This paper examines global inequalities and the future of capitalism and socialism through an investigation of the oligarchic wealth on which the current global order is based and also looks at growing challenges to these social foundations of the present global system.
Despite the strong and growing resistance in Greece and other European countries to the direction of EU policy responses to the crisis, the process for this new treaty has unfolded with disquieting speed: initiated in November, an agreement was already reached by end of January among the EU25. This comes at the expense of stifling democratic debate and, indeed, shortcutting the normal consultative procedures in the treaty process through legal manoeuvres.
As Brussels bureaucrats and established political parties struggle to answer the current crisis caused by a faulty economic structure, right-wing nationalist parties have increasingly come to the fore in Europe, with Finland's recent election the last contribution to a worrying trend.
2011 witnessed the implementation of some of the most comprehensive undemocratic structural changes in the EU since the Lisbon Treaty. Alternative proposals for a progressive exit from the euro crisis are laid out here.
The Irish government announcement of a €34 billion Euro bailout, two years after the financial crisis first broke, is a reminder that little has been done to prevent it happening again just as the social costs are becoming ever more evident.
"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.
The language contained in agreements being negotiated by the EU through the WTO with their southern counterparts often deliberately diguises real political goals, obscuring the negative economic implications for those countries of the neoliberal agenda.
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.