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 One of the fastest growing political parties in Greece is called Golden Dawn.

With Greece deep in economic and social crisis, the party is promising voters in next month's elections to start by expelling illegal immigrants - before moving on to the legal ones.
   Nevertheless, Golden Dawn denies it is neo-Nazi, although its leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos did give a Nazi salute at an Athens city council meeting last year.
 The party headquarters of Golden Dawn was until recently decorated with busts of Adolf Hitler. It's trying to clean up its image because it will mostly likely capture 5% of the vote in the May 6 election, which means these jack-booted thugs will be part of the government in a couple weeks.

  That doesn't mean the whole country is going right-wing. The extreme left wing is rising even faster.

 There has been radicalization on the left, as well: Pasok has jettisoned voters to a hodgepodge of communist parties. The Communist Party of Greece, the Left Coalition and the Ecogreens have raised their representation from 14.7 percent in the 2009 election to roughly 34 percent when one includes the Democratic Left, a Left Coalition spinoff. Pasok and New Democracy will no doubt strive to suck back as many voters as they can, but it is clear that the two-party system is at an end.
 In 2009 the two major parties captured 77% of the popular vote. According to today's election polls, the two major parties would only get 30-37% of the popular vote. The new government will contain 8-10 new political parties.

  What the two major parties have in common is their dedication to austerity measures despite a 22% unemployment rate (and a staggering 54 percent among university graduates), and a bailout plan which directs a majority of the money to foreign bankers. The five rounds of budget cuts and layoffs (with the Bank of Greece demanding a 6th round of cuts after the election) have failed to arrest the decline in the Greek economy.
   Most of the rising parties on both the left and right have in common their disdain for the status quo and politics as usual.

  Greece is hardly alone is this regard.

  In Holland, the government collapsed because the right-wing Freedom Party failed to back further austerity measures. Yesterday, the neoliberal caretaker government managed to get the Green Party to sign onto the austerity measures.
   If this sounds somewhat familiar, it is. The Green Party of Ireland were the ones who stepped forward to endorse the centrist parties with the bank bailout and austerity measures in 2009. They were then completely swept from power in the next election.
   In the most recent polls, it is the Socialist Party, who opposed the austerity measures, to be set to gain the most. Like Greece, they will be having a coalition government in the future.

  In France the big story is the rise of the anti-immigrant, right-wing National Front.
   Getting lost National Front news is the fact that left-wing groups outside of the leading Socialist Party picked up as many votes as Le Pen. Plus, socialists are coming off back-to-back wins during the 2010 regional elections, and the 2011 senate elections.
   Like in America, the right-wing is not on the rise in France. It is just getting more fascist. What is losing is center-right political parties.

  The political scheme that has dominated most of the western world since the end of the Cold War - the two party system of one centrist party and one moderate right-wing party, both of whom beholden to the financial elite - finally appears to be coming to an end. At least in Europe.
   What this means in the long-run is anyone's guess. Right now the field is wide open, as desperate working people, locked in economic depressions, reach for any possible solution.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (164+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, Shockwave, dance you monster, cosmic debris, SeaTurtle, keschen, Habitat Vic, Mariken, crystal eyes, Gowrie Gal, bobswern, karmsy, dmhlt 66, Gooserock, Urizen, Thinking Fella, katiec, ek hornbeck, eightlivesleft, TheMomCat, jazzizbest, dotsright, basquebob, temptxan, Sun Tzu, Steve15, Getreal1246, MKinTN, enemy of the people, MT Spaces, baghavadgita, PapaChach, JayC, blueoasis, zerelda, gulfgal98, Siri, Mac in Maine, SpecialKinFlag, Oh Mary Oh, Rogneid, Bob Guyer, enhydra lutris, randomfacts, Matt Z, daveygodigaditch, blueoregon, srkp23, Nada Lemming, DBunn, ontheleftcoast, greengemini, notdarkyet, freesia, mkor7, ActivistGuy, Azazello, Cassiodorus, quill, Jim P, Mentatmark, Marie, tardis10, Robobagpiper, allie123, rmabelis, semiot, terabytes, One Pissed Off Liberal, LillithMc, anodnhajo, fabucat, marina, Youffraita, Imhotepsings, bubbanomics, mookins, real world chick, northerntier, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, little lion, kevinpdx, Williston Barrett, BobBlueMass, greycat, Lily O Lady, Preston S, cybersaur, beltane, sodalis, zerone, cacamp, petulans, tobendaro, maryabein, Pescadero Bill, wu ming, old wobbly, hoplite9, melo, Unbozo, CT Hank, cpresley, Nulwee, jrooth, wasatch, George Pirpiris, johnel, ferg, Jay C, prfb, tacet, Brown Thrasher, Ice Blue, Egalitare, Involuntary Exile, chipmo, Lefty Coaster, TomP, ColoTim, NormAl1792, maggiejean, Joieau, pucklady, madgranny, weck, cslewis, Byblis, legendmn, aitchdee, Tam in CA, Bule Betawi, Sandino, Angie in WA State, George Hier, grollen, ozsea1, Teiresias70, sunny skies, sb, rantsposition, vacantlook, gatorcog, Trotskyrepublican, ladyjames, NearlyNormal, prettygirlxoxoxo, Jesterfox, Justus, OMwordTHRUdaFOG, Burned, elziax, J M F, native, Skennet Boch, joeshwingding, Wolf10, G2geek, mofembot, thenekkidtruth, Meteor Blades, where4art, New Rule, glitterscale

    “Take not from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” - President Thomas Jefferson

    by gjohnsit on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:05:21 AM PDT

  •  Ownership Has Been Advancing So Consistently for (24+ / 0-)

    2 generations everywhere, that it'd be crazy to think they hadn't planned for this kind of period. Look at the gigantic gains the rightwing made in America 2 years ago.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:10:40 AM PDT

  •  regarding Spain (29+ / 0-)

    As of today's numbers, they now have a 24.4% unemployment rate (52% among the young). Expect a similar political shift in Spain that we are seeing in Greece.

    “Take not from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” - President Thomas Jefferson

    by gjohnsit on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:21:45 AM PDT

    •  Yes, given today's news (16+ / 0-)

      'Cause the fire in the street, Ain't like the fire in the heart/ And in the eyes of all these people, Don't you know that this could start, On any street in any town ~ FZ

      by cosmic debris on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:31:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't expect it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AaronInSanDiego, native, G2geek

      In Spain there is other venues for the discontent vote. Furthermore the PSOE, the socialist party, recently survived, with loses, a defeat by the points by the PP, right wing party.  It survived thanks to a lot of vote migrating to IU, the party further to the left of them.

      There are some right wing anti immigrant parties, in Catalonia is the stronger one but gets less than 3% of the votes, but they have no power or representation or voters.

      In Portugal or Ireland you have also grave crisis and no significant parties on the extreme right or left. Meanwhile in countries like Holland or Switzerland or Austria, that are not affected by the crisis or no way as much they do have them. The economical numbers helps radical parties and disenfranchisement but it is all also in the position of the traditional parties and the culture of the place.

      •  Is PSOE still pushing austerity in Spain? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gjohnsit

        And if they are then wouldn't the further left parties be the ones who benefit?

        There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 08:48:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, AaronInSanDiego, native, G2geek

          But one thing is to be governing and another is to be in the opposition. Now that the PP is leading and cutting programs, the PSOE is completely against and horrified of it (they were doing it until a few months ago). Anyhow this has benefited some center left and left left parties and also the regional parties. There are a lot of options to vote

          Right now the PP is taking a lot of heat for the cuts. We will see how things are in a year.  The good thing about this is that I don´t see the PP touching any social issues at the moment. That could sour things for them quickly

      •  sinn fein has seen surprising growth and support (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gjohnsit, Brown Thrasher, sb, native, G2geek

        since the austerity measures really started to bite, because they rejected neoliberalism and brussels. as the labour party was dumb enough to join a ruling coalition and push for austerity, i can see sinn fein picking up even more of their left flank, as the natural consequences of this policy idiocy extracts its pound of flesh from the irish economy.

        •  Is the present (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sb

          Sinn fein a radical party? I dont think so. Also we have to look to were their gains come from.

        •  Sinn fien (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brown Thrasher, sb, G2geek

          is really gaining in the polls. I've seen some recent polls in which they were running a close 3rd. This is only a few years after being nothing but a fringe party.
             Labour gained in the last election, but you have to wonder how long patience will last with them.

          “Take not from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” - President Thomas Jefferson

          by gjohnsit on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 10:03:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Perdon Companero (0+ / 0-)

        but didn't the Dutch government just fall due to the economic crisis?

  •  At one point the rubber band will snap (24+ / 0-)
    Like in America, the right-wing is not on the rise in France. It is just getting more fascist. What is losing is center-right political parties.
    Continuing polarization will bring a final confrontation and it will not be politics as usual.

    Even if the left is not radicalizing, all you need is a more radical right to cause the increasing tension.  

    I believe the right around the world is behaving more and more like a cornered rat.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:27:19 AM PDT

  •  Time to dust off my beloved Bob Dylan lyrics (13+ / 0-)

    We are headed towards another massive cultural and economic paradigm shift.

    Because something is happening here
    But you don't know what it is
    Do you, Mister Jones ?

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:38:43 AM PDT

    •  I thought you were going to quote (9+ / 0-)

      the times they are a changin'.

      “Take not from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” - President Thomas Jefferson

      by gjohnsit on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:43:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maggies Farm (15+ / 0-)

        works too.  

        I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s brother no more
        No, I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s brother no more
        Well, he hands you a nickel
        He hands you a dime
        He asks you with a grin
        If you’re havin’ a good time
        Then he fines you every time you slam the door
        I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s brother no more

        If cats could blog, they wouldn't

        by crystal eyes on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:46:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I thought it was going to be (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jesterfox, ladyjames

        For What It's Worth
        by Buffalo Springfield

        There's something happening here
        What it is ain't exactly clear
        There's a man with a gun over there
        Telling me I got to beware
        I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound
        Everybody look what's going down

        There's battle lines being drawn
        Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
        Young people speaking their minds
        Getting so much resistance from behind
        I think it's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
        Everybody look what's going down

        What a field-day for the heat
        A thousand people in the street
        Singing songs and carrying signs
        Mostly say, hooray for our side
        It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
        Everybody look what's going down

        Paranoia strikes deep
        Into your life it will creep
        It starts when you're always afraid
        You step out of line, the man come and take you away

        We better stop, hey, what's that sound
        Everybody look what's going down
        Stop, hey, what's that sound
        Everybody look what's going down
        Stop, now, what's that sound
        Everybody look what's going down
        Stop, children, what's that sound
        Everybody look what's going down

        * * *
        I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization
        -- SCOTUS Justice O.W. Holmes Jr.
        * * *
        "A Better World is Possible"
        -- #Occupy

        by Angie in WA State on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 01:07:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The shift will be driven in part by climate (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, blueoregon, DBunn, freesia, Marie, ladyjames

      change and peak everything. We live in a finite biological world and that will have its way as a major forcing factor. That will necessarily push us toward a more cooperative frame of mind and behavior. We will have to develop better ways of cooperating more with the environment and with each other as we get forced into a smaller ecological niche. There will also be fighting for diminishing resources.

      Love = Awareness of mutually beneficial exchange across semi-permeable boundaries. Political and economic systems either amplify or inhibit Love.

      by Bob Guyer on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 07:44:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And Hungary (25+ / 0-)

    with the rise of the antisemitic, anti-Roma Jobbik. I don't think it takes much imagination or exaggeration to hear echoes of the twenties and thirties.

    Hungary's far right has long viewed the Roma as being to blame for many of society's ills. With foreign capital considered a new enemy at a time of economic crisis, the extremist Jobbik Party is gaining support.

    Every week, members of the far-right Jobbik party, or its military arm the "Hungarian National Guard," march in different parts of the country to demonstrate against the Roma and spread antagonistic slogans about the minority group. More recently, with the country in the grips of a financial crisis, the far right has discovered another enemy: Foreign capital, which as it says "sucks Hungary dry and destroys the Hungarian nation."

    The new slogan of the Jobbik public demonstrations is, "The tanks have gone, the banks have come." The words are loosely used to refer to a far-right notion that, instead of being dominated by the former Soviet Union, Hungary is now dominated by Jewish capital.

    But Jobbik politicians are by no means only hiding behind vague allusions. Parliamentary representatives of the extreme right insist that both the populist nationalist conservative governing majority and the opposition socialists and liberals represent the interests of Israel and Jews rather than those of Hungary itself.

    Yes, pro-financial power neoliberal policies lead to suffering that can lead to the worst kind of right-wing populism.
  •  They're KIDDING right? (10+ / 0-)

    Golden Dawn???

    I... don't even know what to say.  Do these groups even bother to look up the possible connotations of their names before they use em?

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:49:37 AM PDT

  •  The solution to these problems is always the (0+ / 0-)

    same.  Violence and dictatorship.

  •  excellent diary (15+ / 0-)

    I especially like how you leave it to the reader to draw the obvious conclusion of the next nation where this will happen. Ineffective "bipartisan" or "technocratic" governing styles are having an unintended effect:  they are nourishing grievances real and imagined.

    A terrible beauty is born. --W.B. Yeats

    by eightlivesleft on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:59:18 AM PDT

    •  Next up might be Spain (4+ / 0-)

      Although their next election isn't for awhile, so someone else might cut in front.

      “Take not from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” - President Thomas Jefferson

      by gjohnsit on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 07:36:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  in spain (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT

        they have both a still strong going peoples movement (for lack of a better term), the 15M / Puerta del Sol .. those who were at the pivot of translating the Arab spark to the West. And they had quite a significant left wing radicalisation giving growth to the IU (Izquierda Unida, United Left) party. But they just had their elections - so whatever the people do, the right wingers and their patriarchal/nepotist, church sanctioned vision of society is now firmly in control. That will not change any time soon. For the sake of the spanish society, one might hope that the economic crisis there drags on long enough to prevent thhe right wingers to throw themselves into the mold of economic saviours - because then civil liberality might be finished for a generation.

        •  and it's only been back for a generation (0+ / 0-)

          Every time I've been there I keep reminding myself that the Franco era is relatively recent, having only ended in the 1970s.  I've never heard anyone speak of it favorably, though, unlike in Chile where (as of the late 1990s) it remained socially acceptable to say that the period of military dictatorship helped the country.

          A terrible beauty is born. --W.B. Yeats

          by eightlivesleft on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:40:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  If there is another Greek civil war look for (12+ / 0-)

    the US to back the fascist pigs that want to keep the "capitalist" system. Any effort to make the country more equal and fair for the greatest number will be stomped on with great fury. I find it interesting that the current "capitalist" system around the world seems to be crumbling. The oligarchs won't let it go without a fight, however. It should be interesting to watch in a horrible car crash kind of way.

    The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. G.B. Shaw

    by baghavadgita on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 07:12:49 AM PDT

    •  There's little support for leftist insurrections. (0+ / 0-)

      The previous one ended up essentially a proxy war, I doubt there'd be anyone on the communist side this time around.

      •  There wouldn't be a communist side (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladyjames, WB Reeves

        there would be an Anarchist side.  There is most definitely rising support for left insurrectionists in Greece at this point.

        There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 09:17:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't see it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe wobblie

          They seem content to play at revolution without actually doing any kind of basebuilding or organizing.  Spain, maybe; the 50-100,000 people in the CNT and CGT attest to that.  Without an economic base, all you can do is (figuratively) snipe from the sidelines.

          •  Given the Anarchists' role in the run up to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WB Reeves

            recent events I think they are in good position in regards to public perception among the working class and the poor, especially given the role of many unions.  When people see their leaders betray them again and again it makes the case for a leaderless movement and there is an ideology in place for that.  Add to it the role anarchists playing in the downfall of the Fascist regime and as a group they are one of the few places people can turn to.

            They should be working more on organizing economic bases, but as much unemployment as there is that seems less and less like it will bear fruit for the amount of effort that you have to put into it.

            There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

            by AoT on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 02:52:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Russia would get involved (0+ / 0-)

      And they would back the communist.

  •  as usual, civics is stronger in Eurpoe (9+ / 0-)

    these developments point to the idea that large portions of the European public have come to the conclusion that their major party apparatus no longer works in their interests. so they are looking for other political homes.
    this is a good development, if a bit late.
    How many decades before this movement goes beyond OWS and the teabaggers in the good old US of I Still Don't Get It?

    Class war has consequences, and we are living them.

    by kamarvt on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 07:19:28 AM PDT

    •  Civics is not stronger in Europe (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      beltane, Roger Fox, tacet, SingleVoter

      If it were, Europe would have the apparatus to effect change. Europe may have political movements, but it does not have governing regulations that would express the will of these movements.

      This means that there is an even greater distance between the aspirations of the electorate and the unelected Eurogroup who make all the relevant decisions. The European Parliament are an afterthought. They are roundly ridiculed, in fact, by the Eurogroup.

      Just to give you a little taste of the hubris, cynicism and chutzpah, read this:

      http://www.euractiv.com/...

         A high-ranking member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition has said that they are ready to accept "rhetorical" changes to the EU' fiscal compact treaty in case of a victory of socialist candidate François Hollande in the French presidential elections.

          On Monday (23 April) Andreas Schockenhoff, an MP and vice president of the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union group in the Bundestag, announced that the fiscal compact could be changed not on the substance, but on the rhetoric. "We can put in a fine paragraph on growth," he said.

          "This way, Hollande will be able to say at home: `I have ensured that the fiscal pact deals with growth'. These rhetorical things, we can do them."

      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

      by upstate NY on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 09:02:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Euro has to fall first (5+ / 0-)

        Then the European parliament will be weakened.
        Both of these things are inevitable if the economies of the PIGS continue to degrade.

        “Take not from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” - President Thomas Jefferson

        by gjohnsit on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 09:19:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's what so few people get (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gjohnsit, Trotskyrepublican, AoT

          Event Greeks not supporting the two major parties in Greece haven't come to that realization.

          The people, understandably, don't want austerity.  But they have yet to acknowledge that this would necessitate the departure of Greece from the Eurozone.

          You can't square the circle.  Remain in the Eurozone and you get austerity.  Leave the Eurozone, and the Greek central bank can stimulate a recovery.

          About a decade ago, I recall so many so-called experts argue that if Argentina abandoned the dollar as its currency it would implode, never to recover.

          Well, Argentina did abandon the dollar, and thrived moreso than any other country in South America.

          Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

          by PatriciaVa on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 11:00:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I noticed a lot of folks don't... (30+ / 0-)

    ...understand the French Front National. I happen to live in a region where a lot of voters voted for Marine Le Pen, so maybe I can provide a better picture, for better or worse.

    In the same way that when the French hear liberal" they think right-wing and Americans think left-wing, political labels are tricky.

    A large numbers of the FN are people who used to vote for the French Communist Party. They're xenophobes, but arguably not "right-wing" from an economic standpoint. They're in favor of a strong government interventionist policy, against privatizations, against austerity and against banksters, etc.

    Right now, 1/3rd of the FN voters intend to vote for the Socialist candidate in the second round, 1/3ed "don't know"and only 1.3rd is pro-Sarkozy.

    Regarding the racism/xenophobia, this is also misunderstood. In the countryside, the French are already xenophobes towards the people from the next village, or region, so they're even more so towards strangers and foreigners who are not from "here".

    There are no weird racist theories about superior races, IQ, etc. or separate bathrooms, etc. but they don't like too many foreigners from different cultures. The hot buttons for a FN voter (who might otherwise be very close to a communist voter) are (rightly or wrongly; I'm not defending, but explaining):  

    (1) the in-your-face religion exemplified by niqjabs, etc. there's a very strong historical tradition of "laicity" (secularism) in the province (esp., in the south) where they fought the interference of the Catholic Church for centuries, so they're dead set against that sort of things;

    (2) the perception that many "arabs" (which in fact are really second or third generation French) get too much free money from social services (it's the "welfare queen" meme in another guise);

    (3) the perception that a lot of petty crimes ("insecurity") in recent years come from either the "suburbs" (see 2 above) and/or traveling organized gangs of Roms from Rumania and Hungary.

    So an otherwise pro-left wing voter may switch to the FN because, unlike the Socialist or the farther left Front de Gauche, they incorporate the xenophobic arguments mentioned above in their platform; to the extent that Sarkozy does too (in a more veiled fashion), they might vote for him, but they are still against his economic policies.

    Hence the 1/3 - 1/3 - 1/3 split in the FN electorate.

    Further, Marine le Pen is looking to pick up seats at the Legislative Elections in June, and in order to do so, her best bet is to wreak havoc in Sarkozy's right-wing UMP party, so she can eventually pick up more Deputes (congressmen if you will) in a winner-take-all system.

    I see the French electorate massively opposed to the austerity programs and the economic policies dictated by the banksters and the City. That opposition is split between traditional left and far-right because of the added "xenophobia" factor, but the agendas on both sides are strikingly similar.

    Sorry if I rambled a bit....

    OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

    by Lupin on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 07:23:15 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for the background (7+ / 0-)

      The next question is how the coming victory of the Socialist Party will effect the EU and Euro? Of course that much is mostly speculation at this point.

      “Take not from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” - President Thomas Jefferson

      by gjohnsit on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 07:31:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  La Pen is so right on the Euro (0+ / 0-)

      And if I were a French citizen, I would vote on fiscal policy.  So I would vote La Pen, who wants France to leave the Eurozone.

      The two other parties (in the runoff) are leading the French into an alley through their continued support of the failed experiment known as the Eurozone.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

      by PatriciaVa on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 11:03:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Fench were originally opposed to joining (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PatriciaVa

        the Euro, as I recall.  I happened to be there when they were the last country to vote themselves in.  I wouldn't be surprised if they turn around and vote themselves out.

        Well, I guess I don't know what you mean by "equal justice under the law." - Bushy McSpokesperson

        by gatorcog on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 01:50:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Le Pen is racist and xenophobic (0+ / 0-)

        Even as a joke, please don't talk about voting for the far-right candidate.
        Think about all the people who are suffering from racism in France.

        •  Personally I make a distinction... (0+ / 0-)

          ...between racism which is all about "race" with its weird "theories", and "xenophobia" which is about "foreigners". I don't see a lot of racism here, but I see a fair amount of xenophobia, which targets the Brits or the Poles, or even other French from different regions, as well as "non-whites".

          OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

          by Lupin on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 11:35:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  My 2 cents (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, WB Reeves

      Because I have ties to France and visit now and then I follow events there closely.  I agree that the FN doesn't translate exactly to what we call "rightwing" in the States.  At the same time I think the French see clearly that the FN promotes nationalism (France for the French) that's a little bit different from what you describe.  Xenophobia sounds like a cover to me and I do think that there's a current in France that taps into negative beliefs and stereotypes about other nationalities.  

      The LePen name was familiar in France before Marine.  Events have presented an opportunity to make the case for borders.  Does the FN want to bring back borders because of a clear economic and fiscal rationale or is it because they think they're superior to the filthy, lazy Greeks who will drag them down.  

      I see opportunism of the worst sort in the FN.  It stokes prejudice and hatred without offering real solutions to the problems France faces.   You can see the opportunism in Marine's statement after the election that the FN is now the only opposition party.  It's like she doesn't remember the 17% result for the FN in the 2002 second round.

      "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

      by leftreborn on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 02:39:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  About FN voters (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WB Reeves

      This is not true:
      1/3rd of the FN voters intend to vote for the Socialist candidate in the second round, 1/3ed "don't know"and only 1.3rd is pro-Sarkozy".

      Every poll say otherwise.

      •  Sorry but you're wrong... (0+ / 0-)

        ...That was the poll printed in my newspaper yesterday morning. I think it was 30% of FN votes going to Hollande on Round 2, and 27% Don't Knows.

        OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

        by Lupin on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 11:31:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Extremist politics are often... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Iberian, mightymouse

    ...a result of major economic dislocation. Look for more of this in the United States in the future as well.

    The problem in Europe (just like the US) is that there are no good policies available to policymakers. Every potential policy is just a method of distributing the pain differently and most have similar results.

    The trick to situations like this one is not getting into them in the first place. Once you are, you're screwed.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 07:28:02 AM PDT

  •  No thanks. (0+ / 0-)

    20th century ideologies have nothing to offer me.

  •  Thanks for the diary. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LillithMc, gjohnsit, TomP

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." - Thomas Paine

    by blueoregon on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 08:13:46 AM PDT

  •  When global conservatism becomes painful (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, beltane, TomP, ActivistGuy, pot

    people look for another way.  Let's hope they find it.

    "I've seen the flame of hope among the hopeless/ And that was truly the biggest heartbreak of all" -- Bruce Cockburn

    by Cassiodorus on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 08:16:17 AM PDT

  •  This is something (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, TomP, native

    I've meaning to comment over here. When people say the system is crooked, there is no real democracy, the oligarchs dominate everything and so on who normally, if look at the historical record, benefits are autocrats from the right and the left.  

    I don´t think Europe is going there right now. Clearly in moment of severe recession is when you see people seeking any instant reprieve, and that is dangerous. In the crisis goes on at high levels and people go hungry trouble will boil up. Meanwhile is precisely the European system of social services what keeps people from slipping out.

    The parliamentarian systems with many parties gives us a magnified idea of how important is truly the rise of these movements. how is Golden down so different from the Tea party_

  •  Why do you think Golden Dawn will be a part (0+ / 0-)

    of the government? It is a lot more likely that they will be excluded. Good point overall though. Great Depression II indeed.

  •  We live in "interesting times" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lily O Lady, gjohnsit

    Curses!

    I miss Kurt Vonnegut so damn much these days

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 08:53:51 AM PDT

  •  Might quibble with the assertion that the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, wu ming

    political right-wing in the US and France is getting more fascistic, but this seems to be mostly correct:  

    Like in America, the right-wing is not on the rise in France. It is just getting more fascist. What is losing is center-right political parties.
    A decade ago in France LePen got 16.9% in the first round and 17.8% in the second round.  Appears that Marine LePen got 17.9% in the first (and only for her) round this year.  Less the the US dead-end support for Dick Cheney at 19-20%.  Suggesting that the size of the right-wing is relatively stable and impervious to much of anything.  That, however, is not the narrative the media presents.

    We get a handful of old, white people carrying misspelled signs and are told that the Tea Party (which isn't even a party) is a massive grassroots political force.  And with much hype that Marine LePen achieved a surprisingly strong third-place finish.  IOW ten folks gathered together and spouting violent, racist, nativist crap is always a sign of right-wing power and thousands gathered to support peace, equity, and equality means nothing.  A decade ago it seemed as if the internet could change that perceptual equation, but so far it's not working.  The neo-liberals remain in power in most of the world.          

  •  "Golden Dawn" is right in line with Greek (7+ / 0-)

    history.

    While many Americans see Greece, Spain and Portugal as places of too much social spending because of leftwing policies, they miss the fact that these countries are among the lowest spenders when it comes to social services, that the bureaucracy is much smaller per capita than most of Europe, and that the countries spent a chunk of the 20th century under right-wing fascist dictatorial rule.

    They missed out on the postwar industrial buildout precisely because the Cold War was playing out in these regions, and the suppression of communists in these countries contributed to a deep state (situated in the military, police forces, market distribution networks, etc., that still exists today).

    "Golden Dawn" is a group whose history traces from Nazi-ish movements in the pre-war era. Greece has never rid itself of this infestation, and indeed, these thugs and those who support them are a huge reason for Greece's main problems.

    Check out these videos of plants in the police forces of Greece and Spain:

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    This is on Greece's fascist period: http://www.youtube.com/...

    Vincent Navarro's article in Counterpunch gets to the heart of matters:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/...

    To understand the situation in the countries at the periphery of the European Union, four countries within the Eurozone, Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain, we have to understand the political context they have in common. All of them were governed by fascist or fascist-like dictatorships (Spain, Portugal, and Greece) or by authoritarian right-wing regimes.

    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

    by upstate NY on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 09:18:27 AM PDT

    •  Wrong video link (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gjohnsit

      Here's the right one: http://www.bbc.co.uk/...

      In the second film from the bottom, you can watch from the 6 minute mark on for interviews of young Greeks in a square. As the last man is being interviewed, you can hear a few friends say something to him in Greek. They are telling him to clam up immediately.

      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

      by upstate NY on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 09:47:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This video is so harrowing knowing that this is (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gjohnsit, marsanges, native

        how it happens. The functionaries are put in place, the leftwing is silenced, dissidents are jailed, but otherwise, life goes on normally. You can still go into the square and have coffee with friends, but you have to watch it.

        Life is normal like that in Tehran too. You can still have your parties, alcohol, women can wear mini-skirts, etc., as long as you don't mind the blackshirts barging in at any moment.

        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

        by upstate NY on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 09:49:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  thanks for much needed perspective. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      upstate NY
    •  The movie Z was about this. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      upstate NY
      They missed out on the postwar industrial buildout precisely because the Cold War was playing out in these regions, and the suppression of communists in these countries contributed to a deep state (situated in the military, police forces, market distribution networks, etc., that still exists today).
      Made 40 years ago and still relevant, more than ever.

      "Mistress of the Topaz" is now available in paperback! Link here: http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-55404-900-8

      by Kimball Cross on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 01:07:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Poetry corner (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit
    TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    --WB Yeats, The Second Coming
  •  Well described. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit

    Thatcherite/Reagan neo-liberalism failed.  There is no guarantee that a new left will arise and prevail, but there is an opening in Europe.  

    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

    by TomP on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 11:06:53 AM PDT

  •  most don't realize why the right is on the rise (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native

    In Europe.  My family is from the Netherlands, a place pretty famous for tolerance, but what's happened is nuts.

    The Dutch only passed their welfare state because it was a pretty homogenous community of similar individuals.  Now they are being flooded with immigrants from the ME and Africa.  These immigrants are far too much of a strain on their social safety net and are destroying it for the Dutch.  To make matters worse, they are demanding the Dutch culture change out of respect for Islam, and there have been high profile murders of Dutch citizens who spoke out against Islam.  Furthermore barbaric Sharia Law issues are now carried out in local communities.  Of course the Dutch must tolerate say female mutilation and beating your wife because that's their culture, but the immigrants do not have to tolerate nudity or alcohol because that's disrespecting Islam.

    So the once tolerant Dutch now have a problem.  The left has been unable to come up with a solution other than to cave to the immigrants on every damn issue all in the sake of being tolerant.  People are sick of it.  They don't see why everything should fall on the heads of the Dutch.  And why the Dutch should tolerate barbaric practices but the immigrants aren't asked to do anything.

    And with this giant failure of the left, only the hard right wing remained with open arms with a solution that wasn't "give them everything they want all the time, shut up and like it as well" and the people are running towards it.

    And this sort of issue isn't isolated to the Netherlands.

    Somethings got to give.  Many parts of Europe have slowly filled up with an economically depressed, highly religiously fundamentalist, and at times violent under class that came in from other nations.  And the lefts perscription for the past years of just ignoring the problem and pretending it will get better and making concession after concession has made it worse.

    If that's not fixed, a lot of Europe is going to turn pretty damn hard to the right.

    "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

    by overclocking on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 12:13:24 PM PDT

    •  Something tells me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pot

      that this isn't a true representation of the situation.

       These immigrants are far too much of a strain on their social safety net and are destroying it for the Dutch.  To make matters worse, they are demanding the Dutch culture change out of respect for Islam, and there have been high profile murders of Dutch citizens who spoke out against Islam.  Furthermore barbaric Sharia Law issues are now carried out in local communities.

      “Take not from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” - President Thomas Jefferson

      by gjohnsit on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 01:16:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It doesn't sound like the Dutch were ever really (0+ / 0-)

      tolerant.  They were just around a lot of the same people.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 02:37:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  neoliberalism isnt dead yet (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, AoT, native

    its parties are still strong - in Holland the VVD continues to be the major party and the PVV for all its populism is a seedling of that party. Together they are still good for 35 % or so.

    In Germany its a bit interesting. The FDP there is the traditional carrier of neoliberalism and it was voted at 15% at the last elections in a bout of electoral madness by the Germans - but has since collapsed to the 2% level. But the Germans havent turned to the left either - the actual socialist Linke isnt that much growing. (Not like in Holland where the SP reaps the short term benefit). Germans have massively turned to a new foundation the Pirates (actual name) which is an outgrowth of the earliest proto anonymous youth groups.

    We Pirates want to introduce an unconditional (public) basic income for every citizen ... It should:
    *guarantee the existence of everyone and enable everyone to participate in society;
    *be an individual legal entitlement and be granted without reference to needs and without requirement to work or any other compensatory activity.
    We know that an unconditional basic income will fundamentally change the structure of the welfare state. ...
    thats the fastest growing political party in Germany. Is this extremist? I wouldnt call it so ... it is radical surely. But it is also not a kind of "system challenge to capitalism" of which many (here) dream.
    •  Germany doesn't have the problems of Holland thoug (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marsanges, native

      Many of the Islamic immigrants to Germany are Turks.  They aren't the same sort of fundamentalist screw balls that the Netherlands idiotically allowed in and the coddled.  

      From a social standpoint this is huge.  For starters the immigrants aren't as much of a drain on the welfare state.  So there is less hostility to outsiders coming in and screwing things up.  For another they don't have the same sort of problems when it comes to slayings or attacks on citizens who said something negative about Islam, nor has the legal system been forced to tolerate certain Islamic practices.

      To put it another way, immigration is the cause of most of the turns to the far right in some of these countries.  But where the Netherlands all of a sudden found itself full of religious fundamentalists that would rival the craziest Saudis, the Germans got a lot of cosmopolitan Turks.  There just isn't the tension there.

      "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

      by overclocking on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 12:48:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Heh :) (0+ / 0-)

        as the saying goes, thats the eternal competition: Which is, populationwise, the second biggest Turkish city, after Istanbul --

        Berlin or Cologne?

        :)

        Holland is a weird country. It is not loved by the expat community and it does not love foreigners. It loves foreign countries instead, where one can make vacation. Like in the Dutch saying: France would be a great country, if there were not the French living in it.

        I think, that actually if you look for a country with some of the most successful (meaning - least worst) relationship to immigrants, outsiders, and newcomers, that might be Belgium. (nonwithstanding their racist Vlamingen)

        Our continent isnt in good shape. But we had a decade of mostly rightwing rule.

        •  What a load of crap! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gjohnsit, pot

          Excuse my French, but The Netherlands repeatedly got voted Europe's favorite country by numerous expat-forums and organizations.
          I'm a member of the expat-community in The Hague. Before that, I have lived in 6 different countries on three continents for each more than three years.
          No other country I lived in, was more welcoming, accommodating and warm for expats than The Netherlands!
          Sure, the atmosphere has changed over the last couple of years, but to state plainly that "Holland (sic!) does not love foreigners" is just a load of crap! Just like by far the most of plump generalizations like that.

          •  Interesting, (0+ / 0-)

            as I live here long, and was summarizing the feeling of the expats I see.

            I liked it here for the first couple years but that was before Pim Fortuyn, Verdonk, Wilders and the outburst of "zeggen wat je denkt", the breakthrough of intellectual hooliganism in the center of society.

            Lucky you if your circle feels at home. I also know that theres a wide array of Expats aroung the Hague that hardly really collides with the country they live in. Its not so here, up north (we work for an industrial giant, that may also be behind the difference in perception - we get Geen Stijl people unfiltered because we work squarely amongst them).

            The current level of xenophoby in Holland isnt just a figment of my imagination; its been fairly well noted over the years. I wish it werent so, and I cant say I know how it compares to places like Northern Italy or southern France. It may be worse there. That I can´t judge.

            •  Thanks for the clarification (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marsanges

              It certainly makes a difference where you work and with whom you work. And again, I myself lived through the changes you describe, too (I came here in 2000). Things certainly have changed, and as a politically very active person, I know a lot about rising xenophobia in the Netherlands. On the other hand, there is still a huge outpour of resistance, support and empathy whenever acts of discrimination against immigrants get public (think Mauro, for instance!).
              And still, personally, I never have had a discriminating, or even negative experience regarding my nationality. Not once! And I do live and work in close contact with Dutch people. I live, work, heck, even think in Dutch and the only expats I encounter are other daddy's on the playground of my daughter or when we have meet-ups.

      •  I'll ask my Islamic neighbour here in The Hague, (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, marsanges, gjohnsit, Jyrki, pot

        the best and most helpful I had my entire life, whether he is a "fundamentalist screw ball". He hails from Indonesia.
        Then I'll go on to my kind and gracious Islamic grocer, originating from Turkey and living/working down the road, whether he is a "religious fundamentalist that would rival the craziest Saudi".
        Afterwards I'll check in with my funny and very open-minded Islamic hairdresser from Morocco around the corner and ask him if he, amongst his friends en family, knows either a "fundamentalist screw ball" or a "religious fundamentalist that would rival the craziest Saudi".

        Don't know where you live or whether you have ever visited The Netherlands and actually TALKED to Islamic people here! I have close contacts with them in my neighborhood on a daily basis. Let me assure you, I have never met ONE "fundamentalist screw ball" or ONE "religious fundamentalist that would rival the craziest Saudi"! I know they exist, also in The Netherlands (and also, let me assure you, in Germany!). And surely, this tiny minority (the security services estimate they make up approx. 1-2% of all Islamic immigrants) can cause trouble and violence that has to be dealt with!
        But to generalize and state that The Netherlands only let in one "sort of fundamentalist screw balls" not only sounds borderline racist but is also a huge load of crap!

        •  It sounds like the Dutch version (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marsanges, gjohnsit

          of Reagan's welfare queen and strapping young bucks in the welfare office.  OH no!  The immigrants are stealing all our social services!

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 03:12:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  thats true (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elziax

          we have a mosque up street and those fellows are fine by all one hears (I never talked to one of them yet - cycling by usually - but its as unassuming as could be).

          fundamentalists I havent heard of yet in my town and no burqa like people; traditional maroccan garb sure but thats quite not the same. Fundamentalist muslims are not the problem in this town: what we do have is skinheads and Hells Angels and they dont tend to Allah.

          However economically the muslim - more correctly, the "strange looking Arab" population is as marginalized as can be. Down in the fish halls it´s all Iraqi working the shifts, and 2-3 Dutch foremen giving the commands. Out on the dunes where they break, well, stuff (I cant go into too much details to protect a bit privacy) its east Europeans doing the actual work; under Dutch command. One can say with reason that that has always been immigrant fate everywhere - the lowest, hardest and dirtiest jobs for the least money - but certainly, the Dutch are no iota better in this than anywhere else. But it also goes further than just that. In our workshop we use to have a constant stream of young interns, and they come from all over - many from engineering schools in France - and are generally mingling normally with all the other workers. But every now and then its an arab French (beurre, not blanc) and those are left alone. They aren´t being taken into lunch groups by the workers  or anything like that. That is interesting to see. That is plain ethnic based unmixing, to use the most neutral term I can come up with.

        •  my family is Dutch and I go there every year (0+ / 0-)

          And I never said everyone, just that it's problem is far worse compared to Germany.

          But stick your head in the ground and say it aint so, that's how the right wing gets into office.  Might as well vote for them  yourself.

          "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

          by overclocking on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 10:27:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you actually read my reaction to your post... (0+ / 0-)

            ...then you'd know that have never stuck "my head into the ground". I also, specifically have NOT said "it aint so":

            I know they exist, also in The Netherlands (and also, let me assure you, in Germany!). And surely, this tiny minority (the security services estimate they make up approx. 1-2% of all Islamic immigrants) can cause trouble and violence that has to be dealt with!
            But thanks for reacting.
    •  It's more in line (0+ / 0-)

      with the "precarity" discourse, "flexsecurity" as advocated by Foti etc.

      The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

      by ActivistGuy on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 04:59:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Spanish Revolution of the 1930s (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, AoT, ActivistGuy
    The Spanish Revolution was a workers' social revolution that began during the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and resulted in the widespread implementation of anarchist and more broadly libertarian socialist organizational principles throughout various portions of the country for two to three years, primarily Catalonia, Aragon, Andalusia, and parts of the Levante. Much of Spain's economy was put under worker control; in anarchist strongholds like Catalonia, the figure was as high as 75%...Factories were run through worker committees, agrarian areas became collectivised and run as libertarian communes. Even places like hotels, barber shops, and restaurants were collectivized and managed by their workers....
    It is well worth it to read more, including what George Orwell wrote, at:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...
  •  sounds more like too and fro (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pot

    In the end the bankers replace anyone that doesnt play ball.

    How many "Democratic" governments have been replaced with technocrats now?

  •  The Austrian Economists are not that (0+ / 0-)

    far behind, peddling their liberty door to door.  We'll all be carrying wheelbarrows full of gold ingots to the marketplace.

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