In response to the genuine crisis of Trump’s election, Democratic party leadership is circling the wagons, rather than reaching out to their own base or independents, now the largest group of voters (and Sanders, an independent, self-described democratic socialist, is the most popular national politician in recent polls).
If they defeat Trump politically, which would be a positive symbolic step, their path leaves the Democratic party with little to fight against a more outwardly polite Republican leader. The deregulationist DLC era has laid one stepping stone after another to deeper dismantling of protections that Trump’s backers envision. The deregulationists also helped discredit the Democratic party with significant sections of the general public – not unlike what happened to the Republican party. This was and continues to be an invitation to further right-wing politics in the US.
Because the view that the “Third Way” was a great misake involves potent criticisms of the relationship between government and big business, it is an unspeakable subject. And the direct connection between the “Third Way” strategy and a right-wing reaction appears to be invisible to the corporate leadership of the Democrats (or else something they believe they can manage with just another public relations campaign). Without active pressure to change that belief, we can expect repeats of 2016.
The very small state of Saarland had their election. CDU gains 5%, in a disappointment for Martin Schulz and the SPD, who hoped to do better.
CDU 40%, SPD 30%, Linke 13%, AfD 6%, Green <5%, thus no seats for them :-(.
To review, I’m looking at the German and French elections because the next few years will see efforts to reshape the EU, potentially alleviating severe tensions, or potentially screwing up the chance.
In terms of how the German election will relate to EU integration, as far as I understand there wouldn’t be drastic differences between CDU and SPD. Schulz was president of the EU Parliament, both centrist parties were generally in favor of “flexibity” and “reform” of labor markets, despite talk of the contrary. But if Merkel were unseated, and if the French election were uncomfortably close, unpleasant as that may be, then the representatives of the neoliberal orthodoxy may themselves become motivated to do something different. Hopefully not make concessions to the right. It is a situation to keep an eye on, even from here in the US.
2 links below
Glyphosate and the crucial battle for independent science
At its core, the political battle for transparency about the herbicide glyphosate is actually a battle for independent science and for the transparent and democratic functioning of the EU institutions, write five Greens/EFA MEPs
Glyphosate is not carcinogenic, EU agency says
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) said today (15 March) that much-discussed glyphosate weedkiller should not be classified as a carcinogen, triggering a strong response from environmentalist NGOs.
Interestingly, the labor theory of value, or some version of it, is something “libertarians” and “socialists”, in the US at least, tend to agree on.[*]
This animated micro lecture goes a small step further, and proposes an answer for the purpose of work.
[via Idler on a Hammock]
[*] – you have to press the libertarians a bit, they sometimes start off with the property-owner thing. But by the end of the first beer, I usually find that the property-owner ideal itself is just there as a way to safeguard the fruits of one’s labor, and is not an end in itself. With some gentle gentle challenges, this comes right out. For example, imagine a society with ultra-simple property-purist rules : what happens if one person accumulates ownership of everything? That is obviously unseemly. Why shouldn’t native Americans own all the land in the US, under similar ultra-simplified property-purist rules? Why do we think highly of entrepreneurs? Why do native-born citizens find immigrants threatening / why do immigrants enjoy disproportional upward economic mobility? The answer to all these is some version of the old commie labor theory of value. Based on my limited informal experiments, I think you can reliably get people from across the political spectrum to lay it out for you without much prompting other than asking their opinion on how to resolve difficult issues relating to property ownership and concentration of wealth. I’m not suggesting a 19th century LTV is useful as-is for a world where we cannot feed the world without some minimum of organization and tech and social stability, but at a minimum, it shows the importance of examining this stuff. The ultimate goal is a formulation that is inoffensive enough that it can merge with the still-dominant ideology of the free-market-purists and result in a less destructive system.