.

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