Disintegrating Europe

December 6, 2016 0 By Michel Santi

Europe was founded and edified on the famous principle of the four liberties. Capital, goods, services and work are meant to be able to move without any restriction anywhere in this mercantile Europe. Unlimited competition goes hand in hand with minimum control over the private sector, which together are supposed – according to the irrefutable neoliberal logic – to induce a state of economic balance and stability. Europe was effectively built on the doctrine which states that, due to their absolute efficiency, markets make capital and work move towards the most productive regions. This infallibility of markets has had an inevitable consequence of goods and services being of course best sold at the best prices in the most comfortable zones. The four liberties therefore ignore speculative bubbles, the destabilising effects of predatory capital flows and excessive risk taking within the banking system: there have been so many aberrations and downward spirals that have affected the Europe of these last ten years that is difficult to figure out where this Europe should rank on the league table of prescient and efficient markets… In the meantime, the neoclassical imperium, which still reigns over Europe as supreme leader and which demands that markets’ arbitrage be unhindered, is rejecting with a disdainful and opprobrious backhand the stabilising effect that the State could have on this legal jungle, set up and ardently promoted by the technocracy. We therefore find ourselves de facto back in a manic universe that demands total liberty of the private sector which is encouraged to fill its pockets, whereas a growing stringency is paralysing the public sector which is incapable of redistribution due to its obligation to spend, print and tax less. This shameless inequity that establishes markets and the private sector as supreme guides and that relegates the State to antiquity is heading to an extreme polarisation of wealth and resources across the continent. These four liberties are therefore creating monsters of prosperity such as Germany, inevitably at the expense of sacrificial victims such as Greece. Basically, the Union and more precisely the euro zone has either too much liberty…or not enough! Since Germany refuses automatic transfers that could relieve unbalanced nations, and since creating fiscal unity is definitely not on the cards, this Europe will therefore have to disintegrate in the crucial interest of certain countries that are heading towards ghettoisation. Whatever happens, disintegration will be preferable to the status quo.

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