Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Investing in a Bubble Mania Stock Market Trending Towards Financial Crisis 2.0 CRASH! - 9th Sep 21
2.Tech Stocks Bubble Valuations 2000 vs 2021 - 25th Sep 21
3.Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
4.Stock Market FOMO Hits September Brick Wall - Evergrande China's Lehman's Moment - 22nd Sep 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
7.AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
8.Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
9.Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
10.Global Stock Markets Topped 60 Days Before the US Stocks Peaked - 23rd Sep 21
Last 7 days
Inflation and the Crazy Crypto Markets - 23rd Oct 21
Easy PC Upgrades with Motherboard Combos - Overclockers UK Unboxing - MB, Memory and Ryzen 5600x CPU - 23rd Oct 21
Gold Mining Stocks Q3 2021 - 23rd Oct 21
Gold calmly continues cobbling its Handle, Miners lay in wait - 23rd Oct 21
US Economy Has Been in an Economic Depression Since 2008 - 22nd Oct 21
Extreme Ratios Point to Gold and Silver Price Readjustments - 22nd Oct 21
Bitcoin $100K or Ethereum $10K—which happens first? - 22nd Oct 21
This Isn’t Sci-Fi: How AI Is About To Disrupt This $11 Trillion Industry - 22nd Oct 21
Ravencoin RVN About to EXPLODE to NEW HIGHS! Last Chance to Buy Before it goes to the MOON! - 21st Oct 21
Stock Market Animal Spirits Returning - 21st Oct 21
Inflation Advances, and So Does Gold — Except That It Doesn’t - 21st Oct 21
Why A.I. Is About To Trigger The Next Great Medical Breakthrough - 21st Oct 21
Gold Price Slowly Going Nowhere - 20th Oct 21
Shocking Numbers Show Government Crowding Out Real Economy - 20th Oct 21
Crude Oil Is in the Fast Lane, But Where Is It Going? - 20th Oct 21
3 Tech Stocks That Could Change The World - 20th Oct 21
Best AI Tech Stocks ETF and Investment Trusts - 19th Oct 21
Gold Mining Stocks: Will Investors Dump the Laggards? - 19th Oct 21
The Most Exciting Medical Breakthrough Of The Decade? - 19th Oct 21
Prices Rising as New Dangers Point to Hard Assets - 19th Oct 21
It’s not just Copper; GYX indicated cyclical the whole time - 19th Oct 21
Chinese Tech Stocks CCP Paranoia, VIES - Variable Interest Entities - 19th Oct 21
Inflation Peaked Again, Right? - 19th Oct 21
Gold Stocks Bouncing Hard - 19th Oct 21
Stock Market New Intermediate Bottom Forming? - 19th Oct 21
Beware, Gold Bulls — That’s the Beginning of the End - 18th Oct 21
Gold Price Flag Suggests A Big Rally May Start Soon - 18th Oct 21
Inflation Or Deflation – End Result Is Still Depression - 18th Oct 21
A.I. Breakthrough Could Disrupt the $11 Trillion Medical Sector - 18th Oct 21
US Economy and Stock Market Addicted to Deficit Spending - 17th Oct 21
The Gold Price And Inflation - 17th Oct 21
Went Long the Crude Oil? Beware of the Headwinds Ahead… - 17th Oct 21
Watch These Next-gen Cloud Computing Stocks - 17th Oct 21
Overclockers UK Custom Built PC 1 YEAR Use Review Verdict - Does it Still Work? - 16th Oct 21
Altonville Mine Tours Maze at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 16th Oct 21
How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
The Only way to Crush Inflation (not stocks) - 14th Oct 21
Why "Losses Are the Norm" in the Stock Market - 14th Oct 21
Sub Species Castle Maze at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 14th Oct 21
Which Wallet is Best for Storing NFTs? - 14th Oct 21
Ailing UK Pound Has Global Effects - 14th Oct 21
How to Get 6 Years Life Out of Your Overclocked PC System, Optimum GPU, CPU and MB Performance - 13th Oct 21
The Demand Shock of 2022 - 12th Oct 21
4 Reasons Why NFTs Could Be The Future - 12th Oct 21
Crimex Silver: Murder Most Foul - 12th Oct 21
Bitcoin Rockets In Preparation For Liftoff To $100,000 - 12th Oct 21
INTEL Tech Stock to the MOON! INTC 2000 vs 2021 Market Bubble WARNING - 11th Oct 21
AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
Stock Market Wall of Worry Meets NFPs - 11th Oct 21
Stock Market Intermediate Correction Continues - 11th Oct 21
China / US Stock Markets Divergence - 10th Oct 21
Can US Save Taiwan From China? Taiwan Strait Naval Battle - PLA vs 7th Fleet War Game Simulation - 10th Oct 21
Gold Price Outlook: The Inflation Chasm Between Europe and the US - 10th Oct 21
US Real Estate ETFs React To Rising Housing Market Mortgage Interest Rates - 10th Oct 21
US China War over Taiwan Simulation 2021, Invasion Forecast - Who Will Win? - 9th Oct 21
When Will the Fed Taper? - 9th Oct 21
Dancing with Ghouls and Ghosts at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 9th Oct 21
Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
Scan Computers - Custom Build PC 6 Months Later, Reliability, Issues, Quality of Tech Support Review - 8th Oct 21
Gold and Silver: Your Financial Main Battle Tanks - 8th Oct 21
How to handle the “Twin Crises” Evergrande and Debt Ceiling Threatening Stocks - 8th Oct 21
Why a Peak in US Home Prices May Be Approaching - 8th Oct 21
Alton Towers Scarefest is BACK! Post Pandemic Frights Begin, What it's Like to Enter Scarefest 2021 - 8th Oct 21
AJ Bell vs II Interactive Investor - Which Platform is Best for Buying US FAANG Stocks UK Investing - 7th Oct 21
Gold: Evergrande Investors' Savior - 7th Oct 21
Here's What Really Sets Interest Rates (Not Central Banks) - 7th Oct 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Left-Center Political Parties Pay the Price for Bailing Out the Bankster's

Politics / Credit Crisis Bailouts Nov 06, 2010 - 09:07 AM GMT

By: Global_Research

Politics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleJames Petras writes: The November 2, 2010 electoral debacle of the Democratic Party in the US cannot be solely ascribed to the failed policies of President Obama, the Congressional leadership or their senior economic advisers. Nor is the demise of what passes for the American “center-left” confined to the US – it is a world-wide pattern, expressed in countries as diverse as Greece, Portugal, Spain, Great Britain and Japan.


The central question is why the left-center left governing parties are everywhere in crisis and will be for the foreseeable future?

The Left-Center Left: Past Winners, Present Losers

In the past leftist parties had been the beneficiaries of capitalist crises: Incumbent conservative regimes, which had presided over economic recessions or had been held responsible for military debacles, were ousted from power by leftist parties prepared to make large-scale, long-term public investments, funded by progressive taxes on wealth and capital, and to impose austerity programs on the rich and wealthy.

In contrast, today the left/center-left (L-CL) regimes preside over crisis-ridden capitalist economies and administer regressive socio-economic policies designed to promote the recovery of the biggest financial and corporate enterprises while rolling back wages, social programs, pensions and unemployment benefits.

As a result, the L-CL has become the prime political loser in the current economic crisis, reaping hostility and rejection from the great mass of its former working class and salaried supporters.

Wherever the Left has been elected in recent years, a deep polarization developed between its electoral base and the governing party leadership. Nowhere has the Left dared to infringe on the power and prerogatives of the very capitalist class of bankers and investors, who caused the crisis. Instead with perverse and reactionary logic the Left- Center Left parties have wielded stated power through the treasury to refinance capital, through the police and judiciary to repress labor and through the mass media to justify its regressive policies (especially via anti-‘chaos’ hysteria).

In Greece, the Pan-Hellenic Socialist regime (PASOK) has fired tens of thousands of public employees and its tight fiscal policies have raised unemployment from 8% to 14%. It has increased the age of retirement, reduced pensions and welfare provisions and raised fees for public services, while foreign and domestic bankers, ship owners and overseas investors have benefited by accumulating property and distressed enterprises on the cheap.

Similar polices have been adopted in Spain and Portugal where public employees’ salaries and jobs have been slashed, pensions and welfare payments have been reduced, job security has been deregulated and employers are free to hire and fire as never before.
Prior to the British Labor Party’s defeat, after more than a decade of promoting wild unregulated financial and real-estate speculation leading to the economic crash, the Labor leadership was planning massive layoffs and cuts in social programs.

In the United States, Obama and the Democrats were elected, on the basis of their promises to redress the grievances of the workers and salaried employees, who had been battered by the collapse of Wall Street. Instead, the White House poured trillions of tax dollars to rescue the major banking, financial and speculative institutions responsible for the collapse while unemployment and underemployment has climbed to over 20% and 10 million homeowners lost their homes through mortgage foreclosures.

Why the L-CL Deepens the Crises

Over the past 30 years the L-CL parties, which were once identified with working class interests and welfare reforms, have become deeply embedded in managing the capitalist system - going so far as to promote the most parasitic and volatile forms of speculative capital. As long as capitalist profits grew and speculative investments grew, the L-CL regimes believed that sufficient tax revenue would accrue to allow for a degree of social spending to pacify their popular voting constituency. The L-CL parties systematically eliminated the last traces of a socialist, social welfare or redistributive alternative.

The L-LC political leadership was unwilling to envision an alternative to their promotion of the policies of big corporate and banking interests as they led to financial crisis. When the big crash of 2007-2010 took place, the entire leadership of the L-CL was so deeply embedded in the institutions, policies and practices of the leading private financial structures, that the only solution they were capable of proposing was to sacrifice the public treasury in order to restore capitalist leaders and speculative institution to profitability. In other words, the U.S and European L-CL parties were prepared to jettison over 50 years of social advances. The past ties to their working-class voters, trade union allies, public employees and pensioners were severed, none were spared. The only interest that mattered to the L-CL parties was to restore conditions for profitability to benefit big overseas and domestic investors.

This economic recession has forced the L-CL parties to give up any pretext that they could satisfy bankers and public employees, corporations and workers, investors and pensioners. The crisis revealed the profound distance separating the working class from the political leaders of the L-CL.

The savage class austerity measures, repeatedly imposed on the working class every 3-6 months, in contrast to the vast and repeated subsidies to capital, reveal the true vocation of the current L-CL regimes. There was never a question of choice: From their entry into the government and from their leading economic appointments, to their subsequent agreements with the world’s leading banks, it has become obvious that the Papandreous (Greece), Socrates (Portugal), Zapatero (Spain) and Obama (USA) regimes were prepared to use the full power of the state to sacrifice labor to save capital.

Consequences of L-CL Policies and Practices

From the start, the L-CL parties decided there was everything to negotiate (and concede) with the bankers and nothing to negotiate and compromise with Labor. The recession was too profound, capitalist interests and institutions were “too big to fail”, and labor was, in the eyes of the L-CL parties, too expendable: ‘Let them march and yell in the streets’. Unemployment and under-employment climbed to double digits everywhere. The old arrangements of accommodation between the trade unions and the L-CL parties came under intense pressure everywhere (except in the US and UK) from the workers in factory assemblies, the offices of the public employees, and among the pensioners in the senior centers.

Repeated general strikes broke out in France, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy. The L-CL regimes absolutely refused to make any concession to the workers. The crises and austerity policies became the base for a real class war: The Left-Center Left regimes were determined to roll back over 50 years of working class advances. The general strikes were defensive battles to protect hard won advances in decent living standards. Workers everywhere in Europe recognized the abominable working and welfare conditions in the US, where trade unions have become doormats and the millionaire trade union bosses continue to use union funds to bankroll the Democrats and protect the bureaucracy’s privileges and wealth.

Conclusion

The Left-Center Left regimes are paying a high electoral price for sacrificing the working class in order to save the bankers: Obama’s recent electoral defeat is only a forerunner of future losses for the Spanish, Greek, Portuguese Socialists and other L-CL regimes. Their austerity policies have led them to ‘fall between two chairs’: They alienate workers and strengthen the capitalist class, which already has its own “natural” conservative capitalist parties. The “hard right” everywhere is advancing, sensing the debacle of the center-left as an opportunity to deepen and widen the frontal assault on labor rights, social welfare and any semblance of legal protection.

Faced with this assault, the main defense of militant workers in Southern Europe is the general strike, (totally absent for over a century in the US). But even so, given the ferocious backing of all of Europe’s (and the US) ruling classes for the regressive austerity policies, it is becoming clear that the positive experience of massive class solidarity is not enough. Greece has had half dozen general strikes. France has been shut down by a nationwide strike. Spain has more to come. But their L-CL rulers continue slashing and burning workers rights and living standards now and for years to come.

What will it take to stop and reverse this capitalist juggernaut? It is clear, that the L-CL parties, as we know them, are part of the problem and not the solution. Will new working class parties and movements emerge that can combine mass general strikes with challenges for state power? Will the rising power of the electoral right lead to a parallel rise of the left?

As of today, little or nothing of a left-right political polarization appears on the horizon in the United States where most of the union and social movement leaders are tied to the Democratic Party. In contrast, in Europe, particularly in France, Greece, Portugal and Spain, extra-parliamentary mass struggles will continue and perhaps intensify, raising the specter of possible popular uprisings as conditions continue to deteriorate.

James Petras is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by James Petras

© Copyright James Petras , Global Research, 2010

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for Research on Globalization. The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in