The European Left Has a Split Personality Disorder
It is a real threat to democracy
If you are reading any of my writings, then you should have little doubt about where I take my political stand. On a traditional left-right scale, I would be far to the left. So far, so unsurprising. But here is the thing. I have a lot of issues with the European left. Especially their split Personality Disorder. It is one of the reasons, why I am one among millions of non-voters. I have been for years. Yesterday, I received my voting slip for the upcoming election rerun in Berlin. My instinct was to toss the slip in the bin under my desk. I am fully aware, that many would argue that I am undermining democracy with this behavior. I disagree. Hear me out.
The fact is, that I do not see any potential party on the ballot, that actually represents me. Actions speak louder than words. The voting record of leftist parties shows that they do not align with the values they claim to have.
This is by the way not just a problem for left-wing parties in Germany. It is a problem that all left-wing and ‘progressive’ parties have in the western hemisphere. In Europe, it is especially pronounced. That is why I refer to them in this article as the European Left. In reality, they are much more right-wing, than they want voters to believe.
Split Personality Disorder Example #1: The German Green Party
In Germany, the Green Party entered the Parliament for the first time in 1983. The platform was one of fighting for environmental issues and pacifism. Today, the Green Party is actually forming part of the government. Arms exports from Germany are higher than ever. And not just to Ukraine.
During the last elections, they advocated loudly for the release of Julian Assange. Now, e have a green foreign minister. She is in a position to actually put some pressure on the U.S. and the U.K.
She has decided that it is perfectly fine to subjugate journalists to torture. It is an expression of western dedication to human rights, I guess.
It gets even wilder, though. We can see it as we speak. They are encouraging climate activists in Lützerath to continue their blockade. They fight against the power of fossil fuel companies, to flatten villages and dig up more coal. Like the member of parliament tweeting below, who voted for the deal in the first place.
Yes, we are talking about the same green party, that voted on letting RWE dig up that coal in December 2022. Now granted, they were pressed. Because they decided on energy sanctions against Russia, without thinking through the consequences. It happens to the best of us. But to then go out mere weeks later and pretend, they had nothing to do with it? That just shows some serious split personality disorder.
Now I know, if I vote green, what I get is platitudes, war, and gifts to fossil fuel companies. Sorry, but that is nowhere near my political position.
Split Personality Disorder Example #2: The Social Democrats and Socialists
With the Socialists and Social Democrats, the Split Personality is even more severe. They claim to represent the working class. And yet, they embrace neoliberalism at every turn. It was the social Democrats, who sold off nearly all public housing. They had help from the Socialist Linke. This was a great gift to real estate speculators. Now, no one who has a job with a median salary can afford to live in the city.
This was not only happening in Germany, by the way. Do you know, who really dismantled the NHS in Britain? It was Tony Blair and his New Labour, who really had a go at it first.
The same goes for labor market reforms, that cast millions of people to the edge of their existence. Watch how proud Social Democrat Gerhard Schröder was back in 2005. When he explained how his party created millions of working poor.
The biggest sale-out of public services happened during Social Democratic Governments. Remember, when Aleksander Tsipiras caved to the neoliberals in Greece? Just because it is not News anymore, does not mean that the situation is less dire for many Greeks. The German Railway privatization project was a pet project by the SPD. What we got was the lousiest rail service in history. Of any of the German states in existence during the last 200 years.
In most of Europe, the Social Democratic and Socialist parties have obliterated themselves. For this reason, exactly. They don’t want to acknowledge the socio-economic realities of workers and poverty-stricken people. This is why this split personality is a real threat to democracy. Because they leave the material talking points to the right.
Identity Politics Strengthens the Right
All the while, leftist parties only want to dabble in identity politics.
Do we have a challenge in integrating the growing number of refugees, that come to Europe? Mind you, they come because of our own foreign policy. Yes, we do. Because it is not just a question of platitudes and big proclamations. It takes resources. Like a robust health system. You know, to address the physical and mental health issues the survivors of war are facing. It also is a challenge to integrate migrants and refugees into the labor market.
Ask any teacher, who is integrating refugees that do not speak the language into a class. They will tell you, that it is no easy task.
These are material questions. According to the left, however, you cannot even mention these questions. Doing so means that you are a right-wing nut. As a result, the right gets to have the entire debate on refugees.
At the same time, unskilled migrant and local workers fight for the same miserable jobs. This makes both of them easy to exploit by capitalists. But don’t you dare mention it to any left-wing politician. You will be labeled a Nazi, immediately. This is why identity politics does not work. It fails to address the material questions. By pursuing this line, the European Left puts their split personality on full display.
What Is There Left to Vote?
This brings me to the core question. Who can I actually vote for? The left has betrayed its values and ideals. The right never shared values and ideals with me in the first place. For me, it feels like no matter where I put my cross, I will end up compromising my core values. I want that workers have good working conditions, regardless of their identity. It would be great if we can welcome refugees, and support them to have a fresh start. We need to finally push for a transformation to green energy. I want decent public transport. It would be awesome if people can have affordable housing. And I want that our governments work towards global cooperation. Instead of more global competition and war.
The European Left will give me none of that. They claim, that they do. But their actions show that the other persona has control. Such is the fate of split personality disorder. For me, it means that I am between a rock and a hard place. Either I compromise my core values. Or I am part of dismantling our democratic institutions altogether.
Perhaps it is time to build some new institutions, then? The old ones obviously no longer seem to serve us.