Already the world begins to change 26

The corrective effects of Donald Trump’s victory on the wider world have started.

The first thing it is doing is striking fear into the hearts of  those who need to be made to fear.

Who are they? They are the Powers that rule us.

They are Leftist intellectuals. They are commonly referred to as “the elites”. Thomas Sowell calls them “the Annointed”. Donald Trump calls them “the Establishment”.

They have silenced the voice of the people by creating the undemocratic European Union. They do their utmost to impose their orthodoxy by suppressing freedom of speech.

Most of the press and the mainstream media are their lackeys.

And now, inspired  by the British exit from the EU by popular vote, and even more by the triumph of Donald Trump, the suppressed are emboldened to speak out, to protest, to challenge the power of Their power.

They know it, they fear it, and they admit that they fear it.

Reuters, one of the leading media lackeys, “reports” the parties and organizations that pose the threat  – without recognizing that some of them are  corrective movements. The word “populist is applied to all of them, and considered enough to condemn all of them.  But in this article the groups cited make a very mixed bag. All they have in common is that they threaten the monopoly of power that the Establishment now holds.    

Back in May, when Donald’s Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election seemed the remotest of possibilities, a senior European official took to Twitter before a G7 summit in Tokyo to warn of a “horror scenario“.

Imagine, mused the official, if instead of Barack Obama, Francois Hollande, David Cameron and Matteo Renzi, next year’s meeting of the club of rich nations included Trump, Marine Le Pen, Boris Johnson and Beppe Grillo.

A month after Martin Selmayr, the head of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s cabinet made the comment, Britain shocked the world by voting to leave the European Union. Cameron stepped down as prime minister and Johnson – the former London mayor who helped swing Britons behind Brexit – became foreign minister.

Now, with Trump’s triumph over his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, the populist tsunami that seemed outlandish a few months ago is becoming reality, and the consequences for Europe’s own political landscape are potentially huge.

In 2017, voters in the Netherlands, France and Germany – and possibly in Italy and Britain too – will vote in elections that could be colored by the triumphs of Trump and Brexit, and the toxic politics that drove those campaigns.

The lessons will not be lost on continental Europe’s populist parties, who hailed Trump’s victory on Wednesday as a body blow for the political mainstream.

“Toxic politics”? “Toxic” because they are “populist”. “Populist” simply means “of the people”. But the Establishment and its media lackeys use it to imply the will of a rabble, a frenzied mob, driven by foaming irrational hate to do violence for no reason but a sheer lust for destruction – the very thing Leftist mobs do so often under the banners of, for instance, the Black Lives Matter movement.   

“Politics will never be the same,” said Geert Wilders of the far-right Dutch Freedom Party. “What happened in America can happen in Europe and the Netherlands as well.”

Geert Wilders’s party “far right”? Read his latest speech here. He is proud of the Dutch tradition of freedom, tolerance, impartial justice. He is a patriot, a defender of the nation-state of Holland. That  does not make him a Nazi, which is  what Reuters, and all those for whom Reuters speaks, mean to imply by the label “far right”.  

French National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen was similarly ebullient. “Today the United States, tomorrow France,” Le Pen, the father of the party’s leader Marine Le Pen, tweeted.

Aligning Marine Le Pen with her father Jean-Marie Le Pen is again an attempt to apply the “far right” or “Nazi” smear. She did take over the leadership of the originally neo-Nazi Front National from her father, but changed it into a tolerant conservative party, expelling members who held pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic views.

Daniela Schwarzer, director of research at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), said Trump’s bare-fisted tactics against his opponents and the media provided a model for populist European parties that have exercised comparative restraint on a continent that still remembers World War Two.

Again the implied smear: Trump “with his bare-fisted tactics” is corrupting the people of Europe hitherto restrained from active “populist” political action -“restrained” because they “remember World War Two” – ie. they have an impulse to be Nazis, and now are likely to break out in full Nazi form, inspired to it by Trump. Implication: Trump is a Nazi.

“The broken taboos, the extent of political conflict, the aggression that we’ve seen from Trump, this can widen the scope of what becomes thinkable in our own political culture,” Schwarzer said.

The “taboos” are those imposed  by the Establishment. They are the locks on the lips of the people. That is the suppression of free speech.

Eyes on Austria next:

Early next month, Austrians will vote in a presidential election that could see Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party become the first far-right head of state to be freely elected in western Europe since 1945.

The Austrian Freedom Party was founded by a Nazi, an erstwhile SS officer, but moved away from its Nazi roots. It formed an alliance, temporarily , with the Social Democratic Party. What does it stand for? Pretty well everything. It is a “liberal” party, a “social welfare” party, but it favors “privatization”  and low taxes.  It has been described as “right-wing populist”, national conservative”, and “national liberal”. It calls itself libertarian, and holds individual freedom as one of its highest principles. It is strongly anti-establishment and against Muslim immigration into Austria.  

Now to Italy:

On the same day, a constitutional reform referendum on which Prime Minister Renzi has staked his future could upset the political order in Italy, pushing Grillo’s left-wing 5-Star movement closer to the reins of power.

So here’s a rebel movement against the Establishment that even Reuters cannot smear with the label “far right”. It calls itself a “left-wing” movement. But it also calls itself “populist”, “anti-establishment”, “anti-globalist”, and against the undemocratic European Union. One thing it also believes in that puts it decidedly on the left, is Environmentalism.

“An epoch has gone up in flames,” Grillo said. “The real demagogues are the press, intellectuals, who are anchored to a world that no longer exists.”

He dares to say it!

On to Poland and Hungary, where the Muslim invasion is not welcomed by their governments. That alone, of course, in the eyes of the Establishment makes them “right-wing”. Yes, they are nationalists, and nationalism now, in the age of the EU, of the Establishment’s preference for “open borders” and globalization, is the very essence of “Far Rightism”.

Right-wing nationalists are already running governments in Poland and Hungary.

But that’s Eastern Europe, where they are inclined to be more nationalist because of their years under the heel of International Communism, aka the Soviet Union.

In Western Europe, the likelihood of a Trump figure taking power seems remote for now.

Because –

In Europe’s parliamentary democracies, traditional parties from the right and left have set aside historical rivalries, banding together to keep out the populists.

Banding together, as in certain ways Republicans and Democrats have been doing for the last eight years in Washington, D.C., to safeguard their power. They are the Establishment in America against which Trump is leading a movement of the people.  

But the lesson from the Brexit vote is that parties do not have to be in government to shape the political debate, said Tina Fordham, chief global political analyst at Citi. She cited the anti-EU UK Independence Party which has just one seat in the Westminster parliament.

“UKIP did poorly in the last election but had a huge amount influence over the political dynamic in Britain,” Fordham said. “The combination of the Brexit campaign and Trump have absolutely changed the way campaigns are run.”

UKIP leader Nigel Farage hailed Trump’s victory on Wednesday as a “supersized Brexit”.

As new political movements emerge, traditional parties will find it increasingly difficult to form coalitions and hold them together.

Now a look at Spain:

In Spain, incumbent Mariano Rajoy was returned to power last week but only after two inconclusive elections in which voters fled his conservatives and their traditional rival on the left, the Socialists, for two new parties, Podemos and Ciudadanos.

Podemos is a left-wing party, and Cuidadanos a “liberal-progressive, postnationalist” party – so also left-wing. Their inclusion in an article about the fear of the European Establishment is because they too are “populist”.

After 10 months of political limbo, Rajoy finds himself atop a minority government that is expected to struggle to pass laws, implement reforms and plug holes in Spain’s public finances.

The virus of political fragility could spread next year from Spain to the Netherlands, where Wilders’s Freedom Party is neck-and-neck in opinion polls with Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s liberals.

That was a bad segue. What is happening in the Netherlands is not, and will not be, a result of anything that is happening in Spain. But Reuters is now taking a wide view over Western Europe.

For Rutte to stay in power after the election in March, he may be forced to consider novel, less-stable coalition options with an array of smaller parties, including the Greens.

In Europe, the Greens are a mainstream movement, forming mainstream political parties.

In France, which has a presidential system, the chances of Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front, emerging victorious are seen as slim.

The odds-on favorite to win the presidential election next spring is Alain Juppe, a 71-year-old centrist with extensive experience in government who has tapped into a yearning for responsible leadership after a decade of disappointment from Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy.

But in a sign of Le Pen’s strength, polls show she will win more support than any other politician in the first round of the election. Even if she loses the second round run-off, as polls suggest, her performance is likely to be seen as a watershed moment for continental Europe’s far-right.

It could give her a powerful platform from which to fight the reforms that Juppe and his conservative rivals for the presidency are promising.

In Germany, where voters go to the polls next autumn, far-right parties have struggled to gain a foothold in the post-war era because of the dark history of the Nazis, but that too is changing.

The trick of the Left to label Nazism a “right-wing” movement continues to stick. The Nazis were of course National Socialists. Their rivals for power were the International Socialists – the Communists. (Then Nazi Germany made a pact with Communist Russia. Both invaded Poland. Later the two totalitarian Socialist countries fought each other.)

Reuters does not mention PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West). It was started in Dresden in October 2014, and now is not only a significant force in Germany, but has branches in other European countries, including Britain. It is a nationalist movement, and it is, above all, against the Islamic invasion of Europe, so of course the press always labels it “far right”. The report deals with another movement, as strongly against Muslim immigration, which participates in elections as a political party:

Just three years old, the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD), has become a force at the national level, unsettling Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, who have been punished in a series of regional votes because of her welcoming policy toward refugees.

The AfD is specifically against Muslim immigration. The Left does not like to mention the word “Muslim”.

Merkel could announce as early as next month that she plans to run for a fourth term, and if she does run, current polls suggest she would win.

But she would do so as a diminished figure in a country that is perhaps more divided than at any time in the post-war era. Even Merkel’s conservative sister party, the Bavarian Christian Social Union, has refused to endorse her.

So all over Europe there are populist movements rising against the undemocratic Leftist Islam-favoring Establishment. They dare to be opposed to big government, statism, collectivism, redistribution, open borders, world government, mass Muslim immigration, a globalized economy, and the elitist class that dictates the direction of the world towards those goals, and for which the  retention and augmentation of their own power is the only thing that genuinely matters to them.

The populist movements have been timid or “restrained”. But now that America has voted for a populist leader, they will swell in number, become more demanding, perhaps appeal to a majority of voters, perhaps take power as ruling government parties. And they will defy the “taboos”. They will bare their knuckles. They will speak freely, even against Islam. They may go so far as to withdraw their countries from the EU; close borders; stop and even reverse the tide of Islamic immigration; resist globalization.

They may overthrow the Establishment, chuck the corrupt Clinton-type cabals out.

They really are much to be feared.

They are the hope of the West.

Beggar-nations 3

Socialist economics don’t work. The welfare states of Europe are falling into ruin one after another. Greece, Ireland, Portugal have become beggar-nations.

Now Spain.

Soeren Kern writes at PajamasMedia:

Throngs of Spanish youth have gathered in more than 150 cities across Spain to protest skyrocketing unemployment, cutbacks to social welfare benefits, and rampant corruption among Spain’s political elite. …

The Spanish protesters have been inspired [perhaps] by the pro-democracy movements in the Arab world, and are using social media networks to coordinate the demonstrations. …

The largest protests have been in Madrid … Protests are under way in other major Spanish cities, including Barcelona, Bilbao, Granada, Palma de Mallorca, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Valencia, Vigo, and Zaragoza. The protestors have vowed to remain mobilized at least through the May 22 elections

Up until now, anti-government protests in Spain have been relatively few and far between, partly because of the strong ties that labor unions have with the ruling Socialists. But Spain’s nascent youth democracy movement is a spontaneous grassroots groundswell that is not left versus right but rather young versus old. The youth movement is highly inclusive and its members — who represent all of Spain’s socio-economic classes — have expressed disgust with both the governing Socialists and the main opposition conservative Popular Party. …

Corruption in Spain is endemic and politicians from both major parties have been implicated in scandals in all of Spain’s 48 provinces. …

Spain’s ailing economy too is a symptom of much broader problem, including the inability of the social welfare economic model to create jobs, as well as a highly paternalistic labor market that benefits an older generation seeking to preserve the status quo. Although Spain’s economic crisis has affected workers in all age groups, youth unemployment is more than double the overall jobless rate of 21.2 percent, the highest in the industrialized world. Around half of Spain’s youth are unemployed and the other half that is working often does so under highly exploitative employment conditions. …

Opinion polls forecast devastating losses for the Socialists. … Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero announced on April 2 that he would not stand for a third term in general elections scheduled for March 2012. …

But all major parties in Europe now are socialist, no matter what they call themselves, and an Opposition coming into power is unlikely to make any difference.

Mariano Rajoy, the leader of the conservative Popular Party, stands to make huge gains in the elections … But after eight years in the opposition and after many months on the campaign trail, he has yet to say how he plans to reverse Spain’s economic fortunes if he finally becomes prime minister …

And Richard Fernandez reports and comments, also at PajamasMedia:

When Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero took power seven years ago, he and his Socialist Workers Party set out to perfect the welfare state in Spain. The goal was to equal— or even surpass — lavish social protections that have long been the rule in Spain’s Western European neighbors.

True to his Socialist principles and riding an economic boom, Zapatero raised the minimum wage and extended health insurance to cover everything from sniffles to sex-changes. He made scholarships available for all. Young adults got rent subsidies called “emancipation” money. Mothers got $3,500 for the birth of a child, toddlers attended free nurseries and the elderly won stipends to finance nursing care. … [But his] main concern in his second term has become hacking away at government spending to preserve Spain’s credit rating. The icon of socialism just concluded a pact with labor unions and business leaders to freeze pensions, push back the retirement age from 65 to 67, trim union bargaining rights, cut civil servants’ pay by 5 percent — including his own — and suspend the childbirth bonus. The alternative, he warned, was bankruptcy. …

Now Zapatero is facing a revolt from his angry left, from the millions of socialist believers and youth — many of whom are unemployed — who were promised something for nothing and now feel betrayed.

They insist on getting “something for nothing”. They want “free “ health care, fat pensions from an early retirement age, rent subsidies, childbirth bonuses, scholarships for all – and full employment. But where will the money come from? To whom can any Spanish government turn? To Germany? Germans feel they’ve given more than enough to failed Eurostates (that shoud never have been allowed to join the Eurozone in the first place). To the International Monetary Fund (an agency that redistributes wealth on a global scale)?

Greece had hopes of getting a hand-out from the IMF. Its erstwhile head, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was sympathetic to its importuning. But he is being held under house arrest in New York, charged with sexual assault, and has lost his powerful position, so the Greek government may hold out its trembling hands for alms in vain.

But even had their champion been at liberty to promote a second bailout, there was no guarantee that Greece would not default eventually and descend into social unrest. …

In Athens, home to almost half of Greece’s 11 million-strong population, the signs of austerity – and poverty – are everywhere: in the homeless and hungry who forage through municipal rubbish bins late at night; in the cash-strapped pensioners who pick up rejects at the street markets that sell fruit and vegetables; in the shops now boarded and closed and in the thousands of ordinary Greeks who can no longer afford to take family outings or regularly eat meat.

There were economists who could have told the European politicians that their socialist policies would bankrupt them. Could have and did. But government after government would not heed the warnings. Now they are learning the hard way, to their shock and distress, that what has been proved unworkable in theory doesn’t work in practice.

Is there any point in hoping that the American Left is taking note?

Zapatero’s problems are a preview of the fate which awaits a left-wing politician who promises to lower the level of the oceans and winds up raising the price of gas.