The results of the German regional elections represent a serious setback for Angela Merkel, but also a defeat for the German Left. The rightist Alternative for Germany was the big winner.
But the dichotomy left/right is not always very helpful in analyzing the situation. The fact is that there is a rising radicalism in many European societies, and also in the USA, born out of the very simple conviction that things go bad and will get worse, and also that established political parties do not really represent popular and national interests. Under such circumstances, the rise of national identity becomes also unavoidable, as more and more people feel they are at the mercy of international economic and “geopolitical” forces, or institutions, over which they don’t exercise any control.
Where the Left was able to express these deep social and national needs, like in Greece with SYRIZA, during its rise, it was the winner. Where it has not been able, like in France, it let the space open to far right politicians like Marine Le Pen.
The huge challenge Corbyn and Sanders are facing, by the way, is how to transform a political discourse of protest into a discourse claiming hegemony, without, in the same time, betray the essence of their message. But you cannot claim hegemony if you don’t address to your nation, because this is the context defining the people’s consciousness.
This is not of course all the answer to the new phenomena which merit to be analyzed in depth. The situations in Greece after the capitulation of SYRIZA, in France and with the elections in Germany represent not only a very serious setback for the European Left, but also, probably, its last chance to redress the situation. If, of course, it finds the courage to examine seriously its attitude to globalization, to the national phenomenon, to European integration among many others.
A serious discussion must open inside the European Left, but we don’t know if its various “bureaucracies” will permit it.
Our site will try to contribute to this discussion by publishing different materials of interest on European Left and European “radicalism”
Germans Turn to Trump-Style Politics in Challenge to Merkel
German elections: setbacks for Merkel’s CDU as anti-refugee AfD makes big gains
The AfD’s election manifesto also calls for a referendum on TTIP and the immediate suspension of sanctions towards Russia….
The elections came after a dramatic seven months that have seen the German public become increasingly polarised over their chancellor’s open-border stance, with well over 1.1 million refugees entering the country in the past year and the euphoric welcome given to many refugees last summer at Munich train station being replaced by anger, especially when, on New Year’s Eve in Cologne, hundreds of women were reported to have been sexually harassed and raped by men of largely north African and Arabic background…
What is behind the electoral success of the Alternative for Germany?
Coming Cutthroats and Parting Pirates
“Shoot them down!” That’s one answer to the problem of refugees and immigrants flooding into Germany, clearer even than any Trump-wall. It was offered by Frauke Petry, head of Alternative for Germany (AfD), Coming Cutthroats and Parting Pirates