Corbyn, Hamon or the resurrection of Pedro Sanchez express, in different contexts, similar situations from the point of view of the causes and nature of the crisis of their respective parties but represent very different political projects: a genuine and honest reformism in the case of Corbyn, and a very limited regeneration in the case of Hamon and, even more so, in that of Sánchez
Construint un veritable internacionalisme des de l’esquerra
Gràcies a la pau sorgida després de la Segona Guerra Mundial, els estats europeus van reconstituir-se en la forma d’estats del benestar, un acord social-democràtic en l’àmbit estatal que distribuïa millor la riquesa i posava les bases per a la prosperitat dels 30 anys següents. Aquesta prosperitat econòmica va tenir com a pilar fonamental els Acords de Bretton Woods i el GATT, acords portats a terme entre més de 40 estats l’any 1944, que van servir per posar fi al proteccionisme de guerra i establir unes normes monetàries i comercials internacionals. Aquestes estaven basades en el control democràtic de les finances i en el reconeixement del dret dels estats a protegir els seus estàndards polítics propis i a portar a terme el seu propi model de desenvolupament econòmic, permetent-se la realització de polítiques industrials i comercials sempre que es justifiquessin de manera adient.
Since 2010 the European Commission, the IMF and the Greek and European economic and political elites with the theoretical backing of the neoliberal ideologues have imposed a cruel internal devaluation on the Greek nation that has generated an economic collapse of the Greek economy unlike any seen in Europe since WWII. This misanthropic austerity demands cuts in wages and pensions, increases in taxation, total relaxation of any collective agreement, redundancies for public sector employees and severe cuts in funding for an already underfunded health system.
This agendum of internal devaluation is supplemented with a programme of sale of public assets via privatisation programmes. The neoliberal dogma argues that this ‘structural reform’ aims at ‘reducing the government’s deficit and debt’ and to induce ‘competitiveness’. Orwell would have been impressed by this exercise of doublespeak.
Europe has been in the throes of political and economic turmoil for several years. The EMU has effectively failed to deliver on its promise of convergence, stability and prosperity. The EU is riven with divisions between core and periphery. It also faces major political threats following Brexit and the rise of radical rightwing movements across several countries. The forces that have undermined democracy and relations among the nations of Europe are still very much present. New ideas are required to place sovereignty, democracy, equality and solidarity at the forefront.
Of the many reasons for a rational person to look upon the Trump presidency with anxiety, ‘protectionism’ frequently appears at the top of the list in the mainstream media. The Independent quoted an executive of a large mining consortium warning us of “global trauma” should the new president fulfil his promise to introduce tariffs. Some progressive commentators seem to share the protectionist anxiety. In response to Trump’s declaration that “protection will lead to great prosperity and strength,” the Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland told his readers that this assertion is “in defiance of the historical experience that says protection leads, in fact, to crisis and world war.” Given the seriousness of these warnings, their validity bears investigation.
Stathis Kouvelakis, a member of the Greek Popular Unity party and a supporter of La France Insoumise, speaks to Feyzi Ismail on Macron’s victory, the crisis in French society and the possibilities for the Left.
For several years now, mainstream economists and Right wing policy-makers have been arguing that the Irish case constitutes proof positive of the ultimate correctness of austerity and labour market liberalisation policies. The economy of this small island was hit incredibly hard by the financial crisis of 2008/09. Fortunately, so goes the Right wing story, Irish politicians saw the light and implemented the standard neoclassical recipe: draconian austerity and the liberalisation of the labour market. These policies, the Right wing fiction continues, have been a gigantic success: by 2015 Ireland was the fastest growing economy in the EU. Ireland was also the fastest growing economy in the EU in 2016. What is true about this? Did the Irish economy “recover”?
Le premier tour de l’élection présidentielle en France est un évènement politique majeur qui commence tout juste à produire ses effets sur la scène politique française et, au-delà, européenne. On en connait les principales coordonnées: fin du bipartisme au profit d’une « quadripolarisation » de l’électorat, effondrement (ou «pasokisation») du Parti Socialiste, rejet des partis politiques qui ont structuré la vie institutionnelle depuis plusieurs décennies, dynamique ascendante de la campagne du mouvement France Insoumise et score historique du candidat de la gauche radicale Jean-Luc Mélenchon, insuffisant cependant pour éviter le duel entre l’extrême-droite de Marine Le Pen et «l’extrême-centre» d’Emmanuel Macron.
The results of the April 16 referendum called by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan prompted a deluge of analyses in the Western media which, for the most part, painted him as ‘the great loser’. In Greece, the results were described as a ‘Pyrrhic victory’ which some analysts proclaimed the start of Turkey’s strategic decline. But the Istanbul stock exchange’s reaction was quite different.
Globalization is stuck. Since 2008, as indicated by Chief Economics Commentator of Financial Times, Martin Wolf, we are seeing a real stagnation of international trade. The benefits greater trade integration through reductions in tariffs are becoming smaller and smaller -a third of 1% of GDP over 10 years for the whole world. Furthermore, in absence of institutions that can distribute the increased output of this integration -at European and global scale- there is no plausible globalist solution to the current crisis in a reasonable timing.