Whatever else has happened in Europe this year, they have established distance between European and US financial centres, and the UK satellite bridge. There has been a noticeable lessening of US presence within European crisis discussions. Whatever the global economy looks like when the flow of capital has finished changing direction, and the upcoming crisis has concluded, they have resources that will allow them to adapt to what is a changed global economy, not a devastated one. They will ultimately work together to do so.
Their democratic mechanisms are apparently functioning much better than those in the States or here. Francoise Hollande does not offer the radical hope everyone says he does, but elements of his narrative suggest the conversation about the seriousness of the situation are being had, at high enough levels that there is scope to address it. His election shows Europe is ABLE to begin address this, even if the inevitable attempts to detoxify the cancer’s image, and what is politically possible, delay treatment.
The green shoots of democratic recovery are there before the financial crisis finale has really started. With those green shoots should come resolution without revolution. Austerity as a convincing stage in neo liberalism’s life is done, it needs rebranding to conclude. The tools traditionally used to rebrand, don’t work now and everyone has different priorities. The left are now subject to necessary scrutiny.
The struggle in Europe is now between those for whom neo liberalisms preservation is self-preservation, those who wish to capitalise on its death to fight old and dangerous battles, and those who need to prepare for the new global economy. There is no question of what wins out, it is a question of how messy it gets in the meantime and how that mess erodes the resources for building a future. Europe will adapt to the new shape of the world economy, not dictate it.
What the crisis looks like in the next year, no one knows.
In Europe, the problem vocally announces its presence, they look to have sufficient healthy checks and balances to navigate through a crisis in the political elite, and financial centres especially with apparently little effort required to get the IMF on the back foot. We will see messy compromise, until a credible coherent, if imperfect, alternative emerges that is agreed on. Even if they have been significantly hit by consequences which have been severe, countries grossly affected have a long hard road that probably needed to be travelled one way or the other.
While the Euro is fucked, Christine Lagarde bewitches and scares, and the ECB is in the hand of idiots, Europe is not fucked long term. Germany may find its neighbours are wary for a while when this is done, but Europe is in the process of changing its relationship with the US and is prepared for an economic future that does not require deference to them. It is preparing for conversations about the nature of its economic system, and the political landscape is changing. It has a mainstream democratic conversation already happening and has resources to survive this as a political and economic union.
Not only this, but a fairly rosy future after this crisis is done. A tiger…? Europe’s culpability in the grossest of neo-liberalism’s foreign adventures less obvious than ours, we may make a handy sacrifice on that score too. The leaders involved in the current situation, can all be sacrificed. Their parties can recover or not and wheels will continue to turn. The consequences of crisis in Europe, bring forward the conclusion elsewhere.