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Which Side Are You On, Jeroen Dijsselbloem?

Lizoain, D. (2015) “Which Side Are You On, Jeroen Dijsselbloem?“, Social Europe Journal, 18 February.


Just over a hundred years have passed since the greatest failure of European social democracy. The workers’ movement was unable to halt the needless slaughter of World War I. First, Jean Jaures was assassinated, silencing his powerful anti-militarist voice. Soon after, the German SPD voted to authorize war credits for the Kaiser. Proletarian internationalism gave way to social patriotism.

Between the collapse of the Second International during the war and the divergent responses to the Russian Revolution, a rift opened up between socialists and communists in Europe that persists until this day.

Representatives of these two political traditions now find themselves at odds in a Eurogroup presided by Jeroen Dijsselbloem of the Dutch PvdA. The backdrop is one where events in the Balkans have the capability of triggering a much bigger conflict. And once more a situation has arisen where ultimatums issued by the strong against the weak run the risk of only making the conflagration worse.


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