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Related Categories: U.S. | Labor & Workers
Video: Beautiful Country Burn Again, 39 min
by Ben Fountain
Saturday Nov 10th, 2018 2:10 PM
October 13, 2018
Beautiful Country Burn Again
Ben Fountain recounts the 2016 election and explores where he thinks the country is headed today.

The Great Depression required reordering society with a social democratic state, strong anti-monopoly laws, a robust social safety net, collective bargaining, and strong unions. In the 1950s Americans got a higher share of the fruits of productivity. Grover Norquist doesn't realize what holds him up.

Progressive government gave clean water and raised life expectancy. FDR was elected in a democratic movement. Our politics has been degraded in the past 18 years. Americans are working more hours; corporate profits soar and wages haven't risen since the 1970s.

by Nikolaus Kowall and Fabian Lindner
Tuesday Nov 13th, 2018 3:05 PM
Right Wing Populism and the Social Question
by Nikolaus Kowall and Fabian Lindner, 11/4/2017,

Right-wing extremists only gain traction because the left let them: in the Great Depression of the 1930s German social democrats actively supported austerity and thus deep cuts in the welfare state. Rudolf Hilferding, the prominent Marxist, social democratic intellectual and one-time finance minister, rejected Keynesian demand policies as “un-Marxian”. He hoped the economic crisis would be the harbinger of revolution. While social democrats clung to their fantasy of the proletarian revolution, the only party to actively campaign for Keynesian demand management to overcome the crisis and bring people back to work were the Nazis. They could present themselves as the only alternative both to unfettered market fundamentalism and abstract Marxism.

This might be the lesson for today: Social democrats have to regain credibility in the social and economic area and not cling to their neo-liberalism “light” if they want to stop right-wing extremism. Simply branding right-wing extremists as racists in the hope voters will be scared and stop voting for them will not work as long as people feel they have lost control over their lives.

About Nikolaus Kowall and Fabian Lindner

Fabian Lindner is an economist working at the Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK) of the Hans-Böckler-Foundation. He studied in Germany and France and holds master degrees in political science and economics. He also writes columns on the blog Herdentrieb of the German weekly Die Zeit. Nikolaus Kowall is Managing Director of the Forschungsinstitut für Gesellschaftliche Weiterentwicklung (Research Institute for Societal Development) in Düsseldorf, Germany. He holds a doctorate in Economics, having focussed on competitiveness of economies.
by Robert Ogman and Hans-Jurgen Urban
Tuesday Nov 20th, 2018 3:43 PM
The attacks of Republicans on the existing welfare system are driving the US population to the left. Proposals of a universal health care enjoy the support of around 70% of US citizens including the majority of Americans voting Republican. Attempts of Republicans to represent all welfare state proposals as Maoist, Stalinist or Venezuelan nightmares are losing more and more credibility. Teacher strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Colorado demand a political change.
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