There is a lot of talk about saving the euro right now but anyone with knowledge of economics and EU decision-making, fairly 101 knowledge knew what the traders knew. They, the EU as a multi-lateral union can’t save Euro.
It was over after the first compromise with Greece.
It was over the day the French, Italians and Spanish pretended they were doing something about their problems.
It was over the day European protocol meant you couldn’t get serious answers from the troubled states.
It was over from the start when we realised the bucket had holes in it. Pour more money in and it will still leak because the market knows the debts are unsustainable and simply can’t be fixed. Germany knows this too.
It’s over but I’m not sure what it means yet. We are looking at a form of collapse, a definite default across the Euro dragging down other economies and ruining investments.
This isn’t the end of the EU. But the dreams and talk of only 2000 by politicians, academics and commentators with ideas of Europe taking over from the US as the normative exemplary masked the reality that the growth (and frankly almost all neo-liberal growth) was based on debt for the simple reason that neo-liberalism and community/welfare are incompatible. If you want to have both, then you need debt (or possibly vast resources) to fund it. Otherwise you end up with the crumbling infra-structure like the US.
You may ask how do Asian economies survive and prosper. Well simply they are either bottom line resource exporters or have no welfare system whatsoever and rely on forms of coercion (cultural, national or crude violence) to maintain their system. The same coercion we increasingly see in the UK.
Its gonna get ugly one way or another. For too long we’ve pretended there’s a genuine unity but soon enough, when strife arrives at the door, we make decisions like a crazed, broken lovers. Forced into corners, we finally propose options and make decisions for sustainability or bust. And yet these aggressive, selfish decisions are simply the rational acts of a delusional mind.
These protective measures have a logic. National interest is taking over. We saw it at the climate change conferences. We will see it in Busan this week over aid and development. We’ve seen how national or economic interest has funded war actively or covertly and we will see it over the next few weeks as the EU is forced to confront its internal dysfunctions.
The belief from Fukuyama of an ‘End of History’ missed the vital aspects (as International Relation theorists tend to). It’s not about economic, political or legal systems. Its about culture. Culture breeds education, health, how and whether we pay tax, levels of trust, political expediency. Ending culture diversity is the key but that is impossible and totally undesirable. Universalism in political systems, economics, laws and development has all fallen at the door of culture. All efforts to subjugate culture from the Soviets monopoly and French forced assimilation to the British strong multicultural policies have failed.
Difference rebels when assimilation is attempted. Culture has strength. It has identity. Whether it’s a true image or a mythologised eulogy, it doesn’t matter. It has the strength resist. Tolerance of difference has failed the EU. Enforced assimilation too will fail. Merkel is now talking of a common fiscal policy. It’s the only way to go but good luck Angela. Siborski, the Polish foreign minister called for a unified economic system with increased political powers in return for staying out of cultural aspects. Again good luck with that!
There is a naive idea that the US is a joyous nation but it too was only created through exploration, war, purchase and exploitation and it sits behind a myth of economy and an idea sung every morning in school. States must follow the Federal Government or risk losing their federal funding. Funding is tied to the federal state’s interest.
The promotion of nationalism, the fear of being taken over, is real to some for they feel threatened. It is also inevitable. Multiculturalism, the tolerating of difference is never enough. Tolerance is not acceptance. It is ignoring or granting of cultural identity. But cultural identity exists and will continue to show it strength and resistance. Moderating it is fine. But stop pretending it will go away by pretending.