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.
"The financial crisis" is one facet of the systemic and converging crises of capitalism - a predictable symptom of oligopolistic late capitalism; but what main challenges lie ahead for the Left in South Africa?
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.
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.
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.
On 8 June the EU Parliament will vote on our response to the Eurocrisis: sign this petition by ATTAC asking them to reject the neoliberal austerity package which will make the public pay for the bank's crimes. There are alternatives to austerity.
The Greek crisis has exposed the fundamental flaws in the Euro project: it stripped countries control over the price of money and allowed political elites to undermine Europe's post-war social contract.
Until the European Commission shows it has learnt the lessons of the 2008 financial crisis and demonstrates the political will to re-regulate the financial sector, it will be unable to resolve the crises in Greece, Ireland and Portugal
Susan George, Fiona Dove, Yiorgos Vassalos, Dominique Plihon, Kenneth Haar
02 November 2011
In a podcast debate, four activist researchers debate why the European Union is wedlocked to economic policies that will only worsen the crisis and further undermine democratic control of public budget.
While banks and European leaders negotiate the next public bail out of private greed, and the financial speculation that caused the crisis continues unheeded, Europeans have shown that like many people around the world, from Tahrir to Syntagma Square and Wall Street, they are not going to take more neoliberal austerity lying down. The question already being asked by many observers is - where to now for the popular demonstrations?
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 ruthless austerity programmes imposed on Greece and the endless cycle of debt renegotiations will only come to a close when Athens takes charge of its predicament and announces a democratic and sovereign cessation of payments.
The real news in Greece is not about riots, but of a growing number of people who have broken away from fear and decided to fight back against the austerity imposed by the 'Troika' of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF.