Love is Blind
Put your left foot in, your left foot out, in, out, in, out shake it all about. That’s what German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, seem to be doing, whilst the rest of Europe looks on in astonishment and dismay, too stunned to fathom the implications of a bill, that in less than 24 hours, could limit our democratic rights to vote and decide on how public spending is handled. After all, the shift has happened already, right? From State- to Enterprise-driven public space, from public domain, to pay-to-stay, so what’s the big deal?
The Merkel/Sarkozy fiscal reform plan (or the Merkozy recipe, as the Economist calls it, kindly leaving us to read “for disaster”…) aims to impose more automatic penalties for European governments spending over 3% of GDP, pretty much forgetting the fact that our democratic right to vote in leaders relies on the notion that those leaders actually have some kind of authority to define our own local/national economic policies with the support of their citizens. And what happens when our elected leaders don’t pull the Merkozy line? More imposed penalties and debts. Doesn’t anyone see the irony here?
Europe is in a state of panic, a rabbit frozen in the headlights of big banks, passively willing to sacrifice our constitutions with a blanket EU treaty that can permanently cripple vital public spending. Public spending- that, by the way, got us out of the Great Depression of 1930s, for example, that was also caused by blanket fiscal policies such as this. As the Economist kindly reminds us: take a look at Europe’s experience in the 1930s of monetary rigidity without a lender of last resort—see article). Europe, so old and cold and settled in its ways.
Why is that we lack such vision, or such basic common sense, that could manage any vision of change, without reactionary heavy-handedness? Why is that any truly “European vision” that has emerged throughout history, grows up to be nothing more than an ugly nightmare of someone else’s making? Consultants get your pitches ready. If it’s all left to Enterprise to design society, we had better start reframing every aspect of the human experience in purely monetary terms.