The long night of Neo-Liberalism, and it successor Austerity, is at an end? And it’s end came when those lazy, profligate Southerners got tired of the political/economic wisdom of their Northern betters: Teutons and Anglo-Saxons vs the Latins/Greeks? Don’t mention that corrupt bankers/investment houses and Greek Oligarchs colluded with each other, to hide the level of indebtedness and a near economic collapse ensued. All neatly packaged by the Economist under the title of ‘Beware Greeks voting for gifts’ : a not so subtle riff on Ayn Rand’s Makers and Takers, and other such locutions favored by the apologists for a failed experiment in the Free Market. The hysteria mongering at The Economist is at fever pitch, as the thought that others might follow, leads to a rhetoric suffused with panic and political desperation, masquerading as a kind of self-defensive political wisdom. As the shaky edifice crumbles, but more pointedly the very foundation of the Neo-Liberal delusion proves to be in a state of collapse.
Some further thoughts on two portions of this informative yet ideologically charged essay:
‘Discussions with Brussels are only part of the story. Any bail-out extension must be approved by parliaments in Germany, Finland, the Netherlands and Estonia: four countries not renowned for their forbearance towards fiscal sinners. The attitudes of such hardline governments will matter at least as much as those of EU institutions.’
Note the ‘fiscal sinners’ theology as the very center of The Economist’s argument!
‘As ever, the looming Greek crisis is about far more than Greece. Going soft on Greece may also embolden Syriza-like parties in other countries (see article). In Spain Podemos, a party that emerged from nowhere to lead the polls, has closely allied itself with Syriza. Its leader, Pablo Iglesias, singles out Mrs Merkel, with her ruthless demands for austerity, as the foe of Europe’s downtrodden. It is perhaps no coincidence that ministers from Spain and Portugal, both run by centre-right governments facing anti-austerity challenges in elections this year, were among the first to warn of the dangers of dancing to Syriza’s tune after the election.’
As ever the ‘Left’ remains the ghost that looms large over the failing realm of Neo-Liberalism.