German chancellor Olaf Scholz has just committed €100 billion to defense spending. The move is widely touted as a strong response to Russian aggression — but is more about showing Germany’s fealty to US global foreign policy objectives.
Wolfgang Streeck was professor of sociology and industrial relations at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His most recent book is Critical Encounters: Capitalism, Democracy, Ideas.
Many people’s social status and identity are intimately bound up with the jobs they do. That’s not just pernicious capitalist ideology, Ruth Dukes and Wolfgang Streeck argue: it can offer the basis for worker resistance to the power of employers.
The setbacks for centrist parties in the European elections showed that the EU’s crisis is anything but over. Yet the Left’s lack of strategy and identity has hobbled its ability to provide an alternative.
In today’s Germany, Wolfgang Streeck argues, politicians laud “Europe” — while quietly using EU structures to advance German national interests.
When business isn’t intimidated enough to accept constraints on its power, capitalism suffocates democracy.
With the opposition reduced to a dispersed minority, the German government is firmly in the hands of Angela Merkel’s centrist coalition.