7pm Tuesday 23rd
It was at the beginning of 1989 when the French academic Jacques Rupnik sat at his desk, in order to prepare a report on the state of the economic reforms in Mikhail Gorbatsov’s Soviet Union. The term that he used in describing the death rattle of the empire was “Catastroika”.
In Yeltsin’s time, when Russia instituted maybe the biggest and least successful privatization experiment in the history of humanity, a group of Guardian reports assigned a different meaning to Rupnik’s term. “Catastroika” became synonym of the country’s complete destruction by market forces; the sell off of public property; and the steep deterioration of citizens’ living standards.
Now, Catastroika’s unit of measurement was unemployment, social impoverishment, declining life expectancy, as well as the creation of a new cast of oligarchs, who took over the country’s reins. A few years later, a similar effort to massively privatize public property in unified Germany (which is presented as a model for Greece) created millions of unemployed and some of the biggest scandals in European history.
From the makers of Debtocracy, Catastroika presents images, information and material on deregulation and privatization programs that have been implemented at the so-called “developed” world. They use this material to explore what has been happening to Greece.
Debt Resistance UK is a group of activists and researchers. We expose and build resistance to exploitative lending practices, whether related to public or private debt, and challenge the legitimacy of the current debt based economy in pursuit of a truly democratic system. At the moment we’re starting local authority debt audits: we aim to provide information, tools and training that will enable citizens to scrutinise the financial decisions of their local councils and help them pressure their councillors to reject the austerity measures inflicted by Westminster. You can find out more on our website: lada.debtresistance.uk and follow us on twitter: