Sunday, August 28, 2011
In the public domain
It is good to see this headline with the term "beneficial crisis" used so prominently. I like to think that the phrase was coined by myself and Booker. Certainly Booker was using it in the Daily Mail in August 2001, in his column in September 2001 and also in November 2002.
And, of course, we used it liberally in The Great Deception, first published in 2003, when we explained that the concept had been a central part the planning for European integration since 1975 - it was the foundation of the plot to introduce the single currency. The "colleagues" knew they could not do it in one hit, so introduced a deliberately flawed scheme, relying on a succession of beneficial crises then to allow them to acquire the powers the needed to manage the currency.
To see the term acquire a life of its own is thus extremely heartening. Recognition of the fact that the high and the mighty use – and often deliberately fabricate – crises for their own purposes is one step towards the antidote, whence we refuse to be spooked by the scares of the night.
Over the last few decades, the beneficial crisis – so often based on scares like global warming – has been one of the most powerful of all the political drivers. Now, having labelled it, we are better placed to call the bluff of those who wish to harness its power.