Le projet européen s’est enfermé dans une position intenable

Interview in L’Intérêt Général – La Revue du Parti de Gauche, No. 4, 04 Avril, 2019, pp. 108-111.

Dans votre essai ‚Du temps acheté‘, vous vous opposez à la légende dorée de la construction européenne. Pour vous, le projet européen comportait, dès le début, une dimension antidémocratique?

Ce projet a différentes racines. Le « projet européen » – attention, chacun donne à cette formule un sens différent ! – devait institutionnaliser, en Europe, cet État capitaliste social-démocrate, régulé par l’État, que les États-Unis avaient développé dans le cadre du New Deal. Il devait en même temps aider à endiguer le communisme. Vers la fin des années 1950 il est devenu de plus en plus favorable à l’économie de marché ; les ordoli¬béraux allemands, qui avaient perdu (dans un premier temps) leur combat contre Konrad Adenauer et le corpora¬tisme catholique, ont vu la Communauté économique européenne comme un levier permettant d’imposer, en Allemagne aussi, un ordre économique libéral. Dans les années 1980, la chose a été tranchée : terminée, la vieille sociale-démocratie ; place à une économie concurrentielle néolibérale et « mondialisée » ! Elle devait être immunisée contre les résistances populaires : cela explique les institutions si particulières de l’Union européenne (UE) et de l’Union économique. (…)

Download [PDF]

La sinistra non si può sviluppare all’interno dell’Ue

Intervista di Jacopo Rosatelli, Il Manifesto, 2 aprile, 2019.

Professore, il 26 maggio si vota nella Ue. Per cosa deve battersi la sinistra europea?

È difficile risponderle, perché non credo si possa sviluppare una strategia della sinistra nell’ambito della Ue. Il vero potere legislativo è diviso fra il Consiglio e la Corte di giustizia, quindi il voto per il parlamento di Strasburgo non avrà conseguenze politiche, anche se popolari e socialisti dovessero perdere la maggioranza.

Eppure lei è stato da poco a Madrid e ha incontrato il gruppo parlamentare di Podemos.

Sì, ma con loro non ho parlato delle elezioni europee. A mio avviso, la sinistra in Europa deve cercare di riconquistare spazi di azione democratica per i popoli. L’Ue è una comunità di governi ed élite nazionali che agiscono a livello continentale per poter realizzare politiche di austerità, sottraendosi alla responsabilità di fronte agli elettori. I popoli della periferia che si ribellano, come in Grecia, poi vengono puniti. Per interrompere questo ciclo serve una radicale democratizzazione di fronte a un’istituzione tecnocratica come l’Ue. (…)

Download [PDF]

The EU is an empire

Interview by Fraser Myers, Spiked, March 29, 2019.

How has the role and focus of the EU evolved over the past few decades?

Originally, the EU was an organisation for joint economic planning among six adjacent countries. The planning was sectorally specific, limited to coalmining and the steel industry, later also nuclear power, in the context of the state-managed capitalism of the postwar era. Then it grew into a free-trade zone, increasingly devoted to spreading neoliberal internationalism, in particular the free movement of goods, services, capital and labour, under the rubric of the Internal Market.
As the number and heterogeneity of member states continuously increased, ‘positive integration’ became ever-more difficult. Instead, there was ‘negative’ integration: the removal of substantive regulations that impeded free trade within the bloc. After the end of Communism in 1989, the EU became a geostrategic project, closely intertwined with the US’s geostrategy in relation to Russia. From the original six countries cooperating in the management of a few key sectors of their economies, the EU became a neoliberal empire of 28 highly heterogeneous states. The idea was and is to govern those states centrally by obliging them to refrain from state intervention in their economies.(…)

Continue reading on spiked.online.com


Italian translation:

L’Unione Europea è un impero

Pubblicato su Voci Dall’Estero, 01 aprile, 2019.

Legga l’intervista completa su vocidallestero.it

Los españoles nunca han dado problemas en la UE porque sus políticos no saben dónde están metidos

Entrevista por Pablo Elorduy, El Salto, Madrid, 22 de marzo, 2019.

En el libro dices que estamos en un punto de indeterminación, de interregno, en la historia del capitalismo. ¿Qué es lo que define este punto?

La ausencia de previsibilidad. Hemos visto hechos que nadie hubiera pensado que fueran posibles en los últimos tres o cuatros años. El colapso del sistema de partidos en Francia, en Italia… Donald Trump siendo elegido. Comparo estos hechos a los fenómenos climáticos extremos respecto al calentamiento global. ¿Cuál es la explicación? Creo que en el interior del capitalismo, antes de 2008, había un consenso básico de que lo que se llama neoliberalismo podía revitalizar el capitalismo. Abriendo las fronteras, mediante el ilimitado libre comercio, etcétera. En 2008, ese consenso finalmente falló. Y todo el mundo fue consciente de que las promesas del neoliberalismo no iban a traer lo que habían prometido. Al contrario, lo que se vio fue la deuda crecer, el aumento de la desigualdad, el crecimiento estancado. (…)

Continúe en elsaltodiario.com

El imperio europeo se hunde

Entrevista por Miguel Mora, Revista Contexto, Madrid, 13 de marzo, 2019.

¿Cómo definiría esta fase del capitalismo?

El experimento neoliberal ha fracasado: no ha traído prosperidad ni ha resuelto el conflicto entre las clases, mientras vemos que en muchos países aparecen distintas formas de revuelta contra el capitalismo globalizado, movimientos anticapitalistas o, mejor dicho, antiinternacionalistas. El neoliberalismo siempre fue un movimiento internacional que abrió las economías nacionales, y ese es ahora el objetivo de la resistencia. En parte sucede esto porque la izquierda de la tercera vía se unió a la fiesta internacionalista en medio de la euforia globalizadora y perdió la conexión con la gente a la que el sistema iba dejando atrás. Por eso los “chalecos amarillos” en Francia ya no se consideran de izquierdas, porque la izquierda no ha sabido responder a sus preocupaciones y los sindicatos han quedado fuera de la lucha. (…)

Continúe en ctxt.es

The artifice for capitalism’s survival will not work forever

Interview with the Greek online journal, Marginalia , October, 2018.

In your most recent book (How will capitalism end?, 2016) you mention that the history of capitalism has been, since the 19th century at least, a history of its crises. However, the various predictions of its end have been proven wrong until now. Today, alongside a widespread consensus on the seriousness of the ongoing crisis, there is a total disagreement on how and if it is going to have an end at all. How can one explain this “Babel”? Does it make sense anymore, after so many false predictions, to ask economists and sociologists to predict the future?

What older theories of capitalist decline, or capitalist end, did not know, and could not know, is how many different forms capitalism as a social and economic system can assume – from liberal to state-administered to neoliberal, or from merchant to industrial to financial, etc. etc. Often enough, these transformations happened in the last minute, forced by crises, powerful countermovements, or, not least, the rise of the state and global warfare in the twentieth century. Still, the basic problem of modern capitalism remains: it is a socio-economic regime that depends on endless growth – endless accumulation of capital – in a finite world. All sorts of tricks have been invented to suspend that problem provisionally and for the time being; but there is no reason to believe that this will always be successful. In any case, giving up on thinking only because the question is difficult is not a good idea. (…)

Continue reading on marginalia.gr
Greek version

Marx’s writing more relevant today than ever

Interview by Jipson John and Jitheesh P.M., Monthly Review Online, December 06, 2018.

Originally published in Frontline, November 09, 2018

In “How will capitalism end?”, your 2014 article for “New Left Review”, you gave a theoretical farewell to capitalism. You identified five disorders to the system, namely, declining growth, oligarchy, starvation of public sphere, corruption and international anarchy that would bring about the end of capitalism. Are you saying that such an end is impending or immediate before us?

I am not saying that. I am saying that those five trends will continue as there is nothing to be seen that can stop them. I am also saying that there is no new society waiting in the wings of history, which will only have to be instituted by the forces of capitalist opposition. Instead, I am expecting a long period of high uncertainty and disorder—an interregnum in which the old order has died while a new order cannot yet be born. Very strange things can happen in such a time, as Antonio Gramsci pointed out in a famous passage of his The Prison Notebooks.

You argue that capitalism will continue to regress and atrophy until at some point it might end. You also add that we do not need to confront capitalism but let its “natural” end come about. Will capitalism end in such a peaceful manner or will it endanger humanity? People such as John Bellamy Foster speak of either socialism or exterminism as the choice before humanity.

The interregnum will be an extremely dangerous period. It is not that we don’t need to confront capitalism. I said we don’t have the collective capacity to do away with it. I wish we did. But capitalism is now a global regime while anti-capitalist politics is inevitably local. That makes it possible to throw sand into the wheels of capitalist development but, I am afraid, not to end it. (…)

Continue reading on mronline.org