Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Frank Schnittger:
The right has gotten a lot smarter, and realises it cannot attack its own base - often retired people - by threatening social expenditures.

It's odd how this has never been true in the US. The radical kooky right has won precisely because it attacked its own base - and the base supported the attacks with a hearty cheer, while sawing its own branch off the tree while sitting on it.

I'm not sure how many people, even in Europe, are able to understand the reality of the link between higher taxation, higher prosperity for the majority, social investment, social support, and public spending.

Instead everything has been boiled down to 'taxes, bad - no taxes, good', with a side order of 'More Jobs™" when public support for an issue is looking a little ragged.

It's poodle politics - mammals trained to salivate on cue when a bell rings.

It's interesting as applied psychology, but depressing as practical policy.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Sep 30th, 2009 at 05:51:32 PM EST
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The rise of the "Conservative Movement" in the US has been on the back of the backlash to the Civil Rights Act and "dogwhistle" racism that can be rationalized away by the elements of the pre-Reagan Republican coalition that would be driven off by overt racism.

That provides much easier frame for attacking the social safety net, and so to a certain extent the American "Conservative Movement" has never needed to learn those lessons.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Sep 30th, 2009 at 10:13:23 PM EST
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It's interesting as applied psychology

admirable detachment...

practical policy? most impractical for future generations, more bad social engineering for squalid short termism 101.

depressing yes. it appears that the leverage the 1% have over the rest of us is purely in our own minds, yet we grant it obediently, content if we can survive with some semblance of soul intact, grateful for crumbs of joy if we're lucky.
our leaders are weak, the people are stronger, we just haven't quite grocked it yet, how afraid they should be if we unite in displeasure.

france is the only country in europe where protest is not (perceived as) 'alternative' or 'fringe', (easily dissmissable) and it's serious protest at that, the effective kind.

governments back down in front of that kind of resolution. yet the french do it without target leaders, communally enough to avoid the trap of having conspicuous spokesmen (or idealogies) on whom the strikers build too strong a dependence, and without whom there is insufficient will to stand strong against exploitation.

today 150,000 protestors showed up in rome to try and affect the media climate here, even d'alema said good things about too much media power and pressure on a free press in the hands of one man being seen as essentially undemocratic by the majority of citizens.

one wonders if it will have any effect.

people seem more interested in rome and venice vying for the olympics in 2020...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Oct 3rd, 2009 at 01:44:08 PM EST
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