Friday, September 18, 2009
Oskar Lafontaine and Die Linke show the way
Last December, in my article 'Socialism's Comeback' in the New Statesman, I highlighted how across Europe, socialist parties-proper socialist parties- were making ground on the pro-globalist faux leftist parties that have dominated the scene for far too long.
One of the parties I discussed was Die Linke, the German party co-chaired by Oskar Lafontaine.
Die Linke's unapologetically socialist policies, which include the renation alisation of electricity and gas, the banning of hedge funds and the introduction of a maximum wage, chime with a population concerned at the dismantling of Germany's mixed economic model and the adoption of Anglo-Saxon capitalism - a shift that occurred while the SPD was in government.
Last month, Die Linke made spectacular gains in state elections in Germany, which you can read about here, while in today’s Guardian there‘s a very interesting report about the growing popularity of the party.
Die Linke is striking a chord with an increasingly disenfranchised electorate, espousing causes – such as inequality, reunification issues and, crucially, the war in Afghanistan – that are finding a receptive audience in both east and west.
While Die Linke's rivals have mercilessly attacked it for its radical wealth redistribution plans and its links to the defunct communist regime, its message is clearly getting through.
"Generally there are only a few themes that particularly distinguish most of the parties," according to Renate Köcher, joint head of the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy. "It's only really Die Linke that stands out, in particular for their critical position regarding the German economy and societal order."
The faux-left globalists favourite line of attack against Die Linke is to label them ‘populist‘, and Oskar Lafontaine a ‘populist demagogue’
And that tells you one thing: Lafontaine and Die Linke are on the right track. For when a globalist labels someone a ‘populist’ it means he/she is frightened that the person in question’s ideas - and policies -are far more popular than theirs. (Hugo Chavez is routinely labelled a ‘populist’ by the same people too.
It's because of the fact that his ideas and policies are popular- and that he is such an effective communicator- that Lafontaine is so despised by the globalists- and so feared.
I wish Die Linke all the very best in forthcoming German elections.
Politics in Germany has suddenly become very, very interesting.