I just read something and it really struck me:
I just watched the BBC News. It appears that at their party conference in the UK, Labour is once gain calling for the nationalization of industries, openly rejecting Blair-ism are the abandonment of Clause IV. Meanwhile, back here in America, conservatives are blaming the financial meltdown on minorities and diversity. In the midst of it all, an African-American leads the campaign for President and, after previously nationalizing the mortgage sector, Congress now openly talks of nationalizing an additional 5% of the national economy. Republicans, by contrast, just want to hand over more money to corporate executives. Oh yeah–and there are no more investment banks.
We’re in the middle of two wars, we find stories of runaway executive power boring and passe. We’re in the midst of the second internet boom (with the attendant rise in the pseudo-economic “network thinking”). Wars and shit are going on all around us. Israel-Hezbollah. Georgia. The congo, darfur, and who knows what else. These last few years have seen a pretty uniform political shift, where states that had left-leaning governments at the turn of the century (germany, france, uk) elect conservative governments, and right-leaning states (US, Japan, Australia) are shifting leftwards. The internet has led to decentralized political and economic innovation the world over. First outsourcing is the hot new trend/bogeyman, but now the rise in cost of shipping has effectively raised our barriers to trade to pre-NAFTA /WTO levels.
Truly, we live in interesting times.
One response to “Interesting times”
I just want to point out that Britain has not elected a conservative government with the turn of the century; Blair (Labour) was in office from 1997 to 2007, and he picked Brown succeed him. He does not have to call a general election until 2010. The Tories will likely win, but I wouldn’t say that’s due to the country shifting right, but rather Labour meeting it’s slow death due to Blair’s Thatcherism and Brown’s ineptness (and to go further back in history, due to the party’s crisis under Thatcher, it had to change in some way), and the liberal vote being divided between the Lib Dems and Labour. Remember, Blair still won in 2005, 2 years after the war.
In local and by-elections, the Conservatives have been winning, but again I’d say that’s more to do with dissatisfaction with Brown than anything else. Plus Cameron is just more personable and charismatic than Brown.
Your point is certainly valid in the case of France; I’m just an avid follower of UK politics and feel the need to defend my dying party.