by Stefano Fassina
The Ventotene summit among Prime Minister Renzi, Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande took place recently. Crucial issues were on the agenda: the geo-political conflicts at the borders of the European Union; internal security; migratory flows; economic growth. A strong wind of rhetoric about relaunching the ideals of the founding fathers of a united Europe animated the meeting. But it made zero progress in tackling, even in analysing, the basic reasons underlying the undergoing disintegration of the EU.
Like its “sleepwalking” elites in the lead-up to the First World War, Europe’s ruling classes go on without acknowledging reality even though they have been sent clear messages. Mirroring political developments on the other side of the Atlantic, the vote for Brexit illustrates the economic, social and democratic unsustainability of the neoliberal order for increasing numbers of working families and the middle class. US and UK: anti-establishment feeling is highest where the establishment, on both right (Reagan and Thatcher) and left (Clinton and Blair), has characterized itself most strongly by implementing neoliberal programs. In this context, Brexit in 2016 could represent for neoliberalism what the fall of the Berlin Wall represented for socialism in 1989. [Read more…]