Sozialdemokrazia: maldan behera

Bill Mitchell-en Social democratic politicians continue to walk the plank – into oblivion



(i) Suedia eta sozial demokratak

The demise of social democrats

There was a report in the Swedish English News media – The Local (January 31, 2018) – Social Democrats to fight election on right-wing turf – which tells us that:

Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats have announced a plan … [which will see] … the party move decisively onto traditionally right-wing territory …

We have a political agenda today which is in some sense is authoritarian.

Yes, Anti-Migrant, strong on law and order, faster integration (abandonment of multiculturalism).

The spokesperson said that:

Safety has been reduced and a new type of criminality is attempting to take root.

So instead of announcing large-scale job creation to redress the disadvantage and poverty endured by new migrants, the social democrats in Sweden are going in the opposite direction.

More police to bash them and lock them up.

More xenophobia.

The social democrats certainly have their fingers on the pulse!

(ii) Alemania: sozial demokraziarik gabe


This graph shows the movement in voter intentions from September 28, 2009 to the latest poll on February 5, 2018. I have left out a few of the smaller parties which have either been stable in attracting voter preference (for example Sonstige Parteien, which gets around 3 or 4 per cent) or have not featured in recent polls (for example, Piratenpartei Deutschland).

The vertical red line denotes when the general elections were held.

The respondents were responding to the question: “Who would you vote for if the Bundestag election was tomorrow?”

The parties plotted are:

AfD = Alternative für Deutschland
CDU = Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands
CSU = Christlich-Soziale Union in Bayern e. V.
SPD = Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands
FDP = Freie Demokratische Partei

The patterns are fairly clear.

The loss in SPD (under Martin Schulz) is stunning. The blip in support upwards before the election was an anomaly. SPD have been trending down for the last 6 years and are now at historic lows.

The February 5, 2018 poll found that they attracted just 17 per cent of the voters, whereas the hard-right party AfD are up to 15 per cent.

There is only 2 per cent gap between them. That is a remarkable shift in the political terrain and demonstrates the bereftness of the social democratic political movement in Germany.

By playing along with Merkel’s conservatives and pushing a strong Europhile sentiment, the SPD has opened the door for the AfD, which is exploiting the hardships that people are feeling as a result of Germany’s economic policies among other things.

(iii) Britainia Handia eta Jeremy Corbyn

Meanwhile, in the UK, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn thinks it is useful to pump out fake knowledge to win votes.

He tweeted this on Monday (February 5, 2018). I know Donald Trump is using Twitter to pump out lies but I would have thought Jeremy Corbyn would do better.

Whoever is advising him needs to be sacked and Jeremy Corbyn needs to start telling the truth to the British people. Who knows, he might just shift the debate a bit in the direction he favours.

And the 2,812 people who liked this Tweet need to reassess their understanding (or total lack of it) of macroeconomics. I know that many will say that Jeremy Corbyn is just neutralising issues politically to make points that will gain him popularity.

But that is a tired old line. By playing the neoliberal macroeconomic card and playing along with the neoliberals the progressives just corral themselves into spaces that they can never get out of. They end up having to abandon a progressive agenda and looking like the conservatives.

It is not a smart long term political strategy at all.


(a) Reclaiming the State – French Review

Our latest book, Reclaiming the State: A Progressive Vision of Sovereignty for a Post-Neoliberal World (Pluto Books, 2017) – received more favourable coverage in the French press this week.

In the review section of Le Monde diplomatique article (February 4, 2018) – L’État, c’est nous (The State is Us) – Aurélien Bernier considers our book in the context of Brexit.

He discusses our call for progressive governments to abandon their Monetarist/neoliberal leanings and restore a progressive path where the fiscal capacity of the government is used to advance the well-being of the people rather than serve the interests of the corporate elites.

He concludes with this:

Un plaidoyer qui résonne comme un appel au Parti travailliste de M. Jeremy Corbyn à saisir une occasion historique.

Which, in the context of Jeremy Corbyn’s tweet above is very apposite.

Go on, Jeremy, “seize a historic opportunity” (“à saisir une occasion historique”). Just this time, do it!

(b) On the Reclaiming the State theme, I will be visiting Europe in a few week’s time.

Two events might be of interest:

1. Helsinki, February 27, 2018 – I will be giving 6 lectures on Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) at the University of Helsinki in late February and early March as part of a new international studies program. The first lecture will be a public event and will be held on Tuesday, February 27, 2018.

2. Barcelona, March 2-3, 2018 – I will be speaking at events organised by the Catalonian-based Ekona coop, which aims to promote innovation in the public and community sphere to move towards a new democracy. It is particularly focused in influencing the European Left to abandon their neoliberal ideas about economics.

I will circulate more details soon of both events.


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