It's September 11, and there will be no shortage of stories in the news about what happened in New York 12 years ago today. And it is for that reason that I like to also talk about the forgotten suffering of others that happened around this time. When the weak and powerless suffer it's not talked about as often.
Today is the 40th anniversary of the coup in Chile, which was much more deadly and caused a lot more suffering. Some of the lessons are discussed briefly at Crooked Timber. When capital feels threatened, this is how they react. This is very much worth remembering.
On September 10, 1987, 19 unarmed coal miners were shot in the back and killed as they tried to negotiate a decent life for themselves and a larger share of the revenue they created. The owners, once again facing the prospect of threatened profits, called in the violence. It's discussed at Daily Kos. One of many bloody incidents that's not often discussed in your high school American history classrooms.
A few weeks back was the 42nd anniversary of a monumental event. The dismantling of the Bretton Woods financial framework, which has since ushered in the age of finance. The framers at Bretton Woods understood that unrestricted capital movement was the end of democracy. Owners of capital become the new virtual senate. So suppose a nation wants to initiate policies that are in the interest of the people and supported by the people, such as building infrastructure, providing health care, and providing education. These policies are irrational from the perspective of the owners of capital in their drive for short term profit. Facing the prospect of capital flight the will of the people must be disregarded. Capital can enjoy the spoils as the place deteriorates, then quickly move on to the next victim. Today it's India's turn. Read the discussion at Naked Capitalism here. Rising inequality, even in the US, is a direct consequence of this action.
Some rich privileged types say they don't mind that, but they should for a lot of reasons, including the fact that inequalty harms them as well even though they are rich.