Linked Together: Europe, Social Democracy, Tony Judt

“Europe is often held up as a cautionary tale, a demonstration that if you try to make the economy less brutal, to take better care of your fellow citizens when they’re down on their luck, you end up killing economic progress. But what European experience actually demonstrates is the opposite: social justice and progress can go hand in hand,” writes Paul Krugman in today’s Times. It is indeed contrary to the narrative you usually hear concerning Europe, and it reminded me of these recent remarks by Tony Judt: “It would be pleasing-but misleading-to report that social democracy, or something like it, represents the future that we would paint for ourselves in an ideal world. It does not even represent the ideal past. But, among the options available to us in the present, it is better than anything else to hand.” (And if you haven’t already, do read Judt’s essay on living with ALS. Make sure you have time to devote your full attention to it, as it is something you should read completely free from distraction.)