Austerity Fatigue: “Are we Equipped To Have The Debate That Will Follow The Elections?”

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Laura Flanders of GRITtv talks with political economist Professsor Richard Wolff about economic collapse, austerity programs, and the recent and growing anger and popular uprisings and street actions in Europe that we may soon be seeing spreading to North America:

“It’s a bizarre idea to fix a global capitalist crisis by breaking a long-term promise,” notes Richard Wolff, economist and author of Capitalism Hits the Fan of the “austerity” measures rocking Europe’s social democracies at the moment. Governments across Europe are implementing drastic cuts to social safety nets, raising retirement ages, all in the name of fiscal responsibility, and people have taken to the streets–in France, between 1.3 and 2.9 million people have come out in protest, a percentage that Wolff notes would be equivalent to between 6.5 and 14.4 million [in the U.S.].

So what’s going on in Europe, and what are the lessons we can learn from the European left? Wolff joins us along with Inez McCormack, Chair of the Participation and the Practice of Rights Project in Ireland, to talk us through the crisis, the lessons, and the ongoing struggle.



Austerity Fatigue and Action in Europe – GRITtv – October 29, 2010

12 comments

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    • Edger on October 30, 2010 at 10:35 pm
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    in more ways than one…

    • Edger on October 31, 2010 at 12:52 am
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  1. is that the continental European working class is about to be shattered in the same fashion that happened in Britain when Thatcher broke the miners resistance.

    • banger on October 31, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    We live in an Orwellian society way more complex than Orwell’s vision but based on double-think. I believe that a double-think mentality has been deliberately engineered by the corporate state for a couple of generations and we are now in the flowering of that effort. If the Tea Party movement is anything it is filled with the most astonishing amount of double-think I’ve ever heard or frankly ever thought possible. It is, indeed, a grand experiment and it ain’t over yet.

    As you know, I don’t see the left in America as a force that has any chance of influencing events. Only by forming collectives and giving up on radical individualism and discovering the benefits of cooperative living can any blood be pumped into what seems to be the virtual corpse of the left in America. Eventually economic decline and austerity may force some of us to make important connections with others and take collective action. Again, I think most Americans would choose prison with cable TV than real freedom without it.  

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