“The monetary system of a people reflects everything that the nation wants, does, suffers, is.”
It’s astonishing how a country with a record debt to IMF at a moment in time, quite recent, not a century ago, can become the seventh economy in the world, with the prospect to overtake Britain by becoming the sixth largest economy in the world in 2012. Now, I read in various economy magazines that the established civilized world may be afraid of the exotic emergence of four countries, kept until very recently in the great financiers’ leash. These four are India, China, Turkey and Brazil. I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to visit all four of them, in different periods of time and even live there for a significant period.
I have experienced the explosion of Turkish economy, observing the discordance between inside predictions and foreign press reports. I think the same is the case with Brazil, a country where not long ago it was easy to die on the streets for various reasons. Usually burned, beaten, shot, crushed. If one affirms that in Turkey a street policeman is as corrupt as in Brazil, the Turks will be very highly offended. There is a very popular TV series now there, called Arka Sokaklar, meaning Back Streets, about some intervention civil police squads and their adventures serving the community. A lot of shooting in Istanbul, a city I love, a lot of gangs and schemes were the subject of the mentioned TV novella, all pure fiction, like the honesty of policemen. Not that there isn’t a sort of economic justification in everything, but the premises are of good will and honesty at all odds. In Turkey, as in Brazil, people become police officials for the corrupt money involved.
I was several times in Brazil, first in 1991, when the country was in full financial “crisis”. On TV, government announcements were broadcasted, appealing for the civic spirit of the population to cope with the general strike of The Police Department. So, the scammed and schemed money were not enough, they also wanted generous salaries now. It is monstrous to think like that. The police exists to protect. It is part of a civilized system. They protect you from anomalies. The paradox is that not every policeman is corrupt, a lot of them believe in the system, believe in law and believe in the cleanliness of a society protected by them. Anyway, what I wanted to say here is that the government at that time, begged the population to pick up the corpses from the streets, especially in cities like Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro and Recife, with greater slum density. There was an article (I can’t find anymore) in a magazine, explaining the stiffs on the streets, a result of off-duty activities of policemen. I considered it an exaggeration, even if it was, in a way, perfectly documented, for a Western reader, at least. But so is the recent death of Kim Il Sung’s son presented, “documented” by shallow blogs like The Huffington Post, skewed in Western perspective. Maybe later, an objective view will be presented, but there’s only hope for that.
There were pictures from the penitentiary system, with affirmations about the “resident” number doubling every year, grotesque and inhumane, resembling the Viet Kong’s cages from the Vietnam War “action movies” (fictive junk, with very few exceptions). This “justified” the creation of one of the sickest organizations, with members from the politics, police and military, called The Death Squad. There’s just a few words about The Death Squad on Wikipedia, maybe because things changed, like they changed with PM Erdoğan in Turkey. Everything is cleaner now, with new money for banks, from unexpected places. Who could have imagined Chinese billionaires in US Dollars, twenty years ago? Chinese from communist China, not Taiwan or Hong Kong. Everything is cleaner with Brazil, Turkey and India, as well. I saw some disparities on Turkish TV, trying to accentuate the “crisis feeling”, like the report of a former policeman with the gun (he refused to hand over) in his mouth, live, primetime, saying he can’t pay his debt anymore and that’s the “end”; or another guy not paid by his employer for “crisis” reasons, threatening to blaze himself on fire, and so on. Now, of course, the new billionaires from all these four mentioned “emerging” economies are increasing the “statistics”, but the poor are poorer. Oh yes, the percentage of poor people is decreasing every year, according to specialized statistics.
Brazil, like Turkey, China and India, were at a time on a certain list of “undesirable nations”, the not useful of the earth, a list of peoples to suffer en masse reduction, by all possible means, including natality restrictions, subtle poisoning of water supplies, subtle gas poisoning, altered medicine prescriptions, revolts, civil war, war, all sort of experiments, and many more. So the number of the poor decreased, because the poor are still dying, beaten, burned, tortured, shot, crushed. There is no famine in Turkey, Brazil or China. There used to be in India, at least when I was there. It was somehow relaxed in Turkey, Brazil and China, even during obviously hard times. The general atmosphere was more relaxed than in some EU countries at their best.
Brazil had and still has coffee. But of course, this is not a nationalized product, the vast plantations belong to great landowning families, who usually sponsor politicians or even elect their own members for that. So, the sponsored politicians voted a coffee export embargo, and in seven months, coffee price rose 35 times, with foreign capital to pay for that. They also have gold in Brazil, and were producing, even in great times of “crisis”, the fourth part of the global food supply. So, it looks fine to be the seventh great economy on Earth, or even the sixth, isn’t it?
[Pictures are from Wikipedia, crionline.com, independent.co.uk and ddbstock.com]
They say that in Brazil a poor person lives with one and a half US Dollar per day. I know another country, where in 1998 a whole family of four used to live fine with the equivalent of roughly one hundred dollars a month. Now, the EU neighborhood is undermining this simple fact, showing that the monetary system which is not based anymore on the treasury gold, but on Wall Street loops and bubbles, is a joke, and we all are taking it seriously.
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