Thu May 15th, 2008 at 07:47:35 PM EST
All the time people here who have otherwise a very left rhethoric speak about the rescue of the 'middle class', and how great Europe is.
When I read German blogs and comments, left leaning people may speak sometimes as well of the middle class, but never will say anything is good in Germany. How comes this discrepancy?
My provocative thesis here: ETers are to a big chunk salon socialists.
When euamerican wrote his diary A needed place for "anti-Americanism" today, and I saw the headline, I felt guilty. I thought it was snark at all those people who had like me posted critical comments and recently even a diary about the USA, and how this is just a group dynamical thing or something like that. Not that I believe that anything I wrote was wrong or in bad faith. But it is a bit like beating up an already lying victim.
My experience is that nobody in Europe wants American conditions. If you read ultra neoliberals like Hans-Werner Sinn, and look to his concrete policy proposals, the US democrats are economic a hard right party (and yes, including Barak Obama) even compared to him. They share only the worst economic aspects of other left parties, namely protectionism for middle class Americans, while the poor in other parts of the world don't matter to them at all.
Why then is there such a bitter fight to attack influenceless anglo-saxon nonsense writers?
Is it because attacking them gives the feeling of being on the left=good side without the necessity of real commitment?
The 2/3 society
The word 'middle class' only makes sense if there is an upper class and a lower class as well. In Germany being left means to be 'officially' on the side of the lower class, not necessarily the middle class. Being for the middle class is 'Neue Mitte'/New Labour, which correctly is not assumed to be really left.
Some here at ET make the assessment, that the big rift of our societies is between the .1% super rich and all others. Or between those who live from capital income (by the way like many retired people) and those living from wage. While this may be true for some aspects of live, this is clearly not the difference between the losers and the winners of our society. The reality is more with Peter Glotz' two third one third society, where two thirds can participate, one third not.
Once again from FTD' Thomas Fricke:
"[...] even in the worst times after WW II, when in 2005 the unemployment was more than 5 million (ca. 12.5%) only 3.6% of academics had no job. People with proper technical training even only 3.2%. [...]
Correspondingly the expert advisory board found, that between 2002 and 2005, right during the years of crisis, about 70% of population had very small or no change in their relative income postition. [...]
For the middle class [the increasing number of low wagers] would only be a problem if those low wagers would be former middle class people. The reality is, that most low wager have barely any qualification and know about the middle class onle peripherally. [...]
If there is a poverty risk in Germany, then for those, for whom this is not any more a risk. Those without proper training had 22% unemployment, a half more than 25 years ago (not lower as for academics) - with an increasing risk of never leave poverty: Only one of eight low wagers made it to the middle class after several years. [...]
This country needs more chances to advance - and less middle class cant"
Are you pouring middle class und lower class together because that means you then feel you are not one of the better of people, depite you might be? Isn't it great and moral if your personal interest are aligned with the poor's interests, even if they are in reality not?
The other planet
|Some countries ||Gini|
| Sweden || 25 |
| Finland || 26.9 |
| Germany || 28.3 |
| Austria || 29.1 |
| Netherlands || 30.9 |
| South Korea || 31.6 |
| France || 32.7 |
| Switzerland || 33.7 |
| Poland || 34.5 |
| UK || 36 |
| USA || 40.8 |
| China || 46.9 |
The left table with Gini coefficients from wikipedia (from UN 07/08 development report) shows that we may really experience different problems than the US. The German left always points to Sweden as a superior left governed country. The gini is only 3.3 points higher in Germany, where the left assumes the overwhelming victory of neoliberalism. The difference to the US is 3.8 times as big. If there is a serious quality difference in the Swedish and German unequality, this numbers suggest that the US is from a different planet, e.g. talking to Americans and claiming to be 'left' simply does not mean anything with regard to Europe.
That means of course as well, that on ET many people defend the 'European model', while most local lefties see our societies on the brink to feudalism.
So my question here is, Are you really left or do you just like to give poor Americans good advice?
Recently and currently there was some talk about ET becoming a 'think tank'. There are a lot of ideas around energy , but are there really social ideas around? What would make it left apart from disrecpect for personal freedom and maturity, and for constant excuses for dictators suppressing their people? Have the people here real ideas, how to reintegrate those who were failed by their parents and the educational system into the society? Is there an answer to the more and more obvious fact, that only more money will not help those people who don't see another sense in their lives than eating welfare paid fastfood in front of their TVs? Detaching from reality is possible for politicians, who don't want to insult potential voters, but if you want to change the society, this is where really new ideas are needed, because it means to care for those who really can't care for themselves. The sheepish defense of the European status quo of laws is currently done by the worst part of our conservative politicians against the really left guys, no need to copy them for ET. The ignorance of the disabilities of our societies would mean to fail those once more, whose chances were already taken away from them, when they were kids.
 I mean here Americans as "The US Americans", not only the real poor, but actually as the US state is so poor, in a sense Americans are poor.
Which is not primarily left, but more a need of reality. Indeed the part of the green parties which are primarily interested in the environment and sustainablility are typically the first offering alliances to the conservatives. Sustainability and environment protection are elitist projects for those who don't have to care for the now.