The Greeks were the first victims, but they will hardly be the last, of a politics of “rescuing the European currency” – measures which all citizens ought to be allowed to debate, because all of them will be affected by the outcome. However, to the extent that it exists, the discussion is deeply biased, because essential determinations are hidden or dismissed.
In its current form, under the influence of the dominant social forces, the European construction may have produced some degree of institutional harmonisation, and generalised some fundamental rights, which is not negligible, but, contrary to the stated goals, it has not produced a convergent evolution of national economies, a zone of shared prosperity. Some countries are dominant, others are dominated. The peoples of Europe may not have antagonistic interests, but the nations increasingly do.
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Étienne Balibar is Professor of Philosophy at the Université de Paris-X. His books include Reading Capital, The Philosophy of Marx, Race, Nation, Class, Spinoza and Politics and Politics and the Other Scene.
Race, Nation, Class (with Immanuel Wallerstein) will be republished in January 2011 as part of Set 5 of Verso’s Radical Thinkers series.