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Where the fuck is the ‘revolutionary subject’ in the European crisis?

March 24, 2013 1 comment

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An interesting question from George Magnus of the banking giant UBS via Zero Hedge: “Why Are The European Streets Relatively Quiet?”

To understand the background of Magnus’s question we have to go to 2010. At that time, the economist Michael Pettis predicted Europe would have three years or or so to impose its “labor restructuring” before all hell broke loose and national politics descended into chaos:

“I don’t in any sense pretend to be an expert on the subject, but one of the things that surprises me is that as far as I know (perhaps because I am looking in the wrong places) and in spite of very clear historical precedent, very few analysts, even the greatest euro-skeptics, are wondering about the changes in electoral politics that are likely to take place in Europe over the next few years as a consequence of the euro adjustment.  For example Wolfgang Munchau has an excellent article in the Financial Times in which he concludes, like I did in my post last week, that:

The eurozone is manoeuvring itself into a position where it confronts the choice between two alternatives considered “unimaginable”: fiscal union or break-up.

Obviously I think he is right, but I would add that the window for that choice is a small one.  If Europe doesn’t move quickly, within two or three years it will probably be very difficult, if not impossible, to engineer fiscal union.  By then domestic politics are likely to be too unstable for the European political elite simply to arrange union over the heads of the citizenry.”

But here we are five years after the outbreak of the global crisis and almost three years after Pettis wrote his words, yet still European working classes are offering only limited resistance — nowhere near the sort of political chaos the bourgeois apologist Pettis imagined.

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