The Euro

THOUGH euro notes and coins are not due to appear until 2002 the 'euro' has arrived. According to the Economist "it is arguably the most momentous innovation since the establishment of the United States dollar in 1792." (2.1.99) So how momentous is it. Well, if as it is argued that an army and currency are the two classical features of being an independent state - the monopoly of legal force and the monopoly of legal tender in a territory - then the states that have already signed up have surrendered one of the two features that made them sovereign and independent. Loss of sovereignty in turn may mean nothing less than the collapse of meaningful democracy, in that the peoples of the countries affected will no longer be able to determine key policy through their elected representatives. Instead major economic policy will be made by, and no doubt, in the interests of those controlling the European Central Bank. The Euro is in other words very, very, big business indeed. While lacking popular legitimacy the 'European super state' is without doubt going to happen sooner rather than later. Within fortress Europe national borders will disappear and with their demise the raw points of conflict between countries. Instead national conflict will be replaced by the renewal of a more ancient hatred: naked and direct, international and indisguisable, continuous and simultaneous, between the haves and the have not's, the governors and the governed between - classes.


Reproduced from RA vol 3, Issue 5, Feb/Mar '99