How the Right has become the Left, and the Left has become the Right.
This fellow Robert Lindsay’s blog is well worth checking out. I said on Facebook recently that if I were a Marxist rather than an anarchist, I’d probably be Robert Lindsay.
Ok, let’s see. You live in France.
You can vote “Right” and vote for protection of workers, state social programs for, pro family policies, environmental protection, promotion of small business at the expense of big business, and national protection of workers from multinational corporate Great White sharks.
Or I can vote “Left” and vote for gay pride parades, six different types of genderqueer, tax cuts for corporations and austerity.
Touch choice, huh?
A rare voice of sanity over at Moon of Alabama, where sanity is served up in heaping portions daily.
These are indications of the emergence of a new political paradigm in Europe. It is notoriously the case that many of Le Pen’s votes come from former Red strongholds and that the working class is, for very understandable reasons, turning to nationalism as an antidote to neoliberalism.
There is no reason why the immigration issue should not be part of a debate on planning the economy. Now that Trade Unions have been stripped of their powers to regulate wages, unemployment levels and working conditions, it is very reasonable for workers to turn to the state to protect their interests, though the chances of this happening without a revival of class institutions are slim.
So long as social democrats and the feckless left is going to back the neoliberal business agenda by opposing immigration controls as racist, the right wing will pile up their old voters. By the same token so long as “the left” confuses globalized capitalism with internationalism, and US hegemony with human solidarity, it will be rushing towards political oblivion.
Much of the program of the “right” in Europe is correct. Nor, given the efficiency with which neoliberalism has smashed working class institutions, does it have the appeal, for industrialists, of being able to discipline the workers. In fact the European ruling class is fading away into a memory as its members become mere junior partners in the imperial system.
The social basis for fascism in Europe is becoming increasingly narrow, driving the European right into radical courses to justify its existence. Racism is not enough for it. And any popular economic program is going to be socialistic. There is much less to fear from a Le Pen victory than from another Hollande or Sarkozy victory.
What is needed is to prevent such people as Le Pen from getting away with the demagogy of supporting Israel and Islamophobia which together are two of the causes of the wars which Europe supports and whose most obvious consequence is a flood of, very reluctant, immigrants pouring into Europe because Europe will not allow them to live at home in peace.
And, this of course, involves pointing out that Europe is led by a political class which is content to follow US orders despite the fact that to do so is to condemn Europe to penury and irrelevance.
I recollect more than thirty years ago proposing a nationalist and a socialist future as the alternative to Thatcher’s neoliberalism. I was of course immediately denounced as a NAZI, as if Hitler had ever introduced anything resembling socialist policies.
It was the alternative which dared not speak its name, such is the revulsion that people have been taught to have towards nationalism.
Today, as economic “reforms”, sponsored by globalized institutions, threaten living standards, the notions of job protection, social solidarity and national sovereignty have a latent appeal which is bound to lead to success for the parties which embrace them. Parties yet to be formed, I suspect, whose militants and supporters are currently as likely to be on the right as the left.
A while back, I went to Wikipedia and read over the “evil fascist” Marie Le Pen’s political program. I kept nodding my head as I read down the page. When I got to the end, I let out a huge sigh. None of it made sense. Her project was pro-working class, anti-rich, anti-elite, anti-corporate, anti-EU, anti-NATO, anti-French imperialism, pro social spending, pro welfare state, pro union, pro family, pro French culture, and opposed to importing boatloads of unassimilable future criminals from that continent south of the Riviera.
Golden Dawn, for all of their horrors, is very pro-worker, anti-corporate, anti-rich and pro-welfare state. In fact, they run clinics for the poor, give out free meals every day, run job and day care centers…in other words, they’re socialists!
So the only socialists left in Europe are the “fascists,” then, right? Where’s the competition? Social Democracy used to mean socialism but it’s meant anything but in recent years. I cringe every time another Socialist Party or Social Democratic Party type wins in Europe. I figure it’s time for layoffs, budget cuts, tax cuts for corporations, shutting down public services, wage cuts, attacks on labor and of course that socialist favorite called austerity.
Well good God. If you’re going to go through all the trouble of voting for a rightwing agenda like that, why fake it and vote Socialist. Just vote for a real rightwing party like the Christian Democrats and be done with it. I’ve always preferred real people to imposters anyway.
People keep telling me this Marie lady is a Nazi, a fascist. I read over her program, and I didn’t really see it, other than the fact that she doesn’t think a lot of Muslims in France, which is logical as they are tearing the place apart and setting it on fire on the weekends. They’re unassimilable anyway.
I really don’t care what she is. They can call her anything they want to. I don’t care if she’s a Nazi or a fascist or anything like that. If I’m in France, dammit, I’m voting for this bitch.
All this Right-Left stuff is starting to blur together anyway to where it doesn’t even make sense. When the socialists are pushing brutal austerity and the only real socialists anymore are the “fascist” nationalists, you’re got to wonder if terms like Right and Left even have a meaning. It’s supposed to be a polarity, black and white, 1 and 0, on and off, but instead political terms are starting to resemble the Heisenberg Principle.