So, technically, I don’t believe in bailing out banks, so I’m kinda conflicted by this one.
But I definitely don’t think that those that have joined the Euro should be booted out of it, temporarily. The European Union, for all it’s problems, is built on solidarity across national divides. This is actually pretty cool. It’s a community not built so much on shared culture, but on mutualism and a desire to not splinter into warring factions.
As soon as you let on that the weak will be left aside to deal with their own problems, you lose any sense of community.
Economics is really fucking complicated, and it appears to be founded upon dramatic and terrifying assumptions. The biggest and most unsettling of these are that resources are infinite and growth can be sustained indefinitely.
The two ideas are linked. One is the foundation of the other. The second part, this notion of growth as stability, is the one that will eventually fuck us over.
Everyone is so keen on maintaining this perpetual growth (founded on the impossible notion of infinity) that nobody pays any attention to the costs.
Portugal is in a position where it can’t maintain growth. This is seen as withering and dying. That’s how the system works.
I think that we need to adjust the way that system. I think we need to at the very least adjust our assumptions so that we can be okay with dwindling (and optimistically, changing) resources and without growth.
It’s actually going to be really difficult, because it will involve a change in social attitude, a change in the economic status quo and a change in the behaviour of most people everywhere.
It would mean letting economies crumble, whilst finding ways to support the people hurt by it. It would mean sharing loads and burdens, accepting costs for others.
It would mean solidarity.
It would probably be too dangerous on an individual country scale. The only way we can weather/create that sort of economic change is with a structure as big and concrete and varied as the EU.
I’ll be honest, I don’t see things being done the way I’d like. I’m aware that my views are too far wild and optimistic.
But I do think that no matter what happens, in the next twenty years, the way people live and work and everything else is going to change dramatically. Everything is going to become different.
When facing huge changes, I don’t want to be doing it alone. I want a support network of people.
Or in this case, countries.
It’s a community. It’s important for a community to stick together and demonstrate that it is not simply based on survival of the fittest.
If we let one of our group wither and die, then before long, everyone will go the same way.
Isolationism will only make you lonely.
Community creates flexibility. More variety, more skills, more stretchy connections.
That’s what is needed to face the future.
Illustration by Andy.
This week unstruck discusses the Finland Election results from last week. Nationalist party True Finns gained +32 seats in the parliament, and became the 3rd biggest party. This has been a very surprising and alarming result for everyone, and raises the question ‘why?’.