Somatoparaphrenia: Europe’s Next Phase
- Joshua M Brown
- May 6th, 2012
Oh boy. The Europeans have begun to vote and the results are not good for those who were hoping for/expecting any kind of cooperation or conciliation.
The Greeks went hard left and the new incoming pols have no interest in Germany's brand of medieval battlefield triage-esque austerity. They are now calling for the invalidation of anything they've signed guaranteeing spending cuts.
In the meantime, German regional elections went against Angela Merkel. And the French ousted Sarkozy in favor of Francois Hollande - the first Socialist Party pol to lead France in 17 years. And Hollande - while not necessarily a radical - is not about to fly to Brussels to kiss the Germans' asses and make nice. He's an anti-Austerian and plans to tax the shit out of French corporations and the well-to-do.
The bottom line here is very simple - the era of feigned cooperation in handling the European debt crisis is over. The new class of pols, whom we'll be hearing a lot more from in the next week, are playing a new game - Nationalism. So we'll have a common currency for the Continent but almost no common cause between the various vestiges who are necessary to hold it all together.
There's a psychological disorder that is very akin to this new state of the European, well, situation. It's called Somatoparaphrenia...
Somatoparaphrenia is a type of monothematic delusion where one denies ownership of a limb or an entire side of one's body. Even if provided with undeniable proof that the limb belongs to and is attached to their own body, the patient produces elaborate confabulations about whose limb it really is, or how the limb ended up on their body. In some cases, delusions become so elaborate that a limb may be treated and cared for as if it were a separate being.
The body is rejecting its own limbs, the limbs themselves are openly talking mutiny, speaking through the language of democratic elections.
The nations of the Euro Zone are more attached to each other than ever thanks to a crisis that threatens to destroy all of their economies simultaneously - but politically speaking, they've never been this far apart from each other since the dawn of the fiscal union.
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The Reformed Broker is a blog about financial markets and the economy. Joshua Brown is a New York City-based investment advisor for high net worth individuals, charitable foundations, retirement plans and corporations... More.