Sugary excerpt from an editorial from the Guardian on Oskar Lafontaine, the German Left, and its lessons from the European left:
But there is no disguising the continuing weakness and gradual decline of the German centre-left as a potential party of federal government. Failure to adapt to globalisation has produced weakness. Weakness has caused splits and the splits are reflected in further weakness.These current travails of the German centre-left are part of a wider European pattern of division and defeat. Something of this sort has happened in many EU nations. But they are also a cautionary tale for the Labour party. Those who believe that the only problem with the Labour governments is that they have not been left-wing enough, or that everything will be solved by a proportional representation system that would allow the left to "be itself again", need a reality check.
Hum, I have the strong suspicion that the argument made here is more circular than anything else. The problem for the Left in most industrialized countries is that it has lost It in the sense that it does not believe in Leftism for it really believes in Fukuyamamism and in the theory that we are living the end of history for there are no alternative to the market, capitalism, free trade and other goodies. I remember during the Ohio primary how stupid both Clinton and Obama were sounding when they were trying to convince the people that they were never really for NAFTA. What I wanted to ask them was "what's your plan B?" This isn't a cynical, but a realistic question for it seems to me that the Left solely believes in the heart, that it is better than the right because it is more compassionate (that's why Bush created compassionate conservatism. At the time I wondered what was the point of being compassionate if you are not helping fixing the ill that creates your self-serving compassion). The problem when the heart is at the heart of politics is that any policy becomes justifiable when the argument that the heart of the policymakers is in the right place becomes plausible for the media and the masses. Is there really nothing left Left to the Left? I don't think that's the real question for liberalism in the American sense of the word has stopped to be a political ideology, to be just a societal one where the compassionate are separated from the mean zealots like Sarah Palin and the greedy. Leftism has no backbone. It is too busy admiring its grandeur and nobility in the mirror.