Cass Sunstein admonishes Bernie Sanders at The Economist web site. Old Socialist scoffs!

Headline: Does freedom need guidance?

Sub-headline: In this week’s podcast we speak to Cass Sunstein, a former White House advisor and co-author of “Nudge”

Anne McElvoy interviews Cass Sunstein, a former advisor to Barack Obama and co-author of “Nudge”, a theory of how people can be subliminally prompted to make wiser choices. They discuss how far the state should intervene in our personal freedom and why left-wing Democrats might be their own worst enemy. Runtime 23 min

https://www.economist.com/podcasts/2019/05/17/does-freedom-need-guidance?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/ed/doesfreedomneedguidancetheeconomistaskscasssunstein

Anne McElvoy calls ‘Nudge ‘an elegant way to describe human behavior‘, there is no transcript, so this is as close to what she said as I can get. Then Sunstein calls his new book ‘On Freedom’ ‘a song to freedom of choice‘ in his very mild mannered tone, which makes his mechanistic notion of ‘GPS’ sound very reasonable. Not to speak of his quotation from William Blake on ‘true merit’, call it beguiling garnish to his more carefully argued case for his ‘GPS’, which is subject to the actors discretion.  Ms. McElvoy does ask some almost probing questions, though her opening obsequious tone is not quite discarded. But for all that, Kant’s ‘self-emancipation from tutelage’ is an utterly foreign idea to Sunstein: who presents himself as that ‘GPS’?

The Anglo-American Political Tradition, John Stewart Mill, Jeremy Bentham and Hayek are Sunstein’s touchstones, or as he presents them , his New Obsession, as opposed to his Obsession of ten years ago in ‘Nudge’.

After some, what to call it, tedious recapitulation of his ideas, McElvoy then asks Sunstein  a question about the resurgence of Socialism in America, that then becomes for Sunstein a maladroit attack on Bernie Sanders. As a practitioner of ‘moral outrage’ rather than politics. Or what Sunstein, in his mealy-mouthed way, describes in his favored technobabble as the ‘expressive left’ that is ‘potentially destructive’ . Spoken like a true Neo-Liberal, or more aptly sounds like a riff on an Alan Greenspan apothegm.

Mr. Sunstein is a Soft-Core Authoritarian, who was co-author, with Nobel Prize winning Richard Thaler, of ‘Nudge’. Here are two links to reviews of this book, and a reply by Sunstein. This provides necessary intellectual background to the certifiable record of Sunstein’s Soft-Core Authoritarianism:

New York Review of Books October 24, 2013 titled ‘It’s in Your Own Best Interest’ by Samuel Freeman

It’s in Your Own Best Interest

October 9, 2014 New York Review of Books by Jeremy Waldron titled

It’s All for Your Own Good

Nudges: Good and Bad in the October 23 ,2014 letters from Sunstein in reply to Waldron:

Nudges: Good and Bad

That the ‘reviews’ are negative to this self-serving polemic should not surprise. As both Sunstein and Thaler are reliable Technocrats, who like all members of this very exclusive coterie, are the for rent intellectuals, who provide support for the ever expanding reach of the National Security State, in its never ending war on the autonomy of its citizens. The propaganda  instruments are television, movies the internet, they provide the tools by which that state manipulates ‘public opinion’. Sunstein and Thaler practice the art of camouflage, via the cultivation of bourgeois political respectability, and ‘public relations’. They cultivate their pose as benign intellectuals, yet are in fact employees of that state, and its corollary Capitalism, in its decayed state of failed Neo-Liberalism.

Sunstein passes himself off as observer of the the potential mistakes of the ‘Left’ in the Democratic Party. A hireling and ally of the Neo-Liberal Obama, somehow entertains the deeply held notion that ‘we’ will not not make the necessary connections between a well paid propagandist, and his project of political/behavioral manipulation, as somehow within the realm of the benign? The American Political Center is defined, at this moment, by the alliance between The New Democrats  and The Neo-Conservatives: call this catastrophic, and the utterly bankrupt Sunstein is one of its propagandists!

This essay by Kate Yoder , cross posted at Naked Capitalism and Grist provides some answers to ‘Nudge’. Yves Smith’s introduction to Ms. Yoder’s essay is instructive:

Headline: The bad news about nudges: They might be backfiring

Yves here. A problem with “nudges,” as in manipulation that makes clever use of cognitive biases (like putting fruit ahead of cake in a school cafeteria line…which ought to work all of once in getting kids to chose healthier desserts but reportedly has a higher success rate than that) is that, in the climate change context, the measures that will have a big impact require collective action, not individual action.

But this study finding is even worse…..that successful nudges reduce support for broader environmental policies.

Old Socialist

 

 

 

 

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At The Financial Times: Mr. John McTernan ‘reviews’ three books on Jeremy Corbyn. Old Socialist comments

Who better than Mr. John McTernan, ‘Tony Blair’s political secretary’ to ‘review’ three books by three members  ‘Corbyn’s Brain-Trust’ ? At least in the worldview of the Posh Boys & Girls of the Financial Times. Now, it doesn’t quite match the political hysterics of this ‘review’ published in the good , grey Times of February 24, 2019 :

Headline: Review: Dangerous Hero: Corbyn’s Ruthless Plot for Power by Tom Bower — portrait of a monomaniac

Sub-headline: If Jeremy Corbyn became prime minister, he would easily be the most dangerous, most indolent and least intelligent holder of the office in history

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/review-dangerous-hero-corbyns-ruthless-plot-for-power-by-tom-bower-portrait-of-a-monomaniac-8x0spp3d8

Mr. McTernan is a more adroit propagandist, his first paragraph is steeped in New Labour self-praise, allied to Corbyn’s election as indicative of ‘energy and excitement’.

In Downing Street, when I was Tony Blair’s political secretary, we used to say that political renewal needed new faces, new ideas, new voices, and new channels of communication. When Jeremy Corbyn became UK Labour party leader in a landslide victory in 2015 he certainly wasn’t a new face, though after 32 years on the backbenches he was new to leadership. But his election brought with it energy and excitement.

Yet he pays his way, by carefully placing these three writes in a ‘Radical Tradition’ , known by an honest writer as Left Wing Social Democracy.  Marx’s epigones, not to speak of fellow travelers, in the garb of ‘Reformers’.

This the standard Party Line of New Labour and the Tories, who have presented themselves as the very same thing, except with vital difference being that Thatcherism, in its various iterations, is as failed as the State Capitalism of the Soviets, presented as the sine qua non of Socialism. Its as if Rosa Luxemburg and her coterie never existed, but propaganda has its demands. In Mr. McTernan’s  very well written and argued polemic, Luxemburg and her coterie would play the part of a political inconvenience. Some examples from Mr. McTernan’s ‘review’ are descriptive of his carefully modulated attack on Corbyn and his advocates/apologists.

Kogan’s book updates The Battle for the Labour Party, which he wrote with his uncle Maurice Kogan in the early 1980s detailing the rise of the far left under Tony Benn and what then looked like its complete triumph with the defection of David Owen and Shirley Williams to the new Social Democratic party. As Kogan notes, history did not immediately go to the left’s plan. The disastrous 1983 general election, in which Margaret Thatcher’s Conservatives routed Michael Foot, nearly broke Labour and led to the leadership of Neil Kinnock and the slow process of modernisation that culminated in New Labour. Tony Blair’s three successive election victories seemed to put paid to the left, but after defeats in 2010 and 2015, and following a change in membership rules, Corbyn became the most leftwing leader in Labour history.


The lesson of this book is be patient and be ready to seize your chance. Time and time again, Lansman was. As Kogan puts it — brutally but fairly: “The left had learned in its political wilderness that the historic divisions and sectarianism could be set aside if there was a clear goal. It was uniting around an incredible campaign. Its opponents were drowning under levels of ego and denial”.

What is missing in his book is a sense of how Corbyn’s was a victory of ideals too — that the politics were as intoxicating as the campaign was effective and data-driven. This is where Mason and Bastani come in.

These two books offer a snapshot of the new radical narrative that would frame the programme of government of an incoming Prime Minister Corbyn.

Their starting point is an analysis that sees current capitalism, which they loosely and polemically label “neoliberal”, as in crisis.

Yet, while avowedly future-facing, both books have one eye on the past. One might say that a spectre haunts them, that of Karl Marx. And a very particular Marxist moment — not his best-known work Das Kapital, the touchstone of Communist governments, but “The Fragment on Machines” from the Grundrisse notebooks of an unfinished work not published in his lifetime.


This is Marx as a prophet, rather than the man whose political legacy was literally tested to destruction during the last century. Indeed, the unpublished writings of Marx, in Bastani’s words, “exerted little influence over communist projects in the 20th century”.
This, in the end, is the point — for authors who write excitedly and excitingly about social, economic and technological change, both Mason and Bastani are both committed to a teleological view of history. They believe it will come to an end — in a form of Marxism. Yet, if the restless forces they describe — both of creation and resistance — are as powerful as they both argue, that final state of society and history seems unlikely. Creative destruction will continue. Ultimately, both writers shine a light on what powers the Corbyn revolution — its optimism, indeed its utopianism. Socialism may have failed historically, but the critics of capitalism have all the songs at the moment — and where the energy goes, the politics follows.

https://www.ft.com/content/59ca75e0-7598-11e9-b0ec-7dff87b9a4a2

Has the fact that Corbyn will be the next Prime Minister, chastened the Editors of The Financial Times to soften their Anti-Corbynism?

Old Socialist

 

 

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The political ‘self-rehabilitation’ of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner causes wide spread panic in the Neo-Liberal Press. Old Socialist comments

This May 9, 2019 Financial Times report by Benedict Mander provides a clue as to the possible ‘how’ of the coming political self-rehabilitation of Fernández de Kirchner:

 

Headline: Argentina’s Fernández fuels speculation over election candidacy

Sub-headline: ‘The young are my great bet, my great hope,’ former president tells eager supporters at book event

Argentina’s former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner stormed back into the limelight on Thursday after a long period of silence, stoking speculation over whether she will run for the presidency in October elections.

In a presentation of her best-selling book, Sincerely, Ms Fernández was openly critical of president Mauricio Macri, but refrained from announcing what thousands of ecstatic supporters outside were openly begging her to say — that she would take on the embattled incumbent in the upcoming elections.

“We are living through very difficult times,” Ms Fernández told a packed auditorium which included famous actors, musicians and human rights activists who had been waiting several hours for her arrival. “We need a social contract for all Argentines,” she added.

Although stopping short of openly confirming her candidacy, Ms Fernández’s supporters roared with delight when she greeted them after her speech and, grinning broadly, conducted with her fingers as they chanted “Cristina, president” in front of the cameras.

“The young are my great bet, my great hope,” Ms Fernández said at another point during a speech with strong electoral undertones that was watched attentively on giant screens outside by a youthful crowd that had gathered in torrential rain.

https://www.ft.com/content/bbf6f580-72c4-11e9-bf5c-6eeb837566c5

 

May 16,2019 by Benedict Mander

Headline:Bestseller fuels talk of Cristina Fernández’s political comeback

Sub-headline: Success of former Argentine president’s book prompts speculation of run for office in October.

It has been a good few weeks for Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. The ruling coalition of the man who replaced her as Argentine president, Mauricio Macri, suffered a crushing defeat in the key province of Córdoba last weekend, which further tarnished his damaged credibility ahead of October’s presidential election.

Meanwhile, her new book, Sinceramente (Sincerely), has become the publishing sensation of the year, selling more than 300,000 copies in a fortnight. Ms Fernández was given a rapturous reception at the official launch of the publication at last week’s Buenos Aires book fair.

Her return to the limelight after a period of silence has rattled Mr Macri’s government. He took office promising to bring economic competence but has been forced to seek a $56bn bailout package from the IMF. It has also panicked investors, raising fresh doubts about the vital IMF programme.

The timing of her book has fuelled speculation she is set to challenge Mr Macri in October’s vote. “The book forms part of her [election] campaign, without any doubt,” said Carlos Fara, a political analyst. He noted comments from Ms Fernández’s former cabinet chief, Alberto Fernández, that she was “closer to becoming a candidate every day”.

“No one mounts such an operation [to raise their] profile, then doesn’t use it — whatever they say,” Mr Fara said.

In office from 2007 to 2015, Ms Fernández’s penchant for nationalisation and economic controls left the Argentine economy on the verge of a balance of payments crisis, according to many economists. Now facing multiple corruption allegations, she once described herself as “a very successful lawyer” to explain how she had amassed a fortune while in power on a modest public sector salary.

Sinceramente was a “retrospective reflection” that aimed to at generate debate about how to fix Argentina’s problems, the ex-president said.

https://www.ft.com/content/7b016312-772e-11e9-be7d-6d846537acab

May 19,2019, by Benedict Mander

Headline: Fernández double act turns the tables in Argentina’s election

Sub-headline: Ex-president’s decision to run as vice-president is a move to win over centrist voters

Three years ago, Alberto Fernández accused his former boss, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, of “distorting reality” while she was Argentina’s president, while the Peronist party to which they both belong was “pathetic” for bending to her will.

Whether or not Argentines now believe that the sharp-tongued Mr Fernández is sufficiently independent from the former president — or her puppet — could determine whether he becomes the country’s next leader.

Ms Fernández dumbfounded Argentines on Saturday by announcing that the much lower-profile cabinet minister of her deceased husband and predecessor, Néstor Kirchner, would face President Mauricio Macri in presidential elections in October, while she would take a back seat as candidate for vice-president.

Markets are expected to take fright at the possibility that Mr Fernández, who stayed on as cabinet minister under Ms Fernández (no relation) for just a few months after she replaced her husband as president in 2007, might have a better chance of winning than Argentina’s first female president.

Nicholas Watson, managing director for Latin America at Teneo Ms Fernandez’s recent return to the public stage with the launch last month of her best-selling book, Sincerely, prompted a sharp sell-off in Argentine bonds.

She “has blindsided everyone with a totally unexpected manoeuvre that resets all parties’ strategies and alters the electoral outlook amid an already unsettled situation”, said Nicholas Watson, managing director for Latin America at Teneo, a risk consultancy in London.

https://www.ft.com/content/c06fd9c0-7a43-11e9-81d2-f785092ab560

Even The Economist has this report from May 19, 2019 on Fernández de Kirchner’ announcement that she will run as vice-president:

Headline: Cristina Fernández de Kirchner decides she wants to be vice-president, not president

Sub-headline: But her pick for running mate will be compliant

DAYS BEFORE she is due to go on trial for corruption, Argentina’s former president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, has re-written the script for this year’s election, due in October. On May 18th Ms Fernández announced that she would not be running for president, contrary to what she had signaled only days before. Instead, she said, she was asking her chief adviser Alberto Fernández (no relation) to be the candidate for the top job, and she will be the vice-presidential nominee.

“Never have we had so many people sleeping on the street, never so many looking for food and work,” Ms Fernández said, attacking the government of the current president, Mauricio Macri. She explained that her new team was designed “not just to win an election, but to govern.” The news astonished some within her own Peronist movement—another former president, Eduardo Duhalde, said he thought it was “a joke” when he first heard.

Ms Fernández acknowledged that she had not always agreed with Mr Fernández. He was chief of staff to her late husband Néstor Kirchner during his Presidency from 2003 to 2007, and served her in the same position for a few months after she came to power in late 2007. Mr Fernández is known as a wily, backroom operative, but few have any sense of his own agenda. Speaking to journalists outside his home, he said he was ready to work on solving the “immeasurable crisis” the country faces. He insisted his running mate had been the victim of the “judicial system…..a shameful process, a judicial battering.”

https://www.economist.com/the-americas/2019/05/19/cristina-fernandez-de-kirchner-decides-she-wants-to-be-vice-president-not-president

On what went wrong? with Macri’s ‘Austerity Lite’ The Financial Times of May 15, 2019 by Colby Smith:

Headline: How much more can Argentina adjust?

When Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri announced that he was once again seeking the IMF’s help in May last year, thousands of citizens flooded the streets in protest. With more than 20 arrangements with the Fund since 1958, Argentines had a sense of what was to come: steep spending cuts and other harsh austerity measures.

The IMF has changed its tack somewhat in recent years — Argentina’s record $56bn programme includes measures to protect social spending — but there’s growing concern that the economic adjustment built into the bailout will become increasingly difficult for Argentines and policymakers alike to bear for much longer.

Since the start of the IMF’s most recent arrangement with Argentina, which began in May but then was tweaked in September to disburse more funds faster, the country has made substantial progress in ridding itself of its major economic imbalances. On the fiscal front, the once gaping deficit has narrowed to 2.6 per cent of GDP — still sizeable, but much smaller than 2017’s level of 3.8 per cent. And on the external front, the country ran a trade surplus of $1.18bn as of March.

In the wake of these adjustments many sectors have been gutted, with construction activity plummeting 12.3 per cent year-over-year in March. Industrial production has also contracted, down 13.4 per cent year-over-year, per this chart from Alberto Ramos at Goldman Sachs:

https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2019/05/15/1557907389000/How-much-more-can-Argentina-adjust-/

Yet compare the above with this Financial Times May 3, 2019 essay by Colby Smith:

Headline: Why Argentina’s latest policy pivot might just work

Sub-headline: Sceptics fear that a return to currency intervention would spell doom for Buenos Aires

With a $72bn stash of foreign reserves — roughly $22bn on a net basis — Argentina’s central bank does not have much room for error. At the same time, investors are unnerved about the possibility that former leftist president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner could dethrone sitting president Mauricio Macri in the upcoming October elections.

“In their heart of hearts, most investors believe Argentina won’t vote Cristina back in, but they will be terrified if they do,” said Walter Stoeppelwerth, chief investment officer at Portfolio Personal Inversiones.

https://www.ft.com/content/635058a0-6cdd-11e9-80c7-60ee53e6681d

As an antidote to Colby Smith’s optimism the reader might turn to Alan Cibils and Mariano Arana’s January 3, 2018 essay at TripleCrisis, and cross posted at Naked Capitalism. An impressive essay based in a kind of economic realism, instead of an extended apologetic offered by the Financial Time’s Smith. The concluding paragraph of the Cibils/Arana essay is instructive:

Headline: Selling Out Argentina’s Future – Again

The factors outlined above generate credible and troublesome doubts about the sustainability of the economic policies implemented by the Macri administration. While there are no signs of a major crisis in the short term (that is, before the 2019 presidential elections), there are good reasons to doubt that the current level of debt accumulation can be sustained to the end of a potential second Macri term (2023). In other words, there are good reasons to believe that Argentines will once again have to exercise their well-developed ability to navigate through yet another profound debt crisis. This is not solely the authors’ opinion. In early November 2017 Standard & Poor’s placed Argentina in a list of the five most fragile economies.[4] It looks like, once again, storm clouds are on the horizon.

http://triplecrisis.com/selling-out-argentinas-future-again/

The politically wise, her enemies would call her opportunistic, Fernández de Kirchner has demonstrated her political adroitness, in offering herself as vice-president rather than as president. A political observer, with any degree of political savvy, could only marvel at this bold step, in her campaign against the failed Neo-Liberalism Lite of Macri. The question that needs asking in terms of political melodrama, a mainstay of the Neo-Liberal Press, is who will be the top of the ticket? Risk Consultancy guru Nicholas Watson articulates the vexing reality of Fernández de Kirchner’s maneuver:

She “has blindsided everyone with a totally unexpected manoeuvre that resets all parties’ strategies and alters the electoral outlook amid an already unsettled situation” …

https://www.ft.com/content/c06fd9c0-7a43-11e9-81d2-f785092ab560

Are the political lessons of the Trump Campaign of 2016 lost on the reporter/pundits of the respectable bourgeois press? To keep one’s opponents in a perpetual state of ‘not knowing’ , the ‘logical’ next step in that campaign was part of the reason that Trump won that election. In vulgar parlance, keep your opponents always on the back foot!

Old Socialist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Andy Divine ‘congratulates’ Elizabeth Warren on her ‘Congress Can Protect Choice’. Political Observer comments

Andy Divine’s ‘praise’ of Elizabeth Warren, in his first paragraph doesn’t quite ring true!

Headline: Elizabeth Warren Just Transformed the Abortion Debate

Elizabeth Warren is not afraid. Today, she set out a proposal to integrate Roe v. Wade’s provisions for access to abortion into federal law. She even framed her proposal this way: Congress Can Protect Choice. And she’s right. Congress can legislate on abortion; the matter can be settled through politics, rather than through a strained parsing of the Constitution by the courts. Political arguments can be made, and countered. Voters can go to the polls to support candidates who will vote for such a law, which will make any previous Supreme Court ruling irrelevant.

But never fear Andy demonstrates that like those Male, punitively Hetero-Evangelicals, he is one of the ultimate arbiters of  a ‘self-congratulatory morality’ that puts politicians like Warren in her place.The last paragraph establishes his ‘holier than thou’ status wrapped in moralizing hypocrisy.

I say this as someone deeply committed to the view that abortion is always a grave evil. I could not personally have anything to do with one. But I live in a pluralist society, I will never have to be involved in such a deeply personal decision, and I am equally dedicated to respecting the sincere convictions of my fellow citizens, and their unalienable right to sovereignty over their own bodies. If we take this issue away from a court whose decision still divides the country after 46 years, we can actually come to some compromise on it, like every other democracy. It would once again be possible to make your case, with full and immediate accountability — either for legal abortion or against it, or for a reasonable middle. Roe could be replaced by a federal law — perhaps like the one proposed today by Warren — or state laws of varying degrees of control. What we desperately need to do is take this issue out of the polarizing abstractions and into the nitty and the gritty of democratic give and take.

And whatever side you’re on, have mercy.

Like the male legislators who passed – they in effect outlawed or severely redistricted  abortion- don’t have a uterus, nor any of the other reproductive organs to conceive, nor to carry a fetus to term. So none of the male legislators, nor Mr. Divine, will ever face an actual  choice, that any women in her child bearing years will potentially face! Yet the moral arrogance of these men rules the lives of more than half of the American population. Kant’s ‘self-emancipation from tutelage’ comes to mind. Yet there is a more simplistic answer : no uterus, no vote!

Political Observer

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/05/andrew-sullian-a-way-through-the-intractable-abortion-wars.html

 

 

 

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At The Financial Times, episode MDLVII : Macron and the EU Elections. Old Socialist comments

Headline:Emmanuel Macron struggles to contain far-right in EU election race

Sub-headline: French president’s party faces risk of losing to Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National

In the forth paragraph of his essay Victor Mallet repeats the Neo-Liberal Propaganda:

Two years ago, fresh from victory in a presidential election that reshaped French politics, he launched a bold EU reform agenda.

No surprise! To refresh the readers recollection 36.5% of the electorate rendered  their ballots spoiled, or otherwise uncountable in the final election.  This is the ‘victory’ that has become the battle cry of Neo-Liberals, passed off as ‘Reform’ in the pages of this newspaper. Its now the official Party Line. ‘History is bunk’ as Capitalist Henry Ford opined!

Macron is now in a panic that the ‘poll numbers’ are too low in the coming EU elections:

A Harris Interactive/Epoka poll for Le Figaro published this week put the far-right, Brussels-baiting Rassemblement National (RN) of Marine Le Pen on 22.5 per cent of the vote, fractionally ahead of LREM, with 22 per cent.

Mr. Mallet develops his melodrama with addition of the ‘big guns’ , Edouard Philippe, this redolent in the vocabulary of Schwarzenegger/Stallone violent Hollywood kitsch. In opposition to RN’s redoubtable wunderkind Jordan Bardella.

Again, Macron enters stage right, as ‘upender of an entrenched political order’ 

A win for the RN would bolster Europe’s nationalists and populists and deal a further blow to Mr Macron’s ambitions to upend the EU’s entrenched political order, as he did in France two years ago.

With the gilets jaunes demonstrating every weekend, and the fact that one of foremost critics of the EU, Yanis Varoufakis is running in this election cycle, doesn’t quite register with Mr. Mallet, whose expanding cast of characters in the EU Melodrama embraces these actors:

Pascale Joannin, Angela Merkel, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Elvire Fabry.

The  gilets jaunes even get a mention as ‘fewer in number‘, yet the ‘reforms’ of Macron ‘face increasing public resistance’.

The anti-government gilets jaunes protesters, although fewer in number now, continue to demonstrate in city centres every Saturday as they have for the past six months.

And the government’s economic reforms, including an attempt to reduce the size and cost of the civil service, face increasing public resistance.

Mallet reports that Macron’s ‘reforms’ have hit a vexing problem:

The latest blow came when the Constitutional Council last week authorised the launch of a previously unused referendum process — initiated in parliament by the combined opposition forces of left and right — that will delay for at least a year and possibly even annul the planned privatization of airports operator Aéroports de Paris.

Here is where the opposition to Macon’s ‘reforms’ confront the reality of the politics of the  present in France. That Mallet describes those ‘reforms’ that ‘face increasing public resistance’ .The reader can then look at a vote for RN, not as a vote for Le Pen, but as a vote against the ersatz Reform of Macron’s LREM.

“I’m going to vote for a party that will block Macron,” said one 45-year-old civil servant taking part in a small gilets jaunes protest outside LREM’s Strasbourg rally. “Unfortunately that means the Rassemblement National.”

Old Socialist

https://www.ft.com/content/55ab54ce-74bd-11e9-bbad-7c18c0ea0201

 

 

 

 

 

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At The Financial Times: May issues ultimatum to Corbyn & Macron’s fear of the victory of Le Pen in EU election. Old Socialist attempts to integrate these two apparently disparate political phenomenon.

Headline: Theresa May delivers Brexit deal ultimatum to Corbyn

Sub-headline: Time to make up your mind, prime minister says as she sets Commons vote for early June

The rampant skepticism expressed by the readers comments on this ‘report’ makes more sense than the actual article itself. May’s seeming, even actual  incompetence, in the ‘negotiation’ with the EU may just be a function of what Yanis Varoufakis said, that you don’t negotiate with the EU bureaucracy? ‘The Adults in the Room’ i.e. that EU bureaucracy dictate to the lesser beings of the states, that comprise the ‘Super-State’. In sum, this United States of Europe is the end point of technocrat Monnet’s Coal & Steel Cartel, garnished with ersatz Federalism!

https://www.ft.com/content/9caa2c38-7652-11e9-bbad-7c18c0ea0201

Even Pretty Boy énarque Macron is in a bit of a panic:

Headline: Emmanuel Macron struggles to contain far-right in EU election race
Sub-headline: French president’s party faces risk of losing to Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National

The gilets jaunes will use the European Election as an instrument of their opposition to the ‘reforms’, i.e. Neo-Liberalization of France. It doesn’t mean actual support for Le Pen, but a chance to express their contempt for Macron’s arrogance, allied to his political/economic reformation.  But the doom-sayers here at the Financial Times will wring the defeat of Macron as another expression of the dread ‘Populism’ :as a pernicious form of political nihilism, that is threatening the myth of the ‘ Post War Liberal Order’ . 

https://www.ft.com/content/55ab54ce-74bd-11e9-bbad-7c18c0ea0201

Old Socialist

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Fear Mongering at the good,grey Times! Almost Marx shares the essentials of ‘Corbygeddon’

Headline: Rich List 2019: wealthy prepare to flee Corbyn’s Britain

Sub-headline: Fears of ‘Corbygeddon’ raid on private wealth

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/sunday-times-rich-list-wealthy-prepare-to-flee-corbyn-britain-9l25snfx0

Almost Marx

 

 

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