In the early 90’s it seemed that socialist ideas overthrown forever, and the “left” policy is completely marginalized. The word “socialism” has become a common noun denoting a mess, the slow pace of development and standard of living. However, in recent years, people who call themselves socialists, are increasingly win elections. We’re not talking about China or Venezuela, but about the countries of Europe and the United States. The socialists gaining ground in Germany. Jeremy Corbyn is very close to acquire the keys to Downing Street in the UK. In the United States winning the “red idea” in the cold war unexpectedly ousted in the presidential race, Bernie Sanders in 2016, and in 2018 in the Congress comes a whole galaxy of young socialists, including charismatic Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The Economist tried to understand the reasons of success and the political prospects of the new left than they differ from former “red banner”, and what unites them. According to the respected publication, the basis for the revival of socialist views – Millennials, faced with the inertia and lack of sensitivity to change of the existing political forces. They are distinguished by a higher level of education and social queries than the previous generation, and difficulties in the economic and career implementation in a static system prevailing parties, corporations.
About 51% of Americans aged 18-29 have a positive attitude to socialism, according to Gallup. In the elections in 2016 for Bernie Sanders voted more young people than Hillary Clinton and Donald trump combined. Almost a third of French voters under the age of 24 years in the presidential election in 2017 voted for an ultra left candidate.
While the right and prevail on their laurels since the early 90’s, was falling into the nostalgia, narcissism and chauvinism, the left pointed to the shortcomings of the system, overlooked by the right: social inequality, environmental degradation and the weakness of democracy at the local levels. The creation of real, independent of the elite of the mechanisms of direct vesting power in local elections is the first thing that took young leftists, among others, by creating on-the-ground organizational Foundation and asset. The triumphal entry Ocasio-Cortez in the Congress is the tip of the iceberg, and it is based on many new leftists, who won positions in local government and in voluntary associations.
The main topic on the agenda of the left is social inequality. They believe that it is out of control, that the economy is weighted in favour of corporate interests. In society want redistribution of income and power. Myopia and lobbying forced the government to ignore the growing likelihood of climate catastrophe and hierarchy that govern society and the economy (the regulators, the bureaucracy and companies) no longer serve the interests of ordinary people and needs to be “democratized”.
Economist, formulating a diagnosis, which put the system to the left, he argues with him, claiming that social inequality in recent years has declined, especially in the United States, and the main problem of modern economy is not unemployment, which also declined, and unresolved cyclical with inevitable future crises. Also, the publication doubted the wide public support for radical redistribution: “It is not higher than in 1990, the country recently elected billionaire, who promised a reduction of corporate tax. In some respects the British are the rich more relaxed than Americans“.
The Economist criticized not even diagnosed, and the ideas proposed by the socialists. “Home left to develop the myth that the extension of public services can be paid for by higher taxes on wealth. In fact, as the population ages, it will be difficult to maintain existing services without increasing taxes for people with average income. Ocasio-Cortez offers the tax rate to 70% for the highest incomes, but most likely the evaluation shows that the additional profit will be only $12 billion or 0.3% of the total amount of the tax. Some radicals go on supporting “modern monetary theory”, which States that governments are free to borrow to Finance new spending while maintaining low interest rates. Even if they were able to borrow more than expected by many politicians, the idea that unlimited borrowing will not affect economy is a form of quackery“.
Distrust of the market, bureaucracy, and corporations, which nurtured the new left, forcing them to mythologize the strength and integrity of civil societies, social movements and trade unions. But it is the local authority and ideological social initiative group are the least transparent. The available historical experience of participation of trade unions or other workers ‘ organizations in the management of enterprises suggests that these forces often hamper the development of business and companies where the workers have the decisive voice.
“Instead of protecting businesses from the changes that the state must ensure the efficiency of markets and to help employees, not jobs. Instead of focusing on redistribution, the government would be better to reduce rents, improve education and increase competition. Climate change can be combated through a combination of market instruments and public investment. New socialism shows a willingness to challenge the status quo. But, as the old socialism, it suffers from a belief in the integrity of the collective consciousness and unwarranted prejudice to the individual. Liberals should resist it“- sums up the thinking Economist.
Diagnosis and prescription for the United States from new left updated: February 20, 2019 author: Alexander Brezhnev