Sunday, April 23, 2017

Vote - Other

The French round-one election results are coming in and The Atlantic Magazine has an article sub-titled - For the first time in modern French history, neither candidate is from a major party.

At the same time, the Tory British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has called a new election which is highlighting the fading relevance of the British Labour Party. Labour, after a successful run in the 90s under Blair and a less successful run in the aughts under Brown has essentially imploded as they advance old style soviet Marxism spiced with anti-semitism. The British Labour Party is vestigial and fighting a brutal ideological civil war within itself.

The Democrats in the US are still shellshocked from their recent presidential loss and wondering how to address a decade long run of losses at the Federal, state and local levels of government and with essentially no non-antiquarian leaders. Establishment Democrats sotto voce want to move to the center, the ideological base wants to move to the postmodernist, deconstuctionist, critical theory left, and the only crowd puller is a septuagenarian who isn't even a member of the party but a self-proclaimed Socialist.

Scandinavia countries moved to the right some years ago (owing to budget realities), and are no longer the socialist paradise of yore, but much more an example of a market-based communalism.

Everywhere the old left, whether Labour, Socialist, Social Democrat, or Democrat, all seem in retreat.

So is the developed world jettisoning the failures of socialism? Or is it that socialists/left leaning parties were in power so long that this is really simply a revolt against the establishment and it just happens that the establishment was socialist? I think there is plenty of evidence for both propositions and also some significant confounds for each proposition.

But the statist spirit that animated the socialists of my youth - Olof Palme, Tony Benn, Arthur Scargill, Fran├žois Mitterrand, Gamal Nasser, Ralph Nader - not just those individuals but those strident statist voices, all seem to have been sidelined and silenced. You only hear such voices on university campuses anymore.

I'm not complaining. Static statism is one of the worst conditions afflicting humanity. Still, it is striking how the terms of the public debate have changed and changed so dramatically.

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