January 13th, 2012
St. Augustine of which the wonderful sigh comes from: “Lord, give me chastity, but not equal,” was not a “strange saint.” He knew only from the interplay of virtue, self-restraint and temptation. Like all intellectuals of the ancient world he knew the myth of Odysseus, who anticipates his own weakness and can be tied to the mast in order to be able to resist future temptations.But Augustine did not immediately, but rather bind later. Our policy considers it similar to the financial chastity. Our last government and parliamentary majority decided the constitutional requirement for balanced budgets in the future. In Germany, this measure seems already to act as a means of discipline on the current budget policies. The budget – and not only the housekeeper – so to speak, from just takes time, so it fits better in the future chastity belt.
Who is to say, however, that after a while, not even the constitutional measure to the temptations of everyday life will not be grown. A financial constitution is perhaps even a chastity belt to which the lady holds the key in his hand. There will always give reasons why it is not only a temptation, but seems to be morally required, access to the key and unchaste prefer to enjoy the moment.
The comparison of financial and erotic temptations, however, played down what is really addictive behavior of the worst kind. All states adhere to the needle of the borrowing, which must be ruinous in the long run. As the addicts know the elites and the public informed of these states subliminally, that today's morning shift leads to painful renunciation only means that tomorrow will be even more painful renunciation and therefore suggests the abandonment of tomorrow. Like all addicts bad, they are willingly, but weak. You even sometimes act in good faith as they cherish the illusion that the good intentions that do not work today will work tomorrow.
We're at a point where good faith is itself a sin. Like the addict from their ever own addiction history, we know all the latest from our financial history that existed prior to adopting the single currency were reminders that both the threatening indebtedness of individual members of the Monetary Union and the predicted to combat it necessary intervention spiral. They correctly saw ahead that arise from the possible rescue interventions tendencies to greater political centralization in Europe. Back then they were thrown indiscriminately with the nationalists of yesteryear in a pot in order to discredit them. Today, those who express similar concerns about a backed by “Euro Bonds” currency, like discredited as “neoliberals” who had been encouraged by their theories, the emergence of financial weapons of mass destruction and the financial crisis. This nonsense is flourishing suited to nourish illusions, but not to do something to address the current financial problems contribute to public hands.
Course it is true that especially the rescue measures for banks in many countries have contributed fundamentally to the debt of the public hands. In a country like Ireland, which is basically intact and politically capable of painful cuts to adjust to new circumstances through politically, this effect has played a big role, but now seems to be largely overcome. Ireland is expected to leave in the foreseeable future, the so-called bailout. Countries such as Portugal or Greece, Italy and unfortunately probably also seem not to have this internal political power and thus bring great political risks for the continued existence of a united Europe with it. We should not delude ourselves, it is ultimately not in the current crisis is a “technology” to solve currency problems, but about fundamental structures of democratic politics.