According to Friedrich von Hayek, the development of welfare socialism after World War II undermined freedom and would lead western democracies inexorably to some form of state-run serfdom.
Hayek had the sign and the destination right but was entirely wrong about the mechanism. Unregulated finance, the ideology of unfettered free markets, and state capture by corporate interests are what ended up undermining democracy both in North America and in Europe. All industrialized countries are at risk, but it’s the eurozone – with its vulnerable structures – that points most clearly to our potentially unpleasant collective futures.
As a result of the continuing euro crisis, European Central Bank (ECB) now finds itself buying up the debt of all the weaker eurozone governments, making it the – perhaps unwittingly – feudal boss of Europe. In the coming years, it will be the ECB and the European Union who dictate policy. The policy elite who run these structures – along with their allies in the private sector – are the new overlords.
We can argue about who exactly are the peasants, the vassals, and the lords under this model – and what services exactly will end up being exchanged. But there is no question we are seeing a sea change in the post-war system of property, power, and prosperity across Western Europe, just as Hayek feared. An overwhelming debt burden will bring down even the proudest people.
The ECB-EU approach will not of course return countries to reasonable levels of growth – the debt overhang is simply too large. The southern and western periphery of the eurozone cannot grow out of their debts under these arrangements, and so will stumble from stabilization program to stabilization program – just like Latin America did during the 1980s. This is bound to be acrimonious, leading to hostile politics, social unrest, and more economic crises.
Voici la question qui me guide dans mes recherches...
The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves. - Plato
mardi 25 mai 2010