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Neoliberalism Being Crushed in EU Elections Provides Opportunity For The Real Left

© AFP 2023 / ODD ANDERSENFrench President Emmanuel Macron.
French President Emmanuel Macron. - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.06.2024
Over the weekend, European Union countries voted in EU parliamentary elections, with the conservative parties handily defeating Centrist neoliberal parties nearly across the board. Groups commonly described as “right-wing” won in France, Germany, Austria, Italy and elsewhere.
“The problem with the Left is that there are 10,000 socialist scholars in this country and not one ****** socialist.” - Abbie Hoffman.
The fall of Neoliberalism in Europe is typically interpreted as the “right-wing” being on the march, calling to mind images of Neo-Nazi skinheads marching through European capitals like their idolized, long-dead Führer.
But the elections in Europe can be interpreted differently: Europeans rejecting neoliberal imperialism, neocolonialism and neocapitalism. That should be seen as an opportunity, not a defeat, for those who truly subscribe to leftist values.
Yes, anti-immigrant groups with nationalistic rhetoric and symbology won big during the elections. Alternative for Germany became the second largest political group in the country, trailing only the more traditional conservative CDU/CSU.
In France, the National Rally party smashed the centrist coalition so thoroughly that French President Emmanuel Macron dissolved the National Assembly and called for a new election in a comeback bid that carries with it significant risk.
French President Emmanuel Macron grimaces on the town hall balcony on occasion of the Charlemagne Prize awarding in Aachen, Germany, Thursday, May 10, 2018 - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.06.2024
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However, it is more important to look at who lost, not won, the elections. In France, most of the gains made by the National Rally party came at the expense of Macron’s Renaissance party, a trend replicated in Spain, Romania, Denmark and Estonia. In Germany, the AfD’s gains came from losses of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Greens, both center/left parties.
The centrist and so-called leftist parties in Europe were not advancing the needs of the working class. They were not fighting to end imperialism. They were not advancing any of the causes that launched worker movements at the turn of the last century. Instead, they asked workers to give up more so that the military machine could continue churning, and worse, they acted smug about it.

“If I give the promise to people in Ukraine, we stand with you as long as you need us,” Germany Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said at the 2022 Forum 2000 conference. “Then I want to deliver, no matter what my German voters think.” Baerbock is part of the German Greens Party, which came to prominence on a pro-environment platform.

[The Greens] offer people no material solutions to the crisis that they see forming in their societies,” activist and political commentator Phil Kelly told Sputnik’s Political Misfits. “The big problem for Europe at the minute is there is no coherent, left-wing movement that’s effectively rooted in the labor movement and the working class that can counter this kind of rise of the right.”
“They’ve either abandoned that to join the centrist kind of parties the way the Greens have coalesced, or they’ve gone to the kind of lunatic fringe, which has nothing to offer ordinary people other than a kind of post-modernist drivel.”
Kelly says that the centrist left and more extreme right “feeds off the other” ultimately keeping each other in power. “It’s kind of like in US elections where things are framed around ‘you have to vote for the lesser evil,’ You know, the liberals will tell you, ‘Yes, [US President Joe] Biden is awful. Yes, he is supporting genocide but Trump will be worse.’”
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The Greens in Europe, who pushed for the Green Deal to be Brussels’ signature issue for the past half a decade, saw their biggest losses in France and Germany, where farmers have been protesting what they see as overly stringent environmental regulations.
The neoliberal elites in Europe have been cannibalizing Western societies since the 2008 financial crash, Kelly argues, which has resulted in them having “nothing left to give.”
“And then you have these moralistic Greens telling you that you need to pay more to save the environment,” Kelly explained.
That call to action falls on deaf ears however, not only because it hurts workers economically, but because their imperialistic actions put the lie to their moral grandstanding and the working class in Europe sees that plainly.
“All the yogurt pots in the world that you rinse out and recycle cannot offset the carbon of a missile being fired at apartment blocks in Eastern Ukraine or the Donbass,” Kelly said.
“It’s good to see them rejected,” Kelly continued. “As I’ve long said, especially the European Green Movement is not a leftist project. It is a distraction and it is a contagion within the body of the true kind of workers movement, the true movement you need to really challenge these failing elites, not only in Europe, but across the world.”
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