Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Ah, my myth tangent was just a rant left over from last night after reading some of Nietzsche's Gay Science.

Again, I'll overgeneralize here about Europeans. Even where there is awareness of powerful interests in gov't, the fact that you have more transparency because money is not passed to politicos directly, creates a tendency to respond to the policies of gov't without a full contextual awareness of corporate interests.

This is just my sense in discussing politics with Europeans. The American response is typically to suss out a politician's hidden motives, whereas Europeans are much more ready to consider politics at the conceptual level. Politics in the USA is so debased because a conceptual discussion of policies is already subverted by the election process which preceded it.

In Europe, the tendency is reversed, so that Americans find difficulty in explaining political policy to Europeans since we tend to harp on the power arrangements rather than discuss policy. Or, for voters who have no interest in power arrangements, they'd rather discuss say lipstick or religion or abortion or being a war hero. For many of these voters, they engage in power relations at the level of worker's rights (i.e. they do consider union membership, minimum wages, etc.)

For others who also ignore policy statements and governing concepts, they may dig deeper and put a keen eye on, say, GE owning NBC, or Disney owning ABC, or  Sumner Redstone--a lifelong Democrat--supporting Bush now because he's great for Viacom. We'll notice that SONY and Bertelsmann have had an enormous impact on American culture by pushing laws that streamline book publishing and, unfortunately, destroy literature.

The direct money tie places a different emphasis on politics.

by Upstate NY on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 11:54:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
because [in Europe] money is not passed to politicos directly

It isn't?

by MarekNYC on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 11:56:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Hah, I thought the EU members rated well on bribery and such.

by Upstate NY on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 12:00:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well - rated well, but not perfect :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 12:01:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy?, France?, Suitcases full of cash from shady arms dealers passed on in dark empty parking lots.

And I'm not even going to start on the ex communist states.

by MarekNYC on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 12:04:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just watch out for the frontpsage tomorrow.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 12:54:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think what Martin is talking about is the presence of PACs and similar 'soft money' channels in the US political context. This creates an explicit and quasi-legitimate link between various corporate interest groups and the pols they have paid forshared their concerns with and this drives any discussion of policy matters to be framed in terms of lobbyist-mandated power relations and factions as a matter of course.

On the Euro side there may well be plenty of money arriving with the pols via anonymous suitcases and/or plain brown envelopes, but because this is plainly and clearly illegitimate it allows us to maintain the conceit that policy considerations are not structured by the priorities of corporate benefectors (even if the actuality is rather different).

So it's not that our pols aren't whoring themselves to the corps, it's that the default assumption of their being bought and paid for doesn't structure our political discourse the way it does Stateside.


-- #include witty_sig.h

by silburnl on Fri Sep 12th, 2008 at 12:20:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it is not,a t least Spain. No money can reach ever the president or a minister. It is just forbidden.

Money suitcases are more lower orders, majors, adn in some cases head of finantial apparatus in political parties....for the networking...

As I said, the important thing is networking, who knows who.. and what you are going to do after you quit government.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 12:36:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series