Commentary on Political Economy

Thursday 16 April 2015

Europe Eviscerated

"L’Europa che non osa, che vola sempre più basso forse nell’illusione di mimetizzarsi e sparire dai radar nazionali, non li ostacola ma li aiuta. Dovrebbe bastare questo a farla riflettere, a farle ritrovare la strada di un’integrazione seria ed equilibrata a vantaggio di tutti i suoi Stati membri. Invece ovunque regna l’utilitarismo gretto. Niente leadership. Di questo passo, volontaria o no, la deriva è assicurata," (Adriana Cerretelli, Il Sole 24 Ore)

(The Europe that does not dare, that flies ever lower, maybe under the illusion to hide and disappear from nationalist radar screens, does not challenge but instead aids them [nationalisms and populisms]. This should suffice to make it reflect, to make it find again the road to a serious and balanced integration to the advantage of all of its member states. Instead everywhere rules the grittiest utilitarianism. No leadership. At this rate, voluntary or no, the shipwreck is assured.)

It is impossible to put into words the feelings of revulsion and disgust mounting to vaulting despair infused by the suicidal behaviour of European national bourgeois elites. For the third time in less than one hundred years this redolent miasma of worms, this incalculably despicable rotten and sodden mass of miserable maggots - from Merkel to Berlusconi and now even Renzi, no less than the poseurs making a travesty of socialist ideals in Greece - are leading our sacred Europe to the brink of internecine war and dissolution, all in the name of "reforms" and "rigour" that serve as the thinnest veneer for their ubiquitous "grittiest utilitarianism", for the narrowest, most sordid of self-interests. One is almost tempted to raise one's finger to the sky and thunder out like the friar padre Cristoforo did in Alessandro Manzoni's The Betrothed, in condemnation of Don Rodrigo's interference with a young couple's love: "La maledizione di Dio cadra' su questa casa!" (the curse of God shall fall over this house!).

Deep breath. What I am trying to do here is to reflect on the more subterranean and subtle transformations in the Western approach to the concept of Freedom that have led to the dominant ideology of the capitalist bourgeoisie, what we know as liberalism or in Germany as Ordo-liberalism - an ideology based on the neat separation between "the sphere of necessity" (the market economy) and "the sphere of freedom" (public opinion or "life-style" or, if you like, Lady Gaga and George Clooney). What is presented to us as "the science of economics", and what therefore marks the outer bounds of our "freedom", of "what we can do and hope" (Kant), now rules over our daily lives connected by a long thread running all the way to the Europaplatz in Frankfurt and to the City of London - a rigmarole made up of financial jargon and fiscal austerity.

The aim is to find a conception of freedom that may serve as a sword to cut through the veils of economese and as a guide to light the path to political action. The next piece will be titled "The Bounds of Free-dom". Cheers to all our friends.

No comments:

Post a Comment