The 2008 global financial crisis—the modern 1929 crash—set off a vicious chain reaction across Europe. By 2010 it had irreparably damaged the foundations of the eurozone, causing the establishment to bend its own rules and commit crimes against logic in order to bail out its banker friends. By 2013 the neoliberal ideology that had legitimized the EU’s oligarchic technocracy had plunged millions into misery, even through the enactment of official policies: socialism for the financiers and harsh austerity for the many. These policies were practiced as much by conservatives as by social democrats. By 2015 the surrender of the Syriza government in Greece had divided and disheartened the left, robbing Europe of the short-lived hope that progressives’ rising up in the streets would alter the balance of power.
A European Spring Is Possible