Greek municipal workers occupied hundreds of town halls across the country on Thursday, and thousands of others marched through the streets of Athens to protest layoffs agreed to as part of a financial ‘bailout’ of the government.“Their measures, our funeral.” Greek protesters carry coffin through the streets of Athens on Thursday. The Greek government plans to lay off up to 27,000 more public sector workers — with city and local workers likely targeted first — to meet conditions set by its international creditors, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, the Greek newspaperreports.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union we have been living through a relatively peaceful period of history. Human nature doesn't change in a few years, maybe doesn't change at all, so if the part of us satisfied by violence isn't finding its home in open warfare, where is it? The world has more democracies, more peace, but it also has a lot more of what has been called permanent war, in which intervals between violence are not peace but only waiting or preparation for the next round of violence.
In permanent war we see a cruelty that demonstrates no intention ever to live on terms of peace, and satisfaction with and profit from the present prolonged situation of conflict. More than that, we see unconcern with the coming end of the presently very satisfactory order, confidence profit can be had from that too.
We see it in the Middle East, in the Israeli-Palestinian impasse. We see it in the European Union, where the demands of creditor Germany are destroying the societies of the debtor nations.
Permanent war is a form of stability, and stability, once understood, can be profited from. People in power on both sides have an interest in keeping the situation permanent, for as long as possible. Eventually Europe will be bankrupt and face descent into civil war, just as tension builds in the Middle East and war finally breaks out. But profit as long as you can, and when time comes for reconstruction, those in the best position will profit more. When no one else has any money banks buy foreclosed houses at bargain prices. With civilian life stressed and undermined by war militarist politicians easily defeat their opponents.