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"

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