The European Tribune is a forum for thoughtful dialogue of European and international issues. You are invited to post comments and your own articles.
Please REGISTER to post.
Arguably, then, parties of the left need to maintain not only the appearance of electability, but possibly more importantly the appearance of extremism, because when they become reasonable, all momentum for reform is lost.
It becomes clear that the social justice developed in the West since World War Two needed Democracy to occur, but it was actually driven (if you'll forgive the market-speak) by competition between two ideologies. Once the ideological competition was replaced with an effective monopoly, there was no longer any reason to provide "good service to consumers."
On a side note, I don't know why, I think it is my pessimistic nature, but I felt this happening very soon after the fall of the Berlin wall.
In a strange way, the worst thing that ever happened to the world was the re-unification of Germany and the creation of the euro. These events created the psychological meme of a "sclerotic Europe" unable to match the dynamism of the US. Couple this "failure of the semi-alternative model" with the removal of any ideological pressure on US elites to promote overall progress in US society (after the fall of the Sovite Union) and we have where we are now.
On reflection, I am perhaps not surprised because it was amazing how quickly the "zeitgeist" of British policy making (if not quite, public opinion) was turned around by Thatcher. We went from a partially community based society to an atomised one in only about ten years. And I was growing up in that time, so my own barometer for political change is miscalibrated to almost expect radical shifts.
To me the UK situation always feels a bit anomalous, it will take 30 years or more to work off the psychological effects of the Thatcher time (and of course that will only happen if the neo-libs can be prevented from completely implementing the Washington consensuses generally.)
We can (and I frequently find myself in this argument) discuss about whether the Labour party needed to shift to the right the way they did to win in 1997. However, it is certainly the case that they thought they did, in part due to the weight FPTP gives to certain marginal constituencies and a certain kind of floating voter.
The other probnlem is that since our economists are all economically illiterate, it shouldn't surprise that our politicians are more so and have been sold various kinds of neo-lib moonshine along the way. Economic stability (and indeed a bit of growth) are the currency of political survival/power. If you can get them then it's a lot easier to win elections.
Academic economists told the world and the politicians that the old nostrums were dead. Neo-libia had won and the only way to make society richer was to follow the neo-lib way.
Good politicians want to make a better life for people. If you tell them that the only way to avoid total economic decline is the neo-lib way, there is a strong pressure for them to accept it as the lesser of two evils, no?
we have esentially bw the social democratsTrue. But it seems less so in Spain?
we have esentially bw the social democrats
The continuation of an unbalanced economic policy, dependent on the increasing value of real-estate, besides being ostensibly rightist is more than doutful, as it has sunk productivity, has bloated inflation and has lost the reins of the trade deficit. So that, lacking the promised labour reform to unblock youth employment, and in the absence of a housing policy protecting the right to form a family, to accomplish a left agenda one has only the Dependency Law.
What is progressive is not the distribution of power (and income) among the autonomous territories, but the redistribution of income (and power) among the social classes. But unfortunately, the Spanish left (like the whole of the Western European Left) has lost its own political agenda for the past 25 years. And, not having an agenda of its own, the Spanish left has chosen to adopt as its own the political agenda of the nationalists (with whom it is in a coalition since the Transition [to democracy] against Francoism and today against the PP), which makes of territorial self-government its only goal.
It's not like they were not already pursuing
My surprise is that we have esentially been betrayed by the social democrats.
But the left lost their confidence ages ago. Look at the US where the democrats in the 50s guise were the promoters of the Common Good and the enrichment of the middle and working classes, making the "American Dream" seem possible for everyone. By the time of Reagan they had degenerated into fighting a rearguard action defending the New Deal.
Their higly visible lack of intellectual rigour in policy making and their timidity in promoting just about any liberal principle has been echoed by left/liberal parties all around the world. It just became obvious in the last 10 years or so.
I suspect it's largely because the left in power were as careless with citizen's rights as the right, but at least the right offered you hope of economic empowerment. Something the left were incapable of as their mindset was invariably telling you to be grateful for what you got.
keep to the Fen Causeway
by gmoke - Oct 1
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 24 2 comments
by Oui - Sep 19 19 comments
by Oui - Sep 13 35 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 11 5 comments
by Cat - Sep 13 9 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 2 2 comments
by gmoke - Oct 1
by Oui - Sep 3017 comments
by Oui - Sep 29
by Oui - Sep 28
by Oui - Sep 279 comments
by Oui - Sep 2618 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 242 comments
by Oui - Sep 1919 comments
by gmoke - Sep 173 comments
by Oui - Sep 153 comments
by Oui - Sep 15
by Oui - Sep 1411 comments
by Oui - Sep 1335 comments
by Cat - Sep 139 comments
by Oui - Sep 127 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 115 comments
by Oui - Sep 929 comments
by Oui - Sep 713 comments
by Oui - Sep 61 comment
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 22 comments