Commentary on Political Economy

Thursday 27 October 2011

Comment on John Major FT Article

John Major has written an article that only a statesman could write ( - such is the depth and intensity of "understanding" of political realism between the (still) nation-states that make up the European Union. One is reminded here of Machiavelli and his reference to "quelli che sanno" - those who know - meaning that there is a level of politcal "understanding" that is closer to "maturity" than to mere "analysis".
What the ex-PM of Britain "understands" is that there are still very deep and at present "insurmountable" fault-lines in the European construction in terms of the inter-capitalist rivalries concerning, first and more immediately, the sharing of the "burden of adjustment" precipitated by the GFC, and second the structural imbalances that were, again, "precipitated" by the post-Lehman crisis.
Now, in reality, however much we may deprecate the fact, the global financial crisis came too soon for the European political, financial and industrial elites to meet its serious challenges in a united and decisive manner: this much is amply demonstrated by recent events and the farcical "dithering" at European formal and informal "summits".
But the largest and most important part of the "failure" of European "leadership" by the elites is the fact that, in the context of building a "more perfect union" of European citizens, they opted instead to emphasise the "economic and competitive gains" that such Union could deliver.
Now, it is precisely these "competitive gains" that have failed to materialise: the system has not "delivered the goods". Far from uniting Europeans, the EU project so firmly implanted on the triumph of egoism and rapacity, of self-interest and profit-making, is actually managing to alienate Europeans and to turn them against one another.
In the premises, the "deal" reached last night, far from solving anything, only manages to make matters worse - catastrophically worse - for the simple reason that it has "resolved" nothing when a lot needed to be "resolved". The Bourses may celebrate for the instant: but the hurricane is out in the ocean, gaining ominous and terrifying strength as it moves closer to the European heartland.
(More detailed analyses are at

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