Leçons grecques pour l’économie mondiale

CAMBRIDGE – Le plan d’aide de 140 milliards de dollars que le gouvernement grec a finalement obtenu de ses partenaires de l’Union Européenne et du Fonds Monétaire International lui donne donc le souffle nécessaire pour entreprendre la difficile tâche de remettre en ordre ses finances. Ce plan pourrait peut-être, ou pas, empêcher que l’Espagne et le Portugal ne se retrouvent dans une situation similaire, ou même ne se perdent éventuellement dans un défaut à la Grecque. Quel que soit la suite des évènements, la débâcle grecque aura clairement infligé un coquard à l’UE.

Finalement, la crise est encore une autre manifestation de ce que j’appelle « le trilemme politique de l’économie mondiale » : globalisation économique, démocratie politique et les États-nations sont mutuellement irréconciliables. Pas plus de deux axes ne peuvent agir concomitamment. La démocratie n’est compatible avec la souveraineté nationale que si la globalisation est bridée. Si nous encourageons la globalisation tout en conservant l’État-nation, nous devons alors saborder la démocratie. Et si nous voulons globalisation et démocratie, nous devons écarter l’État-nation et nous efforcer de renforcer la gouvernance internationale.

L’histoire de l’économie mondiale montre le trilemme à l’ouvre. La première période de globalisation, qui durât jusqu’en 1914, fut un succès tant que les politiques économiques et monétaires furent isolées des pressions politiques intérieures. Ces politiques pouvaient alors être totalement assujetties à la demande en étalon-or et à la libre circulation des capitaux. Mais dès que la franchise politique fut élargie, la classe ouvrière s’organisât, les politiques de masse devinrent la norme, les objectifs économiques nationaux entrèrent en conflit avec (et furent submergées par) les contraintes et les règlementations externes.

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