Jérôme E. Roos wrote on this subject better than I possibly could, but I feel I also need to say something about the latest eurofarce that occurred around the proposed referendum on the latest Greek bailout package.
Judging from the reactions of the European elite on the referendum announcement (see Roos’ article for some quotes), it seems that all pretensions have now been dropped: there’s no longer even an effort to keep up the facade of democracy within the EU. Of course, we saw the same thing when the elite pushed through the European constitution back in 2009, despite the fact that the people of France, the Netherlands and Ireland had rejected it in a referendum. Every time the privileges of the financial market are seriously at stake, democracy gets suspended. Macroeconomic decisions are far too important to be left to the people. Too many people in the elite have too much to lose if those who don’t understand why it’s reasonable policy to pour trillions of euros of taxpayers’ money into insolvent banks are allowed to have their say.
A crisis situation always tends to bring forth the authoritarians (I’m sure I don’t need to provide examples of this). Authoritarianism, in turn, is a sign of fear. Leaders usually resort to force when they no longer trust that their policies have the popular support. This is the root of the current panic among the European elite: they are simply terrified of the European people. And it’s a perfectly reasonable fear. As we know from history, tyrants are nearly always deposed by their own subordinates. I think the elite has woken up to the fact that the majority of Europeans are no longer prepared to acknowledge their authority, and they’re now making the last desperate effort to institutionalise their mechanism to empty the public coffers into the bottomless pit of the banks, before they get knocked down from their thrones.
What we’re living through now is a classic “Emperor’s New Clothes” moment. The EU, once perhaps an idealistic project, has turned out to be little more than a vehicle for Emperor Finance to consolidate its autocracy in Europe. The naysayers were right all along. What we all can learn from the long-term EU critics, regardless of their political background, is a healthy scepticism towards any centralised power structures.
It’s important to realise that our current crisis not an economic crisis, but a political crisis and, thus, it can only be solved by changing politics. It’s clear we can’t trust our elites to do this for us. Only a genuine popular movement can give rise to lasting changes in the society. That’s why a genuine popular movement is so frightening to the elite, and that’s why they’re going to do everything they can to thwart any such movement. So we must be confident but prepared. Keep calm and occupy everything.