Monday, May 7, 2012

Something's Happening Here ...

European Working Classes Having an Effect in Electoral Arena

 United Kingdom - The recent by-elections in the United Kingdom showed the Tory Conservatives and their Liberal bed-fellows (true bi-partisanship, that!) lost many local counsel and mayoral elections to the New Labor Party, only holding the mayoralty of London.  The Tory/Liberal austerity lockup is a wonderful model for our own Republicans/Democrats – and it is failing, as it should, in the face of massive cuts to government spending and jobs.
 The Netherlands - In the Netherlands the rightist “Freedom” Party’s withdrew from the pro-austerity block government, which led to the resignation of liberal Mark Rutte, Dutch PM for the “People’s Party of Freedom and Democracy.”  New elections will be held in the summer, in which the Netherlands Labour Party, which opposes the Eurozone pact, will be running.     
Greece - The anti-austerity Left Block in Greece came in second in the elections, called the “Coalition of the Radical Left,” containing:
·        Synaspismos (SYN): the largest, a feminist, euro-Communist, social-democratic, ecological organization.  
·                    Internationalist Workers Left (DEA), a Trotskyist organization.
·                    Movement for the United in Action Left (KEDA) (a split from the Communist Party of Greece)
·                    Active Citizens (a social-democratic political organization associated with Manolis Glezos)
·                    The minor Unitary Movement (a social-democratic PASOK splinter) joined the Coalition in March 2012.
·        Anticapitalist Political Group (ΑΠΟ): another Trotskyist organization.
·        Communist Organization of Greece (KOE): a Maoist organization.  
·        Democratic Social Movement (DIKKI):
·        Ecosocialists of Greece: Eco-Socialists
·        Movement for the United in Action Left (KEDA): A communist organization.
·        Radical Left Group Roza
·        Radicals (Ριζοσπάστες): A democratic-socialist organization.  
·        Red (Κόκκινο): Another Trotskyist organization.  
·        Renewing Communist Ecological Left (AKOA): a democratic-socialist, euro-communist group. 
·        and several independent leftist activists
The Greek Communist Party did not take part in this coalition, which has its roots in convergence activities since 2004.  This throws into doubt any deals made by the Conservatives allied with PASOK.  
 France - And most significantly in France, Germany’s bosom buddy in the austerity drive, even ‘right-wing’ voters who had backed the National Front threw their votes to the Socialist Hollande, as voting for Sarkozy, even given his immigrant bashing, would mean supporting Euro-austerity. 
Germany - Meanwhile in Germany, Merkel’s “Christian Democratic Union” had a poor electoral result in Schleswig-Holstein this weekend.  That province is a typically safe area for the CDs. 

Every bourgeois commentator on both sides of the Atlantic is wetting their pants, predicting doom for the Euro or the banks.  After installing pro-banking technocrats in Italy, Greece and Spain almost overnight last year, the ruling classes are now losing control of the electoral processes. That might be because eight of the 17 Eurozone nations are already in recession and unemployment across the bloc rose to 10.9 percent in March — its highest ever.

However, the bourgeois commentators tout ‘reality’ – which actually means that the bankers and the markets control the price of national bonds, and can drive them into the toilet, thus undermining any government's fight against austerity.  Simply put, to counter this, the debts must be forgiven or canceled, or countries should follow the path of Argentina, and declare they will not pay their debts to the bankers and bondholders.  Argentina is now in better shape than any country that chose to wear the debt straitjacket. 

Progressives might take note of new left formations in Europe.  The French Anti-Capitalist Party, Refoundation in Italy and the Greek Left Coalition all indicate that small-group efforts are not sufficient to respond to this crisis.  Myriad small left groups, each pursing its individual interests, have kept the U.S. Left weak and divided, and continue to keep them from serving as a pole of attraction for large groups of people.  It is time for a United Left Block here in the U.S. to create a structure to the left of the Democratic Party in the streets, the neighborhoods, the workplaces and in elections.

Red Frog
May 7, 2012

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