Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Iranians Hit the Streets Again

The Iranian youth is hitting the streets once again.

Where the hell is the world left to support their cry for freedom and their cling to hope?!

While you are all doing nothing .....
Dozens or even hundreds of newly arrested Iranian students will be dragged today to the dungeons - bitten, raped and dehumanized just for the mere audacity of claiming their right to manifest.

The Left has Left, and the Leftists have left alone these brave people....

Monday, September 28, 2009

Have you felt hunger lately?

Yesterday I was sitting in a coffee with my wife and a couple of friends. Both couples are educated, liberal and secular. No apparent reason why, but both men are earning a nice salary while our wives earn less than half that sum. Wouldn’t you ask yourself how come? (This is an important question. Let’s talk about it in a future post).


My friend became a manager this year for the first time in his life. He said “I was always mad at those pigs that pay meager salaries. But now when I’m responsible for a little budget and need to opt for getting an acceptable salary for myself (the same I would get in any other job of the same type) or expense it on salaries ‘higher than the market’.” We then discussed lengthy the fact that he offered a salary he is “ashamed of offering.” Actually this salary is 130% of the legal minimum wage over here, while it was clear to everyone around the table that it is impossible to maintain a decent life for a single parent with one child with this salary – not to mention a bigger family. My friend was further amazed by the fact that people ‘fought’ to get this post. My friend is working in the commercial hub of the country and was wondering for what a lower wage would people struggle in the peripheral areas of the country?

We tried to understand what brings young liberal people, the ones which are supposedly aware of social injustice, to focus their whole efforts in improving their own life and be ‘surprised’ when they find that people are willing to work for a salary which they consider indecent and impossible to live from.
The conversation turned to discuss our fears. I am afraid that I must work b/c of my chronic disease, since when I’ll be sick no one will provide for my family or even my medical needs. My friends were afraid of the soaring living and education costs in the metropolis. We didn’t have to further explain things – as we are all aware of the declining level of health services and especially the education system.
Without being able to pay for private health services and education – you and your children are doomed to be dumped to the bottom of the social ladder. We are all mice in a race which isn’t regulated anymore.

In these days were supposedly even the USA Federal Bank understood that a pure non-intervention approach a-la Adam Smith, cannot secure prosperity and will bring upon us more and more disasters – we still find that most of the governments and societies vigorously maintain their own mice races. No one is able to stop the race – as everyone is racing for their souls.

The problem as you can see is that no one will stop racing and change the race rules until he drops off the race – but then, he’ll be too tired, too hungry and weak to make a change. He’ll be begging for one of those indecent salaries while others will wonder how come people fight for such a salary. The mice still in the race will probably claim that it’s the ‘offer and demand’ that set these salaries.

How can a social ship get in the right direction when the prevailing mantra is “save your souls!” or “race for your souls!”?
Have you felt real hunger lately? Are you ready for it? If not, please keep running….


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

We take care of ourselves

As more and more aspects of Left idea were vanishing - remember the end of history, neoliberalism as the only possible world - a fearsome idea seems more and more "natural": each one HAS to take care of himself, and what happens to him is its entire responsability.


  • You suffer a prolonged or chronic disabling illness

  • You suffer a really bad blow in life: a bad divorce, lose of a dear person

  • You just suffer a prolonged lapse of bad luck

It's your business. I am your neighbour, or your colleague, I belong to one of your networks somehow, and I don't care. I have to protect my interests and take care of my career and family.

Well, it's true that I alone cannot do great things for you ,"bad-lucker". My possibilities are limited. I have a full time job (lucky of me!), I have to dedicate time to my sons and parents and friends, my economical assets are quite limited because my housing spent doesn't left me much margin. So, I can listen to you, I can make you a favour, even I can lend you petty money. But it is your business.

What a live, uh? Just a chronic illness and your life goes down the toilet

Well, there was a thing called "Welfare State". When taxes started to go well, more and more public money were invested in services for the population. You go ill? No problem, you paid your social services quota, and now we pay you. You are unemployed for a long time? Well, throwing you to the trash can is out of question. We will do something. We cannot accept that anybody goes without medical asistance or education.

State was not only a commodity for building roads, defense and the stupid things that don't generate benefits. State meaned a minimum barrier for everybody. It was not efficient, but worked.

Hum, efficiency... sacred word, one of them. One lie said 1.000 times becomes true. Neoliberals talked in their media so much about inefficiency that it seems to be only solution: privatice. Private services were going to be more efficient and everybody would win.

It was a lie, after all.

It is just a joke, really. If the contractor achieves efficiency, what is he going to do? offer better services, or improve his margin?

We are lessering more and more that basic wellfare barrier because of that lie.

Now, in the start of this Crisis, it looks like State services has a deadline. After all the turmoil, State is not going to have enough money for all that services, from retirement to public health. At least here in Spain, a lot of people assume that people that is going to retire from 2025 onwards have not their retirements assured.

Well, at least we still be able to remember the idea of WE. There was a time before wellfare state in which We took care of Ourselves (our grandparents and grandgrandparents). One guy generally is not be able of take care entirely of another one. But a collective does, and if that collective behave in this way, it will commiting to its true purpose.

Not an agreggate. A collective. There in Israel people knows a lot about that, and it is not fantasy

Us. We. We can if we want, although the enemies wanted us divided, "taking care of our own business"

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Left is dead? The Iranian case

The Iranian Case

For over a month now (since the day after the elections held at June 12 , 2009) the liberal forces in Iran and part of the conservative forces in Iran are struggling for what they see as the right to have fair elections, the right to chose the path which their country should take. They oppose the dictatorship of the hardliners.
The ruling Ayatollahs (not that some of the Ayatollahs support the opposition) are cruelly oppressing the students, middle class and others who took on the streets manifesting. Read more here.

Don't mistake to think I'm naive enough to believe that only democratic people and liberals are behind the manifestations in the Iranian cities. However, the young people confronting the Basij militia, being shot, dragged, bitten and arrested are liberals and real freedom fighters. Each with his own view, which may differ from the western leftist view, is yet a freedom fighter. Freedom in its deepest meaning.

Iranian students are over the past 2 decades targeted by the most violent elements of the Iranian regime - and you can guess why. Their dorms are stormed, they are arrested and tortured. Click here for a good and very personal start point for reading on this.

Click here for some more on the students movement

And do not let yourself sleep calmly thinking they were just 'arrested'. You can rest assure these brave people were bitten, terrorized and tortured in order to make them an example of what will happen to those 'endangering the order'. Not even the parents loyalty to the system saved their souls (see this case )

Iran is a complicated nation. It is made of the historic Persian people, the Azeri people at the north, Arabs and Sunni Muslims (differing from the Shii majority) to the south and many others. Religious people live side by side with western like style city dwellers. It is a country with a long history of culture making and religious tolerance. The Iranian people were always sensitive to unjust deeds and rule usurpation. The young and educated people led also the past uprisings in Iran (e.g. the 1990's students manifestations). These are just another piece of the puzzle depicting the beginning of the end of the current regime in Iran. More young idealist will die. More non idealist people will die too - people who just want to be able to make the choice of what they dress, speak or do in their leisure time. More people will die for their demand to get accountability from their government - for knowing who really won the elections, what was done with legendary sums of oil money, how come their country suffer from poverty when their should have been one of the richest. They will all want to redeem a nation once leading the enlightened powers of the ancient world and now being dragged over and over again to dark places. The Iranian nation soul will eventually break out.

However, it looks they are gaining support only from individuals in the western left, their PC's and Twitter accounts. No major mobilizations by Left organizations were noted.

Read more here.

And Where Is The Left?
Have any of you seen a manifestation in favor of Iran's liberals in the streets of Madrid, Rome, Paris, London or even the 'Red' cities of northern Spain and Tuscany?
Do any of you have the slightest notion that till the Islamic revolution Iran had a strong presence of leftist parties who were forced to exile or "disappeared"?

What is that makes the left to manifest only against some things and not for others?
What is there in the slaughtered people of Darfur, the brave young people of Iran or the ethnic minorities of China that cause the western left to ignore them?
What is special in the dictatorship of North Korea that makes the left people to stay at home?!

How come the Spanish socialist government has not taken a clear stand on this?
How come the 'socialist' governments of Lola in Brasil, Chavez in Venezuela and similar have embraced the regime instead of standing by the people?
(for more details see )
The left as long ago deserted its ideals. Is it now deserting also its basic honor?

These are hard questions which resound in the current world politics and which will leave ugly scars in the history of the world we'll leave to our children.
I'm afraid the answers to these questions may be worst than leaving them unanswered.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yes, We Hate!

It burns in our bones - we feel justice is a must and there must be a way to achieve it. But...we know not how as we don’t believe it is religion or god who’ll bring it.
We desire to clearly see the evil and differ it from the innocent. And when we think we do see the evil, ho....we hate it! Hate makes us feel pure but also blind to reality. Nothing matters once we set a clear path lighten by our righteous hate. Once we hit the road, nothing matters where it is taking us to.
For the practicing leftist today’s world is very confusing. Once we knew the proletarians needed to be saved and we had to hate their pig capitalist oppressors. Now the proletarians just want Nike and Coca Cola (OK, you’re right – they also want McDonald's). They want their own house and not to die for the cause of a just world (well, they never did). The 'oppressors' are cherishing plural systems, which in an akward way give a slightly fair chance to everyone. The left did a very good job convincing people that they deserve living a better life – So no wonder they don’t want to fight. They want to live.
So where does it leave us, the just-world-mongers? One step at a time we managed to create a new set of coordinates for our path. We pointed out the multi national brands and corps, the globalization and the USA among others (did I say Israel?). Yes we hate!
Note, I didn’t say ‘Yes we can!’ – Not only because ‘true’ leftists tend to see Obama (as they did with Tony Blair when he was first elected) as an extension of the system they detest – but since leftist offer nothing constructive nowadays.
The fresh winds of change and a new world once generated by the world’s left turned to smell like the rotten body of an old red lady. Is it the smell of an already defunct ideology?

Friday, April 24, 2009

What needs to be said

Because actually left has left us.

When I saw quite more people demonstrating in the streets against the Gaza war than against the increase of unemployment, or against the dismantlement of more and more public parcels of core public services, I cannot help but feel that something is deeply wrong with us.

I am sure that we, Dario and I, are not alone. Quite a good number of people share some of our values and views to various degrees and senses. We see the Left as a basic worldview,  a set of values oriented to the world in which we want to live. One of my main objectives for this blog is to talk about these values: equality of opportunities, protection of the handicapped people (in the broadest sense of the term, instead of each one taking care of himself), citizenship, community building, economic system serving manhood (and not vice versa). Creating a human heritage that will be worthwhile of being conserved for next generations.

You see my ideas aren’t very complicated and are nothing new at all. Rights, responsibility and a life shared with others. Modernity arrived when enough people started to think seriously about this and acted in consequence. Part of our generation has inherited these values... but doesn't know what to do about them.

What is ‘Left’ nowadays?

In our countries, Unions have lost any sense of workers protection. Their main objective is to take care of themselves and to enjoy the good amount of privileges that were paid for a chain of treasons. So-called leftist politicians dress exactly like conservative ones and behave in the same way in what is important: economical politics & workers situation. "Leftists" politicians just care of the privileges that they can arrange for themselves and their related networks in exchange of good service to their true masters.

On the other hand, leftist are utmost divided and quite confused. Most of the time they are trapped in the past’s discourses or are commited to an alternative world that is too much word-centered instead of action-centered.

In the light of this, a lot of well-intentioned people looks for causes outside of our countries.

And we should ask ourselves, aren’t there actual and meaningful leftist causes in our countries?

I have a tiny hope: this crisis offers us a new possibility of awakening and recovering certain perspectives that were lost. Maybe we will start to recall the social achievements of the past century. These weren't recieved as gifts, but just after hard and long fights. It seems that we, or others self denominated left have our internal compass, take for granted was has been achieved and do not recognize anymore the real threats and the chanllenges we should take on.

Phew... I need to stop. This post was meant to be a mere presentation and finally it almost conclude into something. Beware! I have so much to say!

See you


Sunday, April 5, 2009

We are leftists, we like to speak

We are Juan and Dario. We were born in different continents and live in different countries, but share a world. We speak different languages but share one. We share no religion and no land.
My father taught me love for people and for my people.   Love for people not as compassion – love as the sense of seeking for what is just.  I cried over the story of the little child secretly working at night for his father, without him knowing of it (read it here). De Amicis, the writer, punched me in the stomach – he always accompanied me reminding me that not everyone are lucky and things like the smile of your father aren’t obvious. These stories embedded in you a sense of right and wrong – sometimes as strong as a religious, but with no God – as I knew, that if a child’s life can be so sorrowful, God must not exist or be on a prolonged vacation.

Our families, people and social background aren’t similar, but we share disappointments.  We mourn together for the disappearance of the left knew. And no, we aren’t communists. We are liberals, democrats and believe in competition as a way of continuous improvement.

Ultimately, years after reading De Amicis, I met Juan’s uncle. A truly religious man, who showed me that ‘the left’ extends far beyond the border lines of secularism vs. religion. We do not know what it means being ’left’ nowadays, nor we intend to define it. We just know that it is our stomach and mind that it comes from. We know that we want the stomach to teach the mind good and bad, and the critic mind to control the actions and beliefs of the few called ‘left’.
We are endeavoring in this journey to understand the place and meaning of left in these days. We promise to bother you with short posts, not that it won’t be easy. If there is something we like more thatn justice, people and love, it is talking about it…

So here is the first insight of this blog – the cry of today’s left is “Leftist of the world, speak!” – Yes! We are both devoted leftists…Uniting is too much effort….Speaking is much easier…


Heart - by Edmondo De Amicis

“The Little Florentine Scribe” (Pages 66-74)