The history of political parties is rather boring. Not much has changed since the French Revolution, which produced the the terms “Left” and “Right” to reflect where people sat in the National Assembly. The early 20th century saw the rise of Communist parties on the far left. Shortly later, fascist parties began to emerge on the far right.
It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis (1935) best describes that fate. Can you imagine right wing nuts running "militias" (better described as rackets) throughout the country. I can--want a driver's license, you need to pay a little tribute to the Trumpet muscle, just 'cause. Trump's America would be hell in this country. Of course, Hillary's America will spell hell on earth. I wonder what life will be like in Iceland as the climate warms...
That third backlash, the political, is the result of inability to address the first two. We've seen this writ small over the last generation (e.g.- Yugoslavia, Rwanda), but in an age of economic globalization there is inevitably a focus on institutions larger than the nation state.
Feffer is right to argue that a different and humane political order is needed now.
The main force behind Trump's popularity seems to be white supremacy. The anger against the elites is largely a cover for racism. The Brexit supporters are also similar and so are the nationalist parties in countries like France. The problem for many Trump supporters is not that democracy doesn't work but that it does work. It has brought equal rights and better economic opportunity to minority groups and has allowed them to live wherever they want and attend whatever schools they want. There is a long way to go but progress has been undeniable. For the white nationalists the advances that minorities have made are viewed as destroying their country which they view as a country for white Europeans or in the US, people of European ancestry, that is, white people. The biggest issue for many Trump supporters is stopping immigration and sending back as many illegal immigrants as possible to preserve a white majority in the US. Trump became the top dog in the Republican primary by announcing he would build a wall on the Mexican borders and deport all 11 million illegal immigrants. The other candidates got clobbered on that issue. It really comes down to people deciding whether they want to live in a multicultural country or a country dominated by white people. No additional political parties are needed to make that decision.
Feffer is a neoliberal Capitalist trying to convince us to save Capitalism just one more time. (See FDR.)
"The early 20th century saw the rise of Communist parties on the far left. Shortly later, fascist parties began to emerge on the far right."
And that's the real reason that World War II was fought.
Voluntary citizen militias exist in many counties in the U.S. Please see the numerous articles about the goings on in Grant County, Oregon. The sheriff there is just an example of what can be found in hundreds of counties in this country. The Police State is a right wing creation supported by White Elites for the protection of their property rights. And, their future business ventures. The Federal Gov't often " enables " and encourages Facism. It pads their bottom line. It is always about the $$$. Theirs', not yours.
Possibly. However, controlling the direction, or outcomes, of an International Green Party " bloc " is very iffy. Once launched, an effective ( IGP ) trajectory could shorten, considerably, the long arch of environmental, economic and spiritual justice; most of the 99s seek for future generations. Stay Clear, Stay Strong, Stay Clean, Vote Green.
Here in Portland Oregon, Hordes of American Refugees sit in tents all over the city. Their status as "Refugees" is denied by the politicians in order to deny them "status" and to facilitate killing them quickly or slowly. Meanwhile IRCO (Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization) continues to assist "Refugees" from all over the world with housing and jobs here in Portland. It is insane. We face a very horrible winter in which thousands, and I do mean thousands of Americans,( in Portland I would wager the vast majority are "white") face living in the mud with no heat or sanitation. Trump represents a large "No" vote to what is going on. And I understand that. It does appear that the elites are hell bent on killing the American people.
Wow, Feffer pretty much endorses the Green Party as the only path forward:
"It’s not too late for a different kind of party to challenge the liberal-conservative political order. Such a party would prioritize the response to climate change. It would promote a sustainable economic system that doesn’t generate huge income inequality, consumer waste, and dubious public goods like warships and jet fighters. And it would embrace civil liberties and the rule of law while emphasizing the importance of civic engagement. It would speak to the disgust that people have with the political and economic status quo without shifting the blame onto the weak or retreating from the global challenges before us. The current political order is coming apart. If we don’t come up with a fair, Green, and internationalist alternative, the illiberal populists will keep winning."
It's easy to attack the Refugees coming to Portland. However, in talking to them, we find many who are War Refugees here for political or relgious reasons/protection. Ending military operations overseas, aka Endless War, would allow us to stop Refugees from needing to come to the U ,.S. for protection. And, free up Trillions of $$$ for our own citizens. Ending war solves a host of the 99s ills.
"They will manipulate the rule of law to “get things done.” - isn't this a description of Clinton? A (lawbreaking) progressive who "get's things done"?
I very generally agree with this article, but a few opinions on the three issues:
1. cultural - brexit and anti-immigration is not all about immigrant-bashing, but it's definitely at least partially a backlash about protecting domestic labor.
2. economic - it's not about being 'left behind' it's being sold out.
3. political - a recent famous study shows ordinary citizens currently have no effect on politics, and another shows elections are fraudulent, so the doubts are about our current 'democracy' are valid.
The 'refugees' are mostly american, and this is a recent thing? got a link about it by chance? thx
"The main force behind Trump's popularity seems to be white supremacy" this is, of course, an extreme over-simplification, in other words: BS.
The Clintonista Clan are Neo-Liberals, not Progressives. If you think of pond scum, liberals are the upper crust of " the scum that continually rises " in the Democratic Party. Progressives are now represented by the Green Party. Vote Green if you're a Progressive or Democratic if you're pond scum crusty.
I support Mr. Feffer's thesis until this item shows up near to its conclusion:
"It’s not just that people living in democracies are disgusted with their leaders and the parties they represent. Rather, as political scientists Roberto Stefan Foa and Yascha Mounk write in the Journal of Democracy, “they have also become more cynical about the value of democracy as a political system, less hopeful that anything they do might influence public policy, and more willing to express support for authoritarian alternatives.”
"Foa and Mounk are using 20 years of data collected from surveys of citizens in Western Europe and North America – the democracies with the greatest longevity. And they have found that support for illiberal alternatives is greater among the younger generation than the older one."
I have two strong responses to the above.
First of all, I'd look at Democracy in the same way that Gandhi looked at Western CIVILIZATION.
Asked what he thought of it--Civilization--he replied that it would be a good idea. In other words, where is there any EVIDENCE of civil-ization based on Western actionable models of imperialism?
My second response is related to my college studies of Sociology coupled with 4+ decades of astrological research and counseling practice.
Essentially, each generation comes into the world during a given time period and that time period reflects influences that range from the political, social, and cultural to the metaphysical.
Those born since l980 have hardly been participants of healthy Democracies (with the exception of those residing in some of Europe's Social Democracies).
From Reagan's denunciation of government to Clinton's policies of deregulation, with a "There is no society!" assurance from Maggie Thatcher tossed into the mix, these kids have never seen a government that is responsive to The People. That is, they have no working model OF Democracy. (And it's always a work in progress given the entrenched influence of elites over centuries.)
Over the course of the past 4 decades, between the stealth strategies deployed by the Koch Brothers and the billionaires' clubs that fund think tanks, the consolidation of mass media into a few corporate hands, the costs that candidates must raise (via currying favor with the rich) in order to mount successful campaigns, and laws put in place that exonerate corporate malfeasance while making the public the entity forced to pick up the tab...
The version of "Democracy" displayed is hardly one that holds true to its intention!
Notice how someone like Mrs. Clinton who is an unapologetic war hawk and all too cozy with corporations can paint herself as a "Progressive" and the media's chorus of sycophants will repeat the lie as if it were true. In the process, the actual and intended meaning of Progressive is lost.
Well, I think the same applies to Democracy.
When pundits take from this small population pool that people have lost faith in Democracy, that is a very ominous and false conclusion.
As the article explains earlier, societies tend to cleave into at least 2 directions.
There are always those who think in terms of others, group betterment, and the Greater Good. And then there are those whose primary interest is self-interest--regardless of the costs to others.
Since Western culture is itself the ideological, cultural, and political product of the Bible, and the Bible is composed of two antithetical texts, this polarity has deep and verifiable roots.
The Old Testament--which is the book of Conservatives (admittedly or otherwise) is punitive and its main thesis is that of the law of consequences or karma. It teaches that whatever one does has a price. There are also teachings related to conserving grain for the 7th lean year, and so forth.
The New Testament is based on faith with Jesus' miracle-making powers its major teaching. Those who have faith seldom feel lack. They believe what they need will come. So there is more natural generosity and positive thinking in this group. It would largely apply to liberals.
Of course there is more to life than deadlocked polarity and that's where, in Astrology, Uranus--the "3rd way" and RULER of the sign of Aquarius--comes into play. Uranus represents radicals and ANY challenge to the status quo.
Since this IS the beginning of the Age of Aquarius, lots of conventions are breaking down and in their place there's LOTS of experimentation. Interestingly enough, Uranus "rules" electricity and it governs the most advanced of the Zodiac's 3 air signs. No surprise then that so many people live through their electronic devices (to a fault).
In any case, the elites know a good deal about Astrology, life cycles, and what's termed "occult" influences. What occult means is what is hidden from people and the truth of these cycles has been hidden because if people came to understand the flow patterns that mark history and its cycles, they would be better prepared to ward off the onset of Authoritarian Times.
As I've said in other comment threads, the astrological influences point to UBER: Repression peaking in 2018-2020. So whether it's Hillary or Trump, humanity is in for a kick-ass ride.
Also true, however, is the fact that when energy is compressed to the point it cannot be contained it explodes and escapes in unexpected ways.
Human beings instinctively know that they were endowed by their Creator with Free will. And when authoritarians deny that, preempt that, and deceive that away... there WILL be massive blow-back.
My grandson was born in 2006 and he totally "gets it." That generation will be the ones who pick up the pieces. And many of them are OF the LIGHT. That means their knowledge, which is timeless and unchanging, comes from The Source of Truth. They will be the builders of a new Epoch.
If you're a believer in astrological influences then you should know that Hillary is the "chosen one."
Most of the rest of us know that because we can read the moves of the oligarchy.
Your understanding of astrology is unrelated to what it is, means, and does.
Also, I am suspicious of those posters who jump into the forum full throttle pretending to be new posters.
That dishonesty precludes me from engaging you further.
"Green parties have been both conservative (in terms of preserving the environment)"
Mr Feffer means "conservationist", not "conservative", its direct opposite.
“they have also become more cynical about the value of democracy as a political system, less hopeful that anything they do might influence public policy, and more willing to express support for authoritarian alternatives.”
Likely because people mistake representative government for democracy. If its not direct, its not democracy.
"It’s not too late for a different kind of party to challenge the liberal-conservative political order."
The oligarchy gave us the party system and representative government knowing that it could easily bribe, threaten, coerce and even assassinate the representatives that did not follow its orders.
From the article:
"These three backlashes – cultural, economic, political – are also anti-internationalist because international institutions have become associated with the promotion of civil liberties and human rights, the greater globalization of the economy, and the constraint of the sovereignty of nations (for instance, through the European Union or the UN’s “responsibility to protect” doctrine)."
I think this paragraph is either very disingenuous or pretty detached from Reality!
International institutions are more likely to invert Civil Liberties and human rights than to promote them!
If that weren't so, why would the European Central Banks have so much say (and control) over life in Greece?
And why would the policies of genocide that lead to terrorism popping up all over (with this terrorism being largely predictable) be used as a pretext for mass policing and mass surveillance and ever greater incursions into citizens' privacy and other civil liberties?
And why would corporations operate largely without restraints to industrialize food and genetically modify essential crops?
And why would corporate entities devise so-called trade deals that will further erode citizens' capacity to seek redress, rein in the corporations, and demand respect for the Living World?
This sounds like State Department propaganda to me... whoever came up with it!
The kids know that their world is burning.
They know there are fewer and fewer decent jobs.
They see that people are succumbing to all sorts of illnesses and depression at higher and higher rates.
They know that elites have betrayed them.
Many are aware (if intuitively, rather than via concrete data) that the rich are getting richer.
Many see that Blacks (all of the police shootings) and Hispanics (the deportation campaigns) and Muslims (the battering of the Arab world) are being treated abysmally.
THAT is why they are "illberal" or don't trust governments.
Governments in too many places--largely through the clout and power of Big Money--have become subsidiaries of the military industrial complex and a variety of mostly toxic corporations.
THAT is what savvy young people are reacting to!
And as for the identification with "strongmen" in several regions, that's how males react to the threat they feel from women, Blacks, and other "outsiders" gaining equal status with them or taking "their" jobs.
It was as true during Hitler's times (also of massive financial contractions) as it is today. And those who study history, know how to work this powerful Control Tool.
One of your first honest posts that almost "gets it."