Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Our Political Predicament in the West in a Nutshell

The New York Times is beginning to train its lens on the French presidential election. There have been back-to-back stories the last two days, both written by the sneering Adam Nossiter, the Gray Lady's Paris correspondent.

Yesterday's "As French Election Nears, Le Pen Targets Voters Her Party Once Repelled" was noteworthy in that it was not a blanket dismissal of Marine Le Pen; it made the point that the National Front has been connecting immigration to the loss of jobs since the party's founding in the early 1970s.

But it is in today's article, "Marine Le Pen Sharpens Attack on Emmanuel Macron in French Debate," that the whole political dysfunction of the Western world was laid bare.

There is support among the masses of the mainstream for a political solution to the many woes of Western Civilization, and it entails a swing to the left -- massive spending on public works and housing and education, a universal basic income. But the politicians, even those who represent hoary mainstream parties like Benoît Hamon, who advocate such policies find themselves at war with the the establishment of their own parties (look at Corbyn in Britain) and dismissed in the global prestige press as fantasists. Instead the people are served up one phony neoliberal after the next -- Obama, Trudeau, Clinton, Macron -- and expected to fall in line.

Given this choice the people are swinging to the right, what is being called anti-immigrant populism.

In Nossiter's story this morning all the focus is on the "knife fight" between Le Pen and Macron, leaving the following meager text for the left-wing candidates, Hamon and Jean-Luc Mélenchon:
Mr. Hamon, the Socialist candidate, has promised a guaranteed “universal income” and has spoken of cutting the already reduced French workweek, but his chances are thought to be lowered by the presence of Mr. Mélenchon, whose positions are largely similar.
Ms. Le Pen, who also faces accusations related to fictional jobs, accused Mr. Mélenchon of being a “Robespierre” when he called on voters to “reward the virtuous and punish those who don’t seem so.”
That's it. At least Fillon got four paragraphs on his legal difficulties.

The people want to go social-democrat left but the failing neoliberal center won't allow it. So we get right-wing populism. That's our predicament in the West in a nutshell,


  1. Here's my suspicion about the whole "Putin-Trump-treason-hack" drama being played out.

    The original Deep State plan was for Hillary to win. What we're getting now, the unfocused propaganda directed at Putin through Trump was going to be another clarion call to war for President Clinton. How dare Putin try to sabotage American Democracy!

    When the first stories of the DNC being hacked by Russia emerged, what did the DNC do? Instead of letting the FBI investigate they handed everything over to CrowdStrike, run by Dmitri Alperovitch who's a Russia-hater with a seat on the Atlantic Council. Alexandra Chalupa, the DNC Ukrainian American who did the oppo research against Manafort and Trump regarding Russia, was calling for treason. Magically, WaPo embraces PropOrNot, a fascist Ukrainian operation that's calling for censorship.

    All this and more was supposed to come as the casus belli for the Deep State's war against Russia. If you remember the meme of Dubya getting even with Saddam because his dad only got to blow parts of Iraq when he was President, that particular story was floated because Americans love grudge matches. Just imagine the grudge match Hillary would have against Putin because he deigned to mess with American Democracy.

    Unfortunately for the Deep State, Hillary lost. And what is the one thing she could give the Deep State that Trump can't? The war with Russia.

    This whole okeydoke was to propel the US into a hotter war with Russia. And now the CIA, MSM and the rest are using the remains of their plan to get leverage against Trump for that war. And you can pretty much guess where along the Russian border there was going to be a war.

  2. That's why next month should be particularly interesting, Bob, given that the assault on Raqqa is to begin, and it is to be conducted with a significant number of YPG troops. The YPG has announced that it is set to expand from 60,000 to 100,000 fighters. They also announced yesterday that Russia is to establish a military base in Afrin. Russia has since denied this, calling it a reconciliation center instead. Either way the result will be the same. It will be more difficult for the Turks to carpet bomb the Rojava off the face of the map.

    From what I can tell Trump's Pentagon is working more closely with Russia in Northern Syria than Obama's Pentagon. There have been no new Deir ez-Zor "mistakes" since Ash Carter has departed the scene. To my mind, Rojava is going to be critical to any peace deal that is negotiated after Raqqa is liberated; the only conceivable basis for any such peace deal is a federalized Syria. The Salafis backed by the GCC and Turkey will reject. The YPG will accept. Assad will have to accept. Both the U.S. and Russia will have some sort of military presence.

    Who would have thunk it? The great achievement of Putin, Trump, Anarcha-Feminism and the Pentagon might be the federal state of Rojava.