Friday, December 03, 2010

More from Joschka Fischer on what's at stake in the future of the European Union

This is an earlier article from Joschka Fischer than the one I quoted yesterday. But it gives a good reminder that a depression of the kind the world economy seems to have entered can have far-reaching consequences, though he lists some qualitative differences between today's situation and those of the Great Depression of 1929. And he continues (Our Post-Modern Crisis Project Syndicate 05/31/2010):

For all these reasons, the global crisis will not be devastating in the same way as the Great Depression was. Indeed, our current predicament has all of the hallmarks of a "post-modern" crisis. But we need to ask ourselves where and how the energies unleashed by this crisis will be discharged, because there can be no doubt that they will be discharged one way or another. After all, the evidence so far suggests that the crisis is here to stay for a long time, with unforeseen eruptions, such as the recent adversity in Greece and surrounding the euro, as well as inflation, stagnation, and populist rebellion.

Indeed, there are good reasons for believing that the Tea Party movement in the United States, connected as it is with the economic disaster that followed Lehman’s collapse, is one of the channels of the energy released by the crisis. Developments in Greece or Hungary make it easy to imagine failed European states if the EU unravels.

The fact that the current global crisis is a post-modern one does not make it any less dangerous. Post-modern crises entail post-modern risks, resulting in disintegration and implosion of power vacuums, not the danger of classical wars. But, given European governments’ behavior, the urgent question presents itself: Do these governments have any inkling of what is at stake at the table where they sit playing roulette with history? [my emphasis]
Maybe we should be calling this the Postmodern Great Depression.

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