Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
In Ireland the No vote in the Referendum (53% last time and likely to be c. 40% this time) is made up of c. 35% right wing neo-liberal business types, fundamentalist Catholics, and xenophobic nationalists - and perhaps 5% socialist/anarchist/pacifists/dissident greens .  So I wouldn't call 40-50% of the vote which is (relatively speaking) extreme left and right insignificant.

If anything, the 50=60%% centre/establishment vote is in danger of imploding under the pressure of economic collapse.

So I think the Goldfarb thesis is ivory tower navel gazing at its worst.  He needs to get out more.  

The right has gotten a lot smarter, and realises it cannot attack its own base - often retired people - by threatening social expenditures.  However the trend is still towards globalisation, market liberalisation, privatisation, and gross global non-renewable resource profligacy.

So some of the social democrat "installed base" of social reforms are very difficult to attack directly and ideologically.  But even those social democrat "solutions" to inequality and injustice are inadequate in a world of peak oil, food insecurity, and climate change.  So if anything we are seeing an increasing bifurcation because centrist social democrats have lost their way.  Euroscepticism, and nationalism are on the rise and have moved from being fringe to mainstream in many instances.

I haven't bothered reading his story, but it seems Goldfarb doesn't see the storms ahead.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 29th, 2009 at 01:02:56 PM EST

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