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NYT Sobs: Socialism Is Dying In Europe

From a deeply concerned New York Times:

A sign showing the Social Democratic Party’s candidate for chancellor was being hauled away Monday, a day after the party badly lost in German elections.

In Bad Times for Capitalism, Socialists in Europe Suffer

Europe’s Socialists Suffering Even in Downturn

By STEVEN ERLANGER

September 29, 2009

PARIS — A specter is haunting Europe — the specter of Socialism’s slow collapse.

Even in the midst of one of the greatest challenges to capitalism in 75 years, involving a breakdown of the financial system due to “irrational exuberance,” greed and the weakness of regulatory systems, European Socialist parties and their left-wing cousins have not found a compelling response, let alone taken advantage of the right’s failures.

German voters clobbered the Social Democratic Party on Sunday, giving it only 23 percent of the vote, its worst performance since World War II.

Voters also punished left-leaning candidates in the summer’s European Parliament elections and trounced French Socialists in 2007. Where the left holds power, as in Spain and Britain, it is under attack. Where it is out, as in France, Italy and now Germany, it is divided and listless.

Some American conservatives demonize President Obama’s fiscal stimulus and health care overhaul as a dangerous turn toward European-style Socialism — but it is Europe’s right, not left, that is setting its political agenda.

Europe’s center-right parties have embraced many ideas of the left: generous welfare benefits, nationalized health care, sharp restrictions on carbon emissions, the ceding of some sovereignty to the European Union. But they have won votes by promising to deliver more efficiently than the left, while working to lower taxes, improve financial regulation, and grapple with aging populations…

Asked this summer if the party was dying, Bernard-Henri Lévy, an emblematic Socialist, answered: “No — it is already dead. No one, or nearly no one, dares to say it. But everyone, or nearly everyone, knows it.” While he was accused of exaggerating, given that the party is the largest in opposition and remains popular in local government, his words struck home…

The French Socialist Party “is trapped in a hopeless contradiction,” said Tony Judt, director of the Remarque Institute at New York University. It espouses a radical platform it cannot deliver; the result leaves space for parties to its left that can take as much as 15 percent of the vote.

The party, at its summer retreat last month at La Rochelle, a coastal resort, still talked of “comrades” and “party militants.” Its seminars included “Internationalism at Globalized Capitalism’s Hour of Crisis.” ..

“The Socialists can’t adapt to the loss of their basic electorate, and with globalism, the welfare state can no longer exist in the same way,” Professor Sartori [a professor emeritus at Columbia University] said

Mr. Judt argues that European Socialists need a new message — how to reform capitalism, “recognizing the centrality of economic interest while displacing it from its throne as the only way of talking about politics.”

European Socialists need “to think a lot harder about what the state can and can’t do in the 21st century,” he said.

Not an easy syllabus. But without that kind of reform, Mr. Judt said, “I don’t think Socialism in Europe has a future; and given that it is a core constitutive part of the European democratic consensus, that’s bad news.”

Luckily this was buried in the ‘Europe’ section of the New York Times, or it might give its regular readers heart failure.

Of course the real message The Times is promoting is that America’s right needs to go more left, and just promise to deliver the left’s agenda more efficiently:

Europe’s center-right parties have embraced many ideas of the left: generous welfare benefits, nationalized health care, sharp restrictions on carbon emissions, the ceding of some sovereignty to the European Union. But they have won votes by promising to deliver more efficiently than the left, while working to lower taxes, improve financial regulation, and grapple with aging populations.

But we aren’t quite sure that is what the European elections are telling us.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, September 29th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “NYT Sobs: Socialism Is Dying In Europe”

  1. Right of the People says:

    Darn, and just when we were starting to catch up with them. Guess we’ll have go to the full blown communist model Barry.

    Only the Slimes would think this was a bad thing.

  2. proreason says:

    Early warning.

    European socialism is unsustainable.

    But as Mark Steyn says, demographically, it may be too late.

    He thinks Europe will simply become Muslim. I’m not sure whether he says it or not, but if that happens, the “benefits” accrued by Europeans at the time the crossover is made will simply be wiped off the books. In other words, no retirement, no health care, no 6-week vacations, no unemployment benefits, no nuthin.

    My view is different. As I’ve stated before, Europeans are descended from the world’s most successful combination of warriors and scientists. And they have nuclear technology and the means to arm themselves in a few months.

    I think there will be a cataclysmic clash of cultures. And it won’t go well for the Muslims (although Steyn thinks there will simply not be enough young Europeans males to make it happen).

    And, in my view, Europe’s 100 year experiment with Socialism will end suddenly and very violently.

    The violence won’t just be directed at Muslims. The European Gore’s / Kerry’s / Obamy’s will not be treated well either. After all, Marie Antoinette was only 28 and hardly responsible for the misery of Europe when she was brutally murdered. The Euro-elite bureaucrats of today are far more culpable than she was.

    Since I’m sure you doubt this, let me remind you of a few things….1939, 1914, 1815, 1790’s, and many many other periods of upheaval in European history, frequently interspersed with long period of relative calm. The fact that there has been little violence in Europe in the last 70 years is meaningless. All of the elements of primieval chaos are falling into place as we speak. Crushing debt, Financial Crises, Unsustainable Economic System, Clash of Cultures, Unresponsive Leadership, Brutal Foreign Powers, No Hegemony, Ethnic Conflicts, Clueless Wealthy Elites, and the fall of Rome led by our boy king.

    The Moron can’t wait to get us to the same place.


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