Mr. André Reichel on Wolfgang Schäuble, Europe’s ‘Last Man Standing’: a comment by Almost Marx

From the deep recesses of the intellectual technocracy comes ‘the Globalist’ aided by Mr.

Or read Ms. Tett’s revelatory essay on an address by Benjamin Friedman, the esteemed economic historian, that takes up the issue of those defaults:

But never fear our guide to the intricacies of the EU comes up with this astounding exercise in dis-information. Or call it by it’s real name apologetics:

Some of Schäuble’s critics call him “neoliberal” – something that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Just before the above quote is this laughable obsequious pandering to the  ego:

 The German finance minister knows his Winston Churchill (and his dictum about never letting a good crisis go to waste.)

Or this barely disguised patronizing insult:

This approach to economic management revolves more around political economy than pure economics, which is why North American economists do not get it – like Paul Krugman eloquently and obsessively in the New York Times.

The very terms of the ‘re-negotiated’ agreement with Greece render this statement denying Mr. ‘s Neo-Liberalism ludicrous. Even the IMF has said further Austerity measures are counterproductive. We can see that the selling off of publicly held assets, and the cuts in pensions etc.- all of these actions consistent with the textbook model of ‘Reform’ in the Neo-Liberal economic theology: the destruction of the institutions of the Welfare State are the primary goal of neoliberal rationalism, as define by Wendy Brown’s Undoing the Demos. Germany terms are Neo-Liberal to the core!

Then we come to Mr. central explanatory concern, that of Politics vs. Economics or the French v. German practices:

This particular German form of economic management is also profoundly at odds with France’s very state-centered ideas of how a national economy should be structured.

The core idea of France is to believe in the primacy of politics over all matters in society. Although not as strong as it used to be, French dirigisme (state control of economic and social matters) is still alive and kicking.The French state still owns sizable amounts of shares in major French companies such as GDF Suez (the utility company), Thales (the defense contractor), Air France-KLM, Renault (the carmaker), Areva (the nuclear power group) and France Telecom.

This contrasts sharply from the German notion of the primacy of politics – which restricts it to setting carefully calibrated rules to markets, politics and society.

Call this what it is self-congratulatory technocratic chatter. The central argument is that Germany is a genuine Market Economy and France is, in effect, still an economy laboring under quasi-socialist principals.

Reading through all the cliche mongering in this essay, here is what might be considered Mr. ‘s central argument, disregarding the plentiful technocratic rhetorical garnish:

All of this is why probably the most significant clash over Greece is not between creditors and debtors, as is so often assumed. The real clash is between the competing views of France and Germany over the future of Europe and the Eurozone.

The political/moral fate of the Greek people remains outside the ken of this thinker, demonstrating the vacuous ethical/moral core of the technocrat in the role of political actor.

Almost Marx

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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