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Beyond populism… December 6, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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CON has some very useful thoughts on the French situation here on the CLR, for those who might have missed them.

Meanwhile, on the same topic, opinions differ on Richard North, but this observation on the protests in France is fascinating:

Emmanuel Macron and his government, says Lichfield, were undoubtedly slow to take the movement seriously but it is foolish to blame the long-standing problems of Peripheral France on a president who has only been in office for 18 months. It is time for opposition politicians in France to stop pretending that Macron is the only source of yellow jacket anger.

In what might be seen as a chilling parallel with the UK, Lichfield goes on to say that “many, many yellow vests are decent, frustrated, suffering people”. They no longer believe that any of the mainstream political movements – or even Marine Le Pen’s Far Right or Jean-Luc Mélenchon Hard Left – will do anything to help them.

The thought struck me looking at the Andulucian elections this last week where Podemos had a not great showing and VOX did considerably better than expected that each new ‘alternative’ seems to have less and less staying power. Vox’s day will come and go too. And that even the ‘populists’ and far-right have no guarantee that voters will stick with them either.

The question of course is whether those forces gain sufficient traction to gain a measure of state power (as in Italy).

Comments»

1. makedoanmend - December 6, 2018

Dare I suggest that any political formation when Capitalism is undergoing stress and consolidation, even as economies are expanding in the conventional GDP/GNP sense, are almost becoming irrelevant. The logic of the markets, allowed and encouraged to operate at maximum efficiency, make party platforms trivial. Neo-liberalism, the political arm of Capitalists, has conquered. S/he who governs less and only in the interests of Capital survive. All others are irrelevant or crushed. And we shouldn’t forget that the neo-liberal political parties are enjoying some the biggest support they have ever known. A significant proportion of the West’s populations seem to like it.

Capitalism and democracy are diametrically opposed concepts. Capital’s aim is to concentrate the franchise and exploit whilst democracy seeks to expand the franchise and include. Only one can win?

When the economies of the West exploded, engulfing the world’s resources and profoundly changing a vast majority of the world’s population’s approach to our material-cultural world, there was some room for the accommodation for expansive democracy. Maybe not so much any more as the rentier again comes to the foreground.

Populists seems to do better, if only for a while, because they accept the logic of Capital and supplicate for a few crumbs. They are allowed to get crumbs for a while until Capital contracts further. Rinse and repeat.

How any Leftist-leaning formation, like UK Labour, can possibly go against the heft of Capital and succeed seems nearly impossible. I suppose that the UK does have its own sovereign currency and MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) suggests that this gives a determined government some scope to expand the economy. But expand into what and how far? And how about global ecology? It can’t expand.

There are alternative but few seem palatable – for now.

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WorldbyStorm - December 6, 2018

Yeah that’s a problem I have with the UK ourselves alone model – I just can’t see how it functions except cosmetically – but to your broader point v much agree, in a time of such stress no political formation can come to the fore – at least not easily and your point re neo lib parties maintaining support is v true. It’s not the centre centre right that’s feeling the pain

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