The Struggle over the World Socioeconomic System – Can Europe and the USA Lead Humanity to a Better Future

Thursday, July 13, 2017
JWS - Room J10 (J355) (University of Glasgow)
Uri Zilbersheid , School of Political Sciences and the Center of German and European Studies, University of Haifa
The world's most important struggle in recent decades is the struggle over the future of the welfare state as a universal system. Because the welfare state has become the basis for democracy and peace on earth, this struggle has far-reaching implications for the future of humankind.

In essence, the welfare state represents an alliance between industrial, or productive, capital and the wage laborers against financial capital (giant commercial banks, investment banks, insurance companies, hedge funds, equity funds and “industrial” speculators). Whenever the welfare state is economically, socially, politically and legally dominant, financial capital is contained and even forced to reduce its size and the scope of its activities.

The struggle against the welfare state takes many forms: neoliberalism (in the form of ideological rejection of deficit spending, namely Keynesianism, and “big government”), which has been furthered worldwide by the “Washington Consensus”; the recent reduction of social services in the leading EU countries; and the recent rise of chauvinism and xenophobia (Fremdenhass) in the EU and the USA, often, as in EU-countries, in the form of legitimate parties.  The refugee crisis in Europe cannot be satisfactorily solved unless the EU fully adopts the principles of the welfare state.

The protagonists of the welfare state in Germany, France, England and other European countries, the institutions of the EU and the EMU and the USA should theoretically and practically join forces to secure victory for the welfare state in both the EU and the USA and to lead humanity toward a better future.