Foreign Policy in Focus
Tidbits - May 4, 2017 - Reader Comments: We Remember-May 4, 1970; Korea; Peace Movement; Pre-Existing Conditions; March on McDonald's; Boycotts; Responses to Culture posts; Know Your Rights: What To Do; European Left; and more...
Reader Comments: We Remember - May 4, 1970; New Korean War?; Where is the Peace Movement; Pre-Existing Conditions; March on McDonald's May 23; Boycotts; Workers; Luddites; Marine Le Pen; California Single-Payer; Responses to Culture posts - Identity Politics; Picasso's Guernica; The Zookeeper's Wife; The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks; Lunch and Bologna; Donna Leon; The Handmaid's Tale; KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: What To Do If You're Stopped; The European Left; and more...
Left parties and movements have a huge role to play to respond to the call and despair of ordinary people in Southern Europe, North Africa and the Mideast. We need to build a movement for social and climate justice, democratic participation, peace and socialism to oppose austerity, oppression, militarization and a lack of democracy.
The rise of authoritarian right wing movements is intensifying the inequality and exploitation of neoliberalism. Key to resistance is building unity around substantive alternatives. This was the theme of a seminar organized by the Forum of Sao Paulo (FSP) and the European Left brought together parties and movements from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean to discuss visions and strategies for the left.
Foreign Policy in Focus
The New Statesman
The left has been in disarray since 1991 - it never fully recovered from the collapse of the Soviet Union, despite widespread opposition to Stalinism and -authoritarianism. In the past two decades, we have witnessed a major spasm of global capitalism that has triggered a long deflationary period across the United States and Europe. Just as the Great Depression did in the 1930s, this has created a breeding ground for xenophobia, racism and scapegoating.
How then do we navigate between Scylla and Charybdis, between a naïve pro-Europeanism and assimilation to nationalism? The EU must be democratised or it will be discredited; it will be peaceful or it will perish. We have to dare not to break with the idea off European unity but with the neoliberal and authoritarian framework of the institutions and treaties through which this idea has been actualised.
In the past year two referenda shook up both the European Union and Europe's Left: the Greek OXI in July 2015 and Brexit in June 2016. Exasperated by the EU's mixture of authoritarianism and economic failure, a segment of Europe's Left is calling for a 'break with the EU', a stance that has come to be associated with the term Lexit. DiEM25, the transnational Democracy in Europe Movement, rejects that logic and offers an alternative Progressive Agenda for Europe.
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Europe is at a crossroads..the decision is now not in the hands of the institutions...but rather in the hands of Europe's leaders. Which strategy will prevail? The one that calls for a Europe of solidarity, equality and democracy, or the one that calls for rupture and division? If some think or want to believe that this decision concerns only Greece, they are making a grave mistake. I would suggest that they re-read Hemingway's masterpiece, For Whom the Bell Tolls.