Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Of course they aren't blips. The global trend they are part of can be summed up as empowered billionairs, weakened labor and (upper-)middle class resentment.
The first point needs no explanation, money means power in capitalism, leading to more money. A very obvious runaway feedback loop.
Overly focusing on a slight shift in rethoric would be a mistake. Yes, the dog whistle has been replaced by a bullhorn, slightly scandalising the upper middleclass in the process. Dogwhistling just doesn't work as well as it used to, the deludge is unceasing in the new media environment. No time to colour in the missing parts. And while they value civility, the prospect of having to pay your live-in maid, as former president Rousseff would have it, made them livid. Bolsonaro's VP is literally a general, and a lot of his statements are just things the dictatorship literally did. As an aside, there are two kinds of VPs in these kind of systems. The "small plane insurance", example being Haddad's VP from the communist party and whoever Nixon's VP was. The other version is the representative for the main power in the ruling coalition, see Cheney for the oil conglomerates and Biden for finance.
So yeah, middle class resentment is also obvious. And long lasting, it's still driving southern politics in the US.
Finally, why is labour weaker than it used to be? I hear trade union membership in Brazil is down by half. The Economist would argue robots, but you shouldn't believe anything you read there. A better answer would be finance. For one, you have to pay back your foreign debts or the US will just blatantly steal all your stuff on the high seas. In the best case. Worst case you get Democracy&tade;. For a lot of the rest of the world you got outsourcing. We know that the economic case for that was often rather dubious, but moving production into countries where you can just have the workers shot did wonders for the class war so finding funding for that was never a problem. Look at Uber. You can burn money indefenitely if your buisness is destroying the livelihood of working class people. Or look at Amazon. Probably the company that had the biggest influence on people's daily live in the last few decades. And it barely breaks even on the transformative parts while introducing best praxis third world military dictatorship working conditions to a country near you.
This is already getting too long and rambly and could definitely use another work over, but I'm running out of time.
Obscurantine Lobster psychology will never not get a rise out of me. Some things improved, some got worse, but talking about an overall progressive era is mostly end of history nonsense. We are also still very much in a regime of artificial scarcity (and abundandance). We'll get to the real fun part in due time.
by generic on Thu Nov 1st, 2018 at 03:21:45 PM EST
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