Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Unemployment causing revenge crimes

One of the most tragic consequences of the economic slump is unemployment: without a job and in absence of a half-decent welfare system (under heavy attack now by the budgetary scissors maniacs) you are totally lost in this hyper-competitive system: you become a pariah.

Some just go crazy and kill people whom they consider more or less responsible from their personal and financial demise. While the cases that I will discuss here are extreme, one even wonders why they are not even more common or if they are going to become more and more common as misery and desperation spreads.

Sare Antifaxista, a Basque blog, reports of three such cases which can't but disturb us.

Catalonia: kills his former employers and then director and employee of his bank office

This happened in Olot, Catalonia. A construction worker, possibly with some mild psychological disorder (he liked to walk in his leisure time dressed as a Far West sheriff), shoot down his former employers, father and son, and then went to his bank office murdering the director and an employee.

Florida man murders school managers in apparent revenge for the firing of his wife

We are almost used to weirdo US school shootings, however unemployment has seldom been the motivation for such massacres. In this case it was, it seems. A man kidnapped school managers and demanded to know why his wife had been fired. When his question were not answered, he went on rampage killing everyone until he was shoot down by a security guard. The security video (warning: real violence) is hang at YouTube, though the signal is broken since soon after the shooting begins.

Greece: demonstrators injure a former minister

This one is more directly political and I may deal with it separately, specially as a hot protests week is scheduled for Greece a we speak. But in raw essence is the same: people wants managers to solve problems and not to cause or aggravate them anymore. People is desperate and sometimes go violent and the managers, be them private businesspeople, bank directors, public administration managers, policemen losing a tactical street battle or privileged idle royals caught by a mob while turning the wrong corner, are natural targets of such frustration turned anger.

Hundreds of people attacked an injured a former minister of the previous conservative government (considered even more guilty than the current one for the national economic disaster).

Some 200 people attacked with stones and sticks Kostis Hatzidakis, former minister of transportation, injuring him (apparently not severely) until he could hide in a nearby building. The attackers cried: thieves, you should be ashamed!

Other similar cases you have seen in the Italian demonstrators angrily beating policemen or in the well known incident in which a British prince and his wife, the dukes of somewhere, were attacked by angry demonstrators prevented to join the actual demo by the police. People is starting to get really angry and that is worrisome (yet easy to understand).

But if the anger could be concentrated towards a positive goal such as toppling current EU (confederal and states') governments and electing constituent assemblies for a new socialist Europe, then it may well be worth it. But I fear that the movement is yet immature for such feats, so I guess that more or less chaotic anger and violence will keep growing until the pot blows up somehow.

That's the situation we live in Europe nowadays and that is also surely the situation that is being created in the USA, even if the level of class consciousness seems much lower over there (no big demos nor general strikes yet anywhere). It is a situation, I know, of terminal decadence and certainly not a pretty one.

Brace yourselves because it is just the beginning. And also let's prepare the change because it will happen unavoidably as the so-called leaders (economical or political) lack any sort of exit strategy that could even hope to work.

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