Geography Archives: Greece

  • The Strange Story of the Single Market

    For the past few months global attention, especially in the international financial media, has been focussed on the eurozone.  The reasons are obvious.  The group of countries that make up the European Union together constitute the largest economy in the world.  Instability within it — which now seems inevitable, no matter how the current problems […]

  • Notes on Contemporary Imperialism

    Phases of Imperialism Lenin dated the imperialist phase of capitalism, which he associated with monopoly capitalism, from the beginning of the twentieth century, when the process of centralization of capital had led to the emergence of monopoly in industry and among banks.  The coming together (coalescence) of the capitals in these two spheres led to […]

  • Where’s the Legitimacy Crisis?

    In her excellent 2003 book Forces of Labor, Beverly Silver discerns within the history of capitalism an ongoing tension between the system’s simultaneous need for both profitability and legitimacy.  That is, it needs to ensure that capital can squeeze as much value as possible out of the workers while making sure that it doesn’t exploit […]

  • US Tax Deal Brings Austerity Closer

    Once again, the two old wings of the political establishment do business as usual in Washington.  In the tax deal between Obama and the Republicans — passed with the help of a majority of Democrats — they all cut taxes, especially on the rich, and extended unemployment benefits.  In short, the government keeps spending mountains […]

  • Latin American Lessons for the European Crisis: Interview with Michael A. Lebowitz

      Michael A. Lebowitz will deliver the Fourth Annual Lecture in Memory of Nicos Poulantzas (“Building Socialism of the 21st Century: The Logic of the State”) on Wednesday, 8 December 2010, 7 PM, at the auditorium of the Goethe Institute (Omirou St. 14-16) in Athens, Greece. Mr. Lebowitz, is Marxism still relevant today?  I ask […]

  • The Spectre of Default in Europe

    Default, Debt Renegotiation and Exit When the Eurozone crisis burst out in early 2010, an RMF report identified three strategic options for peripheral countries, namely, first, austerity imposed by the core and transferring the costs of adjustment onto society at large, second, broad structural reform of the Eurozone in favour of labour and, third, exit […]

  • Where’s the Growth Supposed to Come From?

    Have governments everywhere simply lost their marbles?  Not much emerged from the Seoul G-20 Summit — and definitely not anything really desirable in the form of coordinated Global Keynesian policies (of the kind that Matías Vernengo has advocated in the TripleCrisis blog).  But then, quite frankly, not much was really expected to come out, given […]

  • G-20 Barking Up the Wrong Tree

    If the G-20 is going to be nothing more than a talking shop on economic issues, they ought to at least talk about the economic problems that really matter, and the ones that they can do something about.  Not that currency values don’t matter — they are actually very important.  And it is interesting to […]

  • A Modest Proposal for Overcoming the Euro Crisis

    It is now abundantly clear that each and every response by the eurozone (EZ) to the galloping sovereign debt crisis has been consistently underwhelming.  This includes the joint EZ-IMF operation, back in May, to “rescue” Greece and, in short order, the quite remarkable overnight formation of a so-called “special vehicle” (officially the European Financial Stability […]

  • The Globalising Wall

    Walls have a longstanding relation both with freedom from fear and subjugation to another’s will.  After 1945, walls acquired an unprecedented determination to divide.  They spread like a bushfire from Berlin to Palestine, from the tablelands of Kashmir to the villages of Cyprus, from the Korean peninsula to the streets of Belfast.  When the Cold […]

  • The IMF and Economic Recovery: Is Fund Policy Contributing to Downside Risks?

    Introduction The IMF’s most recent World Economic Outlook (WEO) projects world economic growth will slow, from 4.8 percent in 2010 to 4.2 percent next year.  Throughout the report, there are numerous concerns expressed about the “fragility” of the global economic recovery.  The Acting Chair of the Executive Board states that “[t]he recovery is losing momentum […]

  • French Protesters Have It Right: No Need to Raise Retirement Age

    The demonstrations that have rocked France this past week highlight some of its differences from the United States.  This photo, for example, shows the difference between rioting in baseball-playing versus soccer-playing countries.  In the U.S., we would pick up the tear gas canister and THROW it — rather than kick it — back at the […]

  • Old Trees and a Railroad Station in Stuttgart

    Dietrich Wagner, 66, blinded by police, Stuttgart, 30.09.10 A retired engineer of 66 loses an eye, forced from its socket by water cannon at short range.  High school kids in an approved protest demonstration get beaten and excruciatingly blinded by pepper gas.  Over 400 people are injured in a major police attack, which failed completely […]

  • First as History, Then as Farce: The Euro Crisis Revisited

    When the Crash of 2008 hit Wall Street, European capitalism was thrown into disarray.  With the demise of the export-absorbing monster that was the US consumer market, what in 2003 Joseph Halevi and I called “The Global Minotaur” (see Monthly Review, Vol. 55), Europe not only lost a critical source of aggregate demand but also […]

  • Beijing’s Europe

    The European tour of Wen Jiabao is taking place while the conflict between the US and China over the yuan/dollar exchange rate is getting worse.  At the same time, a similar if less noisy clash exists between China and the Eurozone countries.  Last but not least, tensions have also arisen in the Sino-Japanese relations following […]

  • Venezuelan Election: Victory or Setback for Chávez?

      Paul Jay: Now, some of the critique is coming from the left; it’s not all coming from the right or from the elite.  And I guess one of the critiques is: why isn’t there more of a rainy day fund?  You know, when oil was riding high, why wasn’t there more reserves established for […]

  • How to Fight Islamophobia and the Far Right, in Europe and the United States

    An alarming trend is sweeping Europe.  Far-right parties, using anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric, have made electoral gains in several European countries.  In the June European parliament elections, these parties were able to garner votes in a way they haven’t before.  The British National Party (BNP), which has its roots in fascist parties of the past, […]

  • The Enigma of Capital and the Crisis This Time

    Paper prepared for the American Sociological Association Meetings in Atlanta, August 16th, 2010. There are many explanations for the crisis of capital that began in 2007.  But the one thing missing is an understanding of “systemic risks.”  I was alerted to this when Her Majesty the Queen visited the London School of Economics and asked […]

  • Germany: SPD and Greens Regaining Lost Ground While the Left Gets Stuck in Debates

    Angela Merkel always seems to smile when she faces a camera.  Only once in a while does an unnoticed camera show her looking tired, if not worn and slightly haggard. Things are not all going her way.  More and more people are moving in Germany, mostly in the wrong direction, at least for Merkel.  In […]

  • Why Millions March in France, But Not in the US

    The basic issue is the same there and here.  Capitalism generates another of its regular, periodic crises, only this one is really bad.  It begins, as often happens, in the financial sector where credit invites the competition-driven speculation, the excess risk-taking, and the corruption that explodes first.  But precisely because the non-financial rest of the […]