Trump, our post-modern 1930s and DiEM25’s moment

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[Originally published here]

The election of Donald Trump symbolises the demise of a remarkable era. It was a time when we saw the curious spectacle of a superpower, the US, growing stronger because of – rather than despite – its burgeoning deficits. It was also remarkable because of the sudden influx of two billion workers – from China and Eastern Europe – into capitalism’s international supply chain. This combination gave global capitalism a historic boost, while at the same time suppressing Western labour’s share of income and prospects. Continue reading

Trump’s Triumph: DiEM25 on how progressives must react

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Donald Trump’s victory marks the end of an era when a self-confident Establishment preached the end of history, the end of passion and the supremacy of a technocracy working on behalf of the 1%. But the era it ushers in is not new. It is a new variant of the 1930s, featuring deflationary economics, xenophobia and divide-and-rule politics.

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How the EU’s Greek Tragedy Became a British Farce – by James K. Galbraith

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[Originally published in Zocalo]

British citizens took to the polls to cast their “Leave” ballots—and their grievances—in the now-infamous Brexit vote last June, seeking to escape the overarching power of the European Union. Their triumph stunned British and global elites, but shouldn’t have; the odds were stacked in the Leave camp’s favor.

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Europe’s Ugly Future: A review of Varoufakis, Galbraith & Stiglitz – Foreign Affairs

Muddling Through Austerity

In This Review

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How do you solve a problem like Europe? Interviewed by Eurofinance

Friday 23/9/2016 (click here for the Eurofinance site & here for a related Keynote speech)

How long can Europe go on like this? In mid-July Germany sold €4.038bn of 10-year zero-coupon bonds with a yield of minus 0.05 per cent. This added a few more billions to the more than €4.25 trillion euros-worth of euro-zone government bonds that now carry a negative yield. These yields and the ECB’s €80-billion a month quantitative easing policy have now infected non-government markets. According to Bank of America, the highest-rated euro-denominated senior and secured debt of non-bank companies maturing in one to three years yield an average minus 0.08 percent. And there’s no obvious way out: at the ECB’s July meeting the bank kept the main refinancing rate and the deposit rate at record lows of zero and minus 0.4 per cent.

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The Independent on my Brexit proposal: Trigger Article 50 and agree a 5yr Norway-like transition period

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Yanis Varoufakis has told the UK government to get a move on with triggering Article 50 to begin a “robust debate” on what a post-Brexit Britain could look like.

In an interview with the BBC’s Today programme, the former Greek finance minister, said the discussion prior to the referendum was of “very low quality”, adding that once article 50 is invoked Britain should use the negotiating period to prepare itself as nation. Continue reading

Discussing Brexit on BBC Radio 4, the Today program

An interview on the Brexit paradox-cum-enigma and the future of the European Union – the interview was recorded in the context of the Institute of Directors conference on post-Brexit Britain, 27th September 2016

The Cambridge Union’s 2016 London Debate – Friday 23/9

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[The following is re-posted from the Cambridge Union’s The Tab]

With the Autumn Statement of the new Government looming, the Cambridge Union takes over Inner Temple hall to question the dominance of austerity politics in the United Kingdom. Yanis Varoufakis, the ex-Greek Finance Minister, will be speaking in favour of the motion ‘This House has Lost Confidence in Austerity’. Joining him on the Proposition side will be former Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable and Lord Karan Bilimoria. Facing them across the floor on the Opposition bench will be the former Executive Director of Conservatives IN Charlotte Vere and Head of Public Policy at the Institute of Economic Affairs, Ryan Bourne. The confirmation of Varoufakis will cause a slight switch-up for the Union’s President-Elect Kate Dunbar, who will move from the Proposition to the Opposition.  Continue reading

Joining forces! In reply to Stefano Fassina

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Stefano Fassina points out that in my article ‘Europe’s Left After Brexit’ I did not discuss his preferred option for Eurozone member-states: Stay in the EU but leave the euro. Of course the reason my article did not discuss that position is that it was focusing on Brexit and addressing Lexiteers like Tariq Ali and Stathis Kouvelakis who are arguing, from a left-wing position, for leaving the EU altogether – i.e. Brexit-like moves. But I am more than happy to comment on Stefano’s preferred option (In the EU, Out of the Euro) here. Continue reading

Democratising Europe – a transnational project? A debate with openDemocracy

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Europe’s Left after Brexit

In reply to Tariq Ali, Stathis Kouvelakis, Vicente Navarro and Stefano Fassina on DiEM25’s plan for resisting within the European Union

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Preface: This article (published in edited form in Jacobin, Neues Deutschland, Il Manifesto,  Mediapart and elsewhere) addresses left-wing critics of DiEM25 claiming that DiEM25 is pursuing the wrong objective (to democratise the EU) by means of a faulty strategy (focusing at the European rather than at the national level). This response, while addressed to left-wing supporters of Lexit (the strategy of calling for referenda in favour of leaving the EU, Brexit style), is pertinent also as questions raised often within the other political traditions that DiEM25 seeks to unite in the struggle to democratise Europe; i.e. authentic liberals, ecologists, feminists, members of pirate parties, activists unwilling to be embedded in existing parties, progressive conservatives even.[1]  Continue reading