Jul 302018
 July 30, 2018  Posted by at 1:48 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Pablo Picasso Family of Saltimbanques 1905


Why did Britain vote Yes in the Brexit vote Cameron called? To a large degree to protest policies he himself imposed. For many it’s still a mystery ‘mechanism’, but not for all. People like Steve Bannon understand it very well. That is, austerity and mass migration make voters turn to the political right. Even if they are initiated by the right. When Britain’s Tories under David Cameron and George Osborne began ripping apart much of the country’s institutions and infrastructure, they knew that their austerity measures would only make their party stronger.

The incompetence of Theresa May and her ministers on Brexit will lead to an almighty backlash, and soon, but then Boris Johnson or Jacob Rees-Mogg, far to the right of May, will take over. Labour under Corbyn doesn’t stand a chance. The same pattern repeats itself everywhere, and nobody knows how to stop it. How could they if and when they don’t understand it?

For the right, this is a ‘can’t lose’, and they’re not done. That’s why Steve Bannon is touring Europe. It’s easy pickings: a rightwing government that imposes austerity measures will be rewarded for it with more voters. If it also lets in large numbers of migrants, even more votes. Can’t lose. The migration streams in Europe are supported by the right, because they know that subsequently opposing them will keep them in power.

Under political systems as we once knew them, you’d expect people to turn left instead of right, but there is no left left to vote for. What’s left of what was once left, has become an indistinguishable part of a big shapeless blob in the center -or even center-right- of our political systems. Or perhaps we should say: the systems as we once knew them. And it’s indeed just what’s left of the left, which in most cases is very little. In many countries, the UK, Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, formerly left parties have been all but extinguished, former ‘glory’ brought to its knees.

Spain is an exception, but leftwing PM Pablo Sanchez seems to have landed his job primarily by playing a better game of chess -or poker- than his opponents when he forced then-PM Mariano Rajoy out. But just wait till you see what happens when refugees and migrants begin flooding into Spain, instead of Greece and Italy, for real. That development has already started. Italy closed its borders, Spain opened them. It will lead to a rightwing government in Madrid, too.

This is not about opinion. it’s simply what happens. When there is no left to turn to to halt austerity, let alone temper migration numbers, people will turn to the only alternative available to them. Right. The same right that is more than ready to magnify the problems, whether it’s migration or increasing levels of poverty. They win either way.


In Germany, the leftwing SDP hardly exists anymore. Center-right Angela Merkel, Queen of Europe, opened the doors of the nation and whaddaya know, parties to her right started growing. If I can insert one bit of opinion here, I’d say letting one million migrants into your country in one year is asking for trouble. Migration must always take place in moderation, especially when the difference in wealth between an existing population and new arrivals is very large. It’s different in Turkey or Lebanon, where wealth disparities are much smaller.

And those countries are already largely Muslim, whereas allowing many people into your country who have completely different religions and worldviews is a whole different game. Canada does this -relatively- well: new arrivals are Canadian first, and Muslim or Syrian after. European countries have never mastered that model; that’s why they have ghetto’s and assorted other problems. Migration and assimilation must be two sides of the same coin, or you have not immigration but an invasion.

The right can do what it wants and still win and get bigger, while privatizing everything in sight and robbing the public of all they once owed. And then that same public will vote for them again. It’s neoliberal and neocon and there’s nobody left to explain, let alone fight it. And if there were, there’s a formidable propaganda machine waiting in the wings, and they’ve been at it for a while now. The -formerly- left has no such machine. The best they can do is blame Russia. But they themselves are to blame, not Moscow.


So the people vote against their own best interests, and it’s not even very hard to get them to do that anymore. All you need to do is deprive them of all other options. Once the left wing becomes part of the center, whether it’s in the US or any of many European countries, rien ne va plus. The die has been cast.

The left must turn against neoliberalism, but it has no economists to explain the reason why, and no leaders who understand economics. So they have become neoliberalists themselves. They’re all stuck in the austerity model, and nobody gets how damaging it is to take a meat cleaver to an already suffering economy. The people of Greece can explain that one.

Economies function -or not- because of money flowing through them. You can cut away some of the fat in lean times, but you can’t cut away the arteries. Austerity is deadly to an economy, but the irony is that it makes people vote for those who first, initiate it, and second, promote more austerity.

I don’t want to insert any political opinions, but I do think that for a society, and an economy, to properly function there needs to be a balance, between left and right, between rich and poor, between owners and workers. We’re far away from any such balance wherever I look. And as I’ve said before, that’s why we have Trump.

To reveal what has so far remained hidden: everything done under the guise of ‘left’ that was merely more neoliberalism. To allow people who don’t agree with him to form an opinion and an identity, something they thought was not necessary under neoliberals like Obama or Tony Blair or Merkel. I don’t see any of that happening though, and that means many more years of Trump and other rightwing dominance.

If the answer to austerity is to vote for more austerity, what will be the answer to collapsing stock- and housing markets? I have an idea. And it doesn’t include Jeremy Corbyn. Or Bernie Sanders.



Home Forums Austerity and Mass Migration

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
  • #42024

    Pablo Picasso Family of Saltimbanques 1905   Why did Britain vote Yes in the Brexit vote Cameron called? To a large degree to protest policies he
    [See the full post at: Austerity and Mass Migration]

    V. Arnold

    …and then there is the U.S.’s rapid and steep decline;

    Another brick in the wall…
    Disgusting elitist depravity and the final definition of the class divisions within the borders of the U.S.A.; fuck yeah!

    The rich, erroniously called the elite; are bottom feeders; the scum of their respective societies.
    They lack a liberal arts education; they lack true manners; and worst of all, compassion escapes them completely.
    Selfish beyond measure; there is no excuse for them or, for that matter justification.
    If, pray tell, they died; not one would be counted or missed…

    Dr. D

    The Left *could* win, if only they coordinated a sensible platform and policy. It’s not even all that hard, and in fact doesn’t need to work. It never worked before, but they had one, because they could follow all parties’ political tradition of blaming the other side when it fails. I’ve been astonished that the Left here — two years later! — is still running the catastrophically losing ’16 election with no platform whatsoever but “Russia”, to the apoplexy of Progressives like Jimmy Dore, who actually have goals, platforms, and support. They even have ways to pay for it.

    Since I don’t think any political party has ever tried to win the voters by promising nothing and having no platform, one has to wonder if this is simply some kind of 1,000-year oversight. What are they getting by completely abdicating all politics of all sorts to essentially no one? Giving all to the other side, while decrying the enemy?

    “Mr. Left: What do you want?” Not them. “Okay, great, so how do you solve our problems instead?” Hitlerbigotdeplorablerussia. Wow, lot to vote for there. And I don’t follow a lot of Europe, but certainly Corbyn has been bogged down in formulating anything comprehensive, which isn’t that hard. “..to secure [our] rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed . . .” Therefore, whatever banks and corporations want to do, Governments are the advocates for the People. But that would require confronting banks, corporations, military contractors, and the other oversized creatures at the feed trough, and no one is willing to do that. Cue Assange.

    Or are they? While the Left is in an unexpected sling, collapsing and failing to do the simplest work — forming a worldview and persuading others — the Right also has failed, mostly here, but to some extent everywhere. The difference is the OLD right collapsed and has been taken up by a NEW right that is substantially different. Who would have expected the Right would become the anti-war party? Who would have thought they would be the anti DoJ, police, and police-state party? How about the anti war-contractor-bribing-government party? Then anti war-on-drugs party? The anti incumbent party? How about the anti billionaire party? Because they’re now all these things, and in so doing are no longer the RINO Party, although the name lives on. History shows that in these turns, one of the parties disappears, the Federalists or the Whig party, or so on. However, when the national coin transforms, the other face must also transform – after Lincoln, the Democrats were never the same either.

    That’s not untrue of the European parties either. You can’t attract voters to the AdF or UKIP or something by being immediately corrupt and having no ideas…that comes later on. You can’t attract them by saying “we’re Hitler. Killkillkill.” Even Hitler never did that. So at the moment they are saying the obvious and asking the obvious, and as we well see, the obvious is being universally rejected. …Like stalling for 2 years of not-enough-time until there are 2 weeks, then running your people into the wall and laughing hysterically as debt and crime spirals and the National Health fails.

    But the point here was that while the Left suspiciously has no platform — a thing never seen before in history, the Right is transforming as well. Into something new and unexpected, and certainly not fairly reported. Time will tell, we’re watching.

    Ken Barrows

    I don’t mind austerity so much but it has to start at the top


    My analysis is completely different from yours.

    The current, mainstream left (socialist parties) has since the days of Reagan/Thatcher morphed from champions of the working class to caviar left. They are no longer in touch with what used to be called the working class. Rather, they actively despise, hate the rubes. Economically, they have gone along with if not implemented the same “free trade” agreements that resulted in the deindustrialization of the West that did so much to throw the former proletariat into insecurity if not actual hard times. In addition, the left has embraced immigration from the third world that was in direct competition, not with academia or the media/culture types that now set the agenda for the “left”, but with… the working class. Not to mention that ordinary citizens have this deplorable attachment to their national culture, and are the ones who have to rub shoulders with an immigrant underclass that is often criminal, and… alien. So ordinary westerners know that they cannot expect any salvation from the left. It is pretty much on board with the economic agenda set by the right, and is not much more than a republican party with DIVERSITY! Hence, as everyone can notice, the socialist parties losing voters.

    The traditional right has undergone another, different mutation. It used to champion the Nation, traditional values, faith. It has pretty much shed all of those trappings. It celebrates the globalization of the world, the Uber-ization and Nike-ization of the economy. The traditional right might now and then make noise about limiting immigration, but whenever it is in power, and as you point out, it does absolutely nothing. It is pretty much on board with the cultural and demographic agenda set by the left, and is not much more than a socialist party with lower taxes.

    So it has dawned on ordinary citizens of the western world that NO PARTY IS ON THEIR SIDE. This is why we have witnessed the rise of populist parties (and the Trump phenom which is abhorrent to much of its own party). But the left is also seeing a split. We see in Sanders, in Corbyn, in Mélenchon a left that wants to split from, replace or take over its corporate-friendly mainstream party.

    When you say that more immigration only leads to people voting for the right, it is incorrect. The people fed up with immigration no longer vote traditional right, they vote maverick right, populist right. And wouldn’t you know it, Salvini is actually taking drastic steps to reduce uncontrolled immigration with immediate results and growing popularity – which has you writing scathing, devastatingly disapproving essays.

    Now on to austerity. No one likes austerity. Austerity is just a reminder to live within one’s means. And states’ spending has grown out of control. In part due to globalization, fiscal optimization by corporations, well-paying jobs being offshored to wherever labor is cheap and docile, revenues are down and there is a worrisome and growing fraction of the population that is not working that needs to be taken care of. Corporate tax revenues going down, expenses going up, and a plethora of new initiatives and rights and whatnot. So far government have been able to keep spending money they do not have by borrowing it and pretending everything is under control, pacifying discontents with pretend money. After now nearly 10 years of economic expansion, governments are still piling up deficits. What is going to happen if a recession hits? Contrary to what you assert, austerity is unpopular. Parties that still try to enforce a little fiscal discipline do get booted out of power, and another party voted in that brings back the punching bowl and keeps the party going. Free money! Try saying no! Won’t you have some more of this… free money? The truth is… we are poorer than we think. But we cannot bring ourselves to face reality.

    V. Arnold

    Won’t you have some more of this… free money? The truth is… we are poorer than we think. But we cannot bring ourselves to face reality.

    That last sentence says it all.
    The opioid addiction pandemic is a direct projection of our refusal to see our true position and fighting tooth and nail to maintain that denial…


    I’m trying to get what you said, Tabarnick, but it’s not easy.

    When you say that more immigration only leads to people voting for the right, it is incorrect. The people fed up with immigration no longer vote traditional right, they vote maverick right, populist right.

    Eh, that’s what I said.

    Contrary to what you assert, austerity is unpopular.

    I never asserted that austerity is popular. Just that parties that impose austerity get re-elected. That is due to a lack of insight on the part of politicians, and a lack of choices for voters.

    Cameron and Osborne squeezed Britain dry, and then used the dissatisfaction with their own policies to win the Brexit vote.


    I wrote: “The people fed up with immigration no longer vote traditional right, they vote maverick right, populist right.” to which you replied: “Eh, that’s what I said.”

    When you speak of “mass migration initiated by the right” or “If it also lets in large numbers of migrants, even more votes” or “The migration streams in Europe are supported by the right”, you’re not talking about Salvini and his Lega, Donald Trump or the Front National (I hope!). You are talking about Sarkozy, or Never Trump republicans, or John Major or David Cameron conservatives, the hypocritical mainstream rightwing that occasionally makes noise about immigration while doing nothing about it when in power. *That* rightwing is in trouble. Their gig is up. They no longer get more votes if they sit on their hands.


    @Raúl Ilargi Meijer
    “I never asserted that austerity is popular.”

    Then you have a strange way of expressing it, since you wrote:

    “a rightwing government that imposes austerity measures will be rewarded for it with more voters” and “[Britain’s Tories] knew that their austerity measures would only make their party stronger”


    I thought I made clear that people vote against austerity but no longer have the option of voting left. So their ‘protest’ vote goes to the very people who impose austerity.


    The mainstream left that we have in western countries is not your grandfather’s left, on that we agree. But in which country is the left the fiscal hawk and austerity champion while the mainstream right is the irresponsible spendthrift? US? UK? France? Canada? Germany? Where?

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.