Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Immigration will break the right

"It's simply impossible for any political party to win if it has to choose between money and votes." Thomas F. Schaller - Salon

David Seaton's News Links
Any left wing analysis going way back into the 19th century would tell you that the top-hatted, cigar chomping, cartoon capitalist uses xenophobia to divide and manipulate the working class: playing on and encouraging their nativist sentiments in order to better exploit them. I imagine any little Cuban "young pioneer" in Havana learns that before he finishes third grade.

With globalization
all that has been turned on its head. The money wants all the cheap immigrant labor it can get and all the outsourcing all over the world it needs to provide it with what Marx called the "huge reservoir of surplus workers"... and it doesn't want its political operators to turn off the supply. The natural tactic is to talk xenophobic, but continue to liberalize. This is what Sarkozy seems have done to win the Le Pen votes, but if he doesn't throw them some red meat soon, they will know they've been had and turn on him.

I think that the contradiction between the cosmopolitan money and the xenophobic base will inevitably split the right in Europe and lead to a growth of neo-fascist parties and in America the issue may very well hamstring the Republicans... Marx would probably say that they would have to start a war to resolve the contradiction. Iran anyone? Stay tuned. DS

Could immigration really be the issue that finally cracks the Republican base? - Salon
Abstract: For the past three decades, Republicans have carefully sidestepped the kinds of issues that could divide a party's followers from its Beltway elites -- and expertly deployed the same wedge issues against the Democrats. Now the party's 2008 front-runners are in trouble, one of Karl Rove's long-term strategic goals is in doubt, and the foot soldiers are close to open revolt, all thanks to one uniquely radioactive wedge issue. Could Limbaugh's warning about a great unraveling be true? "The Republican strategy on immigration has been one of the great failures of modern politics," says Simon Rosenberg, president of the New Democrat Network, which has organized a systematic outreach campaign to Hispanic voters. "What's going on in the Republican Party is a debate between the strategists who want to win and a part of their base that is extremely xenophobic." Immigration is especially perilous for the GOP because it is what might be called a "double-edged" wedge issue. It not only pits the party's base against a large and quickly growing pool of potential new Republicans -- 41 million Hispanics -- but also pits two key parts of the existing base against each other. The Wall Street wing of the GOP, which finances the party, wants to keep open the spigot of pliant and cheap Spanish-speaking labor. It finds itself opposed by much of the Main Street wing, which provides millions of crucial primary and general election votes and would like to build a fence along the Mexican border as high as Lou Dobbs' ratings or the pitch of Pat Buchanan's voice. And it's simply impossible for any political party to win if it has to choose between money and votes. READ IT ALL

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ever since Romans first showed up and blew apart the tribal dominance. France has been a nation that often has been defined by race. They fear 'POLISH plumbers', so they vote socialist? Szarkozy is an unknown quantity internationally, and he may think that he can be a 'Franch Thatcher', but that is all so much talk, when France is not the UK and he may not really understand what it is that makes the UK work.
It works because people accept the kinds of things that French people would never. Small social (what they call nowdays 'affordable') housing, bad but free health, terrible infrastructure and a lower quality of life for working class people. In exchange the people get really very little and are expected to be thankful for what they have.

If Szarkozy wants to build this vision of a 'better France' then he had better getting ready for his inevitable political disgrace, the same kind that Thatcher ended up with.

She built her revolution on nuclear power and gas from the sea. Blair is just giving up the gas. But I think that soon the left should consider giving up the 'green agenda' in favour of a policy that will return workers to the base of the economy, rather than mere 'capital'.
'The left' emerged from the industrial union and communist movements. This economic 'globalisation' is simply a bad way to avoid reality, that workers really have the power, even if capitalists wish to destroy national industries they are only putting off the inevitable.