May 8, 2012

The Responsible Parties

Krugman today offers an important warning on governments of national unity that strive to include all people of good will and good sense. If they fail, the alternative is, by definition, very bad.

The trouble is that the responsible policies aren’t — the austerity program that has defined being Serious in Europe is an abject (and predictable) failure. So voters take their anger out by voting against the insiders. And since all the respectable people are inside the political tent, backing and being identified with failed policies, that means a big vote for extremists right and left.

And yes, the echoes of the 1930s are very strong.

So now there are going to be Nazis again in a European parliament. Not crypto-Nazis, as in Hungary, but real, full-throated, and self-avowed.

Update: Link fixed. A correspondent writes, "Yes, there are Nazis again in a European parliament and yes they’re real Nazis, as real as they get. I’m happy to be living in Germany at the moment. Sometimes, the irony is strong enough to taste"