Patrice Riemens on Mon, 5 Mar 2018 18:03:20 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Bifo (Franco Berardi): Bonino and the Fiscal Compact - the same mistake as the anti-EU crowd.

Since 'Bifo' is one of the tutelary divinities of nettime (just ask Geert) I thought it was appropriate to translate (Q&D as usual, Alex F can always redress my Italian) the op-ed he published in yesterday's edition of Il Manifesto ('quotidiano comunista') the day of the general elections, which as we know have both delivered a hung parliament (in both chambers) and a larger than expected victory for the 5*Movement.

Bifo's pice resonates with the feeling I had this morning that Italy now stands where Greece stood in 2010, with the same road map of austerity without end, and in the end the total victory of Big Finance and Big Corporate in an accelerated race to the bottom neatly harmonizing with the inevitable generalized collapse of both society and nature as we know it, a.k.a. l'accident integral theoretized by Paul Virilio.

But then as that other 'foggy' French thinker said (Louis Althusser): "l'Avenir dure longtemps".

Have a funky week!

Bifo (Franco Berardi, a.k.a.) (Emma) Bonino and the Fiscal Compact - the same mistake as the anti-EU crowd.
Il Manifesto. March 4, 2018

A number of my friends, especially among my female friends, have expressed the intention to vote for +Europa [a political party in the general elections -PR] and its candidate Emma Bonino. An excellent choice I would be tempted to say, because she is a person of coherence and sympathy, and she carries a history of dignity and courage: the history of the [Italian] Radical Party, despite current polemics I do'nt understand.

Marco Panella came to Paris when I was an exile there in 1977. in those days politicians of all parties considered me a scoundrel and wouldn't touch me with a bargepole because me and my mates were talking on a radio that blasted the austerity favoring alliance of the Christian Democracy and the Ppc [couldn't find which party that was, but probably on the center-left -PR]. Panella came to express his solidarity and we went together to an event dedicated to Pasolini chaired by Julia Kristeva. Great times.

I was thinking of them because both Panella's and Emma Bonino's culture is entirely political and juridical. On the other hand however, they don't have the faintest idea of what things like exploitation or social struggles are about.

Emma Bonini is asking you to vote for more Europe, and adds that in order to abide by the rules of the Fiscal compact we must abstain from any new budgetary expenditures over the next five years. A fantastic idea, but for the fact that it is fraught with dangers: our high speed 'pendular' trains will fall further apart (*), worse than they already do now. Pupils in schools in the peripheries will either die from the cold or be buried under the rubble, while thousands of teacher will commit suicide, either from misery of depression. Millions of people will be deprived of health care, and hospitals will run out of syringes and dressing material. Medical personnel will say goodbye to the public service and take up jobs in private health institutions.

So how many tens of thousands of deaths is Emma's brilliant idea going to cost? No, I do not think that destroying what is left of the welfare state is a good plan. Does that mean that I am for less Europe? Not at all! I just want to say that Emma Bonino doesn't 'get' what (current) Europe is about.

Over the last years the European Union died in the heart of the majority of Europeans. And the anti-Europe sentiment has grown in exact proportion with the pace the neo-liberal ruling class has transformed Europe in an instrument of the powers of finance, reason why workers see Europe as the cause of their misery. The imposition of the Fiscal Compact, which amounts to systematic removal of resources from the pockets of the workers to compensate for the [abysmal] debentures of the banks is the obvious cause why the European Union is in its death throws.

The Fiscal Compact is a noose around the neck of the european population. And when the noose is pulled, no blood reaches the head any more, and the European population in agony flees into the hands of those preaching violence, hate, and nationalistic racism. This is what the Fiscal Compact amounts to.

Bonino makes exactly the same mistake as the anti-Europe crowd of whatever hue, which clamors for an illusory national sovereignty: taking Europe and the Fiscal Compact for one and the same thing.

I vote for the Power to the People (Potere al popolo) Party, because I want Europe to be not the instrument of the financial system but an instrument for equality in salaries for all European citizens, and for solidarity, a universal basic income, and a reduction in working hours. I Vote for the Power to the People Party, because despite its somewhat backward name I want to break with society's enslavement to the authoritarian rule of the Fiscal Compact and see society freeing its energies from the dominion of the financial system.

Q&D tranlsate by yrs truly,
Fiesole, March 5, 2018.

(*) They literally do! They were sold both to the Dutch NS and Danish DSB - having identifies no less than 156 structural defaults, the Dutch send them back and lost quite some money, the Danes fixed them - over 5 years - at the builder's expanse and got'm for free in the end. The ex-Dutch ones are now being 'made over' at Ansaldo Breda for the Italian state railways - I can't wait to see them pass by! ;-)

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