Firenze 10+10 – Call of the French appalled economists for a meeting of critical economists in Firenze on the 10th of November

More than 4 thousand participants, 300 networks and organisations from 28 countries from all over Europe and beyond, met at Fortezza da Basso in Florence, to debate and strategize together for another Europe.  Over 100 meetings, and many new networks and campaigns launched.  A call for common action emerged from the convergences, and a proposed roadmap:

JOINING FORCES FOR COMMON EUROPE

Our Democracy instead of Their Austerity

Social organizations, social movements, trade unions and citizens working against austerity and debt, for natural and social commons, for social and labour rights, for democracy, global justice and peace, for gender issues and migrant rights have gathered in Florence 10+10.

We call for a European permanent mobilization to support the fights against the crisis and build a future for everyone in Europe and in the world. This mobilization will include both convergence and decentralizes actions.

The first unifying initiative towards a European-wide convergence is the General strikes and mobilisations against austerity in many countries in Europe on the 14 of November 2012.

We propose to have a common day of action on the occasion of the EU Spring Summit, which will take place in Brussels on March 23rd. The format and final call for this common mobilization will be discussed and agreed in the following months in an open and participatory process.

We call for endorsement of the following actions and mobilizations

  • 18 December 2012: World Migrants Day
  • 23-27 January 2013: Action Against Finanziarization of life and commons (actions against banks)
  • 8 March 2013: European action affirming women emancipation against austerity and debt
  • 26-30 March 2013: World Social Forum in Tunis
  • May 2013: Blockupy in Frankfurt (Germany)
  • 7-9 June 2013 (proposal): Alter Summit in Athens (Greece)
  • June 2013: G8 Counter Summit in UK (tbc)
  • Concrete solidarity actions to support the people hit by the Austerity policies as well as the victims of racist violence and abuse

All organisations and movements may endorse the actions in which to participate and the forms for doing so.


Call of the French appalled economists for a meeting of critical economists in Firenze on the 10th of November

At a time when the capitalist countries in general, and the European countries in particular, are experiencing an unprecedented crisis, economists are being heavily sollicited to make a diagnosis and propose solutions for “a way out of the crisis”. But, in fact, almost all the economists who take part in this public debate share the same views.  Among other things, they believe  in the absolute superiority of the market as a form of social and economic organisation; the superiority of the criteria of assessment used by the financial markets; the necessity  for Central  Banks to be independent;  and in competitiveness,  which is to be achieved  by reducing “labor costs” and government and social expenditures.  These  beliefs lead to the erroneous conviction that there is no alternative to austerity policies and that the current European model is the only one feasible.  This neo-­‐liberal  viewpoint also dominates in universities and academic journals. Hence, the solutions advocated by the neoliberals are but a logical systematization of the economic policies that have been carried out over the past three decades and that have led to the current situation.

The current crisis is one of globalized financial capitalism. But it is not only economic, it is also a social, ecological and democratic crisis. In that sense, the solutions to the crisis will be not only economic. They  will also have to be social, ecological and democratic. Genuine solutions will only emerge within the framework of a genuine democratic debate, in which a multiplicity of approaches is essential.  In  order that sustainable and democratic solutions might be found, this public debate needs to be fueled by critical economic viewpoints and analyses.

That is the reason why we, the “appalled economists”,  want to build together with other existing European networks, as well as with all the economists who would like to take part in this process, a space for debate  among critical economists in order to nourish the public debate with alternative economic analyses and proposals. We want to stimulate exchanges of views  and experiences  among the economists who are intervening in the public debate and/or within the profession in order to criticize neo-­‐liberal ideology, and better participate in the public debate and propose different analyses and different strategies.

We call on the economists who share these goals to gather in Firenze on November 10, 2012, at the same time as the “Firenze 10 + 10” European Forum (Fortezza da Baso). This meeting  will offer the  opportunity to build a network of critical economists  wishing to discuss and put together common diagnoses and proposals on a European level.

The meeting could consist of three parts. The first part would be dedicated to examining the situation in each country of heterodox thought and of its interventions in both academic and public debates  (the state of heterodox economy in the universities, participation in social and economic debates). The  second part should make it possible  to bring out subjects that can  be  worked  on  together:  assessment  of  the  current  situation in Europe and  our proposals, the debt crisis, monetary policy, bank lending and its selectivity,  the future of employment and production in Europe, public utilities, social protection, and the ecological transition. A third part will make it possible  to decide  on the tools required to put together the network (website, creating a secretariat for the network in charge of pooling and circulating the studies and the papers of members, etc.) and to take common initiatives (series of European conferences in several cities, common publications, writing of a Manifesto, etc.).

If you want to participate in this meeting in Firenze, please write and give your name, your university or institution, your contact information and the subjects you are working on (or those you think are essential in the current context) to the following e­‐mail address: firenze1010.economists@gmail.com