Publication State / Democracy - Political Parties / Election Analyses - Democratic Socialism - Europe - what's left Left-wing Strategies in the Euro Crisis

A Commented Overview. By Mario Candeias.

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Series

Analysis

Author

Mario Candeias,

Published

August 2013

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"[...] The Left Party’s clear rejection of the neoliberal crisis management, however, has gained good media coverage and was certainly well received by supporters of the party. It was particularly important to repeatedly emphasize the causes of the crisis to ensure that the critique was accompanied by solidarity with the crisis victims and crisis countries. This enabled a clear class standpoint to be articulated instead of a nationalist critique – for example, as in claims that the problem runs between crisis countries and ‘German taxpayers’. 

But there is the constant criticism, that the Left Party’s policies should not be confined only to ‘we are against’, a simple negation. As such, it is important to emphasize the many forward-looking proposals for handling the euro crisis and for a social Europe as part of a solidarity-based process of European re-foundation. The Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung aims to help further these discussions with analyses and studies such as those by Heiner Flassbeck and Costas Lapavitas and this paper. Nevertheless, Axel Troost, for example has pointed to the difficultly of turning the euro crisis into an issue for the elections (Strategy discussion with the chair of the Left Party on 7.2.2012). Consequently, the positions of the Left Party should focus less on the ‘great crisis’ and more on people’s everyday lives. This should not be understood as meaning that analyses and suggestions for effectively overcoming the crisis are no longer needed; it merely points to a different approach. 

This would mean developing new and original perspectives that are tied more closely to the immediate needs of the population, but connecting them to ‘European questions’; for example, a European unemployment insurance, which has already been discussed by the (European) left. Clearly, such perspectives should not drift towards the abstract. What do I, as a nurse in Germany for instance, gain from a European unemployment insurance? These are the questions that need to be answered. It would also be possible to forge links with the first successful European citizens’ initiative, which ran under the slogan “Water is a human right!” and which was directed against the further privatisation of municipal service providers. [...]"

Contents:

1 Authoritarian neoliberalism and post-democracy in the European Union

  • 1.1 Surfing on the waves of the crisis: The German export economy
  • 1.2 A perspective for the countries in crisis?
  • 1.3 Southern Europe – a special economic zone?

2 EUROPE.left? A synopsis of (diverging) positions in the Left Party

  • 2.1 Short-term crisis intervention
  • 2.2 Financial market regulation and a public banking system
  • 2.3 A European clearing union
  • 2.4 Marshall Plan, European industrial policy and a socio-ecological re-orientation
  • 2.5 Fair taxes: wealth is taxable
  • 2.6 Social corridors and minimum standards
  • 2.7 The euro exit – selected positions from outside the party

3 Re-foundation of Europe

  • 3.1 From pro-European to Euroscepticism
  • 3.2 The condensation of societal mobilisation
  • 3.3 Strategic disruption
  • 3.4 Winning the majority in the heart of the beast?

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