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Call me cynical, but I really don't believe that the Swedish right wing will maintain a cordon sanitaire around the Swedish Democrats [sic].

If the Greens have half a brain, they'll steer far and wide from a Jamaica coalition. The SocDems are a zombie party - as far as I can tell, they're moving on pure institutional inertia. So the real question is whether the Left or the Greens will be the ones to pick up their voters over the next couple of election cycles. If the Greens are seen to be triangulating, disillusioned SocDem voters will go to the Left (after they get over their rebound relationship with the Sofa Party).

We've seen this movie before - it's the result of trying to apply the NewLabour strategy to a proportional representation system. If you want a Cliff's Notes version, look at Germany.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Sep 13th, 2010 at 03:35:36 PM EST
Generalising like mad, the politics of democratic polities in 19th century Europe were based on liberalism versus conservatism. The 20th century equivalent was socialism versus conservatism/liberalism/christian democracy.

We seem to be awaiting an equivalent oversimplified generalisation for 21st century politics. The social democratic parties all seem to be in gradual decline. The British Labour Party has never had much intellectual rigour ("socialism is what the Labour Party does"), but the Swedish Social Democrats were traditionally one of the most innovative parties of its type. If it has no new ideas then democratic socialism really is dead.

by Gary J on Tue Sep 14th, 2010 at 07:12:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the split in the 21st century is going to be Green Left vs. Rape and Pillage.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 14th, 2010 at 08:12:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My money's on Rape and Pillage. Better organized, tons of resources, better dental plan.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue Sep 14th, 2010 at 08:16:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But what is exactly "Green Left"? For instance the Dutch PvdA (social democrats) are calling the Green Left (actually called like that) as social-liberals. And I think they have a point. The greens seem to choose the going bankrupt ideology of the day to be their own ideology. Marxism when such was imploding. A degree of economical liberalism coupled with naive cosmopolitanism now.

Also there is the issue of migrations which are highly explosive and I am not sure that the Green Left is able to tackle such.

Also does Green means tree huggers or sustainable economics? Because I think people coming from those perspectives actually say different things. Left me give you an example: In Portugal tree huggers are strongly against dams, but advocates of sustainable renewable energy are strongly in favour.

I like Green Left (I consider myself Green Left), but what the heck is that?

by t-------------- on Tue Sep 14th, 2010 at 09:12:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
tiagoantao:
I like Green Left (I consider myself Green Left), but what the heck is that?
I agree completely.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 14th, 2010 at 09:13:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree that there is not a coherent body of policy defining the Green Left movement globally. However there is a set of values and principles (sustainability, personal liberties, solidarity...) which are cohesive and pervasive.

In order to be the defining movement of progressive political action in the 21st, it isn't necessary that the details should be nailed down (did social democracy ever have the details nailed down? I think not.) What is required is a coherent narrative. We're not quite there yet, but the time is ripe.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Sep 14th, 2010 at 01:11:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are 2 main questions that I think are still to be edged out:

The importance of economy. Some people are attracted to green approaches on an anti-economic viewpoint. Others have the exact opposite view. Again, the above debate on dams is a good example.

There is some tension between being local and cosmopolitan, two facets that one can easily find. You can easily see people that are friendly towards globalization (cosmopolitan ticket) while others go more for local approaches (robustness, etc).

They are not easy questions. I am not suggesting answers.

But the Apron diagram from Arne Naess is actually a good way to put things down: one can share the same principles and arrive and completely opposite solutions. It also stresses out that it is OK to share principles and have different paths.

But from a political perspective is becomes not much useful. Maybe that is OK, but it means that there is no single platform based on "green" principles.

by t-------------- on Tue Sep 14th, 2010 at 01:48:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree that there is not a coherent body of policy defining the Green Left movement globally. However there is a set of values and principles (sustainability, personal liberties, solidarity...) which are cohesive and pervasive.

I agree that the values and principles are cohesive and pervasive, but they're also a bit loose, and not currently defined as anything coherent.

Of course, doing so is how you go from disparate practices to a genuine political movement. I totally agree that the time is ripe. I'm trying to work this out myself, and am in discussions with a publisher here in California that is tentatively interested in bringing out a book that articulates something along these lines. Even if that doesn't quite come together, I'm looking to spend my time after the November election on helping articulate and promote this kind of ideological agenda.

And the world will live as one

by Montereyan (robert at calitics dot com) on Tue Sep 14th, 2010 at 02:47:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gary J:
Generalising like mad, the politics of democratic polities in 19th century Europe were based on liberalism versus conservatism. The 20th century equivalent was socialism versus conservatism/liberalism/christian democracy.

It is not only generalising like mad, it is in particular generalising in retrospect. Looking at the 20th century, fascism and communism appeared for a good part of the century to be viable options pursued through the democratic system. And then there was minor ones like the Technocracy movement.

So in conclusion, it will probably be a bit messy and then settle based on organisational strengths and weaknesses.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Sep 14th, 2010 at 09:53:22 AM EST
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From the perspective of the 1920s and 1930s fascism and communism were viable contendors for ideology of the century, but looking at the whole century they were also rans. I also carefully limited the reference in my original post to democratic politics, to avoid bringing totalitarian ideologies intocontention.
by Gary J on Wed Sep 15th, 2010 at 05:48:00 AM EST
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