Austerity doesn’t just lead to unemployment and misery. If it goes on long enough, it will inevitably lead to the emergence of “swamp thing” extremists into positions of power. Take the situation in Greece, a country which until recently was a wealthy Western democracy with a relatively stable political system. After five years of depression, voters in Greece just fired their equivalent of the Democrats and Republicans, and replaced them with anti-bailout groups, mostly on the left (Syriza and Communists), but also with the neo-Nazi group Golden Dawn on the right.Read it at Naked Capitalism
This should be a wake-up call to political elites globally, because Greece could simply be the start of a trend of collapsing centrist politics and the rise of dangerous political actors. 7% of Greeks, including a substantial number of the police, voted for a fascist anti-immigrant party whose platform is a mixture of economic populism and xenophobic racist lunacy. 21 Golden Dawn members were elected to Parliament. Golden Dawn political machine includes roving gangs of thugs that routinely beat up immigrants, and its political platform includes placing mines on the border between Greece and Turkey to prevent immigrants from coming into the country.
This is what austerity produces – extremism....
In Greek Humanitarian Crisis, It Will Be Leftists Or Neo-Nazis
Matt Stoller | Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute
This is the specter of the past that the currency union was supposed to avoid in Europe's future. Extremism is on the rise in the US also. It's not yet a threatening trend, but it is a waving red flag.