In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Blowback comes to Europe

Posted by seumasach on January 15, 2012

Cailean Bochanan

15th January, 2012

The multiple European downgrading announced by S&P can hardly be called unexpected and is only dramatic in a rather theatrical sense. The empire has taken on the persona of a “Dennis the Menace” character with an array of wild pranks: celebratory shrieking over the murder of an Arab leader, “taking out” Iranian scientists, NGO street theatre in Moscow, an extra- fraudulent set of monthly employment statistics. S&P’s hit on the Eurozone is well within the range of insanity of the above and is true to form. It is also particularly stupid. The Anglo-Americans may have been scarcely able to contain their glee as they pissed on their erstwhile European allies: but Europe has shown itself to be far from a corpse.


A quick survey of the European press reveals something unusual: a marked divergence in the reporting of these events with the Anglo-Saxon press. La Repubblica quotes Italian government sources in characterising the downgrade as “an attack on Europe”. Similarly Correo da Manha has the headline “Portugal victim of war on Euro”. El Pais, no doubt with this week’s very positive Spanish debt issue in mind, denounces “an opportunism through which the agency wishes to correct the embryonic optimism of the markets rather provide an objective assessment”. German finance minister Schaueble quietly damns the rating agencies with his trademark dry humour “In recent months, we have grown to agree worldwide that we shouldn’t overrate the assessments of rating agencies”. I could go on and on: the European political elite are now “los indignados”
But they’re not just letting off steam. There is the proposal by German Foreign Minister Westerwelle and others, to set up a European rating agency. Merkel has called for legislation freeing investment institutions from obligatory automatic response to the assessments of the agencies. This is the least the agencies, which should be under criminal investigation for their role in the subprime fraud, deserve.At every point the raising of the stakes by the Anglo-Americans has been met by the Eurozone. We will see an acceleration of the process of integration with the promise of an agreement by March at the latest: the European Stability Mechanism will soon be up an running and, needless to say, awaiting downgrade.
Sooner rather than later the focus will return to the hapless Anglo-American economy in as far as it exists. It is a mad world where that pair can pose as the paragons of financial probity and endlessly call the European pot black. US/UK is the blackest of them of them all. The US is simply unable to do anything to even address its debt problems let alone solve them. The UK has addressed the problem and failed either to cut the deficit or make up the shortfall through private sector growth: the world’s pioneer of privatization has no private sector to speak of. Even our leading business of selling largely foreign goods to avid British consumers is failing. As Tesco stores empty a new pawnbroker opens every week.
The Anglo-American attacks on all and sundry are stupid because they are having the opposite of the intended effect. They have awakened and united Europe, minus the UK, in the understanding of the need for independence, in recognition that they have languished too long in thrall to Uncle Sam. Similarly they have brought together Japan and China rendering Obama’s new Asia First policy dead in the water. The multipolar world is now visibly emerging but more important still is a new paradigm which will result from the generalised distate for things Anglo-American which not so long ago were all the rage. The anglo-philosophy will cease to hold sway: private wealth and public squalor will be rejected; the rule of the mobster will give way to the sovereign state; finance will be subordinate to industry and agriculture; destruction will give way to construction; children will be formed by parents and educators rather than media and celebs; coherence will return to our discourse; the artist will seek an escape from the tedium of stalinised nihilism; the scientist will free himself from the charlatan; twenty years of “dumming-down” will be brought to an end. What a fine negative example Anglo-America has become!
Anglo-America behaves as it does because it doesn’t know any differently. Imperialists have to be aggressive but aggression alone is an insufficient basis for empire. Consequently, the New World Order is turning out not to be at all as planned but the imperialists press on regardless. The inability of Anglo-America to change tack has become the main problem of the century. We are victims of the great success of our elites in forging not so much a consensus but total conformity, a conformity which precludes the emergence of alternative currents. The dreadful array of Republican nomination contenders, excepting Ron Paul, illustrates this perfectly: their policy is merely the overt celebration of Obama’s covert operations. Those great failures, the baby-boom generation, the 68ers, have landed the new generation in a terrible mess. They, in turn, have reacted but the challenge is enormous. It is no longer enough to be merely oppositionists: they have to start to see themselves in terms of leadership, even statesmanship. This is not the accustomed role of youth. A synergy is now required between Europe, the emerging Global South and the Occupy Movement to help steer the wreck of Anglo-America towards safe waters.

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