The center-right has begun to collapse

Back in July I noted how the center-right parties were running into trouble around the world.

To put this into perspective, the center-left has been collapsing across the western world for about a decade now. In many European nation, the center-left has either ceased to exist, or become irrelevant.
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Until now this collapse has been to the advantage of the center-right, although it has increasingly helped both the far-right and far-left. In the short-run, centrists that often voted for the neoliberal center-left simply moved to the neoliberal center-right.
But that's not a sustainable situation and people are starting to notice.

The second wheel is starting to fall off Europe’s political wagon.

After the center left suffered a working-class revolt against globalization and austerity, the mainstream pro-European center right is being shredded by voters demanding tougher action against migration.

Battered by a growing assault from the Euroskeptic populist right, moderate conservatives from Berlin to Paris and Rome are torn between trying to outbid their tormentors with anti-immigration rhetoric or sticking to a more liberal, pro-European message.

The neoliberal center-right is closer to the corporate, oligarchic rule that the world elites want. So it's no surprise that the neoliberal center-left collapsed 10 years ago, while the neoliberal center-right has only just started falling apart.
Nevertheless, the neoliberal center-right has absolutely no vision and no answers for the real world problems of the working class. It only has cultural things that it opposes.
People are going to figure this out.

Mainstream center-right parties elsewhere in Europe are fracturing or being outflanked by right-wing populists riding a wave of hostility to immigration and Islam, and austerity fatigue.

In Italy, center-right billionaire Silvio Berlusconi thought he could outsmart the extreme right anti-immigrant League and the post-fascist Brothers of Italy. Sort of like how Hindenburg and Franz von Papen thought that Hitler could be controlled by the land-owning class if they made him Chancellor.
Instead Forza Italia party has been sidelined.

In Sweden both the center-left and center-right are in decline.
In Hungary and Poland the far-right parties have seized and consolidated control.
Brazil is about to elect a racist authoritarian.

In Bavaria, Merkel's center-right allies and the center-left Social Democratic party were nearly wiped out.
In their place the far-right anti-immigration Alternative für Deutschland made big gains, but so did the leftists Greens.

So far the media has portrayed this as a far-right danger to a neoliberal centrist status quo, and that certainly is the biggest part of the story.
But a significant part of the story that isn't talked about much is the rise of a leftist alternative to the neoliberal center.

In Britain the center-right Tories are foundering on Brexit.

This weekend – after more than half a million people marched through London calling for a second referendum on Brexit, the Conservative party – the most successful political fighting force in British history – is bitterly divided over our future in Europe and over who should be its leader, just when the country needs it to show maximum unity, clarity and strength of purpose. “We are essentially dysfunctional at a moment of national crisis,” was how one ex-minister, recently resigned from the government, put it.

Despite an unprecedented news media assault, leftist Jeremy Corbyn will still defeat the likely Tory leader in an election.

In France, neoliberal centrist and globalist darling Macron is sinking fast in the polls.
While the news media talks endlessly about the far-right National Front, the French see the far-left Melenchon as being the primary opposition.

The poll for Paris Match and Sud Radio showed 45 percent of voters say Melenchon’s ‘France Unbowed’ party provides the strongest opposition to Macron.

That is more than twice the figure for the conservative Republicans (LR) or the far-right National Front (FN). Only 8 percent mentioned the Socialists. France Unbowed has been much more vocal than the conservatives or Socialists.

The Republicans have been subdued in the wake of their defeat in the presidential election and divided over what stance to take toward Macron, whose economic policies resemble what many in their party have asked for for years.

Like Corbyn, the political elites hate Melenchon.

In Mexico the first real leftist in memory, Lopez Obrador, is about to become president.
And of course, in the U.S., for the first time in generations, a progressive insurgency is happening in the Democratic Party (with limited success).

So what do all of these countries have in common? What changed?
It isn't immigration. Blaming politically and economically disenfranchised immigrants won't change anything.
What they all have in common is a corporate-controlled, neoliberal, globalist ruling elite that simply doesn't care about the working class. Only the left has a real answer to this political environment, which is why the political and economic elites would rather embrace the far-right.

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or a somewhat more pc version of Republicans, namely Al From and the Clintons, also poisoned Europe with it.

From played a prominent role in the 1992 election of President Bill Clinton – and served as Domestic Policy Advisor to the Clinton Transition – prompting USA Today to write: "The ideas at the crux of the Clinton candidacy were largely drafted by the DLC."[16]

Today, many of the ideas that comprise the core of the agenda of the Democratic Party's conservative wing come from work done under From's leadership at the DLC. National service, an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit, welfare reform, charter schools, community policing, expanded trade and re-inventing government were all championed by scholars and analysts at the DLC before becoming public policy.[17]

In 1998, with First Lady Hillary Clinton, From began a dialogue with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other world leaders, and the DLC brand – known as The Third Way – became a model for resurgent liberal governments around the globe.[18]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_From#The_Democratic_Leadership_Council

I wonder if many Europeans know that.

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dance you monster's picture

. . . not to rain on your essay, but . . .

the left has a real answer to this political environment

. . . I'm still waiting to see a Left and a real answer. Some electoral inroads have been taking place, and some arguments made, but it's that little thing about bringing about a change that seems elusive. That's within the system.

Outside the system, I see nuthin'.

This movie sucks. Some of the actors may be okay, but the script needs a total rewrite.

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@dance you monster
The two things have little to do with each other.

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@gjohnsit "Nevertheless, the neoliberal center-right has absolutely no vision and no answers for the real world problems of the working class. It only has cultural things that it opposes.
People are going to figure this out."

That is exactly what the right (Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Kelly Conway) says about the left.

Who exactly is this left that you think will solve problems? To me, the left is a quagmire of identity politics.

I guess you don't realize that Trump is trying to bring back jobs with his tariff and trade policies. This effort has had some success (not to you, though). I would call that a real world solution. His tax cuts for the non-wealthy do put more money in the pocket of consumers to stimulate the economy. I would call that a real world solution.

This does not mean that I agree with most of what Trump has done.

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dfarrah

@dfarrah

Who exactly is this left that you think will solve problems? To me, the left is a quagmire of identity politics.

You've read enough of my essays to know the answer to that question.

I guess you don't realize that Trump is trying to bring back jobs with his tariff and trade policies. This effort has had some success (not to you, though).

It hasn't had any success at all. Just look at our trade deficit with China.
Now would be a good time for you to produce your evidence.

I would call that a real world solution. His tax cuts for the non-wealthy do put more money in the pocket of consumers to stimulate the economy. I would call that a real world solution.

If that was true. I've already written essays why this isn't true.

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snoopydawg's picture

@dfarrah

this year because of the tax bill. In order to squeeze it through the republicans took away a lot of exemptions people could claim on their taxes. Including state income taxes. People who pay high property taxes don't get to claim them anymore and these are just a few ways the little people are going to get screwed on. The tax cuts was a huge transfer of wealth and it's being used to go after SS, Medicaid and Medicare. Yay! Some people are seeing an extra $10-40 in their pay checks. The rich are seeing thousands and the big banks have seen $9 million. Oh well. If this isn't enough good news then there's the $3 trillion tax cut in the pipeline. So what if granny starves and is homeless. The rich can buy another house. Or yacht, or ...

About the jobs people are getting, during Obama's tenure most of them were low wage and part time. Has Trump fixed that? Millions of people don't have $500 for emergencies.

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Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

Wink's picture

to happen anytime soon.
@dance you monster
There's some, but damn little interest in "building a new Left party" in my neck of the woods, most choosing instead to "elect better Dims and reform from within."
That may change in 2020, depending on 2018 results with the likes of more AO-Cs elected - and any difference they might make - but for now it's "stay the course" and see what happens.
And it looks like Brindisi in NY-22 is getting closer to pulling even with the Repub incumbent! If NY-21 and 22 flip from red to blue I can all but guarantee a blue wave. I do not see these districts being "outliers," and if they come in for the blue team Congress flips. Simple as that. That said, both blue candidates are down, but closing the gap. So, as always, depends on turnout. But there is no hunger that I see here for building a 3rd party.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-1.9) All about building progressive media.

@Wink

better Dems remains to be seen. Also remaining to be seen, if those being elected are better Dems, whether they will remain better Dems once sworn in; whether and when they will be able to outvote the unbetter Dems; and whether unbetter Dems will allow reform from within. Meanwhile, I'm voting Green.

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Wink's picture

going to happen in one cycle.
@HenryAWallace
Or two! But I fully expect a Blue majority in both the House and Senate in 2020 - would be shocked if that doesn't happen, given the numbers - and if we don't see a decided shift (and change) in the makeup of Team Blue by 2024 then it isn't going to happen.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-1.9) All about building progressive media.

@Wink
but maybe that's because you keep calling it a "3rd party". If we just came out and said it - that we want to replace the corruptocrats people would join in droves. No one supports a wishy-washy half committed idea.

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A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

Wink's picture

do we build such a creature??
@doh1304
If I had the foggiest of clues I would be doing it.
But I don't. And, frankly, neither does anyone else apparently.
So, tired of waiting for that to happen, I stick with what I know.
But, yeah, I'm not against it. More power to those that can pull it off!
I'm just too damned old to wait. Will work with what I know.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-1.9) All about building progressive media.

immigration is not just the wave that invigorated the populist right, It is the wave that, along with wage stagnation (and they are related whether we admit it or not) has invigorated the working class left. Don't assume that anti immigration is nothing but racism; that's nothing but snobbery. We are alienating people and we deserve it. There are legitimate arguments against immigration. Period. We have to address it. Ultimately we have to stop it.
But we have to address it legitimately. What causes immigration? Poverty, war, and climate changer. We have to do something positive about 3rd world poverty, we have to stop fighting wars on their land, and we have to keep the 3rd world habitable.

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A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

@doh1304

Don't assume that anti immigration is nothing but racism; that's nothing but snobbery. We are alienating people and we deserve it. There are legitimate arguments against immigration. Period. We have to address it.

Immigration is a complicated issue that requires a measured approach.

That being said, that is NOT how the far-right parties approaches the issue.
Every single one of them are scapegoating.

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Wink's picture

And tRump has a real dilemma on his hands:
@doh1304
how to stop the thundering hordes making their way thru Mexico on the way to the Rio Grande??
Machine guns? Drones?
I suspect it's going to be bloody.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-1.9) All about building progressive media.

2024 is over six global warming and medical bankrupty years away--and I'm guessing that, if Democrats have not reformed the party from within by then, at least some loyal Democrats will say we should give it a few more cycles.

Democrats have had since about 1830; and they still are far away from where Greens started.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-08/clintons-to-start-13-...

https://theintercept.com/2018/04/26/steny-hoyer-audio-levi-tillemann/

https://twitter.com/JordanChariton/status/1054164366965305344?s=19

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/06/07/despite-medicare-all-suppor...

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