There's a telling interview in the Guardian this morning with Jürgen Habermas, Frankfurt school academic and leftie icon. At a time when Europe's left are reeling at Greece's treatment at the hands of a new German hegemony, the Grauniad is digging deep in its search for voices in support of Federism. Habermas is clear that the greatest barrier to Federast objectives is democracy - if only, he sighs, right thinking people such as he could ignore the actual people of Europe how much easier things would be.
Habermas: By focusing on avoidance of open conflict, the EU’s institutions are
preventing necessary political initiatives for expanding the currency
union into a political union. Only the government leaders assembled in
the European Council are in the position to act, but precisely they are
the ones who are unable to act in the interest of a joint European
community because they think mainly of their national electorate. We are
stuck in a political trap.
Those dratted voters again! How inconvenient that they put their own interests before those of a 'joint European community'
Habermus: Over the course of the crisis, the European executive has accrued more
and more authority. Key decisions are being taken by the council, the
commission and ECB – in other words, the very institutions that are
either insufficiently legitimated to take such decisions or lack any
democratic basis. Streeck and I also share the view that this
technocratic hollowing out of democracy is the result of a neoliberal
pattern of market-deregulation policies.
What the old leftie actually means is that an unholy alliance between the the EU's unelected officials and the global corporates, an alliance that strangles both democracy and free open-market competition, has in the process caused sight to be lost of Europe's objective of Welfare State Dependancy.
Habermus: I do not see how a return to nation states that have to be run like big
corporations in a global market can counter the tendency towards
de-democratisation and growing social inequality – something that we
also see in Great Britain, by the way. Such tendencies can only be
countered, if at all, by a change in political direction, brought about
by democratic majorities in a more strongly integrated “core Europe”.
The currency union must gain the capacity to act at the supra-national
level. In view of the chaotic political process triggered by the crisis
in Greece we can no longer afford to ignore the limits of the present
method of intergovernmental compromise.
And there you have the new strategic direction - using a veneer of democratic accountability to seize total power in Europe from nation states in a velvet coup. The answer to Greece is more political union and more EU power - the only issue is how the EU's unelected officials can fix the voting.