Cometh the hour to occupy Brussels!
Sophie Quintin Adali
To come out of this self-inflicted sovereign-debt vortex, the European elite imbued with Keynesian theory insists that we need to incur more debt and must have a big plan. Is this the solution? The proposed rescue mechanism (EFSF) is not only undemocratic, it is premised on the financial support of the Chinese Communist Party. We need to occupy Brussels now!
The latest plan was sold as the “triumph of politics over the markets”. Adding his voice to the concert for ever-more government intervention, the influential constructivist philosopher Jürgen Habermas professed that “the EU can only affirm itself against financial speculation by acquiring political competencies of guidance” (Le Monde, 25/10/2011). Well, “guidance” in the real world has historically translated into centralizing decision-making and less liberty.
The boosted bail-out mechanism will accrue more competencies to deal with sovereign-debt and to “police” profligate governments. In other words, technocrats will be empowered to vet budgets before their submission to the elected parliaments of eurozone countries. As some observers aptly highlight, national parliaments will no longer control the most essential functions of government, decisions on taxation and public funds spending.
Combined with centralized economic government under the “guidance” of the unelected EU president to revive stagnating economies, the rescue deal deemed necessary to stem the debt crisis away from member states and their people a core element of their sovereignty. Can politics without sovereignty work? It certainly failed in the Soviet Union.
The proponents of centralization (integration) point to the lousy job PIGS’ governments made of their public finances as an imperative rationale for action. Many are predicting that the mechanism is doomed. For Austrian economics school scholar Pascal Salin, the EFSF is not the solution because it rewards bad management and reinforcing government intervention. Such a system, he argues, will only create more instability and must be opposed. The Greek people will most probably do just that in the surprise referendum which was clearly not discussed last week.
Call it the great irony of history. For the EU to send its “rescue” envoy to Beijing to ask (or beg?) China to invest in its stability bonds (or save France’s AAA?) was a highly symbolic step. Once upon a time, the EEC stood proud, independent, free and prosperous against the “un-free” Communist bloc. Now the embattled socio-democratic experiment needs help from Communist mandarins who have learned a thing or two from the “free world.” Investment will only be forthcoming if it is profitable, not in the name of any fuzzy notion of redistributive solidarity on a global scale.
In 2011, the EU is proposing to take a great leap backward into the illiberal, undemocratic known. If China’s support materializes, it would de facto seal the entry of the Communist Party into the emerging post-democratic Euro-governance. Chairman Mao must be joyously turning in his grave. A former comrade, President Barroso, stood at the apex of the Euro-Leviathan and proudly announced that “in these most difficult (interesting) of times, we can unite.”
But who knows. European leaders trumpeted that the world had been saved by this eleventh hour “stability deal.” End of story - except of course that in the real EU, the plot thickens. With a predicted Greek “no,” it is back to square one for Euro-centralizers. Let’s hope that the slow-motion death of European democracy will be ended where it all started, in Greece.
* Sophie Quintin Adali is an analyst for www.unmondelibre.org , the Francophone project of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.