Three years since the outbreak of the global financial crisis, the banks are back making mega-profits while the burden has clearly shifted to citizens and workers. However civil society action at European level could still make a difference in reining in the financial sector.
Behind the currency wars and the worsening global economic crisis lies a largely unquestioned free trade model that both contributed to the crisis and, without radical reform, is a major obstacle to overcoming it.
After a brief period of destabilisation, self-justification and the occasional mea culpa, the very people and institutions that plunged the world into crisis have re-emerged unscathed, as the fount of truth and all reasonable policy.
"The banks are ours!" Public money was used to bail out the banks, and now they are lending back to the public at interest, while governments ignore the social and environmental crises that confront society. It is time to demand real solutions that will work not only for the sake of the economy but for the lives and conditions of people on whom it depends.
Recently invited to an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Boris Kagarlitsky laments the disillusionment of Russian liberals, who think “real capitalism” doesn’t produce crises, while as the crisis deepens, critical voices draw increasing attention among audiences in the West.
Neoliberal market capitalism has dragged the world into a crisis which threatens human civilisation. Climate destruction, resource wars, and the replacement of democracy by an oligarchy face us if we don't act now to reduce the burden we place on our planet and reorganise society on a more egalitarian basis.