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.
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.