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The left will have its chance in Europe

2012 May 7
by Ian Welsh

So, in France Hollande has won, and in Greece, left wing parties have more of the vote than the center or the right (we’ll see if they can form a government, however.)  They will now have their chance.  If they fail, however, the right will sweep back in, and it will be the harder right, the neo-nazi, fascist right.  If the left, or what passes for the left cannot do the job and turn things around, the right will offer its “solution”.

The elites, if they make it impossible for the left to do their work (or if the left just fails, quite possible), will, in many cases, be signing their own death warrant.  If the neo-nazis in Greece or France take charge, be sure that they will liquidate much of the old order, the old elites.  Since those elites are, in fact, corrupt and treasonous (selling out the interests of their own countries), they will be able to do so to cheers and by simply enforcing the law.

The right’s solution won’t work, of course, but it can be made to look like it works for a few years at least.  And that it won’t work, won’t mean anything to dead oligarchs.

The elites aren’t going to keep getting financial oligarchy, where they force the government to borrow money from them, pay it back with interest and sell off the crown jewels at fire-sale prices.  That game is NOT going to continue for much longer, in the grand scheme of things (at least not in Europe, the US is a different matter).

If they want to save their own necks, and yes, it will come to that, they’d best cut a deal now.  The longer they wait, the worse the deal is going to get for them.

Of course, some part of the elites will make a deal, and will survive.  But some won’t.

As for the left, remember that the rich are, as a class, your enemies.  Treat them as such, or they will make sure you fail.

18 Responses
  1. ATYD permalink
    May 7, 2012

    This is the globalist’s swan song. You and everyone posting here are painfully aware that they wont really fix anything. They are too greedy to buy off their populations, so they will burn for it. The Financial Elite became too greedy and the Liberal Elite too deluded. Socialism collapsed in the 80′s. Now it is time for Liberal Democracy. Fortuna’s Wheel turns again.

    The hard right is indeed coming in hard and fast as you say. It will be all passion and fury. There will be killing in the streets because only the power of blood can beat the power of money.

    Just curious, why do you think it is different for the US?

  2. May 7, 2012

    If the people of one major western country can gain control over their government … and hence more control over their economy and quality of life … and have the government actually represent their best interests, then the austerian crisis that the western governments have foisted upon their subjects may have reached a turning point. That’s potentially very important: to have at least one major government heed to their people’s will rather than threaten them with a police state if they don’t like what they are being dealt.

    Maybe Hollande will turn out to be an obama type and go forward with the same agenda as his predecessor, but the French people are losing their patience. Or maybe Hollande decides to be a hero and do what’s right. Maybe that means more to him. The opportunity to be a great man is there. We’ll probably find out pretty quickly as to where he stands presently.

    But even if Hollande turns out to be another selfish, compromised fool, at some point some major country’s people will get their shit together enough to actually put some human beings back in charge of their government … instead of corporate pr men. Then we’ll see what happens. If Hollande decides to uncork it, this could be the first major punch landed back at the international oligarchs … and their international financial mafia … and the austerian medicine that they are trying to force feed to billions of people.

    It would also be interesting to see what tactics that they would unleash to discipline France. I’d imagine their first salvo will be whacking their bond market.

    But the more that the international financial mafia has to reveal of themselves from behind the curtain, the better. Because the less that they can conceal the more there is to see … that they are behind the austerity mania because they are making us pay for their losses, corruption, and greed … and the more who will see it and wonder ‘how’s come they’re still in charge’.

    Z

  3. May 7, 2012

    … and wonder why they’re still in charge.

    Z

  4. Everythings Jake permalink
    May 7, 2012

    Hollande is concerning – his “change is now” campaign is clearly recycled Obama 2008 as Tony Blair was recycled Clinton. I don’t think it’s coincidental then that someone like Philippe Marlière in the pages of Counterpunch (http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/05/01/francoise-hollande-frances-tony-blair/) makes essentially the same criticisms of Hollande that Adolph Reed and Glen Ford made of Obama. I hope that the French left will hold fast and keep Hollande’s feet to the fire (a la Zinn’s “It’s not who’s sitting in office, it’s who’s sitting in”), but I fear that Le Pen’s popularity will continue to grow and that France is in peril of taking the hard right turn you suggest.

    Greece gives me greater hope, in large measure because it seems that a greater percentage of the population there has been pushed to the point of having nothing left to lose. I think a likely countermove of the elites will be to stoke nationalist sentiment by starting a conflagration with Turkey (have to put all that German and French military hardware Greece was forced to continue purchasing while austerity was otherwise imposed). Maybe I’ve grown to cynical.

  5. ATYD permalink
    May 7, 2012

    One can imagine Obama getting re-elected later this year. ‘One last chance for the left.’ Suuure.

    One can also imagine that when the ‘moderate’ Romney looses, the Republicans will go harder to the right and become an explicit white nationalist party.

    The majority of white Americans will again vote down Obama, this time in higher margins. But Obama will still wins due to 90+ support from blacks and 60+ support from hispanics and asians and urban whites. Republicans (at this point composed entirely of rural, working and suburban whites) will sense that they have lost control of their country. Enter the hard right. Two years tops. Count on it.

  6. Celsius 233 permalink
    May 7, 2012

    Z PERMALINK
    May 7, 2012
    If the people of one major western country can gain control over their government … and hence more control over their economy and quality of life … and have the government actually represent their best interests, then the austerian crisis that the western governments have foisted upon their subjects may have reached a turning point. That’s potentially very important: to have at least one major government heed to their people’s will rather than threaten them with a police state if they don’t like what they are being dealt.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Nice post.
    My hope for France is based on what I’ve consistently heard and that is; the French government is AFRAID of the people. If that is true, then it’s a very healthy relationship and exactly as it should be.
    Hollande would have to be woefully stupid to pull an Obama on his people; I think Madame le Guillotine would have her work cutout (oops, bad pun) for her, metaphorically speaking.

  7. Celsius 233 permalink
    May 7, 2012

    by Ian Welsh;
    “The elites aren’t going to keep getting financial oligarchy, where they force the government to borrow money from them, pay it back with interest and sell of the crown jewels at firesale prices. That game is NOT going to continue for much longer, in the grand scheme of things (at least not in Europe, the US is a different matter).”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If they want to save their own necks, and yes, it will come to that, they’d best cut a deal now. The longer they wait, the worse the deal is going to get for them.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “As for the left, remember that the rich are, as a class, your enemies. Treat them as such, or they will make sure you fail.”
    ==============================
    Powerful stuff. I especially liked your closing statement.
    It is too late for the U.S. though; it’s just inconceivable the oligarchs will concede one iota of the control they’ve gained. They do command the cat-bird seat, no?

  8. Ian Welsh permalink*
    May 7, 2012

    ATYD – I don’t, entirely. The comment got so long I made a post out of it.

  9. Suspenders permalink
    May 7, 2012

    Some choice quotes from the right in Greece, illustrating your point Ian:

    -”The resistance of Golden Dawn against the bailout dictators will continue. Inside and outside the Greek parliament. We will continue the battle for Greece. Free from the international speculators. For a proud and independent Greece. For Greece without the bailout slavery and the loss of our national sovereignty.”

    -”The time for fear has come for those who betrayed this homeland”

  10. May 7, 2012

    In last night’s episode of “Game of Thrones”, the rabble all of a sudden turned on the king because they were hungry and the royal family were parading around in nice clothes with their guards. Somebody threw a lump of mud. The boy king then said, “Kill them all”. Then the rabble openly revolted and started chasing the royals. Lots of blood and gore. Mostly peasants got hacked up but they did manage to tear apart a few nobles. And I mean “tear apart” because they didn’t have swords. Peter Dinklage, the uncle of the creepy boy king, screamed at him that saying “Kill them all” went too far and that he was an idiot. Boy King says, “You can’t call the king an idiot.” Then Dinklage slaps him. “You can’t slap him either, but I just did.”

    What will be our moment? Probably won’t happen. But we can look to France to repeat the scene described above along with the Greeks in a metaphorical way, with any luck.

  11. Morocco Bama permalink
    May 7, 2012

    I think Golden Shower is a more appropriate name, and they’re not just going to piss off.

    Some said this on another forum and I agree with it, for the most part.

    the path is being laid clear for the hard right to take power everywhere. it will correspond with the so-called “arab springs” which is just a euphemism for ground clearing for the hard right in the arab world. look whose taking power in egypt. europe, you’re next up. the u.s. may have to wait until 2016, but it’s coming. the plutocrats will throw their weight to the hard right when the time comes, and the hard right will purge the population of any threats to vested interests as we all ride this shit storm into the abyss.

    the pendulum of authoritarianism swings in perpetuity, 350 degrees from one end to the other, both ends be equally authoritative. it spends most of its time at either of those ends and very little time anywhere in between. the short time in between is now disappearing and it’s back to full on oppression. secure yourselves. you ain’t seen nothing yet.

  12. someofparts permalink
    May 8, 2012

    As to the U.S., I’ve been wondering if there is not some connection between the spinelessness of the current liberals and the decision decades ago to cut back labor’s stake in the left coalition. If you want someone willing to fight as hard as conservatives do, maybe pulling labor back into the center of the coalition would help.

    Also, what about Quebec and, is it the NDP (may have that wrong)? I’ve been encouraged thinking that Canada may be able to fix her problems politically as the Europeans may be doing. I would be interested in anything you care to say about the trends in Canada. How does it look like the next election is shaking up? What is happening in the respective provinces?

  13. Lambda Meson permalink
    May 8, 2012

    I hope that the French left will hold fast and keep Hollande’s feet to the fire

    Whenever I see the bolded phrase I know the person employing it knows all hope is lost.

  14. Ian Welsh permalink*
    May 9, 2012

    Things are looking fairly promising in Canada. I’ve been very happy with the new NDP leader so far. He clearly knows he needs Ontario and has a plan to get enough of it. Harper has been over-reaching.

  15. RockyRacoon permalink
    May 9, 2012

    In France when you say left you have to realize the 40% of what is termed left identify with Trotsky so they are much more astute than anything in North America-perhaps even more than South America so you can expect feet to be held to the fire-as yes the rank and file are always leap years ahead of the leadership and always willing to go all the way…..So some interesting things, If GReece, Italy Spain and France UNITE and form some sort of socialist union well capitalism will really be on the ropes. Socialism in one country wont’ work-the other countries will boycott sabatoge etc etc so that is my hope that these other countries join France and actually start to nationalize the economy by nationalize I mean as a first step to worker democracy……it is possible and it is necessary. it will be the petty borgeois the “middle class “that will cling to the state for support while at the same time denoucing it as it does in the USA. Thus you get hands of my midicaide or whatever the program is and death to Obama care or some such…..disorientation, the entire media is one big psychops-look at the main stream media treatment of Syria for example…..I mean if that is not brainwashing I dont’ know what is
    RR

  16. Morocco Bama permalink
    May 9, 2012

    Rocky, it’s more brainwashing than many care to acknowledge, meaning the “left” is as equally brainwashed in taking sides in the Syrian conflict. It’s Assad’s hard-fisted authoritarianism, or the West’s velvet glove authoritarianism. If your reaction is to side with Assad’s hard-fisted authoritarianism, you’re as much a victim of the psyops as those who believe the West wants to spread freedom and democracy for all in Syria.

  17. someofparts permalink
    May 10, 2012

    Good to hear about the NDP. Here’s hoping the best for you guys.

  18. May 12, 2012

    It’s looking like a government won’t be formed in Greece this time around, but a second election will likely put Syriza in first place. Syriza has held steadfast and refused to join any government that will continue business as usual re austerity, which is a good sign.

    It’s astonishing the tone-deafness of German politicians in particular. Unless, of course, they are trying in some Byzantine way to force the Euro to break up. Just now the Bundesbank president lectured Greek voters. Um.

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