While the Eurozone crisis is intensifying the contradictions of the project for European integration and the dreaded Troika is forcing unprecedented levels of austerity on the Greek nation, the question of the left's relation to Europe has once more been raised. Owen Jones has been the latest in a long line of prominent leftists to defend a left anti-EU stance, recently arguing in a column in the Guardian for the need for a Left Exit (or 'Lexit') campaign which will wrestle the issue of British withdrawal from the EU away from the UKIPpers and the Eurosceptic Tories. Yet under the leadership of Alexis Tsipras, Syriza is continuing with its attempt to push a left strategy while remaining in the Eurozone.
In this video, part of Open Democracy's #TalkReal series, philosopher Srecko Horvat, Professor of Law Costas Douzinas and others discuss the future of the European project in response to the increasing crisis in Greece. Should the left push forward with its long march through the institutions or should we be campaigning against the anti-democractic EU? Can the Eurozone become a space for progressive politics or will it continue to be used to force through punishing austerity?
No one can really predict an election, but I don't think anyone expected a majority Conservative government. As we look to a future of more food banks, increased poverty and homelessness, as well as soaring inequality, we present a reading list featuring leading voices dealing with the key issues in British politics today.
National commemorations of major historical events usually offer an incredible opportunity for the Right to showcase its jingoistic logorrhea about national identity and patriotism. Starting this coming August, the First World War centenary will most likely be no exception.
The Conservatives are battling on two different, though not unrelated, fronts. Contrary to what Max Hastings argues, it is the Right indeed who is “making an ideological argument out of World War I, as it does out of almost everything else in history.”
In a Telegraph article, David Cameron puts particular emphasis on commemorating, and even celebrating the break-out of World War I as a moment of national unity and cohesion, “a fundamental part of our national consciousness.”
In the UK this month austerity has revealed itself to be in the mode of naked class war. Monday began with welfare reforms, the introduction of the notorious bedroom tax and reductions in the access to Legal Aid. These attacks will be followed in the coming weeks by the replacing of disability living allowance with a personal independence payment policed by Atos, the reduction in the 50p tax rate (providing tax cuts to the rich) and the introduction of the controversial Universal Credit scheme. Combined with other aspects of late capitalism (from food prices to housing shortages) the reality of life in austerity Britain is uglier than it has been for some time.
With textbook ideological manoeuvring these assaults have been accompanied by a rhetoric designed to divide the working classes between “workers and shirkers.” To the chorus of the right wing press, statements, such as this one by Liam Fox or this from Iain Duncan Smith, ultimately aim to crush the possibility of an organized resistance. Most revealing this week has been efforts by the right wing to frame the horrific Philpott manslaughter as a result of ‘benefit dependency.’ Almost beyond belief, this story’s beginnings in the Daily Mail and right wing blogs were reinforced yesterday with this statement from the grubbiest man on earth: Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.