As I write, the Cypriot parliament has rejected the legalised mugging imposed upon the island's government by the EU and its dominant power Germany.
By the time you read it, however, they may have been forced to give way in the face of bullying from Brussels, Frankfurt and Berlin.
The mugging involves not only a legalised theft from savers' bank accounts, which is what caught the attention of the media, but also the privatisation of publicly owned essential services.
This would cost jobs and increase the cost of those things which it is quite impossible to do without, such as water and energy.
It would lead to a decline in standards, as has been proved by countless privatisations across the globe, especially those which involve natural monopolies such as water.
As with food, the lower your income the higher the proportion of it you are likely to spend on heat, light, electrical power and water.
This used to be recognised even by capitalist politicians and thinkers anxious to maintain a reasonably healthy workforce, avoid social conflict and, who knows, perhaps even concerned not to justify descriptions unprintable in a family newspaper.
All of that is now history, the post-war settlement abandoned by a class desperate to overcome a crisis which began not in 2007 or 2008 but in the early 1970s, with President Nixon's abandonment of the gold standard and Opec's decision to effect a massive rise in oil prices.
Taking the dollar off the gold standard brought instability to the global financial system, while results of the oil price shock were too many and complex to list here.
Suffice to say that what they add up to is four decades of stagnation, disguised by the creation of easy credit and addressed by the neoliberal assault on the workers' share of the product of their labour.
So the raid on Cypriot bank accounts is simply part of the latest attack on Europe's working people.
It is, however, one which sets a new precedent and also moves the crisis into a new phase.
It provoked a run on the banks and will probably lead to the same in any country which appears vulnerable.
And which member state of this inglorious union can claim that its economy is fighting fit?
This is a country whose most powerful single political force is the communist opposition party Akel. The whole scheme was the idea of Germany, which sent its Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble to the island to "negotiate" it.
The line of the Merkel gang currently running that country - and through it, much of Europe - is that the terrible extravagant people who ran up the country's deficit should contribute to their own bailout.
With astonishing panache, the raid is being presented as an answer to banks' "moral hazard" - popularly known as "private gain, public pain" - and even a way of punishing Russian "oligarchs" who are said to stash their ill-gotten gains there.
Any temptation to believe that these are the real priorities is quashed by the failure to fix any level below which you won't lose some of your savings.
So you don't need to be one of those whom Schauble describes as "people who make money in good times with banks and financial investments" who he says should "also bear the risk," to lose some of your savings.
You can be a retired manual worker with a couple of hundred in the post office.
The fallout from this is unlikely to be confined to one rather small island state. Clearly it is going to generate insecurity about savings.
Every time anyone in Europe reads about what an awful state their country's economy is in, they are going to wonder whether it might not be time to start stuffing the mattress.
One critic of the whole austerity programme, Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, has described the raid as comparable to "holding up a neon sign, written in Greek and Italian, saying: "Time to stage a run on your banks!"
The raid has made clear that while democracy is not dead, it is in intensive care, and the coffin lid is already nailed down on any idea of national sovereignty.
Germany is now absolutely the dominant power in Europe, a position which it has achieved at the expense of its own working people.
National authorities are powerless to resist its diktat.
What's important to understand is that we are not dealing here with a set of austerity policies which, as many critics on the centre-left are saying, have "failed" and will continue to do so.
Given that its aim has never been to overcome the crisis in a way which shields working people from its effects, austerity has been a roaring success in advancing the EU's real programme.
This is no less than an audacious bid to destroy two centuries of political and social progress, retaining only those aspects of democracy with which the ruling elite can live and those elements of the welfare state useful for disciplining labour.
This is backed up by myths regularly peddled in the mainstream media and parliaments, myths which do not stand up to any kind of serious scrutiny.
The truth is that excessive state debts were a product of the euro-crisis, not a cause of it, that it was to finance the banks rather than the social state that the money was needed, that the bailouts that supposedly go to Greece and the other heavily indebted countries actually go straight to the banks which were in large part responsible for the problem in the first place, that austerity is not a necessary economic programme but an act of class war and that since the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, the European Union has been fashioned into the perfect weapon to fight that war.
Will they go too far?
If they can force a government to mug its own people you will begin to wonder what they won't get away with.
But people were probably wondering the same thing in Paris in 1788, in Petrograd in 1916 and in Havana in 1958.
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