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There is nothing in the thread (either in DCB's commentary, Mélenchon's reply or Redstar's gloss) which indicates this "good faith" position.



If you want to begin the energy transition, there is one thing to do: break the monopoly of EDF.
If you enacted a 0.1% tax on every phone call happened in Europe, in addition to the tax on financial transactions, these could generate, according to calculations, between 50 and 80 billion euros per year that would go into Europe's coffers. There it is, the necessary room for maneuver - at the European level, not impoverished states which compose it!
Yes of course! When you hear Jean-Luc Melenchon castigate American imperialism, do not you hear the speech the hollow Communist Party diatribes against NATO in the 1950s?

This is all pernicious nonsense. In order:
  • Breaking the vertically integrated utilities is a subsidy to GazProm and a jobs program for the City of London, as has been explained in great and well-illustrated detail on this blog over the years.

  • Treating the financial transaction tax as a revenue-generating measure is a fundamentally right-wing narrative on two levels:
    1. It sets up the financial transaction tax for failure, because a successful FTT would minimise revenues, by selecting the local revenue minimum where it renders the greatest volume of spurious transactions unprofitable while imposing the lowest burden on legitimate transactions. And attempting to maximise revenues will not only miss the whole point of a FTT, it will likely prove far more difficult than a proper implementation.

    2. It feeds the right-wing narrative that the sovereign has to "finance" its outlays either through borrowing or taxation. This is flatly untrue, and propagates the very hard-money quackery which has lead us into this crisis and which, if perpetuated, will destroy the European Union, and very possibly the whole of the European democratic tradition.

  • Asserting that questioning the wisdom of European NATO membership is inherently Unserious is a pernicious Atlanticist talking point. It is, in fact, not at all obvious what benefit Europe accrues from NATO membership and it is even less obvious why this question should be met with shrill rebuke. Unless it is because those who refuse to entertain the question do so to avoid revealing that they have no convincing answer.

What is clear is that DCB is arguing in favour of the European and infra-state levels, and that Mélenchon and Redstar are arguing for abandoning both and retrenching to the nation-state.

What is clear is that the European inter-state level is fundamentally broken and that key parts - chiefly the monetary union and the inner market in services - need to be rolled back and their rebuilding put on hold pending much more activist federal fiscal and industrial policy. Actual fiscal and industrial policy, not the neoliberal la-la-land fiscal and industrial non-policy we have been treated to since Maastrict.

Forging ahead on the current institutional foundations will blow Europe apart (perhaps literally as well as metaphorically), not further the cause of European integration. We've passed the point where that train wreck could be avoided, now it's a search, rescue and salvage operation to preserve as many parts of the European federal structure as we can. And the first step in any salvage operation is triage: To identify which parts can be salvaged, which parts are irretrievably damaged, and which parts must be jettisoned because they present a clear and present danger. The common currency belong firmly and obviously in the last group.

What is also obvious is that DCB does not understand any of this.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Apr 11th, 2012 at 08:51:35 AM EST
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