Power can be exercised directly, by submitting an issue to a vote, or more subtly, by eliminating all discussion on a policy and its alternatives from public discourse. What is not talked about does not exist. This is why politicians devote so much energy to controlling the public agenda. This was the way things were in the EU with regard to austerity. But in less than a week the dykes have broken and we are awash in discussion. As with any sudden change, it is easier to explain it after the fact than to predict it before.
In the last two years many voices have been raised in favor of a change of strategy. Yet they always came to nothing. They failed mainly because the people these messages were addressed to might question the legitimacy of those who proposed a change of course. On the one hand, messages from across the Atlantic were rejected on the grounds that the US and the EU
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