måndag 27 juli 2009

Rothstein om varför vänstern förlorade i EP-valet

Bo Rothstein pekar på vänsterns misslyckande att utforma ett alternativ till marknadsliberalismen.
"The fierce defeat of the Socialist and Social Democratic parties in the recent election to the European Parliament is something of a mystery, at least from a social science perspective. The most obvious reason for why the left should have been victorious is of course the collapse of the neo-liberal ideology which has preached that markets work best of left unregulated. The collapse of the financial industry last Fall has led to a general understanding that this ideology, that has dominated the international policy agenda for almost twenty-five years, is now gone. It would thus seem logical that the traditional vote winning Socialist agenda of Keynesian economics and social regulation of markets should have implied a victorious election for the left, but this did not materialize. The simple reason for this is that the conservatives leaders in Europe, for example the French President, the German Bundeskanzler and the Swedish and Danish Prime Ministers, were quick to move in this leftist direction when the crisis hit their countries and thus overtook the Socialists’ agenda which left the latter with little room for manoeuvre. The failure of the left to come up with an intellectual alternative to the neo-liberal “Washington consensus” has now had its political price."

Han menar också att vänsterns splittring i identitetspolitik har försvagat dess möjlighet att utforma ett program för folkmajoriteten:
"One possibility is that the left in Europe have abandoned their oldest and best ally, namely the project of a “politics based on the idea of enlightenment” and its accompanying idea of the existence of “the universal human” and thereby universal human rights. Instead, the lefts’ political agenda have become dominated by intellectually obscure and anti-empiricist post-modernist thinking that shies away from the idea that politics can be based on a combination of ideological visions about what is normatively good and empirically based investigations about what is practically possible. Likewise, the left have to a large extent abandoned the idea of a political based on universal humans rights and instead been overtaken by what has been called “identity politics”. Instead of a politics “for everyone”, the left has become a conglomerate of political forces that strives to advance the interests of various groups whose members perceive themselves to be oppressed by virtue of their shared and marginalized identity, such as race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, cultural interests, physical and mental handicaps, etc. etc. Almost by definition, identity politics is anti-majoritarian and politically divisive. /.../
My conclusion is that the post-modernist turn in the lefts’ politically thinking has marginalized its traditional political project and this has led to this surprising electoral defeat."

Rothstein, "Why Did the Socialist Parties Lose?", engelskspråkig version av artikel publicerad i Le Monde 27 juni, artikln finns som pdf här

Kolla Bo Rothsteins hemsida här.

Jfr Hay om pomo och politik:
"My argument is simply stated - taken to its logical conclusions, postmodernism threatens to sacrifice, on the altar of a laudable respect for difference, the ability to defend political practice. As such, it has profoundly conservative implications." 
Colin Hay, Political Analysis (Palgrave, 2002), s 245-250

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