[Marxism] EEC politics and the economy

Paddy Apling e.c.apling at btinternet.com
Sun Sep 4 04:28:29 MDT 2011

Open Democracy today carries a notable article by Grazia letto Gillies, "an
Italian economist living and working in London. She is Emeritus Professor of
Applied Economics, London South Bank University and Visiting Professor,
Birkbeck University of London. She is one of the initiators of the World
Economics Association (www.worldeconomicsassociation.org). She has published
extensively on the economics of Transnational Companies and on

The article is written in a way which I believe jibes very well with the
attitude to the dominant political-economy if the majority of followers of
this list.



"The thought-provoking piece by Rossana Rossanda that started the debate on
"The road to Europe" in Sbilanciamoci.info, il Manifesto and OpenDemocracy
raises the issue of whether political integration should have preceded
economic integration. My feeling is that it may not so much be a problem of
the timing of the two types of integration but of the type of Union we
created and under what type of ideological context.

The European Monetary Union has been conceived and realized under the banner
of neoliberalism and of the neoclassical economic paradigm: markets are
efficient; they, through their price mechanism, are the best allocator of
resources. They are the best regulators of economic activities, not the
State. This ideology is antithetic to social cohesion both within and
between countries. We could have built a different type of European Union,
within a different ideological, economic and political context: one in which
the markets could have played a role but under the power of the State to
regulate them for the benefit of all; one in which social cohesion within
and between European States could have played a large role. In such an
ideological context, economic, political and social integration would
necessarily have gone hand-in-hand and the issue of timing of economic
versus political integration would not have arisen. But this would have
required adherence to different economic paradigms and a different political
starting point.

These are, of course, counterfactual scenarios. Before I go back to full
reality, let me start my analysis of the economic situation with another
counterfactual assumption: a visit to Earth from a Martian. Were a Martian
to visit Earth in the XXI century, she would have observed the following:
(a) an enormous quantity of resources - human, technological and capital
resources - allocated to the production of so-called financial products
which seem to her totally useless; (b) people who work or invest in these
products earn much more than the rest of the population; and (c) most
Earthlings appear to be in need of basic products from food to roads and
transportation to health services and education. Why, on Earth, are the
resources not allocated to more useful production?

..... etc.

Full article at

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