FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Europe: Green Surges, Older Parties Erode, Far Right Gains

Green parties made stunning gains in the European Elections, due to the strength of many younger voters, the grass roots insurgency of ecological school strikes and marches, and the tenacity of Green Party activists.

The older mainstream parties, both center-right and social democratic, received a mix of drubbing demotions and eroding support.

The far right nationalists also made gains, notably in France and Italy. The far right also gained less dramatically in Germany. I have added links and stories below from France 24 and The Guardian.

There are lessons here not only for European Greens and socialists, but for class conscious popular resistance in the United States. Any left party that is not also a party of ecosocialism deserves the dustbin of history. As for the Green Party of the United States, some harsh home truths are in order.

The Green Party here has a solid program of peace, economic democracy, and ecological sanity. Howie Hawkins is a fine representative of the strongly socialist wing of this party, and deserves support as a presidential candidate.

However, the Green Party must put its house in order. At the national level, there must be living wages for working members who have the job of getting the message out to the public and staffing the bigger campaigns. Donated labor can go only so far, and in electoral politics amateurism is fatal.

2020 will be a critical year for the Democratic Party, because a growing sector of young socialists will be making the effort to break the death grip of the old guard in the DNC and the DCCC. Some of the reformers will soon be bribed and recruited as party functionaries. Others will carry on trying to reform the party from within. And others will finally split to the independent left. Therefore keep the bridges of communication open.

Already, Biden stands out as the very incarnation of reflexive and regressive “centrism.” So far he offers only one dumb drumbeat response when asked to outline actual public policies: “Defeat Trump.” Not inspiring and more importantly not strategic. Especially since career politicians of the Democratic Party labored mightily, if unwittingly, to put Trump in power. Through their crass careerism, their phony populism, and above all their corporate loyalties.

The European Elections also underscore a generational divide in politics. This does not mean that simply being young guarantees sympathy with either standard social democracy or with explicit democratic socialism. On the contrary, class loyalties also count among the young, and one European commenter noted that Macron’s base is a coalition of “hipsters and the bourgeoisie.”

People in their fifties and sixties, with a lifetime of vote by rote habits, will not easily become rebels in the voting booth. But this does not mean breaking communication with them, only being focused in our attempts to reinvent democracy from the ground up. Dismissing the whole realm of electoral politics is a dead end.

We are in the middle of a long protracted struggle involving dual power. The power of insurgent and class conscious social movements every day of the year is ours already. Then we also have the power of using strategic voting, and demanding  electoral reforms such as abolition of the Electoral College, proportional representation, and instant run off voting. We cannot wish away the obstacles, but this is a good working rule: Over, under and around.

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
November 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Meet Ukraine: America’s Newest “Strategic Ally”
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Frankenstein Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Ukraine in the Membrane
Jonathan Steele
The OPCW and Douma: Chemical Weapons Watchdog Accused of Evidence-Tampering by Its Own Inspectors
Kathleen Wallace
A Gangster for Capitalism: Next Up, Bolivia
Andrew Levine
Get Trump First, But Then…
Thomas Knapp
Trump’s Democratic Critics Want it Both Ways on Biden, Clinton
Ipek S. Burnett
The United States Needs Citizens Like You, Dreamer
Michael Welton
Fundamentalism as Speechlessness
David Rosen
A Century of Prohibition
Nino Pagliccia
Morales: Bolivia Suffers an Assault on the Power of the People
Dave Lindorff
When an Elected Government Falls in South America, as in Bolivia, Look For a US Role
John Grant
Drones, Guns and Abject Heroes in America
Clark T. Scott
Bolivia and the Loud Silence
Manuel García, Jr.
The Truthiest Reality of Global Warming
Ramzy Baroud
A Lesson for the Palestinian Leadership: Real Reasons behind Israel’s Arrest and Release of Labadi, Mi’ri
Charles McKelvey
The USA “Defends” Its Blockade, and Cuba Responds
Louis Proyect
Noel Ignatiev: Remembering a Comrade and a Friend
John W. Whitehead
Casualties of War: Military Veterans Have Become America’s Walking Wounded
Patrick Bond
As Brazil’s ex-President Lula is Set Free and BRICS Leaders Summit, What Lessons From the Workers Party for Fighting Global Neoliberalism?
Alexandra Early
Labor Opponents of Single Payer Don’t  Speak For Low Wage Union Members
Pete Dolack
Resisting Misleading Narratives About Pacifica Radio
Edward Hunt
It’s Still Not Too Late for Rojava
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Why Aren’t Americans Rising up Like the People of Chile and Lebanon?
Nicolas Lalaguna
Voting on the Future of Life on Earth
Jill Richardson
The EPA’s War on Science Continues
Lawrence Davidson
The Problem of Localized Ethics
Richard Hardigan
Europe’s Shameful Treatment of Refugees: Fire in Greek Camp Highlights Appalling Conditions
Judith Deutsch
Permanent War: the Drive to Emasculate
David Swanson
Why War Deaths Increase After Wars
Raouf Halaby
94 Well-Lived Years and the $27 Traffic Fine
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Coups-for-Green-Energy Added to Wars-For-Oil
Andrea Flynn
What Breast Cancer Taught Me About Health Care
Negin Owliaei
Time for a Billionaire Ban
Binoy Kampmark
Business as Usual: Evo Morales and the Coup Condition
Bernard Marszalek
Toward a Counterculture of Rebellion
Brian Horejsi
The Benefits of Environmental Citizenship
Brian Cloughley
All That Gunsmoke
Graham Peebles
Why is there so Much Wrong in Our Society?
Jonah Raskin
Black, Blue, Jazzy and Beat Down to His Bones: Being Bob Kaufman
John Kendall Hawkins
Treason as a Lifestyle: I’ll Drink to That
Manuel García, Jr.
Heartrending Antiwar Songs
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
Poetry and Political Struggle: The Dialectics of Rhyme
Ben Terrall
The Rise of Silicon Valley
David Yearsley
Performance Anxiety
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail