The European Union, seriously “outsourced” and “sequestered” by the market

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Progressive outsourcing of production toward the East, finally ending up in China, the “world’s factory”, has created an enormous paradox: the largest communist nation is now a great capitalist power.

In other respects, for decades talent has been fleeing toward the West. Europe has spent much effort to offer (pre-doctoral, post-doctoral...) scholarships and aid, but later, due to a large extent to less flexible procedures than in the U.S, thousands of scientists and specialists in a wide range of fields have accepted job offers elsewhere, particularly in the United States.

In defense matters we have likewise “partially outsourced” to the other side of the (North) Atlantic.

And in Europe, with respect to services and the “bubbles”, we have been left suffering quite substantially from the “collateral effects” of plutocratic globalization.

We are dominated by financial experts, while the representatives of great capital fortunes, well-positioned and protected from the storm, merely repeat with exasperating monotony that they have the solutions (which they never offer)... while looking the other way.

President Bush already warned us in November, 2008: "the solution to the crisis is the market economy, free trade". I have already referred on several occasions to the tremendous error that Europe, subservient and weak, committed by hurriedly attending the Camp David meeting on that date, when Obama had already been elected, and the U.S. President-elect could have led the recovery from financial (and democratic, and political, and environmental, and ethical...) bankruptcy.

But then, instead of the United Nations, it was the G-20 that ordered the use of public funds to “rescue” the mostly private financial institutions that were floundering. And now, logically, the public sector has a huge deficit which must be paid... by the public sector (!) while introducing budget cuts, including those that support social programs. The market has captured politics, blurring all of the different ideological options.

Europe, like the entire world, has been sequestered by the market. It was aided by announcing regulatory measures and the immediate elimination of tax havens. But deregulation continues; tax havens are still open for business; and the biased, partial, opportunist and hardly disinterested “ratings” and “classifications” continue to be issued (the latest one from Moody’s on the day before Catalonia released its treasury bonds for sale!).

Europe, trampled by horses. Instead of holding the reins like expert horsemen, we are being trampled by the runaway power of the market.

The West has accepted the gradual alienation of the United Nations. It has forgotten its democratic principles, human rights, and the wealth of its diversity. It has embraced the market and is allowing itself to be unduly influenced by the power of the media. And, as in Sweden, it is the far-right that, against all predictions, is benefiting from the crisis. Outbreaks of xenophobia and radicalization are eroding the social-democratic foundations that for years have been the point of reference.

But in times of resistance the seeds of mobilization planted years ago are now germinating, and Internet will be particularly relevant for that purpose.

And more and more seeds will be planted to fill whole fields that will make the means for action available to citizen power. Change will come to citizens who are tired of being subjugated and neglected. It won’t be long, despite those who seek to prevent it through confusion and deceit, and by eliminating education for citizenship from all educational programs.

Yes, the era of “the Peoples” will arrive, as so lucidly predicted in the United Nations Charter. And, with much courage, citizens will demand that the markets be regulated; that alternative funding be found (taxes on electronic transactions, for example); closing, once and for all, harmful tax havens; taking urgent environmental measures, especially to prevent potentially irreversible harm; reducing military spending and weapons, devising new strategies and machinery appropriate for new types of conflicts...

It is in this way, and only this way, will this abduction end, enabling Europe to emerge as a point of reference for global democratic governance.

Instead of disparaging it, let’s support political leadership in the European Union. To be able to resist and overcome the intolerable onslaught of the markets that remain in the hands of so few. To “outsource” only the types of production deemed most appropriate. And, as the European Research Council commenced to do in 2007, let’s actively promote R&D+i in a “un-outsourced” EU, with the “brains” from its Member States.

Design and put into practice your own defensive system. Alliances, yes. Dependencies, no.