Europas socialdemokratiske Maginot-linje

Weekly Standard har en henvisning til en artikel skrevet af Gerald Alexander i Chicago Sun-times kaldet "Europes Hidden Conservatives".

Artiklen sammenligner den politiske kultur i USA og Europa og fremhæver flere gode pointer:

Why are politics so different in Europe and the United States, considering that the two have wealthy economies and share a lot of cultural roots?

[..]In a democracy, major parties and coalitions craft their platforms and rhetoric to attract the "median voter," that is, the hypothetical voter at the exact center of the political spectrum, whose swing can determine an election. In most European countries, the median voter is, for example, both less religious and more dependent on government than the median voter in the United States.

This makes political differences appear very stark, by tugging American politics to the right and European politics to the left. For example, American liberals when running for office have little choice but to sideline provocative progressive language and instead loudly proclaim conservative-sounding themes like individual responsibility, the private sector, and toughness on crime and national security.


The opposite happens in Europe. In countries like Germany, France, Spain and Sweden, center-right politicians compete for a very different kind of median voter, leaving them little choice but to avoid talk of toughness at home or abroad, and instead to defend the welfare state, strict secularism and a kindler, gentler foreign policy. Germany's Christian Democrats, for instance, often compete with the Social Democrats to see who can raise public pensions more, not to cut or reform them. In the same way, European business leaders who understand supply-side incentives, job creation and taxes and regulation more or less like American conservatives do, are careful to censor "radically" free-market talk so an not to marginalize themselves politically. And European conservatives avoid any suggestion that they want to make their countries more like America. This positioning — in this case to the center-left — is so thorough that Americans and other outside observers might not even realize that every European country hosts a sizable minority of conservatives.

The perception that Europe is uniformly center-to-center-left is reinforced by the fact that public expression is often monopolized by a collusive journalistic, intellectual and Eurocrat elite whose "arrogance [is] almost beyond belief," in the words of American conservative commentator William Kristol. Mainstream European press discussions of free markets, America and robust conservatism are so routinely paranoid and hyperbolic as to make Howard Dean look temperate by comparison.

[..]William Kristol has suggested that, in a way, Europe is stuck politically in America's 1990s, with a cultural and political elite plagued by drift, failure and scandal — but without the breakthrough achieved in America by reform-minded conservatives like Rudy Giuliani and, yes, Newt Gingrich. If anything, though, Western Europe sometimes seems even stuck further behind than that. Many Europeans still respond to unemployment with protectionism and government jobs programs; leaders routinely speak of corporatist-style "social dialogue" between the state and major interests; a center-right prime minister argues that subsidized agriculture is central to France's economic dynamism…and governments try to stem globalization with what one scholar calls a "social democratic Maginot Line."

Artiklen konkluderer, at Europa politisk set snarere befinder sig hvor USA befandt sig i 70'erne, men hvor er den europæiske Reagan?

 Jeg ville i øvrigt gerne have ofret op til flere månedslønninger for at have opfundet den geniale sammenligning af europas forsvar mod globalisering med en "social demokratisk Maginot-linje". Sammenligningen er lige så rammende som den er hylende morsom. 


5 thoughts on “Europas socialdemokratiske Maginot-linje

  1. Peter Nedergaard

    Hvis begrebet “socialdemokratisk Maginot-linje” er så rammende, at den er flere månedslønninger værd, vil det så ikke sige, at socialdemokraterne i Europa ligesom franskmændene under 2. verdenskrig godt nok i udgangssituationen vælger de forkerte forsvarsmidler, men at de alligevel vinder krigen i sidste ende?

  2. Peter Nedergaard

    Jo da. De fire sejrsmagter var USA, UK, USSR og Frankrig. Jf. den senere opdeling af Tyskland.

  3. Karsten Jensen

    De allierde vedtog, at Frankrig skulle med på sejrslisten. Men Frankrigs bidrag til udfaldet af anden verdenskrig var yderst beskedent.

  4. Publikum

    Passer det ikke meget godt med den påstand, at de valgte de forkerte midler, men alligevel endte på de sejrendes side?


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