Capital Ideas

You know that question, which goes something like this: why should ordinary people have to pay for speculator debts? And you know the way no convincing answer ever comes? The way no-one ever provides a reason that’s not synonymous with ‘because that’s just the way it is’? Among other things, this is symptomatic of an absence of democracy. But when you get the ‘because that’s just the way it is’ answer, you get it from someone who hates democracy. It just so happens that in Ireland, as elsewhere, the ‘because that’s just the way it is’-style answer is the favourite answer from the near entirety of the political class and the owning class.

Anyway, this translated piece is from Francisco Morote, ATTAC once again.

The title of the piece rhymes in Spanish –‘15-M: La crisis neoliberal, que la pague el capital’ -it may be a chant, I’m not sure.

15-M Let capital pay for the neo-liberal crisis

15-M Movement, Spanish revolution, Spanish spring, Spanish May…there are various names, and with these various meanings and echoes evoked by these names. Whatever the name chosen, and time will surely pick one in particular, the key question is what consequences will it have?

It is difficult to answer this question so soon, because the 15-M Movement, the Spanish revolution, the Spanish spring, the Spanish May are still underway, and, what is more, it could be that the impetus of its expansion has not yet ceased, that from Spain it intends, no less, to go global.

Now, to my judgement, the social movement started in Spain by Democracia Real Ya, in order to reach a global dimension that can be adopted by all peoples, needs to settle on a common objective, with which the citizens of the world can identify, and this is that the general crisis provoked by neoliberalism should be paid by those who provoked it, which is to say, by capital.

This objective involves committing parties with governmental responsibilities to make a Copernican turn against the anti-popular exit from the crisis. And should those parties not take on the commitment with an exit that causes the weight of the efforts, to say nothing of the sacrifices, to fall on capital –in 2010 1% of the world’s millionaire population possessed 39% of the planet’s wealth, according to the Boston Consulting Group consultancy group- we shall see appear and grow, in a natural manner, new political forces and proposals that respond to the demands of peoples struggling for universal justice.

Is the task difficult? Almost impossible, and, nonetheless, living in a time when the capitalist system is showing signs of arriving at the limits of the possible and the reasonable, hope is not a chimera.

Global capital, the owners, managers and administrators of capital, entrenched in their privileges, will not give way easily, but the parties with responsibilities to govern, or governments, can be sure that if they do not reverse the situation, the 15-M movements and their democratic amps, in a world of impoverished cities and citizens, will proliferate like spores throughout the entire 21st century.

Also, here is the global video for Democracia Real Ya. I think the translation is a bit dodgy, and the music sucks, but have a look anyway.

I would not translate ‘mercancía’ as merchandise, not least because ‘mercancía’, if I recall correctly, is the counterpart of ‘commodity’ in El Capital by Carlos Marx.

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2 Responses to “Capital Ideas”


  1. 1 Francisco Morote June 10, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Hola Hugh, soy Francisco Morote, el autor del artículo que has traducido en tu blog sobre el 15-M. Sólo quería agradecerte el esfuerzo. Un saludo cordial.

  2. 2 Hugh Green June 10, 2011 at 9:09 am

    ¡Hola Francisco! – y gracias a ti por el magnífico artículo.


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