Long live populism!

Less than four months, France will be the new President. Perhaps even a woman. After trump and Breccia no confidence that the polls don’t lie again, and that right-wing nationalists of Marin Le Pen will not win. And even if this time of the cataclysm can be avoided, there is a real danger that it will present itself as the only credible political opponent of the liberal right. The radical left hope for the success of Jean-Luc Mélenchon (Jean-Luc Mélenchon), but it seems unlikely.

Two of these candidates have one common point: they question the European agreements and the current regime of heightened competition among countries and regions, attracting a number of burnt by the globalization of people. At the same time, we must not forget about the differences: despite the harsh rhetoric and often disturbing geopolitical notions, Mélenchon still retains a internationalist and a progressive impulse.

There is a danger that during this campaign, all other political forces (and major media) will be content with criticizing these two candidates and put them on the same level as “populists”. This new the worst insult in politics, which is known to have been successfully used against Sanders for the US may once again overshadow one very important question.

Populism is nothing but inconsistent, but a justified response to the arising of ordinary people in developed countries, the sense of abandonment in the context of globalisation and rising inequality. For the formation of a clear answer to these questions should draw on the populist movement, the most internationalist-minded (particularly on the radical left like Podemos, SYRIZA, Sanders and Mélenchon, despite all their shortcomings), because otherwise, you will defeat nationalism and xenophobia.

Error budget agreement 2012

Unfortunately, candidates from the liberal right (Fillon) and centrists (macron) are going to follow a strategy of denial: they both will defend the status quo on the European budget agreement for 2012. This is not surprising: one agreed on it, and the second it was used.
All the polls confirm that two of the candidates are primarily drawn to those who have benefited from globalization, with an interesting, but secondary to social issues nuances. They argue that embody the circle of reason: when France will return the trust of Germany, Brussels and the markets (with liberalisation of the labour market, reduce spending and the deficit, the abolition of the tax for the rich and increase VAT), then the time will come to require from our partners the steps for austerity and debt.

The problem with this seemingly rational rhetoric is that it is not. Contract 2012 was a monumental mistake that brought the Eurozone into a trap, because it does not allow it to invest in the future. Historical experience tells us about the impossibility to reduce the national debt of this magnitude without extraordinary measures. Unless, of course, not provide for coverage of the entire surplus for decades, that would be a serious blow to investment opportunities.

From 1815 to 1914 Britain for a century sent large surplus for payments to rentiers and reduce the enormous debt of the revolutionary wars (over 200% of GDP). This disastrous decision resulted in a lack of investment in education and further decline of the country.

The national debt

At the same time, from 1945 to 1955, Germany and France were able to quickly get rid of a similar magnitude of the debt through cancellation of debt, inflation, and the emergency withdrawal of private capital. All this allowed them to invest in growth. Today should have acted in a similar way: to impose on Germany the Eurozone parliamentary chamber to ease the debt burden while maintaining democratic legitimacy. Otherwise already seen in Italy the decline in investment and production spread to France and the entire Eurozone (indications are already there).

Only immersion in the story can suggest a way out of the current impasse, as recently pointed out by the authors of the magnificent “the world history of France.” This book can be considered a real antidote to the rise of nationalism in the country. More prosaic and less joyful manner, you should also look closely at the primaries, a government of the left (let’s call them so, since they couldn’t organize primaries in common with radical left).

It is important that the primaries were won by the candidate who will follow the path of a radical revision of the European rules. Amon and Montebourg, apparently closer to that than the Waltz and Peillon, provided that they depart from its former position in the total income and production, and finally, formulate a clear proposal to replace the budget agreement of 2012. During the first televised debate, he is almost never mentioned, perhaps because all of them voted for him. However, the more important is as soon as possible to clarify the situation and to submit a detailed initiative. All is not lost, but we must act quickly if we don’t want the national front took a position of power.