The New Statesman
The London School of Economics and Political Science Blog
Only a handful of European states are currently governed by left-wing governments, and several of the traditionally largest left-wing parties, such as the Socialist Party in France, have experienced substantial drops in support. Jan Rovny argues that while many commentators have linked the left’s decline to the late-2000s financial crisis, the weakening of Europe’s left reflects deep structural and technological changes that have reshaped European society, leaving left-wing parties out in the cold.
Greece's former finance minister under the radical Syriza government offers a revealing tell-all about modern capitalism through his battles over Greece’s debt with the “Troika”: the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB), and eventually with his own prime minister.
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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.
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The experience in Latin America and southern Europe reveals perhaps a weakness of the left: the absence of a clear program to refashion capitalism and globalization for the twenty-first century. From Greece’s Syriza to Brazil’s Workers’ Party, the left has failed to come up with ideas that are economically sound and politically popular, beyond ameliorative policies such as income transfers.