Hungary’s authoritarianism, Portugal’s generosity, Italy’s call for solidarity, Germany’s tightfistedness: European responses to the crisis are all over the map.
Instead of jobs and relief, the Obama administration offered only half-measures to struggling people in the Rust Belt and beyond.
The decisive role of collective action in undermining neoliberal ideology and the continuing structural power of capitalism.
If inequality sells in bookstores and box offices, it will sell at the polls as well.
“Omne trium perfectum” goes the Latin saying -- “everything which comes in threes is perfect.” Let’s see: the spiritual perfection of the Holy Trinity, the cinematic perfection of the Three Stooges, and … the nuclear triad. Those dubious that the Three Stooges help...
Ever since the beginning of the current global economic crisis, the focus of both critical analysis and public odium has been speculative capital. In the populist narrative, it was the breathtaking shenanigans of the banks in an atmosphere of deregulation that led to the economic collapse. The “financial economy,” characterized as parasitic and bad, was contrasted to the “real economy,” which was said to produce real goods and real value. Resources flowed into speculative activities in finance, resulting in a loss of dynamism in the real economy and eventually leading to credit cutoff at the height of the crisis, causing bankruptcies and massive layoffs.
Germany towers over Europe like a colossus. Its economy is the biggest in the European Union, accounting for 20 percent of the EU’s gross domestic product. While most of Europe’s economies are stagnating, Germany’s will have grown by some 2.9 percent in 2011. It boasts the lowest unemployment rate, 5.5 percent, of Europe’s major economies, compared to those of France (9.5 percent), the United Kingdom (8.3 percent), and Italy (8.1 percent).
The U.S. response to the financial crisis showed scant evidence that we learned from our mistakes.
EU’s narrative that high wages, early retirement, and generous benefits have led several countries to the verge of bankruptcy is nothing but a fairy tale.
In four magisterial works, the historian Eric Hobsbawm divided 200 years of modern history into the Age of Revolution (1789-1848), the Age of Capital (1848-1875), the Age of Empire (1875-1914), and the Age of Extremes (1914-1991). The period after 1992 so far remains nameless. Let me rashly and prematurely propose a name for our era: the Age of Activism. Here’s a preliminary sketch for a history of the age in which we are currently immersed, as well as a diagnosis of where this activism is heading.