Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
This turn away from social democracy is obviously US influenced
Which turn away of social democracy?
In (West) Germany the first three chancellors were from CDU/political catholicism. Adenauer and Erhard made the big choices, such as the west integration, NATO membership, and a market orientated policy. Then came two social democrats, which together made it to less time in office than Adenauer alone. Then came Kohl with his 16 years of chancellorship.
Western Germany still is structurally voting for right of center parties, just the supermajority of the left in eastern Germany gives the left-of-center parties a majority.
The constitution was clearly written by people, who distrust the people. Lot of influence of the elite to prevent another rise of a figure like Hitler.

In France, please name a president, who had more influence on the course of France than de'Gaulle. The president longest in office was Chirac. None of them social democratic. France has no since 1995 a conservative president.

In Briton never before Blair labour managed to get a PM reelected. Churchill a labour PM? Uhmm, no.

So waht about NuLabour/Third Way/Neue Mitte, is this the demise of social democracy? Hey, the party heads don't want to play always only opposition. They did, what was necessary to gain majorities, even when this meant to 'betray' their traditional supporters.

Economically Europe was probably more conservative than the USA until about Reagan. There are no dramatic changes since. The country which has moved are the USA.

I think the conservatives have clearly more shaped the Rhenish countries than social democracy. What I was speaking in my last point of the diary is, that there is no major shift to the right in Europe, but basically business as usual. Take into account the opening of the poorer eastern Europe, which does pressure our wages, but helps eastern Europe to become richer - clearly more cooperative than let say Mexican/USA relations, think about it, would the USA let Mexicans codecide in their trade policy as eastern Europeans do in the EU(?) - and you get what you see.
And frankly, if what you see and hear about Europe isn't the slightest bit different than what you see and hear about the USA, then with at least one of us something is seriously wrong.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Wed Sep 10th, 2008 at 12:11:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France has now since 1995 a conservative president.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers
by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Wed Sep 10th, 2008 at 12:12:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
De Gaulle was mostly an authoritarian. On economic policies, he was certainly not neoliberal, had strong "planned economics" tendencies, and would probably economically be around the current PS. He wanted a conservative social democracy with the bosses getting more than their share of money, rather than a neoliberal free for all...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Sep 10th, 2008 at 12:32:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guess what, Lower saxony considers to buy additional shares of Volkswagen.
Blah, blah, blah, so far there was a veto right in the Volkswagen law, when someone had 20%. Now Porsche (with the help of the EU) tries to push that limit up to 25%.
What does conservative PM (coaltion with the libertarians) of lower saxony say? If necessary he will buy additional shares of Volkswagen to keep the states veto right. The same one, who recently said, he would fear for Germany, when the SPD cooperates with 'Die Linke' in Hesse.

Resembles more de'Gaulle than Reagan, or not?

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Wed Sep 10th, 2008 at 04:15:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I may add as well, that Germany was more free market orientated all the time since WW II compared with France. Less industry policy (even some very extreme free market people in Germany said, we need more of that, if the French are doing it), more independence of the central bank with a clear priority of figthing inflation, and Ludwig Ehrhard called himself a neoliberal, where the neo however really meant, that there is a difference between calssical liberalism and neoliberalism.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers
by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Wed Sep 10th, 2008 at 04:38:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Martin:
In Briton never before Blair labour managed to get a PM reelected. Churchill a labour PM? Uhmm, no.

...Except for Ramsey MacDonald, Clem Attlee, Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Sep 10th, 2008 at 01:31:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay - I missed the 're'. Wilson got an extra term on the electoral rebound. Not quite a re-election, but Heath won 1974 by the skin of his teeth and only hung for half a term.

Blair, arguably, wasn't a Labour politician at all - more a centrist Social Democrat at best, and a closet Thatcherite at worst.

But your points don't mean that the population at large doesn't support the left. The media have always made it hard for left-ish narratives to win.

Sarkozy and Berlusconi would have struggled to win anything at all without direct media backing. Blair would probably have won a first term after too much Thatcherite sleaze, but might have had a harder time after that.

The situation throughout Europe has been that there has been no aggressive progressive movement with a strong and fresh message for at least thirty years. So progressives can only vote for a less bad option.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Sep 10th, 2008 at 01:41:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Blair really took it a bit too far. Therefore I focused on the Eurozone in the diary, as Britain really has a democracy problem.

The media have always made it hard for left-ish narratives to win.
This is simply wrong. The vast majority of journalists are left-of-center. A poll among journalists in Germany revealed only 8% would feel close to the CDU, less than to the greens.
Left-ish narratives, which have clearly won the public are, that non-discrimination tops the freedom of contracting, that parents are incapable to educate their children (and therefore the gov can't wait until the age of 6 to grab the children), that the democratic right has supported the NAZIs more than the democratic left (far fetched, but arguably true, when it comes to the party elite, factually opposite to reality, when looking on voting paterns and milieaus).

Other leftish narratives didn't convince the public, despite the media pushed for it, e.g. that racism would only be a problem where natives mistreat people with migrational background, but not vice versa.

As you can only vote for a whole party, not for a single issue, lobbyists are the ones who matter more than the media. Politicians will then say, they are brave going against the mainstream doing the necessary things. Can you name one leftish idea, take Brtain, which has nothing to do with profits, which didn't make it at least to some degree into politics?

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Wed Sep 10th, 2008 at 05:08:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Martin:
This is simply wrong.

I don't know enough about the German political scene, but the quotes that are posted here from Der Spiegel hardly seem like they're pushing the progressive envelope.

As for the UK, Italy and France, I'm not sure how you can say that I'm factually wrong. Berlusconi would be no one if he didn't own most of Italy's media, and Sarko's close friendship with French media leaders, complete with exotic upmarket holiday perks, is well known - as are Murdoch's deals with Blair.

It's only on blogs like ET that you'll find progressive talking points. Otherwise in the UK we have exactly one serious magazine with a progressive viewpoint, with a minimal readership, and two papers that are sort of centre left, sometimes.

The FT occasionally publishes a heretical talking pointm but the usual narrative from the 'serious' press is, and has always been, relentlessly right leaning. You only have to look at Justin Webb's BBC coverage of the US election to see that his idea of fair reporting is constant criticism of Obama.

Aa for Germany - I suspect a poll of publishers and editors, who define narratives, would show that their sympathies are far more right leaning than those of journalists who usually have to write what they're told to.

Martin:

Can you name one leftish idea, take Brtain, which has nothing to do with profits, which didn't make it at least to some degree into politics?

Historically or recently? Because currently all we have left are vestiges and shreds of the progressive changes of the post-war consensus - universal high quality free education is being replaced with corporate control of curricula, health care is heading in the same direction, infrastructure is mostly mismanaged by the private sector at vast public expense, tax rates place the burden of taxation on the poorest earners, tax avoidance by the rich is endemic, and the press collude to cover up the true state of things with scare stories about racism and missing blonde girls.

Is this what a progressive utopia looks like?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Sep 10th, 2008 at 09:45:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In France, you can't say there is no place for left-wing narrative in the media. Sarkozy's friendship with some French media leaders is real, but that doesn't mean he controls the media. The main television channels are certainly biased, but many independent newspapers and magazines as well as radio channels (including France Inter).

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 02:42:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The main TV channels and newspapers will have far more influence than smaller indie publications and channels.

You don't need to 'own the media' completely - you just need to own enough of the main opinion forming channels to create an illusion of narrative consistency for the non-chattering population.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 05:00:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But, some of the main newspapers like Liberation and Le Monde, and one at least of the main radio channels, like France Inter, are not "small indie publications".

One of the reasons of the so far successful campaign against the Edvige police database was that the media echoed properly the citizens' voice.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 07:08:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But are Libe and Le Monde Left, or triangulated centre-Left?

How much has their position shifted over the last forty years?

To what extent do they influence and define policy compared for the FT, the Econo and the WSJ? (Even in France.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 07:57:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Le Monde has pretty much triangulated to the center right, and Libé from left to the center left. They are however much, much more read than the English financial press, at least in politics (French politicians simply don't speak English)

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 08:35:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarko and the UMP won a majority. Are Libe and Le Monde to the left of Sarko - I'd say yes, with Libe well to the left. Le Monde's views dovetail with the right wing of the PS - i.e. it is center-left. Libe's views tend to be those of the middle and left of the PS, i.e. it is left.

You can argue that the right wing of the PS is really center-right. However, you then also have to accept that the French electorate tilts sharply right and simply doesn't want left wing policies.

by MarekNYC on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 01:36:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Le Monde is to the left of Sarko, but Sarko ain't exactly the left wing of the UMP. Le Monde was clearly for Balladur in 1995, for example.

Libe aims for the right wing of the PS, nowadays (for example they were for the Yes in the Constitution referendum). This has changed in the last few years. They are anti-Sarkozy, but increasingly (Euro-)liberal in their economics commentary. They are center left at best, in their current incarnation.

As for the French electorate - the 2007 presidential election represents the French opinion badly, as on the left it was skewed by the need to have somebody from the left in the second round. In 2002, and in various regional elections, people calling themselves Communist gathered 15% of the vote, with other parts of the left, like the Greens, getting another 10%... And the right wing of the PS has pretty much joined Sarko. The PS has bee to the right of its electorate for quite some time.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 03:04:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The question is not to know if Le Monde and Libe are Left or centre left (if it was the case could you please provide precise criteria?), but to know if some of the media were channeling left-wing narratives. I claim it is the case, mentioning Le Monde, France Inter and Libé and I could also mention Le Nouvel Observateur, Marianne and many others.

Unless you think anything to the right of Olivier Besancenot does not belong to the Left...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 01:19:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For Liberation I am thinking very precisely of the last page of the 2007 first round of the presidential election edition, which contained an interview essentially claiming that France needed neoliberal reforms, badly.

But it is true that left narratives can be found in Le Monde and Libération, although they are not necessarily prevalent. After all, Jérôme was published there...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 03:08:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know enough about the German political scene, but the quotes that are posted here from Der Spiegel hardly seem like they're pushing the progressive envelope.

Well... on one hand, despite what Martin says about different starting points, "left-of-center" doesn't necessarily mean "progressive" anymore in Germany either. On the other hand, SPIEGEL is historically more close to the liberal FDP, which historically swung between the centre-left and centre-right, so their neolib+neocon swing may not be representative of say state TV journalists.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 04:17:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The economic department of the spiegel is clearly right-of-center.
Is insulting parents, when they don't want to give their children into a public Kindergarten as well neolib+neocon?
At least I know now that neither Milton Friedman nor G.W.Bush are either neolib or neocon.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers
by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 09:06:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure what's your point about neolib+neocon; but I wrote it thinking of the parallel movements of SPIEGEL's economic department (neolib, and that already in the closet in Augstein's time) and writing on foreign policy/internal security (neocon, after the Aust takeover, openly only from late 2003 or so). (Note BTW that SPIEGEL printed articles critical of the Kosovo War while the bombing went on.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 09:34:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know enough about the German political scene, but the quotes that are posted here from Der Spiegel hardly seem like they're pushing the progressive envelope.

Read ZEIT, try this. Of course in German. Why should a German newspaper have an English version?

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 09:13:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So that people outside of the country can read it, at a guess.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 11:18:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aa for Germany - I suspect a poll of publishers and editors, who define narratives, would show that their sympathies are far more right leaning than those of journalists who usually have to write what they're told to.

Probably to focus the poll only on the economy department of a newspaper would already give you a more right wing result than including the feulliton and the klatsch section.
But my impression is largely, that the narratives are taken from the politicians, less self created - and that there are little narratives around at all.

is being replaced with corporate control of curricula
That seems to be for profit.

health care is heading in the same direction
As well for profit?

infrastructure is mostly mismanaged by the private sector at vast public expense
Seems somebody wanted to make profit with the initial privatisation.

tax rates place the burden of taxation on the poorest earners
For profit - of those who pay the lobbyists, which not to tend to be the poor.

tax avoidance by the rich is endemic
Never seen something that clearly done for profit.

the press collude to cover up the true state of things with scare stories about racism and missing blonde girls.
Nobody told them, that the country is looted. That would be the job of the party head of the labour party. Hey, but after more than a decade of labour gov't it may fall back to himself negatively.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 09:26:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A poll among journalists in Germany revealed only 8% would feel close to the CDU, less than to the greens.

Do you have a quote/link?

I am rather sceptical that that was a truly representative poll. Also, "the media are full of liberals against us" is a rather universal conservative meme.

That meme is not without some basis in reality, as media people tend to be highly educated fellows who are less impressed by the traditionalist elements of conservative rhetoric. Then again, even in Germany, progressively from the seventies, "left-of-center" media people seem to be preferring the right (not center) of the SPD, and from 2002 on, one could speak of "Merkel Social Democrats" [in analogy with the 'Reagan Democrats' of the eighties] going over to the CDU in the media.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 04:09:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lots of mainstream journalists will back rightist parties regardless of their personal preferences, because otherwise they simply lose their job. It's happened in France, USA and the UK a lot recently, and in Italy, well, better not get into that. I don't know about Germany.

But a poll of what they personally feel does not necessarily reveal much of what they convey.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 05:16:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's true, that journalists are often not allowed to write negative stories about enterprises, especially advertising customers.

But there is as well public media, and e.g. the SPD owns some newspapers.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 08:19:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I haven't got a link. But I have read it.

That meme is not without some basis in reality, as media people tend to be highly educated fellows who are less impressed by the traditionalist elements of conservative rhetoric.
As people with higher income are more likely to vote for rightwing parties, I guess, this is as well true for more educated people.

So there are a lot of things.

  • opinion parts of journalists are often not about policies, but about how well or not well a party follows its boss. Fawning MPs/PMs towards their boss = good, critical voices and lively discussion = bad \ in the last years the SPD was quite a bit wilder than the CDU. Schroeder in the end had as well problems to keep his people together, why else would he had given up?
  • Everything what "Die Linke" says is bad, toxic. If something isn't introduced by a widely respected person, who hasn't done such a 'betrayal' as Lafontaine (is stepping down was seen very bad from the beginning, not only when he joined Die Linke), it can't be taken serious. If later others follow such ideas, they are called populist (see the heat the CSU got for asking for inflation adjustment of the income tax, this was similar to a Linke proposal earlier).
  • the journalists have to take into account, what people think. This is quite simple. If the economy runs well, the current politicians are seen in a good light. If the economy runs bad, they are seen in a bad light. This is no different than in other countries. Merkel had simply the incredible luck, that her chancellorship started just at the beginning of an unexpectedly very good year. When the economy slows for a longer time, such as in 2001 - 2005, she won't be seen favourable any more.
  • journalists are rarely economists. One idea, which was sold to them by both, the CDU and the Schroederites is, that the budget should be balanced. This specific issue gets much more credit than it should get. And the current grand coalition simply was very successful in doing that.
  • the sense that journalistic ethics requires neutrality leads to views, which are necessarily close to the center. So yes, journalists are at the right edge of the SPD. And when people like Schroeder, Steinmeier, Clement, Muntefering sell something like the agenda 2010, and they say TINA, then the journalists will write TINA, because most of the serious people say TINA.
  • the grand coalition makes economic policies left of Schroeder. Schroeder: record reduction of the top income tax rate/ GC: 3% increase of that rate// Schroeder: agenda 2010 // GC: prolonging jobless pay  for elderly, the change of stock earning taxation (which will bring in more money over time); this are just small steps, but the direction is obviously in the other direction. So why should a journalist who has believed Schroeder, now attack Merkel, when he is favouring left policies?
  • Kohl was not at all popular in the media. He managed even to get into a long dispute with the BILD, (while Schroeder said, he can gouvern with BILD and GLotze(TV))


Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers
by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 08:58:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have read it.

What I'd be interested in is not the bare fact but details - e.g. how wide was the scope of the poll within the realm of journalism, was it a straw poll or scientific, who made it, when, framing of questions and such.

On some of your points:

  1. The center is a moving target :-) And I think the right of the SPD, just like the left of the CDU/CSU as it befits a Volkspartei [how do you say that in English?], are beyond the overall centre.

  2. You yourself contended that Merkel's current leftist economic policies (and perhaps foreign policy, too) run opposite to her and the CDU's 2005 campaign platform. (I could say her lust for power was so strong that she broke all her election promises to get into government in a Grand Coalition ;-) ) The media love for her dates from before the elections, and in fact, I even read some 'reformist' criticisms of her.

  3. Kohl vs. SPIEGEL was legendary, but otherwise, you just named one of the examples I had in mind when I said "universal conservative meme". That Germany has RTL, Sat1 and Pro7 today was born out of Kohl's explicit intentions to 'balance' critical independent public media (coded as always as "left-leaning") with friendly media. The slant of the new privates is nowhere near as drastic as Fox News or Berlusconi's channels or even French media owned by Sarko's personal friends, but Bertelsmann (owner of RTL) is indeed a hardcore conservative giant in the Meinungsmacher business, and ProSiebenSat.1 can't be called left-of-center. Let's not forget about former German media giant Kirch, either, who was a bit too close personal friend of Kohl.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 09:29:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The center is a moving target :-) And I think the right of the SPD, just like the left of the CDU/CSU as it befits a Volkspartei [how do you say that in English?], are beyond the overall centre.
I think major party is used for Volkspartei. It is true of course, that the parties are overlapping. And people like Bluem/Geissler or Clement/Schroeder could be in the other party if only economic policies would count (Bluem/Geissler could even be in the left party then).

You yourself contended that Merkel's current leftist economic policies (and perhaps foreign policy, too) run opposite to her and the CDU's 2005 campaign platform. (I could say her lust for power was so strong that she broke all her election promises to get into government in a Grand Coalition ;-) ) The media love for her dates from before the elections, and in fact, I even read some 'reformist' criticisms of her.
She has broken most of her election promises, except the VAT increase, which was probably among the most important ones. But it is very clear, that the 2005 campaign platform was far away from the center of people's opinion. And of course there are people critisising Merkel for breaking her promises, e.g. Friedrich Merz and co.

RTL, Sat1 and Pro7
Thought we speak about serious journalism. Last time I viewed news on one of these channels, I couldn't detect that. I don't think these channels make people more conservative. I think these channels make people more unpolitical at all, which as it is 'Unterschichtenfernsehen' admittedly helps the right.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 09:55:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think major party is used for Volkspartei.

Does that bear the connotation (pretty strong in German) of being a consolidator of diverse streams from all parts of the population? (Where the suggestion is that minor parties represent specific minority layers of society.)

Thought we speak about serious journalism.

You didn't specify your poll of journalists was among "serious" journalists, so I didn't know we are speaking only about serious journalism :-) At the level of influencing people, the daily news half-hour of either channel compares to tagesschau and heute. But anyway, I could have named n-tv, too.

I think people can be made more unpolitical and conservative at the same time. At least on the economy, preaching consumerist individualism is a 'conservative' propaganda already. When things are dumbed down, and analysis is left away, what remains is often highly saturated spin. That's exactly what Berlusconi's channels are doing. (BTW, have you ever suffered channel-surfing in an Italian hotel? Worst the B effect produced the TV landscape in Europe, no contest.) IMHO RTL & co do the same, but much less overtly, much more subversively.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 10:14:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Minor side comment on RTL & co, given the anniversary. Back then I watched TV practically for 24 hours, flipping between several news channels I then had on satellite. Strangely enough, I found the coverage by RTL and Sat.1 the most informative: ARD and ZDF were then caught at unawares, Hungarian channels did little beyond relaying stuff from US channels, while CNN (and Fox and MSNBC) tried to fill every second with endless repetitions and talking heads babbling away in which real new information, not to mention understanding, was quickly lost.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 10:20:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
preaching consumerist individualism is a 'conservative' propaganda already
No, it isn't. It is 'social-liberal' propaganda. The viewership of these channels is less wealthy than the average. It is nothing said about the source of the money to buy the products. Transfers would be the easiest for the viewership.
Individualism is clearly against conservative values. The hyping of indpendency, the neglect of loyality towards the people in your immediate proximity and ridiculing of family bounds is a left wing issue.
I want to remind you about Jerome's diary 'I don't do charity, I pay taxes'. I have I wouldn't have known, that Jerome does charity, I would have thought 'What an asshole'. Along the lines of an episode, I think written by Tolstoi about charity/Barmherzigkeit and the Russian soul, communists are forbidden to do charity, because you are in either of two situations
  • perfect world, no charity necessary, because nobody has problems
  • prerevolutionary world, charity only softens the suffering, which ultimatively will bring the revolution to the perfect world. So charity prevents the perfect world from coming
Jerome in his diary says - to Americans, who live in a country with a broken gov - don't do charity, just vote for left parties and your moral duty is done. No reason to do anything for those, who suffer, just cold blooded cynism in the face of suffering. No personal responsibility for others, no honour in resign from own rights to help those who suffer more. People really following such ideas, and not just proclaiming them, while doing the opposite, have replaced their heart by a mechanic.

Familyism and local communityism are conservative, the atomisation of the society into individuums, which are only connected by the state, but not with each other, is something favoured by leftys.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 11:09:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Martin:
Familyism and local communityism are conservative, the atomisation of the society into individuums, which are only connected by the state, but not with each other, is something favoured by leftys.

You have some very strange ideas about the Left, certainly as it works in the Anglo world.

Wasn't it Thatcher who said 'There's no such thing about society' and proceeded to act as if that were true?

Left wing discussions are filled with ideas of community and interpersonal responsibility.

How much time have you spent talking to real progressives?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 11:24:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To make it short: the individualism promoted by leftists (and to a much lesser degree liberals) is anti-authoritarian, not anti-community.

When conservatives speak of community, in my observation, it's always in terms of hierarchy and submission. Be it family, state, nation, party, company, military. Consumerism might undermine 'family values', disturbing the 'moral conservatives', but at the same time, it also undermines the sense of solidarity and thus the support for policy proposals based on them and politicians running with those; and undermines the running and survival of authority-challenging communities like unions, parties, consumer groups and such. While Martin is speaking thinking of a political landscape where no major party politician dared to speak like Thatcher, a German conservative doesn't even have to be a Thatcherite/Reaganite/Anglo Disease worshipper to favor such an outcome.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 11:39:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gemeinschaft vs. Gesellschaft - i.e. the longstanding German intellectual tradition of contrasting traditional style 'community' with the 'society' generated by modernity.
by MarekNYC on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 11:39:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The viewership of these channels is less wealthy than the average.

Precisely. But why on Earth do you think that makes them left-of-center oriented? Bild is aimed at lower-class, less educated people too, and I hope even you won't take its support for Schröder as reason to call the flagship of the Axel Springer Verlag left-of-center. But obviously conservatives need to communicate towards lower-class people. Since universal suffrage was introduced, it's not enough for conservatives to get the majority of the feudal, clerical and moneyed wealthy people, so they have to get those less wealthy people.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 11:48:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The sentence stood in connection with the next one. Promoting consumerism to a non-wealthy viewership doesn't make them feel they get too much transfers.


Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers
by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 11:55:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I submit the meaning of that sentence was lost on me, and still is after the above. What do you mean with "transfer"?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 12:00:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Transfers - redistributional policies by the gov't e.g. direct via any kind of welfare, indirect via cross subsidies for the health care system/ retirement system overproportionally benefitting those with less than average income.

In other words, right wing parties in charge are not very likely to produce results with the RTL/Pro7/Sat1 viewers more money in the pocket - at least not in the short term - than left wing parties. So to win them, it doesn't make sense to focus them on the money in their pocket, but distract them with other issues, like telling the left parties are ammoral, or do not have the skills to run the gov't properly.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 12:09:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You know what, this diary was about that Europe's economy does fine, probably better than the US one.

If Europe is as much owned by big corporations and Chicago school boys as the US, then of course using it as an example that different policy is possible for Americans is completely useless. So long live Milton Friedman, long live Dick Cheney, long live fox news, they are doing the only policy which ever proofed to work.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 12:19:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just a brief comment. Thanks first your extended reply. I don't know Europe's direction, but I am afraid to agree that Europe is being influenced by US economic policy since Reagan, the free market ideas that not only put us in great debt, but the inqualities it produced and the complete ignorance, even demonization, of the "poor," an evil word these days in America, who have suffered under the free market. They just can't compete. No American politician would today speak up for the poor. The "middle class" is the thing, the same group that bought into the "greed" ethic and suffered losses to the wealthy as income and wealth shifted upward.

My impression really came from watching Canada elect a right wing Reaganite, while it seemed that France did the same thing with Sarkosy, while the social democrats lost miserably. It seems as if a stable social democracy can be easily upset if one can convince ordinary people that greed is good, the lazy poor are holding them back, and the rich can make us all rich if we only let them have more of their own money, i.e., low taxes.

by shergald on Wed Sep 10th, 2008 at 02:13:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Er, Mitterrand was in office for 2 years longer than Chirac.

That said, he was never a leftist, he just played one to get elected. But at least his was a PS administration.
You could also argue that Chirac wasn't sincerely very right wing. But since 2007, well... Now that is a turn towards American right wing nonsense.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 05:04:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Occasional Series