Weimar 2013?

NEW YORK – De ergste crisis van het kapitalisme sinds de Grote Depressie van de jaren dertig heeft aan weerszijden van de Atlantische Oceaan akelige herinneringen opgeroepen. De geest van Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) waart door de Verenigde Staten van Barack Obama. Historische argumenten aangaande de vraag of de New Deal van FDR heeft gewerkt maken nu een belangrijk deel uit van Amerikaanse discussies over het huidige monetaire beleid en begrotingsbeleid in het algemeen, en het beleid van 'kwantitatieve versoepeling' van de US Federal Reserve (het federale stelsel van Amerikaanse centrale banken) in het bijzonder.

In Europa, waar nationale economische mislukkingen ooit tot de ineenstorting van de democratie hebben geleid, vragen mensen zich nu af of dit opnieuw zou kunnen gebeuren. Sommigen denken een nieuw 'Weimar-moment' te zien, dat doet denken aan de bezuinigingen en stijgende werkloosheid die het Duitsland van Heinrich Brüning karakteriseerden en hebben bijgedragen aan de machtsgreep van de Nazi's.

Op het eerste gezicht lijken de redenen om dit scenario van de hand te wijzen overweldigend. Als de Europese Unie één ding heeft gedaan, is het wel dat zij een oorlog tussen Frankrijk en Duitsland ondenkbaar heeft gemaakt. De hele geopolitieke context is dus veel minder dreigend dan in de jaren dertig.

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