The crisis, which has just begun in Europe, is no longer being limited to the currency and its devastating effect on more than one economy. One of the fundamental authorities of modern democracy has been dragged ever deeper into the whirlpool: the political party.

The fact that for over two years governments from Slovakia to Portugal have been kicked out of office in bunches and without regard to political stripe is only the earliest indication of a systemic disease. In truth, the law of democracy – democratic forces competing to offer political alternatives – has been finished off by the dictates of the economy.

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