Source: Patrick Lawrence, Salon, June 29
…At the risk of telescoping, there is a straight, if dotted, line between the Marshall Plan’s economic orthodoxy and Europe’s wholesale, I would say craven, adherence to the neoliberal model since Reagan and Thatcher reigned in the Anglo–American universe. At times one could scarcely believe one’s eyes, given the Continent’s distinct intellectual tradition and the place customarily awarded the state. By the time financial and economic crises hit in 2010, the technocrats running Europe were like new religious converts – truer believers than the believers. Their faith in neoliberal austerity was strong enough to overcome any amount of open-and-shut evidence that it was the wrong prescription – this for the simple reason it is a faith exclusive of all serious thought.
This is the Europe to which Britons have just said, “No, thank you.” It is not ruled by reason and has no ideals: ideology substitutes for both, as it does among us Americans. Market value is its only principle, and democratic process is fine so long as it does not intrude upon this principle, as any Greek will tell you. Britons may have made a short-term, tactical mistake, but one can in no way blame them for it. The true error is Europe’s….
Good roads in exchange for democratic process, to put the point only a little too simply. Wal-Mart prices instead of public space.