European Politics General (Canada welcome too, I suppose)

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Catnip1024:
Which is almost entirely down to them being largely Catholic. Much in the same way as Ireland.

We don't have a Far-Right outside of attempted imports from England or America, socially speaking we've nothing that comes close to UKIP/PiS/Tea Party and probably never will. Unless the Abortion debate is the main metric you're using here.

Catnip1024:
It's bizarre how that is not a thing in US politics.

Not to drag this into too much of a US politics rabbit hole, but it's due entirely to Evangelical Protestant Christianity and its domination of religious life here. They've largely abandoned the whole "camel through the eye of a needle" view of wealth hoarding and, instead, see wealth hoarding as an accumulation of God's goodwill; the ideology has earned the term "prosperity gospel." Rich people are rich because God loves them most therefore they are virtuous people; poor people are poor because God disfavors them therefore they are evil and to be despised.

Oh here's one, so some leaked MI5 documents revealed they asked the UVF (think the British KKK and you're in the right ballpark) to kill Charlie Haughey.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/loyalists-told-charles-haughey-mi5-asked-us-to-execute-you-1.3339804

False flag? Attempt to setup PR stunt to court Irish favor by thwarting an assassination attempt? Taking all bets!

Ninjamedic:
We don't have a Far-Right outside of attempted imports from England or America, socially speaking we've nothing that comes close to UKIP/PiS/Tea Party and probably never will. Unless the Abortion debate is the main metric you're using here.

We were talking social conservatism. Of which, the anti-abortion, opposition to gay marriage and the like is a major factor. Personally, I wouldn't have called them far right views, but that's what happens when people use 1 dimension to try and explain everything.

Avnger:
Not to drag this into too much of a US politics rabbit hole, but it's due entirely to Evangelical Protestant Christianity and its domination of religious life here. They've largely abandoned the whole "camel through the eye of a needle" view of wealth hoarding and, instead, see wealth hoarding as an accumulation of God's goodwill; the ideology has earned the term "prosperity gospel." Rich people are rich because God loves them most therefore they are virtuous people; poor people are poor because God disfavors them therefore they are evil and to be despised.

Which is ironic, because that's the exact mentality that was inherent within the Catholic church when the Protestant movement began. How the wheel turns...

Ninjamedic:
Oh here's one, so some leaked MI5 documents revealed they asked the UVF (think the British KKK and you're in the right ballpark) to kill Charlie Haughey.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/loyalists-told-charles-haughey-mi5-asked-us-to-execute-you-1.3339804

False flag? Attempt to setup PR stunt to court Irish favor by thwarting an assassination attempt? Taking all bets!

That's... terrifying. The "Anthros" claim seems a little outlandish but aside from that I could believe it. I love that the supposed alias of the MI5 agent is "Alex Jones". Wait until that leaks to the conspiro-sphere.

My bet as to why would be on facilitating a crises that would give good reason for the British government to intervene in Ireland again. I'm baffled though, frankly. It could be false, it could be because the Queen had everything spelt out to her in a dream, all would make about as much sense as this.

Catnip1024:
You asked which left-wing policies they had implemented. I provided an answer. I'm not trying to say they are out and out socialists by any stretch.

Yeah, that's correct.

I'm not doubting that there's some left-wing ideas in there, in certain areas. It wasn't meant to be a challenge.

Catnip1024:
Which is a rather unnecessary term for what is much more simply a devoutly Catholic interpretation of socialism.

Well, I wouldn't say that. They do not have a redistributive tax system by modern standards, for instance.

But in more political-philosophical terms, "socialism" necessarily involves a level of equal treatment or egalitarianism that the PiS flatly refuses. Socialism and arbitrary denial of equal treatment are to some degree mutually exclusive.

Catnip1024:
Personally, I wouldn't have called them far right views, but that's what happens when people use 1 dimension to try and explain everything.

It's only really mainstream right wing thinking (and even then it's more of a resistance to change as opposed to trying to rollback civil rights) and even then it's luke warm compared to the discourse in America or Britain.

Fianna Fail is the go to Catholic party and even they (slowly) said yes to the Marriage referendum. There isn't any official opposition to LGBT rights anymore over here aside from the fringe. We're still a conservative country, but we just dont have the stomach for the hard right.

Silvanus:
Well, I wouldn't say that. They do not have a redistributive tax system by modern standards, for instance.

Where do you think the Vatican got all it's money from? Not through redistribution, that's for sure.

On a serious note, I have no real idea how the Polish tax system works. But it looks after the poorest, which is the Christian thing to be doing. The rest of the way up is kind of less important really.

But in more political-philosophical terms, "socialism" necessarily involves a level of equal treatment or egalitarianism that the PiS flatly refuses. Socialism and arbitrary denial of equal treatment are to some degree mutually exclusive.

And within the bounds of their religious beliefs they do that. It's not equality, no. That's because pretty much all religion leads to some lack of equal treatment / restriction on personal rights.

Ninjamedic:
We're still a conservative country, but we just dont have the stomach for the hard right.

The comment earlier was more about how Ireland and Poland are both shaped by the Catholic background than trying to paint the Irish in any particular light. For example, I'd say (from a relatively ignorant position, tbf) that despite your government policies, you probably still have fairly widespread disapproval of abortion among the populace.

And in the "in other news" category, Macron has proposed emergency powers allowing websites considered to be spreading fake news to be banned:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/03/emmanuel-macron-ban-fake-news-french-president

In his new year's speech to journalists at the ?lys?e palace, Macron said he would shortly present the new law in order to fight the spread of fake news, which he said threatened liberal democracies.

New legislation for websites would include more transparency about sponsored content. Under the new law, websites would have to say who is financing them and the amount of money for sponsored content would be capped.

For fake news published during election seasons, an emergency legal action could allow authorities to remove that content or even block the website, Macron said. "If we want to protect liberal democracies, we must be strong and have clear rules," he added.

He said France's media watchdog, the CSA, would be empowered to fight against "any attempt at destabilisation" by TV stations controlled or influenced by foreign states.

Which I am personally ambivalent about. Misleading information is bad. Government control over the media is also potentially very bad.

Clarity in advertising is great, though.

CheetoDust:

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:

Agema:
But PiS have a strong hand. Studies suggest a lot of Poles are uneasy about what PiS is doing with state institutions, but this is overwhelmed by the fact PiS is delivering in many areas of domestic concern by looking after the general welfare of Poles.

Its actually really sad that increasingly in European countries right wing populists are better at executing left wing ideas than old left and social democrat parties. Feels bad man.

Wrong, they're better at playing like their going to execute them. None of them are actually implementing any of them.

Thats a very Anglo centric view, look at what the PiS has done in Poland, the example which was originally given. Beside meddling with courts and trying to kill free journalism they've also implemented a lot of changes in domestic policy which, if you looked at them and only them, you would categorize as more of a lefty-social democrat kind of thing than a right wing populist one. The actual social democrats in neighbouring countries have paradoxically spent the last decade doing the opposite of that.

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:

Thats a very Anglo centric view, look at what the PiS has done in Poland, the example which was originally given. Beside meddling with courts and trying to kill free journalism they've also implemented a lot of changes in domestic policy which, if you looked at them and only them, you would categorize as more of a lefty-social democrat kind of thing than a right wing populist one. The actual social democrats in neighbouring countries have paradoxically spent the last decade doing the opposite of that.

Yeah fair enough. All I really knew about PiS was what I learned from Polish friends and they tended to focus more on the bad. Don't get me wrong, I was only half disagreeing, parties claiming to be left wing and who actually push left wing policy are practically nonexistent.

ineptelephant:

Ninjamedic:
Oh here's one, so some leaked MI5 documents revealed they asked the UVF (think the British KKK and you're in the right ballpark) to kill Charlie Haughey.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/loyalists-told-charles-haughey-mi5-asked-us-to-execute-you-1.3339804

False flag? Attempt to setup PR stunt to court Irish favor by thwarting an assassination attempt? Taking all bets!

That's... terrifying. The "Anthros" claim seems a little outlandish but aside from that I could believe it. I love that the supposed alias of the MI5 agent is "Alex Jones". Wait until that leaks to the conspiro-sphere.

My bet as to why would be on facilitating a crises that would give good reason for the British government to intervene in Ireland again. I'm baffled though, frankly. It could be false, it could be because the Queen had everything spelt out to her in a dream, all would make about as much sense as this.

Wouldn't be the first time MI5 colluded with terrorists to kill Irish public figures. They've even admitted to it in the past and then proceeded to punish nobody involved because everyone knows the troubles was nothing but uppity republicans causing trouble.

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:

Thats a very Anglo centric view, look at what the PiS has done in Poland, the example which was originally given. Beside meddling with courts and trying to kill free journalism they've also implemented a lot of changes in domestic policy which, if you looked at them and only them, you would categorize as more of a lefty-social democrat kind of thing than a right wing populist one. The actual social democrats in neighbouring countries have paradoxically spent the last decade doing the opposite of that.

In ways, there's not that much difference between a lot of right wing populism and social democracy in terms of certain economic policies. Populism in practice means doing things lots of people like. Most of the population are working and lower middle class, so policies friendly to these relatively worse-off can tend to go down very well.

"Right wing" is not a byword for "capitalist" or "free market". Huge numbers of right-wingers do not much like large tracts of free market policy, are often suspicious of big business, globalisation, and so on. They are conservatives who believe that right wing parties best reflect the way of life and traditions that they are comfortable with, and in many cases are less likely to stick their noses into people's personal business (sometimes including taxing them).

The rise of right-wing populism reflects that many traditional left voters are substantially conservative: they want policies to improve their lot but also don't really want much change. Left wing parties can offer suitable economic policies, but lose these voters by also having policies (usually forms of progressivism) that make them come across as middle class snobs looking down on those voters. Many poorer voters are also psychologically right-wing authoritarians; they vote left for policies to make them better off, but are highly suceptible to parties that tout policies of strong, centralised authority, order, and social uniformity.

* * *

I perceive much of the mainstream left's problem (generally in Europe) is that the left is perceived to have lost the economic argument, and the working class has shrunk (from about 70% in the 1950s to ~50% now). The former has forced a drift rightwards as public opinion has turned against socialism. The second is that the middle and upper classes have always had the money and influence, but now they are so many of the voters too, left wing parties cannot rely on working class support in the way they once did. That's why they're now trying to bridge their traditional more working class values with those of the progressive middle classes. It doesn't really work well: the groups are too different. I don't think they have any alternative but to try, but it leaves them very vulnerable to right wing populism.

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