Socialism’s slow collapse.

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Mr.Fitnah, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. Mr.Fitnah
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    Mr.Fitnah Dreamcrusher

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    PARIS — A specter is haunting Europe — the specter of Socialism’s slow collapse.
    Even in the midst of one of the greatest challenges to capitalism in 75 years, involving a breakdown of the financial system due to “irrational exuberance,” greed and the weakness of regulatory systems, European Socialist parties and their left-wing cousins have not found a compelling response, let alone taken advantage of the right’s failures.

    German voters clobbered the Social Democratic Party on Sunday, giving it only 23 percent of the vote, its worst performance since World War II.

    Voters also punished left-leaning candidates in the summer’s European Parliament elections and trounced French Socialists in 2007. Where the left holds power, as in Spain and Britain, it is under attack. Where it is out, as in France, Italy and now Germany, it is divided and listless.

    Some American conservatives demonize President Obama’s fiscal stimulus and health care overhaul as a dangerous turn toward European-style Socialism — but it is Europe’s right, not left, that is setting its political agenda.


    snip

    The Socialist Party, with a long revolutionary tradition and weakening ties to a diminishing working class, is riven by personal rivalries. The party last won the presidency in 1988, and in 2007, Ségolène Royal lost the presidency to Mr. Sarkozy by 6.1 percent, a large margin.

    With a reputation for flakiness, Ms. Royal narrowly lost the party leadership election last year to a more doctrinaire Socialist, Martine Aubry, by 102 votes out of 135,000. The ensuing allegations of fraud further chilled their relations.

    While Ms. Royal would like to move the Socialists to the center and explore a more formal coalition with the Greens and the Democratic Movement of François Bayrou, Ms. Aubry fears diluting the party. She is both famous and infamous for achieving the 35-hour workweek in the last Socialist government.

    The French Socialist Party “is trapped in a hopeless contradiction,” said Tony Judt, director of the Remarque Institute at New York University. It espouses a radical platform it cannot deliver; the result leaves space for parties to its left that can take as much as 15 percent of the vote.

    The party, at its summer retreat last month at La Rochelle, a coastal resort, still talked of “comrades” and “party militants.” Its seminars included “Internationalism at Globalized Capitalism’s Hour of Crisis.”

    But its infighting has drawn ridicule. Mr. Sarkozy told his party this month that he sent “a big thank-you” to Ms. Royal, “who is helping me a lot,” and Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a prominent European Green politician, said “everyone has cheated” in the Socialist Party and accused Ms. Royal of acting like “an outraged young girl.”
    The internecine squabbling in France and elsewhere has done little to position Socialist parties to answer the question of the moment: how to preserve the welfare state amid slower growth and rising deficits. The Socialists have, in this contest, become conservatives, fighting to preserve systems that voters think need to be improved, though not abandoned.

    “The Socialists can’t adapt to the loss of their basic electorate, and with globalism, the welfare state can no longer exist in the same way,” Professor Sartori said.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/29/world/europe/29socialism.html
     
  2. Mr.Fitnah
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    Mr. Letta argues that Socialist policies will have to be transmuted into a more fluid form to allow an alliance with center, liberal and green parties that won’t be called “Socialist.”

    Mr. Winock, the historian, said, “I think the left and Socialism in Europe still have work to do; they have a raison d’être, and they will have to rely more on environment issues.” Combined with continuing efforts to reduce income disparity, he said, “going green” may give the left more life.

    Mr. Judt argues that European Socialists need a new message — how to reform capitalism, “recognizing the centrality of economic interest while displacing it from its throne as the only way of talking about politics.”

    European Socialists need “to think a lot harder about what the state can and can’t do in the 21st century,” he said.

    Not an easy syllabus. But without that kind of reform, Mr. Judt said, “I don’t think Socialism in Europe has a future; and given that it is a core constitutive part of the European democratic consensus, that’s bad news.”
     
  3. PixieStix
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    PixieStix Coal Member Supporting Member

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    Yep, socialism fails miserably. How does a country get out of the mess that socialism leaves behind?

    The above quote reads like a good definition of socialism
    And this is what the obama administration wants for the US?

    Yes he does
     
  4. Winfried Sobott
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    Winfried Sobott Rookie

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    The German party SPD is neither socialistic nor democratic nor social-democratic: It has been that 40 years ago when Willy Brandt was chancellor, but beginning with the leadership of helmut Schmidt SPD began to get a neoliberal party and it´s downfall bases on that.

    On the other hand the left "Die LINKE" is increasing and in Eastern-Germany it is much more powerful than the SPD. One of it´s stars is Bodo Ramelow, Thuringia, whom I think to be an ideal politician: He has proved that he doesn´t like corruption in state, he demands that the strong ones should carry more than the infirms, he is a real specter for the Capitalists. Furthermore he knows of the worth of reasonable women in politics and tries to force that, and, last not least: He has proved that political progression is more important for him than own power.

    You should notice his name: Bodo Ramelow.

    PS: Regarding who is on the way top in this forum I am really proud to be on the way down - I know that kind of "commendation" for defamers and of "blame" for those who write critically - it is the same in some forums I know in Austria and FRG.

    With kindest regards

    Your sincer

    Winfried Sobottka, United Anarchists

    Google for: 123anarchy sobottka
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009

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