Monday, 8 May 2017

Lessons of the Local Elections (3) - The Party's Over, Its Time To Burst The Balloons

The Party's Over, Its Time To Burst The Balloons

The managers of the big financial funds, like Bill Gross, recognise that globally bonds are in a bubble that must soon burst, and when it does, and interest rates surge, stock markets will crash, and property prices will crash. The central banks also know that they have done all they can to print never ending sums of money, to prop up these asset prices, and now with prices driven so high that yields have fallen to and below zero, there is nothing more they can do. This is the real basis of the dilemma that is being seen across the globe of the collapse of the political centre, which really means the collapse of that conservative social-democracy that has dominated for the last thirty years. It is breaking down into a struggle between reaction and progressive social-democracy, and for the moment, the reaction is winning.

The ground on which this struggle is taking place is between nationalism and internationalism, or as its often described, between nationalism and globalism. And this in itself poses a problem for the progressive social-democracy, which is why the reaction, at least for now, has been winning. The problem is that the conservative social-democracy was also internationalist in outlook, but its internationalism was one based upon deregulated markets, as a means of driving down costs, and allowing vast reservoirs of loanable money-capital to wash across continents in search of rapid capital gains. It meant that the very rich got even richer, and even sections of the middle class, and working class that owned some of these assets had the delusion of greater wealth, whilst large sections of industry got hollowed out, and the urban areas attached to them decayed.

The workers in these areas found themselves for years presented with options that appeared to provide no solutions. On the one hand, there were small revolutionary sects, who to the extent anyone was aware of their existence, offered fantasies of revolution, as a millenarian solution totally unrelated to reality, or workers immediate problems. On the other, from both Conservative and Social-Democratic parties, occupying that centre ground of conservative social democracy, they were offered simply more of the same, with minor variations, and promises of jam tomorrow, whilst every day they had to deal with the reality of stagnant wages, uncertain employment, and rising living costs. No wonder, therefore, that sections of the population could be easily convinced that the reason for their problems lay not with capitalism, and even, immediately, with a certain variant of that capitalism, based on the needs of the owners of fictitious capital, but with some alien other be it “foreigners”, “immigrants”, “the EU”, “globalism”, or even “the metropolitan elite”, all of which were basically lumped together as being the enemy, and interchangeable terms, by the forces of reaction.

It is why, on the one hand, we have seen the rise of new progressive social-democratic forces such as Syriza in Greece, Podemos in Spain, the Left Bloc in Portugal, as well as the Sanders phenomenon in the US, that in part flowed out of the Occupy Movement, as well as the rise of Corbynism in Britain, but, on the other hand, we have seen the rise of UKIP, of Golden Dawn, of Wilders, of Le Pen and so on. As conservative social-democracy was found bankrupt in ideas to relate to the current situation, a process which also came to be known as Depasokification, following the destruction of the old Greek Social-Democratic Party, set in within the social democratic parties, whilst conservative parties were driven further to the right, in the direction of reaction.

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