OPINION

The New Economy of Anger

The ''WhatsApp'' revolution in Lebanon, where a proposed Tax on WhatsApp calls sent up to 17 per cent of the Lebanese Population into the street

In Summary
  • Prolonged stand-offs eviscerate economies, reducing opportunities and accelerate the negative feedback loop
  • People have been pushed to the edge and are taking to the streets. 
Opposition supporters rally against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela May 3, 2017
Opposition supporters rally against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela May 3, 2017
Image: REUTERS

The real-time Feed is a c21st Netflix and is both unputdownable and incendiary. From Chile where protestors burned down the headquarters of ENEL [The Electricity Generating Co] after a proposed price increase and a state of emergency has been imposed.

All over Latin America from Peru to Ecuador to Haiti to Honduras, Demonstrators have taken to the Streets. The IMF cut the projected economic growth rate for Latin America from 1.4 per cent to 0.6 per cent, citing domestic policies and the U.S.-China trade war and clearly nose-diving economic opportunity is creating tinder-dry conditions. Of course, no country is as extreme as Venezuela where GDP is down from $350bn in 2012 to an estimated $60bn in 2019. People have been pushed to the edge and are taking to the streets. 

Paul Virilio pronounced in his book Speed and Politics, “The revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of production, but in the street, where for a moment it stops being a cog in the technical machine and itself becomes a motor (machine of attack), in other words, a producer of speed.’’

This Phenomenon about which I am speaking is not limited to Latin America. We have recently witnessed the ''WhatsApp'' Revolution in Lebanon, where a proposed Tax on WhatsApp calls sent up to 17 per cent of the Lebanese Population into the street. Iraq is on a Knife Edge. Millions of Algerians sent the wheelchair-bound Bouteflika home not too long ago. Hong Kong remains in open rebellion and trying to shake off the ''Crusher of Bones'' Xi Jinping and his Algorithmic Control. 

The Phenomenon is spreading like wildfire in large part because of the tinder dry conditions underfoot. Prolonged stand-offs eviscerate economies, reducing opportunities and accelerate the negative feedback loop. 

Antonio Gramsci wrote, “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum, a great variety of morbid symptoms appear. now is the time of monsters.” 

This level of unhappiness is unprecedented in a time of ''peace'' and in a time when our august financial institutions keep touting about how it has never been so good for the Human Race. 

Dr. Célestin Monga in a recent piece characterised the situation thus

The Great Discordance ''the planet is filled with rage and anger''

The New Economy of Anger ''Anger and discontent levels around the world are high, despite the fact that most available indicators of political and economic progress are better than they have even been''

Leadership in the c21st has become nationalistic and jingoistic, horizons have been narrowed. President Trump is not John F Kennedy. Xi Jinping is all about Han China. Narendra Modi is all about the Hindutva. Boris is all about Brexit. In Africa, other than the Nobel Prize Winner Abiy, who else is sketching out a horizon?  Today’s leadership does not appreciate the humanity of all of its citizens, how can they appreciate the humanity of the world or as Marshall McLuhan once put it:-

“There are no passengers on the spaceship earth. We are all crew.”

Ryszard Kapuściński wrote:- 

“Revolution must be distinguished from revolt, coup d’état, palace takeover. A coup or a palace takeover may be planned, but a revolution—never. Its outbreak, the hour of that outbreak, takes everyone, even those who have been striving for it, unawares. They stand amazed at the spontaneity that appears suddenly and destroys everything in its path. It demolishes so ruthlessly that in the end, it may annihilate the ideals that called it into being.” 

This is a Revolution and it is a Global Phenomenon.

Ryszard Kapucinski also said: "If the crowd disperses, goes home, does not reassemble, we say the revolution is over."

It is not over. More and more people are gathering in the Streets.

Unless we are now going to Xinjiang the Whole World [A Million People Are Jailed at China's Gulags. I managed to escape.

Here’s what really goes on inside @haaretzcom “children are being taken from their parents, who are confined in concentration camps, and being put in Chinese orphanages,” he says. “Women in the camps are receiving inoculations that make them infertile''], the current modus operandi is running on empty.