Does the ‘Pots and Pans’ revolution have a message for us?
By Mandy Hager
It’s hard to know if John Key and his cronies understand the direness of the global situation. Either way, it’s scary.
If they don’t, the next three years will see them sitting on their hands, trying to operate in a world where the goal posts are fast changing, pushing the same old hackneyed neo-liberal economic policies that got us all into this imploding mess in the first place.
They’ll plough money into roads when peak oil will eventually make our excessive use of cars and trucks redundant; continue to cut back on social spending until the foundations of our civil society are so under-pressure we will explode with the kind of desperate riots seen in Britain last year; and pillage our environment with their fossil-fuel mentality until it is so degraded that our wellbeing (plus our tourism and our ability to feed and support ourselves) will collapse.
If they do understand that the global financial and business bubbles are about to burst, coupled with climate change and the inevitable food and resource shortages and conflict that will ensue, then it would appear that they have decided to milk the proverbial cow until she drops down dead. This, I fear, is the more likely scenario.
‘Like the Michael Faye’s’
Like the Michael Faye’s of previous years, I believe we’ll see these men snatch as much wealth and advantage as they can before the ship sinks – leaving us to flounder in the icy seas. Heaven help us all.
The only bright spot in this whole mess is the rise of awareness sweeping the globe that things have to change — financially, environmentally, and in addressing the widening gap between the ‘have’s and have-not’s’.
I recently met a woman from Iceland who told me of her country’s ‘pots and pan’ revolution — an inspiration to all of us who are currently feeling powerless as we see the mess this group of men are binding us into.
Icelandic women took action
The women of that country rose up against their corrupt, embezzling leaders: for two weeks non-stop they banged pots and pans outside their Parliament until, finally, their leaders stood down.
Then they elected a new leader (a woman, hurrah!) whose first job was to confiscate the obscene amounts of money these men had stolen from their country’s coffers – which she redistributed to the poor people who were having their homes repossessed by greedy banks.
It’s a story of non-violent resistance – of ordinary people having the guts to stand up and take a stand. We have forgotten our own personal power to bring about change for good — and we don’t like making waves. It’s nice to have a recent example to re-inspire and activate us. Nice to have proof that good can prevail. We must be brave and fight for what is right.
Whether John Key and his government have a plan or not, it’s up to us to insist that we walk a more ethical and sustainable path, and to set the agenda instead of waiting for the ship to sink with all of us on board.