A Thought for the Green Party

The Illinois Greens just finished their convention.  A lingering question came up about why the “Green Party” is doing better in say New Zealand and Germany.  I thought that I would share this thought:

In my opinion, parties/organizations on “the left” have had an easier time in Europe and Eurocentric countries because they never made mythical nor romanticized a post-feudal structure that mimicked feudalism as they fully sought to destroy all remainders of monarchy and aristocracy by way of socialistic and quasi-socialist structures (the “Nordic model” for instance) — we didn’t. The closest we (the US) came was during the “rise” of unionization and “progressivism” through the 60′s which correlates well with the broadening of the middle-class.

Unfortunately, we see many of these same countries are now adopting a regressive, Americentric third-way, neoliberal-to- Randian Conservative model (Britain) to ends similar to ours — with a DECREASE in the middle-class.  Which countries are doing the best?  The Nordic countries.  We can debate the economic size and diversity in these Nordic lands but we can not debate their living standards, access to healthcare, infant mortality rates, and other indicators of modernity and advanced social equity and cohesion.

We need a diverse array of candidates who can deconstruct American myths and mythology while simultaneously promote and invite contemporary civic engagement.

Filed under: Politics

Tags: Green Party


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  • The other difference is that the U.S. never had a multiparty parliamentary system. Since 1860, no third party has done well here, regardless of the economic conditions. The Green Party being fronted by the (to put it mildly) polarizing Nader didn't help.

    Of course, the Nordic countries seem more content, but whether anyone else would tolerate the level of taxation they do, apparently in return for the European 6 week holiday, and whether they have enough indigenous economic growth to avoid becoming Greece, Iceland (a Nordic country), Spain, Ireland, or Italy are other questions.

    Of course, the only place were Die Grunen is strong is Germany, which had to demolish its more recent Nazi past first.

  • In reply to jack:

    (The zeroing in on )"High taxes" is quite a red herring and reflective of the semantics used.

    If, for example, the private insurance premiums and subsequent "copays" deducted from your wages, tuition you pay for your child's education and other seemingly innoquous outlays were looked at as taxes or conversly, one looked at the fact that Nordic citizens take home was just that -- take home, the amount spent vis-a-vis "taxes" or the disposable amount available would be close to a wash. We have simply been hoodwinked by the capitalist system to obfuscate this polemic (argument). Of course this also presupposes individuals care about viability (competitive viability?) of their society as a whole and the plight their fellow citizens in specific, and want to otherwise "collectivize" social responsibility in certain endeavors -- like we do with police, fire, and military protection. Remember, for all their perceived "high taxes," they surpass us in the indicators of "advanced modernity" noted in the post and all the while still are able to create millionaires too . . . if that is an important consideration -- it's not for me.

    In regards to Ralph Nader, historically an American hero, sadly became a caracature by 2000 and selfishly, in my opinion, used the Green Party for his personal agenda leaving the Party little more than a flash-in-the-pan high profile candidate for an election cycle.

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