Choosing a new path for
development based upon self-reflection only happens rarely in history. This
would be impossible without a fundamental shift in the self-perception of the
vast majority of Europeans, including the political and business elite,
national political classes, intellectuals and academics,
churches and religious communities.
Individuals should be able to feel that not all of the risks of the
world, and especially not those of banks and states threatened with bankruptcy,
are being dumped onto their shoulders. But that something exists that deserves
the name “European Community”.
The intrinsic necessity of a subordinated, non-European, other to the
making of a moral and political economy is not just built into Europe, but into
the very idea of liberal citizenship in the modern nation state.
It is the marriage of the intimate knowledge of the particular - the
only knowledge the particular is susceptible to, by definition - with a
moral compass, that should have guided policy towards Iraq. openDemocracy's debates were my re-schooling.
In this excerpt from ‘Sweden:
the reluctant nation’, published as part of Counterpoint’s ‘Europe’s
Reluctant Radicals’ project, Göran Rosenberg explores the history of the
Swedish political ideal of ‘folkhemmet’ [the people’s home].
The humanitarian situation remains grave. Why doesn’t it receive
the attention given to similar situations elsewhere? With over 10 million people hungry, 13 million without
access to water and sanitation, 1 million children malnourished, and about 700,000
IDPs and refugees, there is no doubt that there is a need for urgent
The two and a half weeks between January 25 and February 11, 2011
proved that in Egypt there is a strong demand for social, political and
economic justice, and that the established political elites – religious or
secular – are badly out of step with those aspirations.
This year's 41st anniversary,
celebrated two weeks ago, has been marked in particularly gloomy fashion. Reports
have recently emerged floating the prospect of oil reserves drying up and
arguing that new discoveries are failing to keep pace with production. This
might well turn out to be the best news of all.
indeed is the authentic measure of the late president’s achievements: there is
now no simple switch in Venezuelan public ideology – no going back. The turn in
the post-colonial history of the region is unequivocal.
More widely, what the M5S’
success represents is a challenge to the approach to economic reform which has
too often rewarded the rich responsible for the problems, while making the
working classes pay for Europe’s economic mess.
Previous contributions to this debate have identified worker coops and
mutuals as one route to a citizens' economy. But does the strike by cleaning staff at John Lewis
point to some problems
and limitations of co-operative models?'
As Fairtrade Fortnight commences it is important to demystify the economic arguments surrounding fair trade. Is it the case that promoting social justice in the supply chain can serve to undermine the long term prospects of poor southern producers?
Many have accused Occupy's 1 / 99 narrative of brushing aside the realities of actual wealth distribution in Britain. Most recently, Craig Berry of the TUC has presented a case that it is time to drop the 'slogan'. Activist Kerry-Anne Mendoza hits back, arguing that it is vital as a global group identity.
In the wake of the Italian elections, this
excerpt from ‘Stagioni del populismo italiano’ examines populism
in Italy’s political past and present. How did Guglielmo Giannini’s
Qualunquismo movement influence the most recent forms of populism: those of the
former Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, and comedian-turned-politician, Beppe
One of the most powerful international organisations is pitted against vulnerable people in the poorest country in the Americas. The accusation: that the UN is responsible for Haiti's cholera epidemic. What measures should now be taken? Who, if anyone, is to blame?
A Public and Commercial Services Union report on wages and growth in the UK highlights a problem the Coalition have studiously avoided: with job losses and wage cuts, how exactly is the economy to grow? Public sector income is private sector demand.
Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week, an update after Libya's three-day anniversary celebrations: 'Good news' doesn't sell
At one and the same time technocracy and financial
oligarchies find here an ideal medium to extend their influence and their
control of individuals in space and time. This explains the fierce struggle going
on among key market players.
Occupy has spotlighted the super-elite, but the ‘average
that is pitted against this class does not exist. For the struggle to empower
all citizens to succeed in Britain, mapping actual wealth distribution is
Birmingham University began a policy commission on the distribution of wealth in Britain late last year. One of the lead academics sets out its findings thus far and appeals for input into its second stage and public meetings to be held this Spring.
The intensification of economic cooperation - which is very advantageous to both – might be a way to achieve a deepening of political relations, in the context of a possible evolution of regional diplomacy on the part of the two countries.
Critically, international election observers (including
around 70 observers from the EU) must maintain a strong local presence throughout
the election period. The international community must not be caught unprepared again.
Why has the Obama administration been
reluctant to intervene directly in the raging Syrian conflict, or even to arm
the rebels? Why did the US president refuse to take ownership of the NATO
mission in Libya, failing to engage in Tunisia and Egypt? What makes sense of
Obama’s strategy towards the greater Middle East?
Syria’s neighbours, including Turkey, have the most
to lose from an intensifying Syrian conflict, as they directly bear the brunt
of it. Thus it is imperative that there is some sort of dialogue across the
geopolitical divide. The EU is conspicuous in its absence.