As the golden age of western neo-liberalism dies a death, an alliance between leftists and true conservatives against war, free trade, globalism and corporatism, is not just necessary, it is fundamentally inevitable.
Recently Bernie Sanders said the following:
“To the degree that Donald Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him”.
This is a bigger statement than it seems. It acknowledges what I said prior to the election, that a presidential race between Trump and Sanders would have been more civilised, substantive and calm than the race between Trump and the criminal Hillary Clinton. Whether in Britain, France, America or beyond, socialists and traditional conservative forces are speaking with a common voice on certain issues, mainly those involving an opposition to illegal interventionist war and trade policies.
Much is being made of polling data which apparently shows that in a two horse race between Sanders and Trump, the socialist would have beaten the conservative. As Brexit and the US election have demonstrated, polling data is highly unreliable, but the point that those analysing the data are making is intriguing.
Hillary Clinton’s neo-liberalism that involves selling out her own country to wicked foreign interests and signing trade deals which destroy stable, well-paying industrial jobs, did not sell well amongst the working class. The same is true of Brexit which is one of the reasons why long time socialist Parliamentarian George Galloway actively campaigned for Britain to leave the EU. This also explains why prior to Neil Kinnock selling his party down the river and moreover, before the advent of the cult of Blairism, most Labour MPs were determinedly against European integration, whilst the neo-liberal Margret Thatcher was in favour EEC membership for most of her political career.
Britain’s socialist Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who himself had to twice defeat party leadership candidates favoured by the neo-liberal/pro-war Blairite wing of the party, said the following of Trump’s victory:
“Trump’s election is an unmistakable rejection of a political establishment and an economic system that simply isn’t working for most people. It is one that has delivered escalating inequality and stagnating or falling living standards for the majority, both in the US and Britain
This is a rejection of a failed economic consensus and a governing elite that has been seen not to have listened. And the public anger that has propelled Donald Trump to office has been reflected in political upheavals across the world…
After this latest global wake up call, the need for a real alternative to a failed economic and political system could not be clearer”.
Like Sanders and Galloway, Corbyn understands that ordinary people are rejecting liberalism of all stripes en masse and that the choice they will have to make, the choice that politicians shall have to offer, is one between traditional socialism and traditional conservatism.
Liberalism has failed ordinary people. It has failed the poor, the working class, the patriotic, those disgusted with a corrupt political system, the anti-war, the anti-corporate, the open minded. Some of these people are inherently left wing, some are inherently conservative, a great many more are not concerned about such terms. They simply want politicians to work in their interests rather than make their lives worse.
They are not asking for much, they are asking for trust, stability and peace. Isn’t that what all politicians ought to offer?