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As you know, I sometimes like to take an argument to its logical conclusion to see where it might lead to, regardless of whether that accords with conventional views of reality.  But I also like to be clear where there is supporting evidence and where what I am saying is, at best, hypothetical, and at worst, counterfactual.

In the case of your argument, you seem to be making the assumption that Southern European leaders are secret admirers of Yanis Varoufakis and are intent on ensuring that, unlike Greece, they will not allow their countries to become isolated, bullied into defeat by the Euro Group, and sold down a river.

I don't know (say) Italian politics well enough to be definitive, but I struggle to find any evidence to confirm your hypothesis. In fact, what evidence I see appears to confirm the opposite: That the hard nationalist right is in the ascendant and we are more likely to see a reversion to national currencies and nationalist/fascist policies than the creation of any grand redistributive schemes such as the Seuro.

The irony is that it turns out it was the UK, which has done relatively well out of the EU, which has been the first to call time on its participation in the European project. Greece probably had a much better cause for doing so.  But the consequence is that the EU is now in retrenchment mode and we are in the business of saving what we can rather than in engaging in new, collective, imaginative initiatives.

Even I am pushing the boundaries of political reality when I call for the development of much greater EU integration of health care, education & training, social welfare, pensions/retirement, procurement, energy sustainability and security, infrastructural development, and Governance systems even though you can make a very good rational case that such integration could deliver much greater collective benefits at reduced cost than isolated initiatives by individual member states. Thus, even though such policies would have a progressive redistributive impact, all members states could still be winners.

I am hoping that the shock of Brexit combined with the persistence of anaemic growth despite all monetary stimulus will enable a re-think.  The UK has always had a baleful influence on all community social market and integrationist initiatives, and so it's absence from the decision making process could be a positive.  However the tide may be going out on the European Project.  Merkel was the last European leader of real stature who could have made it happen, but her authority has been eroded by the refugee crisis and its impact on Germany. Hollande and Rajoy are lame ducks and the trend elsewhere is almost all in rightward, nationalist directions. What progressive movements there are are almost all marginal.

I hope I am wrong...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 29th, 2016 at 07:45:32 AM EST
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I have made it abundantly clear that the most I would hope for is that the intital founders of a SEURO would actually take the steps to form such a union. The rest would be driven by events and consequences. Else the whole argument would be pointless, as most already assume it is.

As to justification, all I am arguing is that it is better to have some prepared position that is inherently left compatible into which EMU members that are unable to endure a collapse of the EURO and the chaos of again having a small economy and currency could take refuge or fall. It is, inherently, as strategy for desperate times. If it is better than nothing it will have achieved something.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Aug 29th, 2016 at 01:42:48 PM EST
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I think we're about due for a Wall St Crash Mk II, followed by a move to fascism and violent dictatorship, followed by war, which may be terminal. (Most of Europe would be reduced to a radioactive swamp.)

Isn't that how these things usually end?

Progressives tend to forget that left-leaning movements only make headway when they have the support of the bourgeoisie.

In the UK, Labour would have gotten nowhere was a movement of workers. It was the support of the upper classes that made it a viable political movement.

And then after WWI, aspirations to communism and support for the Soviet Union were a right of passage for most of the Oxbridge crowd.

Today? The Oxbridge crowd mostly want jobs in finance and/or a nice property portfolio. Organised idealism is rather hard to find.

The Parliamentary Labour Party and the Fabian Society are practically camping out of the doorstep of the Tory party. There are some vague lingering remnants of interest in Social Democracy - certainly no Socialism - but even plain old centrism is considered extremist left-wingery now.

And there's nothing new to take the place that socialism used to have. Occupy failed, mainstream progressives in the US are a wholly owned subsidiary of Washington Inc, and Trump is taken seriously as a presidential candidate.

As is Hillary.

There's very little to be optimistic about. Technologically, there's endless scope for change. But it's unlikely to happen without a convulsion that clears away the old zombie form of insane neoliberalism and replaces it with something fresher and better able to imagine and create a humane future.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Aug 29th, 2016 at 03:29:22 PM EST
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