December 11, 2008

HISTORY HAVING ENDED...:

The left's resignation note: Why the left in Europe is not benefiting from the economic crisis (Charlemagne, Dec 11th 2008, The Economist)

SOCIALISM in Britain died in 1983. Its demise can be dated to that year’s Labour Party election manifesto, branded “the longest suicide note in history”. This document combined ideological purity (highlights included the creation of a planning ministry, withdrawal from the European Community, exchange controls to stop capital fleeing overseas and unilateral nuclear disarmament) with a lunatic disdain for what voters wanted.

Today questions are being asked about the health of the European left, as the deepening recession fails to boost Socialist parties across the European Union. This baffles many. After all, the Anglo-Saxon obsession with untrammelled markets has been exposed as madness—or so leftist bigwigs claim. Across the capitalist world, once-strutting tycoons are begging for state bail-outs. Yet voters are not flocking to mainstream centre-left parties. A recent column in Libération, a leftish French newspaper, moaned that this was not just a “paradox” but an “injustice”. [...]

As successive European economies tumble into recession, the thing that most frightens and angers workers is the risk of losing their jobs to lower-cost rivals. The [Party of European Socialists] manifesto dances around this issue. It talks of “managing” globalisation for the benefit of all and using Europe’s combined size and wealth as a labour market to defend “high social standards”. But it does not promise to stop factory closures or lay-offs.


...the only remaining arguments are at the margins.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at December 11, 2008 3:52 PM
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