The first anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ collapse and last week’s meeting of the G20 countries have provoked numerous reflections on the causes and possible solutions to the current financial and economic mess. The problem is that the majority of these deal with cosmetic rather than the profound changes needed to get the global economy back on track.
After a brief period of destabilisation, self-justification and the occasional mea culpa, the very people and institutions that plunged the world into crisis have re-emerged unscathed, as the fount of truth and all reasonable policy.
The ancient discussion about the purposes of wealth and the conflict between oligarchy – rule of the rich – and democracy – the rule of the demos/the people comes to the fore once again with the Occupy protests.
One week before the official Asia-Europe government meeting (ASEM) gathers in Milan, over 400 people from 42 countries in Europe and Asia gathered at the 10th Asia-Europe Peoples forum (AEPF) to present their demands and recommendations.