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117

The Workers Have No Europe

2
terms
4
notes

a rebuttal to the previous piece

Durand, C. (2018). The Workers Have No Europe. Jacobin, 4, pp. 117-150

121

Not only is Emmanuel Macron intent on breaking the exceptional resilience of the French welfare state, but he combines this with renewed activism on the international stage. This activism reminds us — in barely subliminal fashion — that Germany remains a geopolitical dwarf compared to its neighbor, which has nuclear weapons, a seat on the UN Security Council, and nurtures a major neocolonial influence in Africa and the Middle East. [...]

i always forget about this lol

—p.121 by Cédric Durand 7 months, 1 week ago

Not only is Emmanuel Macron intent on breaking the exceptional resilience of the French welfare state, but he combines this with renewed activism on the international stage. This activism reminds us — in barely subliminal fashion — that Germany remains a geopolitical dwarf compared to its neighbor, which has nuclear weapons, a seat on the UN Security Council, and nurtures a major neocolonial influence in Africa and the Middle East. [...]

i always forget about this lol

—p.121 by Cédric Durand 7 months, 1 week ago

"assuming the initial point"; a fallacy of circular reasoning

122

the oft-repeated petitio principii in favor of a European economic government

—p.122 by Cédric Durand
notable
7 months, 1 week ago

the oft-repeated petitio principii in favor of a European economic government

—p.122 by Cédric Durand
notable
7 months, 1 week ago
125

[...] while this declaration was symbolic in character, that did not mean that there was any room for ideological concessions. We can clearly see as much from the section on unemployment benefits: “The unemployed have the right to adequate activation support from public employment services to (re)integrate in the labour market and adequate unemployment benefits of reasonable duration, in line with their contributions and national eligibility rules. Such benefits shall not constitute a disincentive for a quick return to employment.” Activation support, reasonable duration, no disincentives to a quick return to employment.... If the principle of unemployment benefits is indeed recognized here, it comes with a series of precautions that seriously reduce the scope of this right

WoW ... referring to a summit in Gothenburg which adopted 20 principles that would define a social "Pillar" of the EMU

—p.125 by Cédric Durand 7 months, 1 week ago

[...] while this declaration was symbolic in character, that did not mean that there was any room for ideological concessions. We can clearly see as much from the section on unemployment benefits: “The unemployed have the right to adequate activation support from public employment services to (re)integrate in the labour market and adequate unemployment benefits of reasonable duration, in line with their contributions and national eligibility rules. Such benefits shall not constitute a disincentive for a quick return to employment.” Activation support, reasonable duration, no disincentives to a quick return to employment.... If the principle of unemployment benefits is indeed recognized here, it comes with a series of precautions that seriously reduce the scope of this right

WoW ... referring to a summit in Gothenburg which adopted 20 principles that would define a social "Pillar" of the EMU

—p.125 by Cédric Durand 7 months, 1 week ago

give or assign a value to, especially a higher value: "The prophets valorized history"

141

This has the effect of pushing down interest rates but also of supporting the valorization of financial assets, and thereby increasing the wealth of the very richest

—p.141 by Cédric Durand
notable
7 months, 1 week ago

This has the effect of pushing down interest rates but also of supporting the valorization of financial assets, and thereby increasing the wealth of the very richest

—p.141 by Cédric Durand
notable
7 months, 1 week ago
144

[...] if the eurozone were to disband, the main losers would be Germany, Austria, and in, even greater proportion, the European tax havens (Lux- embourg, Netherlands), who would see the deterioration of their agents’ balance sheets. In such a scenario, Portugal and above all Greece would see a boom in their public debt. This would necessarily have to lead to a — in any case desirable — restructuring process.

However, beyond that, the financial and nonfinancial private sectors of each of these two economies, and the rest of the countries taken as a whole, would see their position improve. In other words, the expressions of financial fragility would be concentrated at the very points where there exist situations in dire need of resolving – i.e., the public debt of peripheral countries in need of relief, and tax havens — and within those countries whose financial situation is sufficiently robust that slight damage to certain sectors’ financial balance sheet could be absorbed without any major shock.

—p.144 by Cédric Durand 7 months, 1 week ago

[...] if the eurozone were to disband, the main losers would be Germany, Austria, and in, even greater proportion, the European tax havens (Lux- embourg, Netherlands), who would see the deterioration of their agents’ balance sheets. In such a scenario, Portugal and above all Greece would see a boom in their public debt. This would necessarily have to lead to a — in any case desirable — restructuring process.

However, beyond that, the financial and nonfinancial private sectors of each of these two economies, and the rest of the countries taken as a whole, would see their position improve. In other words, the expressions of financial fragility would be concentrated at the very points where there exist situations in dire need of resolving – i.e., the public debt of peripheral countries in need of relief, and tax havens — and within those countries whose financial situation is sufficiently robust that slight damage to certain sectors’ financial balance sheet could be absorbed without any major shock.

—p.144 by Cédric Durand 7 months, 1 week ago
148

Neoliberal policies are at the very heart of the European Union. This demands that the social and political organizations of the Left find the avenues that will allow them to activate a new plan for the Continent, running against the forms that the integration process has taken in the past. Between a simple reenactment of what went before in the name of the European ideal, or a Euroscepticism that is just a stunted version of a retreat into nationalism, I suggest that there is also an alternative strategy: namely, the project of a selective de-integration and re-integration of Europe. The objective is to keep open the channels of cooperation between European states, while at the same time acquiring greater room for manoeuvre, in order to reactivate a socialist and environmentalist socioeconomic project. In other words, the goal is to change the hierarchy of the questions around which European integration is organized.

The fate of the single currency is central to such a perspective, given its deflationary bias, the unilateral character of the adjustments that it imposes, and the resulting loss of diversity in socio-productive systems. In theory, a European fiscal system that allowed the rapid rise of a welfare state, an ambitious industrial policy, and consequential regional programs, could change the social nature of the existing monetary order. In practice, the conditions of policymaking at the European level rule out any substantial change within the foreseeable future. This means that for the Left, it is an important political responsibility to embrace exit from the euro, a dismantling of the eurozone, or, preferably, the transformation of the euro into a common currency. Although it should be understood that is not an objective unto itself, but rather a means of taking back control of the political agenda, this question is nonetheless an unavoidable one. While such an institutional construction process poses important legal and political questions, there are no technical difficulties that preclude the adoption of such a course. On the contrary, as I have argued, the incentives structure that today sets creditor countries in opposition to debtor countries would be overturned through the perspective of abandoning the single currency, for each country would have an interest in cooperating to limit financial turbulence and finding a mutually beneficial arrangement.

—p.148 by Cédric Durand 7 months, 1 week ago

Neoliberal policies are at the very heart of the European Union. This demands that the social and political organizations of the Left find the avenues that will allow them to activate a new plan for the Continent, running against the forms that the integration process has taken in the past. Between a simple reenactment of what went before in the name of the European ideal, or a Euroscepticism that is just a stunted version of a retreat into nationalism, I suggest that there is also an alternative strategy: namely, the project of a selective de-integration and re-integration of Europe. The objective is to keep open the channels of cooperation between European states, while at the same time acquiring greater room for manoeuvre, in order to reactivate a socialist and environmentalist socioeconomic project. In other words, the goal is to change the hierarchy of the questions around which European integration is organized.

The fate of the single currency is central to such a perspective, given its deflationary bias, the unilateral character of the adjustments that it imposes, and the resulting loss of diversity in socio-productive systems. In theory, a European fiscal system that allowed the rapid rise of a welfare state, an ambitious industrial policy, and consequential regional programs, could change the social nature of the existing monetary order. In practice, the conditions of policymaking at the European level rule out any substantial change within the foreseeable future. This means that for the Left, it is an important political responsibility to embrace exit from the euro, a dismantling of the eurozone, or, preferably, the transformation of the euro into a common currency. Although it should be understood that is not an objective unto itself, but rather a means of taking back control of the political agenda, this question is nonetheless an unavoidable one. While such an institutional construction process poses important legal and political questions, there are no technical difficulties that preclude the adoption of such a course. On the contrary, as I have argued, the incentives structure that today sets creditor countries in opposition to debtor countries would be overturned through the perspective of abandoning the single currency, for each country would have an interest in cooperating to limit financial turbulence and finding a mutually beneficial arrangement.

—p.148 by Cédric Durand 7 months, 1 week ago