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Against the Troika: Crisis and Austerity in the Eurozone

A radical anti-capitalist alternative to Eurozone austerity
On the 25th January 2015 the Greek people voted in an election of historic importance—not just for Greece but potentially all of Europe. The radical party Syriza was elected and austerity and the neoliberal agenda is being challenged. Suddenly it seems as if there is an alternative. But what?

The Eurozone is in a deep and prolonged crisis. It is now clear that monetary union is a historic failure, beyond repair—and certainly not in the interests of Europe’s working people.

Building on the economic analysis of two of Europe’s leading thinkers, Heiner Flassbeck and Costas Lapavitsas (a candidate standing for election on Syriza’s list), Against the Troika is the first book to propose a strategic left-wing plan for how peripheral countries could exit the euro. With a change in government in Greece, and looming political transformations in countries such as Spain, this major intervention lays out a radical, anti-capitalist programme at a critical juncture for Europe. The final three chapters offer a detailed postmortem of the Greek catastrophe, explain what can be learned from it—and provide a possible alternative.

Against the Troika is a practical blueprint for real change in a continent wracked by crisis and austerity.

Reviews

  • “Lapavitsas is fascinating and thoughtful.”
  • “Costas Lapavitsas is part of the cadre of academics-turned-politicians forging Syriza’s economic thinking.”
  • “Highly readable … A fresh and imaginative look at the crisis, it contributes greatly to the relevant debate, and is especially useful in detailing the theoretical foundations of economic programmes advocated by the radical Left parties that have begun to gain strength across Europe, and in particular Syriza.”
  • “This little book takes up the question of what a left government can do in the face of powerful elites who have savaged the country’s infrastructure in the failed pursuit of budget surpluses. Crucially it charts a path for those who want a clearer view of the way out of the euro.”
  • “Demonstrate[s] with clarity that the mercantilist and deflationary policies pursued by Germany since the beginning of EMU must carry the blame for the great rupture that is currently threatening Europe.”
  • “For those who … still believe Europe can be reformed to deliver social justice, growth and high-welfare societies, the authors do the valuable service of spelling out what that would take: the defeat not only of the mainstream conservative parties but also of their right-wing, nationalist challengers, and the total transformation of European social democracy in the direction of heterodox, fiscally expansionist economic policy, and the triumph of the as yet untested new left parties.”

Blog

  • The Windows of History

    First published in Le Monde Diplomatique. Translated by David Broder. 


    Mélenchon rally, Lyon, February 2017. 

    1. In the so-called "democratic" era, a system of domination is a paradoxical creature. It categorically refuses to recognise its own systemic character, precisely because this era purports to be "democratic." However, even to begin to challenge its vital interests immediately reduces this playacting to nothing, making its systemic character manifest again. Indeed, so much is this system a system, that it comes out of the register of denial only in order to fall into a register of hysteria. As soon as Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s presidential bid became a serious possibility, leaving behind his outlandish fringe-candidate status, all the pretenses of upholding democracy, all the restraints of reasonable objectivity, instantly collapsed, ultimately allowing the system’s true face to come to light: furious, and of one mind.

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  • Mélenchon: A Radical Reformist Against Mounting Oligarchy

    The Belgian philosopher Chantal Mouffe — a thinker who inspires French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon — defended her project in a column appearing in the 15 April edition of Le Monde. Translated by David Broder.



    Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s breakthrough into third place in the presidential polls has unleashed a campaign by defenders of the status quo trying to pass him off as a "communist revolutionary." After long having dismissed Mélenchon, part of the press is now working to destroy the credibility of his programme, presented as the "cloud-cuckoo-land plans of the French Chávez."

    Painted as a dangerous extremist, Jean-Luc Mélenchon is attacked by all those who think that there is no alternative to neoliberal globalisation. For them, democracy requires acceptance of the "post-political consensus" established among the centre-left and centre-right parties. Any questioning of this consensus must be the work of populist demagogues.

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  • Mélenchon: a vote to prompt the future

    Socialist candidate Benoît Hamon’s campaign is now at an impasse, because he couldn’t see that the neoliberal fox would refuse to accommodate to the socialist hen, while Mélenchon takes an opposing strategy, write Cédric Durand and Razmig Keucheyan. First published in Libération. Translated by David Broder.



    Elections were for long time rather boring. Carried forth by a liberal wind, there was a seamless exchange of office between the self-assured Right and the lightweight Left — these wholehearted converts to market modernisation — in the eternal present of capitalism. Capitalism had been made master of a globalised space and a financialised time. Endemic unemployment, consumerist exultation and terrorist/criminal horror made up the three dramatic extremes of a little game buzzing along, spiced up only by the candidates’ antics or the scenes made by betrayed friends.

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Other books by Heiner Flassbeck and Costas Lapavitsas Afterword by Alberto Garzón Espinosa Foreword by Oskar Lafontaine Preface by Paul Mason

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