Manuel Castells was being interviewed for a recent Dutch documentary on the crisis, you can watch it here. I saw a bit of in the break of the Robin Hood film I was watching and I thought Yeah! this is how it is.
This idea that this is not a crisis, but a trick, do you agree with that?Absolutely. On the trick part. It is a crisis, in economic terms, but the crisis in fact has been used to improve the power and the profits of the financial groups which are in fact the leading elite in our society. All major banks and financial institutions in the last year have reported extraordinary profits. But now the governments are in a fiscal crisis, the governments need the money, and the banks say: “Well, in order to be stable and not to go back into our trouble, we cannot lend it to you. And in fact, the only way we are going to lend something to someone if you start cutting wages, firing workers, curtailing social rights and eliminating the collective power of the unions.” In that sense, the trick part of this statement seems to be empirically supported. Because profits are hugely up, some of the Spanish banks have reported largest profits in history, in 2010. And at the same time, the condition has been created for an assault on the welfare state, social rights, labour union power, and in fact on all the institutions that were constructing people’s lives in terms of their basic needs. So I don't think it’s necessarily conspiracy of the capitalist class and organisation but ultimately it is being used in those terms. So in the perception of people this is obviously a trick.