Progressive social movements have long expressed support for ‘another Europe’. Their almost unanimous support for the Greek referendum’s ‘no’ vote against the Troika proposal for further austerity policies speaks volumes about the frustration of building a Europe from below.
"While political outcomes varied to a certain extent in the first part of the crisis, the common outcome of EU intervention was in eliding policy differences between left and right, and therefore the democratic dynamics of government and opposition. Even if the crisis caused governmental defeats and early elections in Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Greece, policy imposed from above remained unchanged. In fact, grand coalitions and (self-defined) technocratic governments were often appointed."
Notice how closely this runs in parallel to politics and political outcomes within our very own Homeland!
For all the show biz value of Republicans showing their racism, misogyny, and classic resistance to anything as self-evident as the science of global warming, when push comes to shove, the Dems and Republicans due to both camps' allegiance to Big Money (and all that campaign generosity issuing from the 1%/ruling class) join together to push war and slow, but steady, Austerity programs here at home.
THIS is the game plan. Provide voters with the ILLUSION of choice while policies remain in place that comfort the $/comfortable while afflicting the already afflicted. The 1% will continue to use its control of political players to push war so that the vast sums lost will then serve as a pretext to cut off the faucet on funding what's truly important--and necessary--to the vast majority.
It's not just happening in Europe. It's time to connect ALL relevant dots. The TPP is the icing on this diabolical cake. This is the recipe or formula:
"Closed, self-sustained and unchecked decision-makers have been empowered during the crisis. These include bureaucrats in the ECB. In this respect, the EU democratic deficit is increased by the unaccountability of those formal and informal EU institutions that de facto challenge democratic governments at the domestic level. The unaccountable ECB holds an increasing amount of autonomous power to decide whether to create money and under which conditions to distribute it, with the potential for manipulating market panic and citizens’ fears in order to impose policy." And so is the union-busting mentioned earlier in this in-depth article.
She could have summarized this all by making the observation that all of these are symptons of Capitalism wherein the "rights" of capital supercede that of the people.
Capitalism is fundamentally un-democratic , is Authoritarian and leads to Fascism which is exactly where the EU heads towards, These "new Fascists" in Europe , supported by those Old Fascists in the USA much as they were in the 1930's , see only Russia as standing in their way . It is 1939 all over again. The "growth" paradigm does not mean just growing "jobs" or "markets" or "profits" or "income. It is about growing the Empire so it extends to every corner of the Globe and every recess of the mind. It seeks total and complete dominance over all.
We do not need more "growth".
So long as the population continues to grow, production of life support essential like food, potable water, and shelter will have to grow somehow to evade a famine driven die off. That's why an argument about the need for "growth" seems to make sense to the population of everyday people.
The runaway train of economic activity can not continue to metastasize for much longer but no one yet has presented anything remotely resembling a "plan" for dealing with any of this.
The Greek fertility rate is 1.34 meanining it has negative population growth. As a country addresses issues of wealth inequality and poverty and introduces programs such as pensions that will keep a person out of poverty in their old age, population growth tends to slow. In 1960 , prior to such programs it was closer to 2.5.
The Countries that have the highest population growth are the very poorest where no such programs exist and where educational opportunities lacking. The prescription for the fix, in the way of austerity will in my opinion result in more children being born over the long term as people see those extra mouths to feed as an opportunity to earn extra income and of a means of supporting a person in their older age.
At the same time many countries which follow the Capitalist model of endless growth have begun to worry about this lowered fertility rate as it will diminish the available pool of workers and consumers leading to higher wages and lower profits. Added to this Capitalism as it functions in the consumer economy tends to overprodice goods so as to lower the costs of production and increase profits. They than must try and create markets for said good where none existed before.
The article is a classic example of overblown academic verbosity stating the obvious.
The EU started out as the Common Market and had nothing to do with democracy and the sovereign democratic rights of the "European" electorate. As for how a country with 11 million people can competen in a "common market" with an industrial nation of around 80-90 million, such as Germany, is a matter for conjecture; to think that one currency can cover such a disparity in size is proof of the malicious stupidity of European.economists