Donald Trump is in the White House, Marine Le Pen almost secured power in France and Angela Merkel looks like she should take the German federal elections. All in all, things are looking pretty crappy, and that has me extremely happy.
Now, please don’t get it twisted. It’s not that I have woken up and suddenly said “Hark, I love the far right”, nor is it that I have drunk the neoliberal kool-aid of Mrs Merkel and her ilk. So what then would bring on such an odd statement from me, a person who has written from a position of the left?
The answer is simple: although I’m sure many will find it both upsetting, sad and disgusting all at the same time. Again, it’s not that I have become a new Mussolini. Instead, I am chuffed that these people are doing well because it will and more importantly IS both undermining and showing what the neoliberal system is, and will hasten its downfall. In a nutshell, the electoral success of these people will bring the whole feculent and oppressive house of cards down.
But it is more than that. It is quickly opening up people’s eyes to the fact that the system is rigged firmly against them and they are fighting back for a more just system.
This can be found all over the place. Take for example France and their recent elections. In the end, the centrist Macron beat out the far right Le Pen. But that is not the whole story. While Macron was pushing for more of the same (the decimation of the French welfare state, increasing military adventures abroad, further integration of the EU and opening up the nation to neo-liberal regulations), Le Pen and her policies looked like they came from the left wing.
She promised nationalisation of industries and the keeping of jobs that Macron wanted to get rid of. Needless to say she lost; but just barely (showing just how disgusted people are with the system. Now that Mr Macron is doing just as he promised (starting with the cutting of housing subsidies that will mainly affect the poor and students), we are seeing the push back from the poor and students who are demanding not just the safeguarding of the current system, but also the creation of a whole new and more just France.
Germany is also a nation where the neoliberals have gone a bridge too far. Germany under the neoliberal model has done well only in a superficial way post-Berlin wall, but more so since the great international recession during the tenure of Mrs Merkel (that is still haunting the Eurozone).
For while Germany has a great employment rate and a ‘robust’ financial sector, when one looks closer at the data we see wages that have been stagnant for over a decade and we see where the biggest and most important German financial institution, Deutsche Bank, has more debt than it can ever hope to repay in a thousand lifetimes.
We have a nation that talks about multiculturalism but fails to integrate people, while keeping old prejudices that then give rise to parties such as the AFD (Alternative für Deutschland). We have a nation that pumps money into governments with actual neo-Nazi members, as is the case with Ukraine, while also supporting and funding groups that lead to the rise of ISIS (the very threat they now fear).
The German people are waking up to the realities that the neo-liberal system is failing as seen in Mrs Merkel’s low (at least for her) approval ratings. Hopefully, one more term of the abject CDU/CSU-SPD coalition will hasten the collapse of the failed neoliberal experience in that nation.
Finally, we come to the United States and Mr Donald Trump. What can one say but thank you for showing the world the true unabashed face and the end result of neoliberalism and all that it carries? Imagine if it had been Mrs Clinton in office who had announced the massive tax giveaway to the rich, would MSNBC, CNN et al be up in arms and calling out the oppressive administration and policy? How would the American citizenry have reacted if a hypothetical President Clinton met Field Marshal President Al-Sisi and the members of the house of Saud?
Would the media have its panties in a bunch or would it praise her on her ‘many air miles racked up’? How exactly would American society have reacted if, say, President Clinton was to have basically okayed the sideswiping and blockade of Qatar by the Gulf Arab nations because of (and please don’t laugh) their support of terrorists. Who amongst the Gulf monarchies doesn’t support terrorists? Would they be roundly condemning her as a ‘dictator’, or would they praise her as they did in her inglorious Libyan adventure? No, let us not condemn Trump, but thank him for showing what the system is all about — the expansion of fossil fuels, as done under Obama who wanted oil independence; the cementing of the super-rich and their companies, as seen with the Democratic bailout of Wall Street; and the beating up of the poor and marginalized, like homosexuals who Democrats only took seriously when they realized that support for gays was a great vote winner, for no one would dare raise a protest if it were a Democrat in office doing it (as we saw with Mr Obama).
Mr Trump has awoken people to the fact that the American system is failed and that a change is needed — a change on both sides and a change that is more equitable and bereft of the twisted neo-liberal ideology.
The neo-liberal system is a sick one and the rise of the far right is its end result. The far right thrives in situations like these because it despises liberalism, and can point to the hard evidence of the failures of liberal (neoliberal) variety.
When a government is more concerned with exploiting people for the profits of the super-rich rather than the welfare of its starving society (almost half Americans live near or below the official American poverty level) then that is a breeding ground for the rise of the far right. The sooner the neoliberal experiment fails, then the faster the far right can both fail and be tackled. That is the reality of things. So again, disgusting as it may sound, let us have a drink in the name of the trinity who may very well cause the system to implode.