Western Regimes Have Expiration Dates Too…

March 31, 2013 at 2:49 pm (tWP) (, , , , , , , )

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Nothing lasts forever. What is being observed nowadays in Europe’s south and the Arab Spring is not just temporary and circumstantial economic woes, it is a change in paradigm for the West. Every major issue westerners tried to avoid for decades is coming back with a vengeance be it unsustainable welfare programs or incompatible immigration trends. Yet the system is bogged down in legislative inertia and political impasse. Bipolarisation plagues the US whereas electoral apathy and lack of leadership plagues Europe.

By pushing the aforementioned issues to the margins in favour of political correctness, western politicians condemned many of those issues to being used only by marginal politicians and it is these that now reap the benefits of political courage and prescience. However, populist parties in Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria or Hungary are not suited to run the fate of a complex state apparatus and if elected are likely to cause strategic havoc. It may as well however, be too late for centrist parties to make a change.

Gaetano Mosca and Robert Michels theorised that every system has elites and that these need to allow for ruling elite rotation in order to for the system to function properly. Any accumulation and exclusivity by a ruling elite, forces non ruling elites to plot against the system as an opposition, which often leads to Caesarism.

The Western model is exhausted because democracy no longer allows for a proper ruling elite circulation but no other system does either. This inherent domestic friction in most western states is likely to bring about a complete change in paradigm but not necessarily to something better.

Electoralist Left

The Left is bankrupt. The fall of the Berlin wall and the collapse of the USSR were a hard blow to leftist politics worldwide which tried to adapt through ‘3rd Way’ antics. These however were merely a improvisation to a changing political environment; ultimately the combination of neoliberalism with socialism did nothing other than prolonging the inevitable collapse of the welfare system, the Left relied upon for constituency maintenance.

Thus, while it used to be the right to exercise populistic politics in order to sway voters which could not be swayed without a more marxist ideological narrative, today it is the right that holds ideological supremacy. Right-wing ideology is slowly becoming the paradigm in Europe. The left has consequently chosen to divert its speech to more demogagic issues in the hope of persuading non-ideological acolytes on the centre. This however will carry awful consequences for the long term future when neo-Keynesian economics results in yet another market punishment for unsustainable indebtedness.

In the absence of ideology, the left is now subject to the superior influence of utilitarian structures. From Australia to Europe, the left wing party apparatchiks are now empowered by the need for votes which cannot be gained by ideology. Left-wing parties face thus an inner struggle for power with old ideologues facing off against young apparatchiks who can deliver votes, even at the cost of demagoguery, corruption and short-termism, leaching off a dysfunctional system. Rudd vs Gillard or Ed vs David Miliband are the demonstration of this trend and apparatchiks together with the defenders of established corporativist interests and trade unions, are winning.

Schadenfreude Right

The right actually sees many of its criticisms of the liberal paradigm confirmed: its criticism of democratic peace theory is confirmed by Arab Spring ‘democracies’ becoming antagonist of western interests, its criticism of multicultural society is confirmed by riots, failure in integration policies as well as intolerant trends among incompatible immigrant demographics with European and American host societies, its criticism of the individualisation of values with the counter-culture movement is proven right by the sharp decrease in living conditions of worse-off segments of society, its criticism of demilitarisation and disarmament proven right by the opposite trend among emerging economies.

Yet, the right is itself afraid of upsetting the established order which has kept stability for so long. It is afraid of empowering too much the Geert Wilders and UKIP alternative-right movements which nibble electorally at its power bases.

Angela Merkel is a dark knight of sorts, delivering solutions to the south which are necessary but deeply unpopular. The southern christian democrats are thus being spared the consequences of their own leniency towards the liberal-left wing paradigm. But even this cannot last forever and like Harvey Dent their failures may yet be exposed by extremist Banes for now lurking in the shadows.

BRPL - Cópia

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