Friday, 31 January 2014

Talking about Frenxit

"Getting out of the euro. The forbidden debate", headlines Marianne, in its 31 January issue. According to the French weekly —
Who cares if the "European dream" looks today like a nightmare to most of the country. For our dear elites, the euro is the biggest taboo. […] One in three Frenchmen wants to leave the European common currency. Despite this, major political parties and the media are avoiding, denying and fleeing the debate. Marianne chose to open it, at the risk of disappointing some of them. 
Among the contributors to this issue there is France's number One EU basher: sociologist and demographer Emmanuel Todd, who also contributed to Harper's latest issue on "How Germany reconquered Europe".


  1. Yes 1 out of 3 Frenchmen wants to get out of the Euro. Usually, he's a racist, a xenophobic, jealous of other people's success and keen on having the State solving his personal problems, not to mention his low education in global matters. Emmanuel Todd is an educated AFD like kind of person who just can put up with German leadership and France downgrade. He blames it on the Euro like any expert wannabe with a secret purpose, which often comes down to be under the flashlights, simply. Also, he's the type of person with enough wealth not to suffer too much from such extreme event and seems to refrain himself in explaining to the common citizen what he's going to lose when it comes to his savings and other collateral damages such as the protectionism , repetitive devaluations and the austerity (remember Mitterand 83) coming along. Behind this very convenient Euro bashing lays another determination, in my opinion, related with borders and unwanted persons free to cross them at the moment. As the French industry doesn't need the Euro to destroy jobs since at least 40 years, the reality of Todd's claim could reside in this, once again, conveniance of the Euro problematic to achieve, without the risk of endangering his reputation, a goal followed by the far-right: La France aux Français!

  2. The counter example to Mutti Merkel's idea that "countries with a common currency do not go to war" is certainly the US.

    For the first 87 years of its miserable existence (1776-1863) the US was nothing more than a customs and currency union. The federal government had no jurisdiction over any individual or any business (slaves, escaped felons and pirates excepted) living or doing business in a state unless that person or business happened to be on a "navigable water" or had re-located to one of the very few places where the federal government had acquired exclusive political jurisdiction.

    [Those of you with a better understanding of the Prussian Zollverein will correct me if I am wrong but is it not true that Austria and Prussia had been in a currency union since 1857 when they went to war in 1866? Further, before 1914 were not all of the major nations on a gold or gold and silver standard where marks, pounds, francs and dollars were freely convertible based on the price of gold and silver?]

    From a purely Marxist historical perspective it is easy to argue that the only purpose of the US Constitution of 1788 was to create a free trade and free migration zone aimed at nationalizing the profits from slavery while localizing the shame of being either a slave or a slave owner.

    Slaves could not migrate because the states decided who was and was not a "person." In its infinite wisdom the Supreme Court decided in 1843 that once a person had been enslaved in one state, no other state could later set that person free.

    This argument proceeds from two observations. First: In 1780 almost all of the net worth of the US (greater than 95%) can be accounted for in either the value of the slaves themselves or the value of products of slave labor. Second: Each state in the union was a free standing republic. After 1788, these states exhibited increasingly divergent cultural and political values from region to region to the point where the American Civil War of 1861-65 can be accurately described as a war where the Northern and "Free" states conquered the Southern and "Slave" states for the sole purpose of controlling the profits from slave labor and access to global markets down the Mississippi River through the Port of New Orleans.

    After 1865, about 2/3 of the net value of the US could still be accounted for in the value of the agricultural work force of newly freed salves and the value of the crops that depended upon formerly slave labor. Accordingly, in 1883, the federal government - speaking through the Supreme Court (The Civil Rights Cases of 1883) - ignored the 14th Amendment and approved laws in the former slave states that effectively made the descendants of slaves the serfs (tenant farmers and day laborers) of their former owners.

    You can draw your own conclusions but I find the contemporary ideas and implications of economic globalization and very similar to what went on the US between 1788 and 1955.

    The cheap unskilled labor associated with a globalized economy can be compared to slaves and serfs. Sovereign states with constitutions that secure the universal rights of man can be compared with sovereign states that treat such ideas much more casually.

    1. But where is McCarthy? If Americans start to exhume Marxism, it's the end of the world :-) Of course though, a currency union is not a 100% proof remedy to war. In the case of the EU, it aims at keeping us busy trading with eachother in a duty free zone. Now, there are always a bunch of people thinking that war is the answer to youth unemplyoment and an economy booster just as well (in this boring modern world full of gays, they say). In my mind, who attacks such construction like the Euro, not to mention the EU inevitably, is the one who's ready for such politics by other means. Giving the US as an example of what could happen to us doesn't stand the road as we have different cultural backgrounds and social structures, although narcissistic perverts having fun in manipulating groups of people exist everywhere :-) Anyway, it seems you're making an apology of protectionism enforced by good old borders while a planned economy would be applied to the means of production to secure everybody with a job, in brief. Or instead of using history to criticize the present with its plot of the 1%, can you give us an economical plan in 10 Commandments stating what we should be doing, including the US.

  3. I'm sorry for the €-fans, but euro is over. You will see in a few months.
    The argument about the "wealth" of Mr. Todd which would put him in such a situation to "not suffer too much from such extreme event" is the typical ad hominem attack used when one's pocket has became empty of arguments. Wealthy persons doesn't suffer from *today* situation, because their savings are preserved from the actual salary devaluation (unemployment, low wages) which is the explicit goal of present Ue politics.
    See last European Commission press release, particularly the chapter "Social dimension of the EMU":
    And here some criticism:
    Bye bye.

    1. You're fully right, I have no arguments against this imbecibility to abolish the Euro. Even if I can't deny that it has some effects, I consider them to be secondary in comparison of corruption, nepotism, clientelism, deficits mismanagement, wrong industrial policies, depending on credits beyond capacities, creating bubbles out of greed, the weak participation at elections, finding scapegoats instead at looking at obvious failures and the last but not the least, the underneath mentality of rejection, egocentrism and mind narrowness which nourishes such claim, often linked with racism and xenophobia by the way. Join the 21st century or die, really. And, if your an Italian, just to say, get rid of your mafia first and then we can talk. I am not a politician, I can allow myself such statement. If the Euro should be abolished, it would just has to be because of the incurable incompetence in the name of selfish citizens countries such as yours or mine have elevated to the rank of art.

    2. You are talking about bad behaviours and mismanagements that are present everywhere in the world and at every time. You know, the Evil is immortal. To be now more specific, we had some specific problems that arose from the specific time we started this specific dumb idea of jailing into the same currency (i.e. the same monetary policy, i.e. no monetary policy at all, nor fiscal policy) very different countries, having very different histories, economies, institutions, cultures and so on. This is not a new bad idea: such dumb monetary unions devastated during '90s Asian Tigers and in America Argentina Brazil and Equador, just to be limited to recent history.
      Moreover, hundreds of European economists at the end of 90s criticized the way euro was build, exactly forecasting in every detail what is happening today.
      They were nevertheless wrong: the culprit of such a mess is the
      I'm sorry what follows is an Italian translation, I couldn't be able to find the original text, maybe in English:

    3. Once again and apart showing their "scientific" sources, they criticze the implementation of the Euro as it would create a situation already existing:

      "Nowadays (1997), this Emu offers no prospect of giving an adequate response to environmental problems, to deal with the drama of 20 million unemployed and 50 million poor people, to defend and extend the welfare state.'

      And in their conclusion hides the biggest threat of all, the price to pay by the people to achieve the following:

      "the peoples of Europe are entitled to an economy that is at the service of human beings."

      Since I am tired, as it leads nowhere, to read the same critics all the time and you are certainly tired to read the same kind of answers, please enlight me on what's your post Euro scenario, hoping that meanwhile you've read about what's happening in Argentina, and other emerging countries, with their currencies, to make sure this is not our destiny.

      Personally, I find anti-euro incantations childish as I am old enough to realize that there are no magic tricks to get us out of the unemplyoment spiral but hard work and temporary sacrifices sounds more adult to me.

      Anyway and fortunately for our environment, times of over consumerism are gone and mentalities are already adapting, not without some pain for sure, but is there another way to lose our illusions?