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politics and politicians
See other politics and politicians Articles

Title: The Left is collapsing everywhere
Source: Washington Examiner
URL Source: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/t ... ing-everywhere/article/2614491
Published: Feb 13, 2017
Author: Dan Hannan
Post Date: 2017-02-14 11:47:08 by Tooconservative
Keywords: None
Views: 712
Comments: 16

Here's a startling fact: There have been eight leaders of the British Labour Party in the past 40 years. Seven of them failed to win a single general election. The exception, Tony Blair, was a Labour politician only in the most technical sense. Leftists saw him as a disguised conservative, a cuckoo in the nest. To this day, Labour activists use "Blairite" as the worst of insults, viler even than "Tory."

Let's widen the camera shot a little. All over Europe, traditional parties of the Center-Left have been losing badly. As I write, opinion polls show the French Socialists in fourth place, the Dutch Labour Party in seventh. Greece's PASOK, the leading party since the early 1980s, is now polling at 7 percent. Spain's PSOE, which had a comfortable majority as recently as 10 years ago, has been displaced by the more radical Podemos. Social Democrats in former communist countries, such as Poland and Hungary, have, if anything, fared even worse.

What is going on? The immediate explanation is clear enough. The established parties of the Center-Left backed the merger of Europe's currencies in the 1990s. As the euro brought poverty to the south and tax increases to the north, voters turned against the politicians whose fingerprints were on the murder weapon.

In most cases, those parties then made things worse by backing the 2008 bank bailouts, convincing many of their former supporters that they were on the side of wealthy financiers rather than of working people.

But a collapse on such a scale doesn't happen overnight. The parties aligned to the Party of European Socialists – the main Center-Left bloc in Europe – dominated Europe in the 1990s and, as late as 2004, were still more likely to be in office than not. Now, according to the latest opinion survey, their support is below 20 percent in the EU as a whole. True, there are one or two holdouts. Socialists have managed to win elections in Sweden and – mystifyingly given how badly it suffered from the euro racket – Portugal. But something is going on that is deeper than the recent downturn.

That something has to do with changes in how we live and work. The parties of the mainstream Left were, in most cases, closely tied to labor unions. Membership of those unions, especially those representing private sector workers, is falling in every industrialized country. That fall reflects a shift from mass industrialization to self-employment. As technology accelerates, we are likelier to become portmanteau workers, specialists who constantly renew our expertise.

I'm not sure my kids will ever have "a job" as we understood the concept in the 20th century. Unless they become government employees, they are likely to do different things at different times, freelancing and re-skilling to meet demand. We can already see the change in white-collar work. I used to work at a newspaper. Now, papers are disappearing, and those that remain employ fewer journalists. Yet there are still people who write, often as a way of supplementing other work. Similar things are happening across the economy. Fewer nurses work for particular hospitals, for example, and more work through agencies.

It is in this context, perhaps, that we should consider American politics. The rest of the world has spent three months asking itself why Donald Trump won. But the more useful question is surely why the Democrats lost. Trump underperformed Republican congressional candidates and secured fewer votes than either John McCain or Mitt Romney. But Hillary Clinton performed execrably – as Democrats have been doing in legislative, gubernatorial and state elections since the 1990s.

This weakness should give conservatives no pleasure. Without serious opponents, we can become flabby, self-serving, even corrupt. Ask yourself, for example, whether the absence of a credible alternative makes Trump more or less likely to distinguish between his commercial interests and his public office.

Eventually, the Left will renew itself, appealing to a more individualist generation that has little time for the rhetoric of class strife or identity politics. There will always be a space in politics for parties that favor more equal outcomes. It is possible to be pacifist, ecologist and even redistributionist without being corporatist. I just hope the Left gets its act together soon. Someone needs to offer an opposition.

Dan Hannan is a British Conservative MEP.

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#1. To: Tooconservative (#0)

The Left is collapsing everywhere

No it isn't. It's won every major strategic battle for nearly 100 years.

rlk  posted on  2017-02-14   17:06:17 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Tooconservative (#0)

People were saying the same about the right after Obama's landslide in 2008.

Since he was and is a pig headed demagogue, the opposition was able to recover and unseat his legacy 8 years later.

redleghunter  posted on  2017-02-14   20:16:11 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: redleghunter (#2)

The Labour parties across the EU and in Israel are going extinct. I thought this article was a good piece on a very big story that goes virtually unreported.

Whatever else the future holds, liberal union-based parties are in decline everywhere. There is no bright spot for them anywhere on the map. Trade unionism and soft socialist parties are going the way of the dodo.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-02-14   23:09:02 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Tooconservative (#3)

soft socialist parties are going the way of the dodo.

Not before time, these movements were a reaction to the social conditions of the nineteenth century, and readjustment was necessary, but now it's about lining your pockets at the other person's expense and in this they are no different to the right wing capitalists. It is time for the voice of the people to be heard, not the voice of the Marxists, not the voice of the Fabianists, not the voice of the Fascists, not the voice of the Islamists, but the voice of the people

paraclete  posted on  2017-02-15   0:02:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Tooconservative (#3)

Whatever else the future holds, liberal union-based parties are in decline everywhere. There is no bright spot for them anywhere on the map. Trade unionism and soft socialist parties are going the way of the dodo.

Which 4 years ago I would be applauding. However, what will fill the void? Yes the violent anarchists.

We are seeing our American left going over the cliff embracing these violent thugs.

redleghunter  posted on  2017-02-15   1:58:09 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: redleghunter (#2)

People were saying the same about the right after Obama's landslide in 2008.

Only due to black racism and white guilt.

BOYCOTT PAYPAL AND CLOSE YOUR PP ACCOUNTS NOW! ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO SO,TOO!

ISLAM MEANS SUBMISSION!

Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority? (Ron Paul,2012)

American Indians had open borders. Look at how well that worked out for them.

sneakypete  posted on  2017-02-15   6:46:10 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: paraclete (#4)

not the voice of the Marxists, not the voice of the Fabianists, not the voice of the Fascists,

They are all the same people.

BOYCOTT PAYPAL AND CLOSE YOUR PP ACCOUNTS NOW! ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO SO,TOO!

ISLAM MEANS SUBMISSION!

Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority? (Ron Paul,2012)

American Indians had open borders. Look at how well that worked out for them.

sneakypete  posted on  2017-02-15   6:47:27 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: sneakypete (#7)

They are all the same people.

Not the same people as who? You think these things don't exist?

paraclete  posted on  2017-02-15   6:52:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: paraclete (#8)

They are all the same people.

Not the same people as who? You think these things don't exist?

Maybe you ought to go back and read my post and think about it for a while.

Especially the meaning of the word "are".

BOYCOTT PAYPAL AND CLOSE YOUR PP ACCOUNTS NOW! ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO SO,TOO!

ISLAM MEANS SUBMISSION!

Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority? (Ron Paul,2012)

American Indians had open borders. Look at how well that worked out for them.

sneakypete  posted on  2017-02-15   16:58:21 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: sneakypete (#7)

not the voice of the Marxists, not the voice of the Fabianists, not the voice of the Fascists,

They are all the same people.

So you contention is that Marxists and Fascists are the same, meaning Hitler invaded the Soviet Union for nothing. I can see how you might think Fabianists might be Marxists, but I haven't heard of Fabianists standing people against a wall

paraclete  posted on  2017-02-16   3:59:57 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: redleghunter (#5)

We are seeing our American left going over the cliff embracing these violent thugs.

Let them stand at the edge of the cliff, embracing these thugs.

With a little luck, they'll fall off that cliff entirely. Their abandonment of the white working class, the private sector unions, and their descent into ever more weird identity politics could put them into the wilderness for years, perhaps decades.

It does sound too optimistic but they may have finally boxed themselves in by coddling their activists and organizers so much. And Obama's hold on OFA indicates this is unlikely to change soon. Obama's ego and refusal to let go of power may drive the Dems out of business entirely because they have no demagogue to replace him as their front man.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-02-16   9:39:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: paraclete (#10)

So you contention is that Marxists and Fascists are the same, meaning Hitler invaded the Soviet Union for nothing. I can see how you might think Fabianists might be Marxists, but I haven't heard of Fabianists standing people against a wall

The Fabianists are the ones of inspired Marx and can be credited as being the grandfathers of Marxism.

The Fabians didn't,but only because they were such a small ground of intellectuals holding circle jerks,and world events pushed them aside. Since Marxism/fascism is the only place their philosophy could have gone,eventually "eggs would have to be broken to make the omelet" of their dreams. After all,like all elitists,they knew better than the common man,and the common man needed to be put in his place as an obedient slave to the state because he didn't know what was good for him. Only the self-styled intellectual theorists knew that.

BTW,since when has it been a law of nature that two or more nations with similar or even identical governing philosophies couldn't or wouldn't go to war with each other?

Ever heard of Kingdoms? They were constantly at war with one another,and they were usually related.

BOYCOTT PAYPAL AND CLOSE YOUR PP ACCOUNTS NOW! ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO SO,TOO!

ISLAM MEANS SUBMISSION!

Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority? (Ron Paul,2012)

American Indians had open borders. Look at how well that worked out for them.

sneakypete  posted on  2017-02-16   10:20:19 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: sneakypete (#12)

BTW,since when has it been a law of nature that two or more nations with similar or even identical governing philosophies couldn't or wouldn't go to war with each other?

Ever heard of Kingdoms? They were constantly at war with one another,and they were usually related.

We were discussing philosophies not despotic monarchies. You have drawn the herring rouge over the trail. The fabianists had the philosophy that that change in society should be gradual and not by violent revolution, the marxists believed that change could only come by violent revolution, and the fascists were opposed to the marxists. The fascists did not believe in the power in the hands of the people as the marxists did. Today we are seeing the rise of fascism again

paraclete  posted on  2017-02-16   16:52:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: paraclete (#13)

We were discussing philosophies not despotic monarchies. You have drawn the herring rouge over the trail.

HorseHillary! Royal familes ruled by the Divine Will of God.

Religion and Divine Rule aren't philosophies?

Since when?

BOYCOTT PAYPAL AND CLOSE YOUR PP ACCOUNTS NOW! ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO SO,TOO!

ISLAM MEANS SUBMISSION!

Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority? (Ron Paul,2012)

American Indians had open borders. Look at how well that worked out for them.

sneakypete  posted on  2017-02-16   19:41:08 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: sneakypete (#14)

Religion and Divine Rule aren't philosophies?

You are vague today, as i said we weren't discussing these things, thus the herring rouge

paraclete  posted on  2017-02-16   21:28:12 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#16. To: paraclete (#15) (Edited)

You are vague today, as i said we weren't discussing these things,

YOU weren't discussing these things because they killed your position.

*I* was discussing philosophies,though. You objected because my position put a pin in your balloons.

You are not Royalty or an honored Comrade,so all you get to do is start a discussion. You don't get to control the replies.

BOYCOTT PAYPAL AND CLOSE YOUR PP ACCOUNTS NOW! ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO SO,TOO!

ISLAM MEANS SUBMISSION!

Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority? (Ron Paul,2012)

American Indians had open borders. Look at how well that worked out for them.

sneakypete  posted on  2017-02-17   8:40:32 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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