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It's official! Dutch government wants participatory society

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Quoting from the Global Times, 17 September 2013:

On behalf of the Dutch government, King Willem-Alexander said the Dutch society has to change from a classic welfare state to a participatory society during his maiden Speech from the Throne on Tuesday.

On the traditional opening day of the parliamentary year, Prince's Day, the Dutch government presented its plans, for the first time read by new King Willem-Alexander. The latter became King of the Netherlands on April 30 this year, after his mother Beatrix abdicated.

Discussion 5 Comments

  • Lambert Meertens 21st Sep 2013

    At a manifestation in The Hague held that day to protest the austerity measures Joke Kaviaar, poet and human rights activist, gave a speech that I've translated to English and given below. For the Dutch original, see here: https://www.indymedia.nl/node/19216.


    What kind of society is this, by which people are exploited, hunted, excluded, sickened, locked up, expelled from their homes or the country, while banks and multinationals are rewarded? A 'participatory society'! And then to have to hear that word from the mouth of a crowned profiteer who shortly before was driven, with much display of power, in a golden coach through The Hague, that is something to get sick from!

    This city, The Hague, also calls itself: 'City of peace, justice and safety'. Not so long ago, the 100th anniversary of the Peace Palace was celebrated here. But while people were dining and lecturing in the Peace Palace, refugees protesting outside were ignored by the press, intimidated, assaulted and arrested by the police.

    They were demonstrating for their Right to Existence!

    They, and many other refugees, have shown their faces during the last two years. Their faces that, if it had been up to the state of the Netherlands, would never have become visible. For they do not exist on paper. Their presence is systematically punished by incitement, threats and persecution. And still no change is in sight. The pretense is made, but it's all a matter of juggling with figures and definitions to maintain the semblance of humaneness while the functioning of the deportation machine is perfected. Prisons, reporting obligations and deposits. Cooperate or suffer hard repression. Whether left or right, to hell and death.

    We may all participate to perform this all. There is plenty of work! Everyone may participate in maintaining and increasing the divide in society. The motto is: Kick downwards, lick upwards!

    Last year there was on the Koekamp here in The Hague for months an encampment of refugees who now demonstrated for the Peace Palace. Hand in hand with the then Minister Leers of deportation affairs the mayor of this city, Van Aartsen, did all he could to end the protest of the refugees. They had to return to the anonymity of life on the streets as soon as possible, the life of fearfully hiding. Or return to something the Dutch state calls: 'their own country'. But the refugees braved rain, wind and cold. Their tents held. And when I got there, a warm welcome waited me. Then a chair was emptied by the stove. Then I was offered food and drink. The hospitality of the protesting refugees of Right to Existence, who had endured all kinds of things in the countries from which they had come, and after that here in the Netherlands, is without boundaries!

    May these people also participate, Willem Alexander? May these people also participate, Mark Rutte?! We already know the answer. The refugees too already know the answer. The answer is in the longstanding policy of migration control:

    The Linkage Act. Because of this people can no longer provide in their livelihood, except by letting themselves be exploited in sweatshops, greenhouses and prostitution. Made possible by the illegalization of their existence.

    The Dublin Convention. As a result, people are limited in their freedom of movement because they may now only apply for asylum in one country: the country where they first arrived. Refugees are stuck between the borders that would be supposedly open. They are not allowed to stay anywhere, but they can go nowhere. The European Return Directive, with entry prohibitions and long-term emprisonment. The next step to perfect the manhunt is criminalization of something that the states themselves have invented: illegality. But life cannot be illegal!

    In this time of austerity we are recently seeing large groups of Dutch demonstrating. They are angry because they feel the effects of the crisis. And rightly so. But why revolt only now? There are very many people who already have been without a roof over their heads for a long time. There are very many people who cannot insure themselves against health. These people have long been excluded from what so hypocritically is called: participatory society! These people are what they call: illegal. The only thing they get to hear, year after year, is that they are to blame for everything.

    There has to be a solution to the crisis!

    In recent years one government after the other copied the extreme-right propaganda of national-socialist Wilders in order to attract voters. Self-interest. Career. Politicians think they matter. But politicians are nothing but the puppets of capital. Whether they say they are left or right, they will never do anything that goes against the interests of this economic order. And so, in plain language or veiled language: the so-called 'aliens', the 'foreigners', they are the scapegoat. They are 'too much'.

    It couldn't be easier! Just kick the men, women and children, long doomed to slavery, into the abyss. Good riddance! And then now let's put the shoulders together to the wheel to help pull the Netherlands through!

    No, one shouldn't put the blame for the crisis on the glorification of money grabbing. No, one may not put the blame for the crisis on capitalism, which needs racism and nationalism to continue to exist. No, one must not seek the blame for the crisis in the ravaging effects of over-production and mass consumption. No, the blame for the debt crisis is not with the banks who so urgently needed to be rescued. No, the fault is not with the multinationals that suck the Third World empty for oil, for raw materials from mines where children are put to work for our mobile phones, our iPods, iPhones, our luxury.

    And no, the crisis has nothing to do with the financing of dictatorships, the legal arms trade in nuclear weapons of mass destruction, the profiting from war and famine. Of course not! Just buy another couple of JSF fighter jets! Just invade somewhere else to bomb the civilian population! Weird eh... that refugees are come here!? How so they have no business being here? We have everything!

    In this society the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Let the rich pay for the crisis! They already have been taking advantage of the crisis for years! They are the epitome of capitalism! They are the ones who have the real power! It is not all those people who go once every four years to the polls, who have a say. They just bring another puppet to power. Democracy is just another form of dictatorship. The dictatorship of money. And money is power.

    The Binnenhof here, the Lower House, is one huge puppetry show! Here Diederik Samsom was crying, as he puts it, for the fate of refugees. But Diederik Samsom has held a carrot in front of the members of his own party, in order to be able to continue holding the hand of Mark Rutte. "We are two friends, you and I"... Many people have lost confidence in this government, and so the rows must be closed, unity must be feigned. Meanwhile the fascist Geert Wilders takes advantage of the growing discontent. Do not fall for it!

    Wilders is one of the leaders of the extreme right-wing forces that want to gain terrain throughout Europe by aggressively hate sowing and nationalist slogans. The fists of the French Front National of Marine Le Pen are being joined with those of Wilders. What they pursue is the law of the jungle, 'own people first'. The right to racism, fascism, discrimination. Wilders wants to seize power by blinding people with anxiety and false solutions, by seducing them with a fake protest against austerity that is laced with xenophobia. But it is not a protest, it is the first step towards a coup neatly dressed in a suit made to measure! Do not let yourselves be fooled!

    But it's not just Wilders against whom we have to be on our guard. I already said it: the views of Wilders have been adopted over the years. This is not a new development! It has crept into our society, this fascism, like a poisonous snake.

    The surveillance state has arrived a long time ago! Who does not cooperate is suspect.

    No one is any longer surprised to see police on the streets demanding of people that they show their identification papers. Especially of those with a different skin colour, or people who are not dressed in Western style. "Ausweis bitte!" No one is any longer surprised when a tram or a bus is stopped and surrounded, when all passengers are taken out to be checked for their papers. No one is any longer surprised when houses are raided, and people fleeing the aliens police jump from the balconies to their deaths. No one is any longer surprised that the police get paid a bounty for any man or woman who has no residence permit and who they manage to put in a cell. No one is any longer surprised when the police photographs and films all participants during a manifestation.

    Don't you too wonder why so much is invested in that surveillance state, in making people afraid of other people, in a divide-and-rule policy? Why is there no protest against this? Is it because everyone thinks that it is not their problem?

    Over the course of three or four decades, society has slipped towards a selfish everyone-for-themselves society, now called participatory society so as to disguise that it mainly means that we all should contribute to perfecting the totalitarian neoliberal punishment state that has capitalism as an ideology, and in which everyone is supposed to walk neatly in line. And... FORWARD MARCH!

    On this day, in which so many people have gathered here in peaceful protest, I ask all of us the following question:

    What would you do, if there was a war here, if you were prosecuted, if your family had been murdered already, if you were hungry, if you did not see a possibility to build a life here. What would you do?

    And I ask you: What will you do if after this demonstration the police come at you, and demands that you show your ID?

    What will you do if the police do not do that to you because you are a white Dutchman, but to one of the refugees participating today in this protest, fearing to be deported to Iraq, Iran, Somalia or Afghanistan? Do you then think: That's not my problem? For that is precisely what the civil servants say, those desk killers who imagine themselves to be unassailable, those who always say that they are merely doing their jobs.

    I say: when we stand by there, then the police have a problem!

    And if the refugees, the so-called illegal immigrants, hold a demonstration? Than we will join!

    If there is something in which we all have to participate, it is this: standing up for each other, internationally. Waging the struggle together against the real causes of the crisis, and not only because we feel the crisis in our own wallets! Engage in solidarity! You may need to actually physically stand in the way of the police. You may perhaps have to risk of being the one who is arrested. I say: let's do it!

    And I ask: What do we do if there is a raid at the neighbours, and your neighbour woman climbs onto your balcony or jumps into your garden, for fear of deportation? Then we will protect her. We hide her until the police wis gone.

    We do this not only because it is human. We do this because we must resist. Because in principle it is the right thing to do. Because the name of the crisis is capitalism. Because a crisis has been going on for so long in the poor continents, in order to fund and maintain our prosperity, that people are forced to leave their families. We do this because the austerity that we now experience as Dutch citizens have already been daily fare for a long time in the rest of the world. On human lives slavery has cut costs for centuries!

    I say: participate in resistance! Do not let yourself be guided by hate, but by solidarity!

    Joke Kaviaar, 20 September 2013

  • LedSuit ' 22nd Sep 2013

    Another poet,eh. They put it so well.

    We're building a gated community here too. For the original people's of this land though, we are the strayaliens. Astrayaliens. But we have already put them to the sword and kicked them into the abyss.

    Sort of like two species. Worthy and unworthy. The unworthy more like a virus looking to leap the artificial boundary of the bifurcated world that distinguishes between life and non life. A boundary that doesn't really exist and cannot be found when we look for it. But those with too much will do whatever it takes to create the illusion of such a boundary so the company may continue to grow. All hail the company and FORWARD MARCH!

    Life isn't just illegal for the unworthy it is denied. They are zombies. The are too much for those with too much. A real bloody nuisance.

    Grand Designs vs Adult Cops and Border Security. We can see in these shows that proliferate on the airwaves the people we care about. The pleated pants, open neck shirt, suit and tie, risk taking, money isn't a problem but if it is I'll beat it, neat, yes I like good wine, well educated, environmentally concerned, stressed but that's what drives me, get shit done, mover and shaker wanker over the I've given up tracky dacks, looking for a fix, existing in the cracks and smoking it too, foul mouth unemployed garbage, landfilled dischordants that we arrest so fairly and gently on camera and suspiciously spy and suspect as they come through customs.

    Parasitism or amensalism ? A bit of both I'd say. The unworthy being the host that the worthy feed off or the inhibited one, weakened and eventually annihilated by the stronger who then feeds of the nutrients of the unworthy's decomposing body. A cycle that must be cut.

    People looking for a right to life, a right to exist!! The mind truly boggles.

    Thanks for the translation Lambert. Poets are necessary beings.

  • LedSuit ' 22nd Sep 2013

    Like in Golding's The Inheritors (working from distant memory here so vague), when the 'primitive' meets the 'modern', 'simple' meets the 'complex', the 'unsophisticated' meets the 'sophisticated' , the latter, through fear rather than curiosity, obliterates and vanquishes the former, leaving little trace of what was once there, forgetting it and expunging it from history while permanently scarring without concern its own innocence. In fact, it still believes its innocence is unscarred and IT is the victim. Fortresses are then built. Niches within the environment are bounded and defended to the death when the 'sophisticated' are confronted by the 'unsophisticated' who come looking for nothing but a life within the sunshine. "Please sir, may I have some more."

    Separation where there is none.

  • Sean Michael Wilson 27th Oct 2013

    Glad to see this radicalism from the Netherlands.

    • Lambert Meertens 27th Oct 2013

      You may be interested to hear that Joke Kaviaar, for publishing similarly radical texts, has been convicted of incitement and sentenced to four months imprisonment. She has appealed the sentence; a preliminary court hearing on the appeal will take place in Amsterdam this Friday, 1st November.