“‘This crisis is a scam’ and ‘We won’t pay for the crisis’ are cries heard across the squares of Europe today. They are shouted by the Greek indignados, in the Spanish squares of the 15M movement and by the strikers in France in 2010. And, with somewhat different resonances, in the revolutions on the other side of the Mediterranean Sea. Since the crisis officially began the avalanche of reforms and welfare cuts do not seem to have led to the expected recovery. Quite the contrary, the stubbornness of austerity policies, the privileges of the financial elites and, above all, attacks on the sovereign debt of a growing number of states have led the European Union into a new recession. The same forces are leading, even more disturbingly, to a political degeneration which threatens the entire European project, the single currency included.
The future of the continent appears to be at stake. On one hand, the same old logic: policies that benefit a few creditors (the big financial players of the continent) who pursue profits based on cheap credit and financial speculation. These are the same agents who find themselves threatened by a crisis they caused and from which they will only emerge via the imposition of seemingly endless debt bondage on the European populations. On the other hand, we find in the emerging European movement the possibility of reinventing democracy and of halting social and political degeneration by building an alternative project.”
From the Preface to Crisis and Revolution in Europe, People of Europe, Rise Up!
If you only read one book this year, read Crisis and Revolution by Madrid-based activist research group the Metropolitan Observatory. The book deals in depth with the financial crisis but also offers a fantastic analysis of social movements in Europe and provides some really interesting proposals.
The English language version was edited by Mick Byrne and Patrick Bresnihan of Provisional university and Richard McAleavey. Well done to all involved for making this available to an English speaking audience.
You can also read a review of it in the latest issue of Interface which can be downloaded here.