On Gideon Rachman’s demons. Old Socialist comments

Headline: Brexit is an idea for a bygone era

Sub-headline: Global Britain assumes a world that is moving towards free trade, rather than against it

Look around the world. What appear to be the biggest potential threats?

Strategists worry about the rise of an authoritarian China, a lawless Russia and the threats of new wars in the Middle East or North Korea. Economists highlight the dangers of a trade war. Lawyers point to the Trump administration’s “America First” rejection of international treaties. Environmentalists and a growing number of voters insist on the paramount importance of climate change.

How quickly the Common Market, a coal and steel cartel, became the economic bulwark against the Soviet Union, imagined and brought into being by technocrat supreme Jean Monnet, has been erased from historical memory by the Stalinist Cult of the EU! The Common Market even published its own magazine, I was a subscriber.

The Myth of Europe in service to Mr. Rachman’s collection of  rhetorical demons:   ‘authoritarian China’, ‘lawless Russia‘, ‘the threats of new wars in the Middle East or North Korea’ , ‘ the dangers of a trade war’, ‘“America First” ‘, ‘rejection of international treaties’, ‘the paramount importance of climate change’ : More of the same nearly modulated political hysterics, not about the actual failure of that ‘Federalism’ . As window dressing for Monnet’s Cartel, steeped in a nostalgia for an etiolated Hegelian pseudo-mystical vision of a European Super-State, is an idea for a bygone era!

In the Greek Crisis the EU showed its true colors, as reported in these pages by Gillian Tett:

Headline: A debt to history?

Sub-Headline: To some, Germany faces a moral duty to help Greece, given the aid that it has previously enjoyed

Last summer I found myself in that spot for a conference, having dinner with a collection of central bank governors. It was a gracious, majestic affair, peppered with high-minded conversation. And as coffee was served, in bone-china crockery (of course), Benjamin Friedman, the esteemed economic historian, stood up to give an after-dinner address.

The mandarins settled comfortably into their chairs, expecting a soothing intellectual discourse on esoteric monetary policy. But Friedman lobbed a grenade.

“We meet at an unsettled time in the economic and political trajectory of many parts of the world, Europe certainly included,” he began in a strikingly flat monotone (I quote from the version of his speech that is now posted online, since I wasn’t allowed to take notes then.) Carefully, he explained that he intended to read his speech from a script, verbatim, to ensure that he got every single word correct. Uneasily, the audience sat up.

For a couple of minutes Friedman then offered a brief review of western financial history, highlighting the unprecedented nature of Europe’s single currency experiment, and offering a description of sovereign and local government defaults in the 20th century. Then, with an edge to his voice, Friedman pointed out that one of the great beneficiaries of debt forgiveness throughout the last century was Germany: on multiple occasions (1924, 1929, 1932 and 1953), the western allies had restructured German debt.

So why couldn’t Germany do the same for others? “There is ample precedent within Europe for both debt relief and debt restructuring . . . There is no economic ground for Germany to be the only European country in modern times to be granted official debt relief on a massive scale and certainly no moral ground either.

“The supposed ability of today’s most heavily indebted European countries to reduce their obligations over time, even in relation to the scale of their economies, is likely yet another fiction,” he continued, warning of political unrest if this situation continued.


Find the demons that Mr. Rachman is on the hunt for, not in the dull-witted Posh Boy Trinity of Brexteers, Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Michael Gove, who are the current representatives of the utterly collapsed Neo-Liberal Swindle, and the Common Market and its successor the EU, but in the Technocrats and their propagandists, like Rachman, whose enthusiasm for the myth of The Free Market, and the EU as its point of political arrival, has defined their journalistic careers!.

Old Socialist



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.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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