Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Spain's Election: Will It Move Europe to the Right?

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Sam BlumenfeldAlthough the socialists took a beating in Spain’s election on November 20 — in which the conservative Popular Party won a majority of seats in Spain’s parliament — the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), with its lowest vote in 34 years, vowed to put real pressure on the new conservative government.

The polls had predicted the victory of the conservative Popular Party, which prompted the leftist candidate, former Interior Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, to promise that he would make the rich pay higher taxes. (Where have we heard that before?) He tried to scare voters by claiming that the conservatives had a secret program to cut the welfare state and attack unions and workers' rights. (Echoes of Madison, Wisconsin.) But only 40 percent of the people who had voted for the PSOE in 2008 said they would vote socialist again.

The Journal of Socialist Renewal reported:

All that manufactured “indignation” simply invited and got from PP [Popular Party] leader Mariano Rajoy this predictable response: his PP government would implement needed “reform” much more effectively and fairly than the PSOE bunglers. It would consult all “social partners” but make up its own mind on how best to pull Spain out of the “socialist” quagmire.

Rajoy’s one-point program was that the conservatives would restore the vital missing ingredient of “confidence.” “Confidence” would restore the willingness of small and medium business to invest, and so start to cut Spain’s five-million-long queue of unemployed. “Confidence” would see Spain restored as an equal in Europe and also placate the finance markets. “Confidence” would make the sun come out and stir into action all that is good in the Spanish character.

Obviously, the Left will not play dead after the conservatives take over the reins of power. Spain has a long tradition of socialist politics, and the socialists will resist all attempts to dismantle the welfare state. And that is the same problem a Republican government in Washington will face. There will be leftist demonstrations, mass marches, and perhaps even violence. The radicalized Democrats will not become Washington’s potted plants. George Soros will not permit it.

As for Europe, it was Czech Republic President, Vaclav Klaus, a member of the pro-capitalist Mont Pelerin Society, who explained the situation to a group of Americans on tour in Europe on June 11, 2011. He said:

The most visible European problem today is the European monetary union, which was presented as the most important unification achievement following the Maastricht Treaty.... It was intended to accelerate economic growth, reduce inflation, and protect member states against external economic disruptions or so-called exogenous shocks. It has not worked. After the establishment of the euro zone, the economic growth of its member states slowed down relative to previous decades.... The internal disequilibria — such as trade imbalances and state budget imbalances — became larger, not smaller.

It should have been clear to all, as it was to me, that the idea of a single European currency was essentially wrong — that it would create huge economic problems and lead inevitably to an undemocratic centralization of Europe.

But centralization is the natural trend in any socialist economy. It creates more regulation, more entitlements, and less individual inventiveness or entrepreneurship. Klaus further explains:

In Europe, we have witnessed a gradual shift away from liberalizing and removing barriers and towards a massive introduction of regulation from above, an ever-expanding welfare system, new and more sophisticated forms of protectionism and continuously growing legal and regulatory burdens on business.

Europeans today prefer leisure to performance, security to risk-taking, paternalism to free markets, collectivism and group entitlements to individualism. They have always been more risk-averse than Americans, but the difference continues to grow. Economic freedom has a very low priority there. It seems that Europeans are not interested in capitalism and free markets and so do not understand that their current behavior undermines the very institutions that made their past success possible. They are eager to defend their non-economic freedoms — the easiness, looseness, laxity, and permissiveness of modern or post-modern European society.

And that is why they continue to riot in Greece and will probably riot in Spain once the conservatives try to implement their programs. Will it be much different here in the United States?

The Occupy Wall Street crowd wants the same kind of social democracy that is destroying economic growth in Europe. Socialism is an international intellectual disease. It spread to the United States to the point where it has long controlled the White House and a major political party. It achieved power by stealth, lies, and high-sounding empty promises.

If you want to know how all of this was achieved by the far left, you will find it explained in the 2006 book by David Horowitz and Richard Poe: The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton and Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party. The book was written even before Barack Obama was chosen by Soros to become the Democratic candidate in 2008. The authors observe:

The Democrats’ movement to the political left is not new. “Progressive” activists have been carrying out a broad-ranging infiltration of American political and cultural institutions for forty years.... These activists are organized in two distinct movements, one exerting pressure from below, the other exerting pressure from above.

This strategy was conceived in 1957 by a Czech communist, Jan Kozak, who showed how a small group of communists could gain power in Czechoslovakia by adopting this plan. The trick was to exert pressure for radical change from two directions simultaneously — from the upper levels of government and from provocateurs in the streets. One way to exert “pressure from below,” as Kozak explained, was to fill the streets with rioters, strikers, and protesters, thus creating the illusion of a widespread clamor for change from the grassroots. Radicals in the government would then exert “pressure from above,” enacting new laws on the pretext of appeasing the protesters in the street.

That’s exactly the strategy being used by the Far Left today in the United States. The Obama administration exerts pressure from above, and the OWS exerts pressure from below. But the United States is not Czechoslovakia in the Fifties. The United States is the keystone to world capitalism. If capitalism is destroyed in the United States, it will have a shattering impact on the world’s economy and reduce America to a second-rate welfare state. But that is unlikely to happen. While Americans have been led down the primrose path to socialism by liberal politicians, without knowing what the end-game was, many have suddenly awakened and realized what is at stake. Therefore, unless the election in November 2012 is cancelled because of some contrived crisis, it will be the great reckoning of the 21st century.

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