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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 09:36 AM

53. THE MODEST PROPOSAL AND THE DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT (eurozone and EU)

 

http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2012/04/18/the-modest-proposal-and-the-democratic-deficit/

...The very structure of the European Union (inter-governmental rather than federal) puts a great distance between citizens and the EU itself. This is why, quite naturally, even though most Europeans are pro-Europe, the EU is rather unloved (and, for some, positively loathed). Then came the Eurozone. A currency union predicated upon a single institution (the ECB) that is, by design, unaccountable and, to boot, geared towards shifting the burden of an economic crisis from the social classes and strata whose actions helped cause the crisis to the weak shoulders of those who never benefitted from the preceding boom. Since such a ‘shift’ causes adverse popular reaction, the ECB is a natural ally of the domestic political forces (especially in the deficit member-states whose population bears the brunt) whose task is to bend the electorate to their will, and to the ECB’s will. To all intents and purposes, an economic crisis in the Eurozone ends up creating a form of neo-neo-colonialism within the world’s most advanced ‘democracy’ – within the EU.

In short, the awful architecture of our common currency, which was never designed to deal with a crisis like the current one, reacts to the unplanned for crisis with savage incursions into the democratic process of the deficit countries, whose populations must be beaten into a pulp until they surrender their spirit to the irrationality of the ‘cure’ (bailouts plus austerity). And since no one can remain free when others within their broader community are turned into slaves (to paraphrase Hegel), the democratic losses of the periphery soon expand to the core, the result being that Greece’s and Ireland’s democratic deficit soon spreads to Germany and Holland, diminishing the democratic processes of the surplus countries. In the end, as we have been witnessing in the Eurozone over the past two years, governments everywhere are misleading their parliaments and their people.

To put it simply, whereas in economic terms when one is in deficit someone else must be in surplus, in political terms we can all end up in a democratic deficit. The galloping Euro Crisis is dismantling the last vestiges of Europe’s democratic processes everywhere. Not just in the periphery. A necessary, though not insufficient, condition for ending this sad dynamic, and redressing the democratic deficit is to put an end to the Euro Crisis in a manner that does not give more discretionary power to the centre, to unelected officials, to ECB-like ‘rulers of the universe’...

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