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Economist Professor Bill Mitchell – Europe and the EU after Brexit June 28, 2020

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

Economist Professor Bill Mitchell – Europe and the EU after Brexit, Reclaiming the State.
Wynne’s Hotel Dublin, Saturday February 15th, 2020.
Sponsored by the Desmond Greaves School and the People’s Movement.

Bill Mitchell was co – author with Thomas Fazi of the influential book: Reclaiming the State: A Progressive Vision of Sovereignty for a Post-Neoliberal World “re-conceptualises the nation state as a vehicle for progressive change. They show how despite the ravages of neoliberalism, the state still contains resources for democratic control of a nation’s economy and finances.

The populist turn provides an opening to develop an ambitious but feasible left political strategy. It offers an urgent, provocative and prescient political analysis of our current predicament, and lays out a comprehensive strategy for revitalising progressive economics in the 21st century.”


1. CL - June 28, 2020

The Covid-19 “crisis is further demonstrating that ‘capitalism’ is now on life support with the government central in ways that neoliberalism had tried to hide with all the ‘free market’ narratives.

In our book – Reclaiming the State: A Progressive Vision of Sovereignty for a Post-Neoliberal World (Pluto Books, September 2017) – Thomas Fazi and I made the case that the Left bought the myth spread by the Right in the 1970s that global finance had rendered the state incapable of running independent fiscal policy to maintain full employment.
They bought the line that governments had to walk a fine line with policy to make sure they appease the interests of the financial markets.
But the reality, which the Right clearly knew all along was that all the neoliberal changes were achieved through the legislative and regulative capacities of the state.
The state was reconfigured by capital to serve its interests.

The mainstream Left still hasn’t grasped that reality and instead continue to propose macroeconomic policy narratives that reflect this deep insecurity they have about capital markets…..

We have already breached in fiscal terms any of the ‘thresholds’ the mainstream macroeconomists put out beyond which governments become insolvent.
That myth is gone….

Capitalism in 2020 is a parasitic system.

Global financial capital is largely unproductive. Transactions within that sector are nothing more than gambling and wealth shuffling.
Those ‘desk jockey’s who earn massive amounts and shout and scream and computer monitors full of graphs and numbers do nothing productive.

The crisis has taught us – I hope – that the really valuable workers are cleaners, nurses, school teachers, street sweepers, garbage collectors – mostly low-paid workers who protect us from sickness and death and look after our children when we work…..
The way forward is not to assume things will return to ‘normal’ but to actively demolish all the artifacts that neoliberalism has created which promote short-term gain for a few at the expense of longer-term stability for the rest of us….
The point is that now the system is operating under life support, the government can clearly call the shots. All the claims about running out of money, future burdens, insolvency have been exposed by this crisis.”-Bill Mitchell

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2. makedoanmend - June 29, 2020

Mitchell, for all his insights into global capital, champions a nationalist and anglo-centric viewpoint bordering on supremacy of those views over all other alternative views. He basically champions national capital over “international” capital, but where does international capital come from? From individual corporations in individual nations? Didn’t US and UK capital chase international advantage at every opportunity, including tax advantage and arbitrage? Isn’t the city of London virtually an independent financial entity with no oversight that uses offshore “territories” to shift capital (supposedly including drug and arms monies) to safe havens away from the UK goverment – the government who created the City of London conditions?

Are we to believe that the USA is going to reign in Amazon, for example. No way. They may just want to corral the tax base, but to what efffect and what uses we have no way of knowing.

The attacks by his acolytes on the EU are telling. Some of his proponents go as far a claiming that Germany is bordering on a totalitarian take over of Europe and Brexit is a new declaration of independence. Cooperation is a foreign concept to them. Domination isn’t. And this is progressive? Progessive is then defined as excchanging cooperation, however fraught and imperfect, for a sure world where the old patterns of domination once again assert themselves.

It’s a bit like saying you solve racism by reintroducing segregation.

A nationalist capital solution is not a solution but a continuation of capital supremacy aided and abetted by its upper middle class support base. It’s a middle class solution that safegaurds middle class concerns by returning to national capital dominance of select countries. (Ireland will be a rule taker in this arrangement – just like the good old days.)

As always, the working class can go to hell. We’re fodder for any of their schemes – national or internationl.

No thanks. It’s just neo-liberalism dressed in nationalist flags. The populist politicians are the ones driving Mitchell’s agenda. Trump and Johnson spring to mind.

It’s strange how often in this era that progressive aims elide with elitist capital aims. Or maybe it isn’t so strange anymore. Not to the working class.


FergusD - June 29, 2020

Agreed makedoandmend, these ‘leftish’ nationalist ‘solutions’ are not solutions. They are Utopianism that avoids the key issues of capitalism, and avoids confronting capitalism and class struggle. But the alternative has to be socialist internationalism, socialism in one country is a contradiction in terms.

Liked by 1 person

3. CL - June 29, 2020
4. Jim Monaghan - June 29, 2020

After Irexit, what kind of trade deals will be on offer from Johnstone (Tony Coughlan figures we should return to the old dependency on Britain) and Trump, nevermind our old partners in the EU. We are a very small counry. We have borrowings, and will have more, so what woudl be the interests rates charges if we were outside the EU where our interest rates are tied to Germany. Loads wrong with the EU. What is teh best method of changing them? Before jumping from what might be the frying pan of the EU, I would like to think it is not into the fire.

On an aside, in the recent debate on the Workers Party, Mendel-Gleeson made some comments on Irexit/Brexit, I wonder is this a debate in their ranks?


Jim Monaghan - June 29, 2020
EWI - June 29, 2020

(Tony Coughlan figures we should return to the old dependency on Britain)

Tony Coughlan has lost his mind.


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