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  1. 06 Dec '14 16:41
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/11276037/German-far-Left-party-takes-state-parliament.html



    Germany's far-Left party has returned to power in a state government for the first time since the Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, stoking heated debate about its communist roots.


    The Left Party, widely seen as the successor to the Socialist Unity Party (SED) that once ruled East Germany, will head the government of Thuringia after the state parliament narrowly voted to approve a new coalition.
  2. 06 Dec '14 19:06
    They are "commies" in the same sense as Obama is pro-slavery.
  3. 06 Dec '14 23:11
    Originally posted by Eladar
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/11276037/German-far-Left-party-takes-state-parliament.html


    [b]
    Germany's far-Left party has returned to power in a state government for the first time since the Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, stoking heated debate about its communist roots.


    The Left Party, widely seen as the successor to the ...[text shortened]... rnment of Thuringia after the state parliament narrowly voted to approve a new coalition.
    [/b]
    Collectivists are like roaches. Any hint of food in the house and they will find a way in your home and never leave. Then they will breed and breed until their overwhelming numbers drive out the home owner.

    Not that I have anything against roaches, I just hate collectivists is all.
  4. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    06 Dec '14 23:48
    Originally posted by whodey
    Collectivists are like roaches. Any hint of food in the house and they will find a way in your home and never leave. Then they will breed and breed until their overwhelming numbers drive out the home owner.

    Not that I have anything against roaches, I just hate collectivists is all.
    The ideology of the corporate state - the state that is in the power of its corporations - is to oppose all collective action, which is the only source of power for the mass of people.
  5. 07 Dec '14 00:11
    Originally posted by finnegan
    The ideology of the corporate state - the state that is in the power of its corporations - is to oppose all collective action, which is the only source of power for the mass of people.
    The power for the mass of the people is called liberty and freedom.
  6. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    07 Dec '14 03:12
    Originally posted by whodey
    Collectivists are like roaches. Any hint of food in the house and they will find a way in your home and never leave. Then they will breed and breed until their overwhelming numbers drive out the home owner.

    Not that I have anything against roaches, I just hate collectivists is all.
    Then stay off our roads, buddy. They were built by "collectivism."
  7. 07 Dec '14 03:16
    Originally posted by Soothfast
    Then stay off our roads, buddy. They were built by "collectivism."
    Really?

    It seems to me that many roads were build before we had our Socialist State.
  8. 07 Dec '14 11:32
    Originally posted by Eladar
    Really?

    It seems to me that many roads were build before we had our Socialist State.
    Yeah, there was that "socialist" revolution in 1964...
  9. 07 Dec '14 11:39
    Originally posted by Eladar
    Germany's far-Left party has returned to power in a state government for the first time since the Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, stoking heated debate about its communist roots.
    My understanding is that left leaning parties have been on the increase in Europe largely due to the failure of capitalism and loss of faith in the democratic process - or rather the somewhat undemocratic process - of right leaning systems. The problem is that it is not so much communists gaining ground but rather anyone that opposes the current government, which tends to include a wide range of unsavory characters and political beliefs.
  10. 07 Dec '14 11:56 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    My understanding is that left leaning parties have been on the increase in Europe largely due to the failure of capitalism and loss of faith in the democratic process - or rather the somewhat undemocratic process - of right leaning systems. The problem is that it is not so much communists gaining ground but rather anyone that opposes the current government, which tends to include a wide range of unsavory characters and political beliefs.
    If one takes the outcome of recent European Parliament elections as a gauge, there doesn't appear to be any major trends in terms of voters leaning "left" or "right."

    I don't recognize "capitalism" as a major issue among European voters. Almost no one I know has ever mentioned "capitalism" as a concern in a political context.
  11. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    07 Dec '14 12:10
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    My understanding is that left leaning parties have been on the increase in Europe largely due to the failure of capitalism and loss of faith in the democratic process - or rather the somewhat undemocratic process - of right leaning systems. The problem is that it is not so much communists gaining ground but rather anyone that opposes the current government, which tends to include a wide range of unsavory characters and political beliefs.
    I disagree.

    Obviously, disenchantment with the neoliberal consensus is growing and the subordination of politics to corporate interests becoming evident. People can see they are being lied to but lack the political awareness to distinguish the issues. So some are swinging off to the right and others to the left and many to the fringes. However, there are also coherent movements in the political space which are going to have an impact.

    Americans have a serious difficuty when they try to interpret European politics, which is that Americans are deeply enmeshed in an ideological view of the world and cannot yet appreciate the nonsensical way in which their world view is assembled. In particular, for this thread, they retain the comforting delusion that what happened in 1989 was the collapse of socialist and the triumph of neoliberal values.

    A number of useful sources might help to shift their perceptions a little. A novel by Kandura, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, plays with a good few philosophical concerns and one is the question - what is it that the East Europeans (in this case, the Czechs) protested against in their communist regimes and what is the alternative they had in mind? One somewhat comical scene shows European and American intellectuals coming together in a protest against a communist country's policies and discovering that the Europeans strongly objected to and rejected the way their American associates interpreted the situation and expressed their opinions.

    Studies of East Germany have shown that the the (obviously brutal and tyrannical) communist regime there had substantial popular support, without ever being blind to the tyranny in place, and that this support faltered when and because the socialist vision failed to deliver, not because people wanted a capitalist alternative. They wanted a socialist alternative. Americans forget that they also display a complacent acceptance of some extremely violent and shamefully irresponsible activities of the American government over recent decades, believing that there are higher values that justify these failings.

    When the communist regimes fell, they were largely replaced by a form of gangster capitalism which has robbed their economies of the benefits of social investment and transferred wealth and resources into private hands. Obviously, the German experience differs hugely from that of Russia, and there is huge diversity as you move around the former soviet countries, something Americans choose not to see or appreciate. But even in Germany, there is a powerful nostalgia for social arrangements that have been neglected - a particular example being nursery care for the children of working mothers.

    There are many aspects of the communist regime in East Germany that are considered worth rescuing. The desire to patronise and insult all former communist citizens in order to sustain the neoliberal interpretation of events is not as sustainable as some Americans imagine.
  12. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    07 Dec '14 12:15
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    If one takes the outcome of recent European Parliament elections as a gauge, there doesn't appear to be any major trends in terms of voters leaning "left" or "right."

    I don't recognize "capitalism" as a major issue among European voters. Almost no one I know has ever mentioned "capitalism" as a concern in a political context.
    You are right. It is not capitalism as such that concerns people, because social democratic societies have always operated happily in a mixed economy that is primarily capitalist. I suspect that even the anti capitalist movement is not in search of a planned economy and the elimination of private property.

    What people are alarmed about is neoliberalism, a laissez faire ideology that has become rampant since Reagan and Thatcher.

    That does not mean people want a nicer form of capitalism. It means they want capitalism subordinated to democracy. The neoliberal ideology favours the powerful corporations and the extremely rich at the expense of democracy.
  13. 07 Dec '14 13:30 / 1 edit
    If there has been a marked trend in the voter demographics of European voters, I would say it is a trend towards reactionary policies. Broadly speaking, I would consider this to take two main forms: one is a growing hostility towards immigrants, in particular Muslims and Eastern Europeans. Some of the main benefactors of this trend are xenophobic parties like the Front National and the UKIP. The other main form is a resistance towards reform of entrenched benefits, such as an early retirement age, generous (and often abused) disability benefits, etc. This resistance is embodied by parties such as Die Linke in Germany and the Socialist Party in the Netherlands. Sometimes the two are combined: the racist Freedom Party in the Netherlands strongly opposed the increase of the retirement age.
  14. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    07 Dec '14 15:22
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    If there has been a marked trend in the voter demographics of European voters, I would say it is a trend towards reactionary policies. Broadly speaking, I would consider this to take two main forms: one is a growing hostility towards immigrants, in particular Muslims and Eastern Europeans. Some of the main benefactors of this trend are xenophobic partie ...[text shortened]... the racist Freedom Party in the Netherlands strongly opposed the increase of the retirement age.
    Yes there is a huge movement away from the centre and I think the rightward tendencies are partly the product of a totally irresponsible press that will publish blatant fairy tales in its antagonism to democracy and social welfare.
    Nevertheless there are also moves from the left, as exemplified in Germany, which provoked this thread. I was really only responding to the question whether German communists might have redeeming features and win votes.

    As to the true balance between left and right, I do not trust our media to represent the true picture. I think that it is up to politicians to recover their base in decent, progressive and fair minded people among their voters.
  15. Standard member RJHinds
    The Near Genius
    08 Dec '14 19:36 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    They are "commies" in the same sense as Obama is pro-slavery.
    They are "commies" in the same sense as Obama.

    US Internet snooping ends Germany's love for Obama

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCA5KReKRXI