Left Wing View – Mov Soc http://movsoc.org/ Tue, 28 Jun 2022 18:53:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://movsoc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/mov-soc-icon.png Left Wing View – Mov Soc http://movsoc.org/ 32 32 Two murders in the Amazon https://movsoc.org/two-murders-in-the-amazon/ Tue, 28 Jun 2022 18:11:15 +0000 https://movsoc.org/two-murders-in-the-amazon/

From the moment Dom Phillips and Bruno Araújo Pereira disappeared on June 5 in the Brazilian Amazon, there were suspicions of foul play. Phillips was a British freelance journalist dedicated to environmental issues, and Pereira, his friend and guide, was a prominent Brazilian expert on indigenous affairs. He was helping Phillips research a book, tentatively titled “How to Save the Amazon.” After spending a few days in and around the vast Javari Valley Indigenous Reserve, near Brazil’s westernmost Amazon border with Peru and Colombia, the two men set off by boat from a small riverside village for the larger city of Atalaia do Norte, two hours away. They never arrived. Their satellite phone had lost the signal.

Rumors quickly swirled that Pereira had been the target of recent death threats and that in the days before the men disappeared they had been involved in a confrontation with gunmen who were fishing illegally in the reserve. Phillips and Pereira had spent time with an Indigenous Home Defense group that Pereira was apparently helping to organize; the group seeks to document and thwart the illegal activities of a growing influx of intruders, including fishermen, loggers and gold diggers. The Javari is home to some of the last uncontacted indigenous tribes in the world, which gives it its unique character. This is permanently protected indigenous land. A government agency known as Fundação Nacional do Índio (FUNAI) enforces this protection; he may also request assistance from the federal police and other agencies. FUNAI is responsible for safeguarding the twenty-eight confirmed isolated Amazonian tribes and their constitutionally protected reservations; Pereira had headed his department of uncontacted and recently contacted Indians. (In all, there are more than two hundred tribes in Brazil.)

But, like many Amazon reserves, the Javari is increasingly overrun. The area where Phillips and Pereira disappeared is just outside the perimeter boundaries of Javari, where there are several riverside communities of settlers who never fully accepted the creation of indigenous territory and who under President Jair Bolsonaro , have become more brazen by transgressing its borders. . Some of them live off illegal logging, hunting and fishing inside the reserve. It is not far from the main thoroughfare of the Amazon River, so it is also favored by cocaine smugglers from neighboring coca-producing countries of Colombia and Peru, a trade that has spawned a powerful criminal subculture. .

The Javari, in other words, is a dangerous place. But Phillips and Pereira were no neophytes. Pereira had worked in the area for years and had local contacts, so there was initially a hope that perhaps their boat’s engine had just failed and they had drifted downstream, or had simply somehow lost. However, neither possibility seemed likely, and the indigenous people Pereira was working with immediately began looking for them. While there was still no news the following day, journalists, relatives and colleagues of the two men began to demand that the Brazilian government launch a search.

Phillips, who reported regularly for the Guardian, was a lanky and amiable man, married to a Brazilian, Alessandra Sampaio. Last year they moved to Salvador, his hometown. I had met him at the end of 2018, in Brasilia, during a report on Bolsonaro, the far-right politician who had just won the presidential election. Bolsonaro took office in January 2019 and immediately began rolling back legal protections for indigenous Amazon reserves and conservation areas, which had been in place since Brazil’s constitution was adopted in 1988. Instead, he advocated opening up the reserves to outside interests. commercial mining, logging and agribusiness, while ignoring concerns about environmental damage. He appointed a foreign minister who called climate change a hoax dreamed up by Marxists.

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Colin Kaepernick’s agent responds to Warren Sapp’s claim that Raiders training was a ‘disaster’ https://movsoc.org/colin-kaepernicks-agent-responds-to-warren-sapps-claim-that-raiders-training-was-a-disaster/ Sun, 26 Jun 2022 23:59:00 +0000 https://movsoc.org/colin-kaepernicks-agent-responds-to-warren-sapps-claim-that-raiders-training-was-a-disaster/

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Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp, whose once-promising media career died out due to his own misconduct, is back in the news, thanks to some inflammatory things he said. Sapp, in an apparent effort to resurrect his relevance, recently fired quarterback Colin Kaepernick, based on his practice with the Raiders.

Said Sapp of Kaepernick’s workout, “I heard it was a disaster. I heard one of the worst workouts ever.

Sapp didn’t provide any specifics or details or anything to back up his claim.

Kaepernick’s agent, Jeff Nalley, nevertheless responded to Sapp’s request.

“I guess Warren hasn’t spoken to the general manager or the head coach,” Nalley told PFT via text message. “I spoke to the general manager [Dave Zieger] several times and he said they all thought Kap was in great shape and throwing the ball really well and encouraged any team to call him about practice and he would tell them the same thing. I’m surprised Warren would say that, because it’s not true and you’d think he’d want Kap on a team.

Sapp also said he “was wondering how it happened and a tape didn’t come out.” Maybe it’s because it didn’t turn out the way he said it would. Maybe it’s ultimately because Sapp is trying to carve out a new niche in sports media, given he pissed off the last one he had.



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Opinion: What Putin and Xi don’t understand about ‘messy’ democracy https://movsoc.org/opinion-what-putin-and-xi-dont-understand-about-messy-democracy/ Sat, 25 Jun 2022 07:10:00 +0000 https://movsoc.org/opinion-what-putin-and-xi-dont-understand-about-messy-democracy/ Last February, the West impressed the world with its resolute support for Ukraine in the face of brutal Russian aggression. From Washington to Warsaw, leaders from all political walks of life seemed to be singing in rare harmony.

Four months later, what is striking is how quickly divisions have resurfaced, both between and within countries.

Biden’s task next week will be to rekindle the spirit of February. If left to escalate, the emerging disagreements could undermine efforts to support Ukraine while fueling Russian President Vladimir Putin’s sense that time is on his side.

From Moscow, the West now seems distracted and divided. While voices from frontline Eastern European states like Poland and Estonia warn of the risks of placating Putin, some of their peers further west appear to be more worried that the Russian leader feels humiliated.
An adviser to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz recently shocked his own coalition partners by chastising journalists for focusing on Ukraine’s military needs, rather than exploring the “exciting” question of future relations with Russia. Scholz appeared in February to lead a revolution in German foreign policy, abandoning Ostpolitik to increase defense spending and arm Kyiv. Now even partisans wonder why so few heavy weapons were delivered.
In France, President Emmanuel Macron has been hampered by the loss of his parliamentary majority. Recent elections have seen a rise in both the left-wing alliance of Jean-Luc Mélenchon and the anti-immigrant right-wing of Marine le Pen. Both have in the past championed Putin’s armed annexation of Crimea. These days, both criticize the Russian invasion but oppose the embargo on the country’s oil and gas exports.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has strongly supported Kyiv. But his country, which is still digesting Brexit, has been rocked by scandals over Johnson’s failure to follow his own lockdown rules and alleged lies in parliament. Johnson has repeatedly denied that the rules were broken.
Meanwhile, Finland and Sweden’s bid to join NATO has been hijacked by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who seems determined to use the new Russian threat to secure concessions. Among other things, he wants the two Nordic countries to set aside human rights concerns and extradite Turkish opponents and journalists to Ankara.
For Biden himself, a few days out of Washington must seem like a welcome relief. With his dismal ratings, his party faces a midterm rout in November and he could find himself in a rematch with Donald Trump in 2024.

As inflation soars, Covid-19 mutates and economies teeter on the brink of recession, Western leaders have little inclination to defend the free world.

This image of divisions and disarray is all the more worrying in that Putin most certainly reads too much into it.

Like his friend Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Russian leader believed for years that the West was in decline, dysfunctional and self-centered. Domestic political struggles, electoral upheavals and quarrels between allies all strike these autocrats as signs of weakness.

According to them, strength lies in unity. Putin and Xi are working hard to make it at home. In Russia, the only visible divisions are between those who support the war and those who really support him. In China, censors are crushing any hint of dissent ahead of this fall’s party congress, in which Xi is expected to seek a historic third term potentially opening the door to many more.
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What these leaders fail to realize is that the strength of democracy lies in its ability to process disagreements rather than sweep them under the rug. Attempts to impose unity by decree create a fragile pretense of order. They also blind the leader to the true state of public opinion.

As messy as democracy and multilateral diplomacy can be, it is often necessary to voice differences in order to overcome them. Problem solving requires open sharing of information and evaluation of options. Fear of division leads autocrats to cling to failed approaches, as with Xi’s draconian lockdowns and Putin’s bullying of his neighbors, who now appear to have alienated even Kazakhstan’s usually low-key president.

To succeed, countries must forge unity rather than feign it. But this does not happen automatically. And that takes time. If the characteristic weakness of dictatorships is the tendency of leaders to lose touch with reality, the corresponding defect of democracies is that they take too long to wake up.

When they act, democracies can muster far more energy and innovation than their adversaries. But they often start so late that the costs have already reached disconcerting levels.

This is where leadership comes in. The main challenge for any statesman is to counter the failures of his system. A dictator who stays informed and critical is more likely to survive. A democratic leader who inspires his people – and his allies – to tackle looming problems swiftly deserves special historic recognition.

Biden showed determination in his quick response to Putin’s assault. By preparing sanctions and rallying the West early on, his team showed glimmers of greatness. Now, as the rifts reappear, he must do more – explain what is at stake, shape opinion at home and abroad and maintain the coalition to keep aid in Kyiv going.

The danger in the coming months is that, distracted and diverted, the West will not provide Ukraine with the weapons it needs quickly enough to defeat Russia.

If we succumb to “war fatigue”, we will pay a heavy price. Stopping an aggressor early on is always cheaper than waiting for them to rack up kills and resources. Putin openly compares himself to Peter the Great, with a mission to “return and strengthen” territories that once belonged to the Russian Empire.

We cannot let this happen. Our advantage in this contest is that we don’t have to fear divisions. In the end, they are our strength. But they must be overcome by competent and energetic leadership. This is what democracies – and their great statesmen – do. E pluribus unum.

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Latin America is changing. Will the United States? https://movsoc.org/latin-america-is-changing-will-the-united-states/ Thu, 23 Jun 2022 10:01:32 +0000 https://movsoc.org/latin-america-is-changing-will-the-united-states/

For decades, Latin America has been on the periphery of American foreign policy thinking. But major transformations, including new migration patterns, climate change and large-scale social movements, are already having consequences across the continent.

This context formed the backdrop to last week’s Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, mainly due to the absence of key countries such as Mexico, Cuba and Venezuela, as well as countries in Central America, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

The outcome of the summit was the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, a pact signed by 20 countries that aims to expand legal pathways for migrants and refugees and provide new funding to help host countries. .

According to Ariel Ruiz Soto, policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, the declaration is based on three main pillars: helping communities that welcome and work with migrants; providing legal pathways and direct protection to migrants (by granting asylum or temporary protected status); and make border management more humane.

Ruiz Soto was part of a panel of speakers at a June 10 briefing hosted by Ethnic Media Services examining the challenges for the United States in a changing Latin America.

“Recent years have shown that controls on migrants have become more violent in the region,” noted Ruiz Soto, adding that similar crackdowns are occurring along borders across Latin America, even as the demographic composition of the flow of migrants seems to be changing.

Between October 2021 and April 2022, there were 1.3 million encounters with migrants by US immigration authorities, Ruiz Soto explained. Some 61% of these encounters involved migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, which means that the remaining 39% involved mainly people from South America and Asia.

“We are now seeing similar rates of deportation from Mexico,” Ruiz Soto said, noting however that Mexico’s treatment of migrants may vary depending on their country of origin. “Haitians, Cubans and Venezuelans are among the least likely to obtain asylum in Mexico.”

That means migrants from those countries are increasingly likely to travel in caravans for the added security that comes with being in larger groups, Ruiz Soto said.

Neither Cuba nor Venezuela were invited to attend the Summit, with US organizers citing authoritarian conditions in those countries as the reason. This prompted the leaders of Mexico and a handful of other countries to pull out of the event.

“To see Lopez Obrador stand up to this is good,” said Ted Lewis, co-director of the nonprofit Global Exchange, noting that Mexico’s absence is a reaffirmation of “the traditional independence of foreign policy” of this country vis-à-vis the United States.

At the same time, Lewis says Mexico’s current migration policy appears to be a capitulation to pressure from the United States, which continues to view Mexico and the rest of Latin America through the narrow prism of ” communism and the war on drugs”.

It’s a perspective shared across the otherwise highly partisan political divide in the United States, according to Lewis. Washington’s approach in Latin America has been very bipartisan, he said, “in the wrong way”.

And, according to Lewis, the failure of the United States to recognize the changes taking place in the region is preventing the Biden administration from being able to achieve its goals. “They won’t be able to make the necessary changes because they are politically trapped.”

According to Manuel Ortiz Escámez, editor of the Spanish-language news site Peninsula 360, some of the biggest changes in Latin America are being driven by grassroots social movements in countries across the region, including Colombia, which may be on the verge of to elect its first-ever leftist president in June.

“I have seen a transformation in the country from hope to peace to a return to violence,” said Ortiz Escámez, who has covered Colombia for more than a decade. “But I also saw the creation of new social movements, new platforms and new alliances where different sectors that usually fight separately came together.”

These alliances, says Ortiz Escámez, “will continue to drive social change no matter who is in power.”

Yet where many see only challenges, Duke University’s Christine Folch sees opportunity. Folch studies water and energy politics and says Latin America offers a vision of what “a post-fossil energy world looks like in terms of economics and politics.”

Drawing comparisons with the United States, where 2/3 of energy comes from fossil fuels, in Latin America that same percentage comes from renewables, including wind and water.

“This provides an opportunity for engagement from the United States,” Folch said, pointing to the rapid growth of wind farms as well as the Itaipu Dam along the Paraguay-Brazil border. Itaipu is one of the largest dams in the world, generating enough electricity to power a third of California.

According to Folch, the legal structure established to share the energy generated by the dam between Brazil and Paraguay became the basis for the formation of the South American trading bloc Mercosur.

This transnational arrangement, she says, can serve as the basis for similar structures in a region grappling with the increasingly severe impacts of climate change.

“Much of the focus at the Summit of the Americas is on migration, corruption and organized crime,” Folch said, ignoring Latin America’s potential role as a “leader in climate change, energy transitions and green growth”.

Ethnic Media Services

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Pacifism is the wrong answer to the war in Ukraine | Slavoj Zizek https://movsoc.org/pacifism-is-the-wrong-answer-to-the-war-in-ukraine-slavoj-zizek/ Tue, 21 Jun 2022 13:34:00 +0000 https://movsoc.org/pacifism-is-the-wrong-answer-to-the-war-in-ukraine-slavoj-zizek/

For me John Lennon’s mega hit Imagine has always been a popular song for the wrong reasons. Imagine that “the world will be one” is the best way to end up in hell.

Those who cling to pacifism in the face of Russia’s attack on Ukraine remain caught up in their own version of “imagine”. Imagine a world in which tensions are no longer resolved by armed conflict… Europe persisted in this world of “the imaginary”, ignoring the brutal reality outside its borders. Now is the time to wake up.

The dream of a quick Ukrainian victory, the repetition of the original dream of a quick Russian victory, is over. In what looks more and more like a protracted stalemate, Russia is making slow progress and its ultimate goal is clearly displayed. No need to read between the lines when Putin compares himself to Peter the Great: “A priori, he was at war against Sweden by taking something away from it… He was not taking anything away, he was coming back… He was coming back and getting stronger, that’s what he was doing… Obviously it was up to us to come back and get stronger as well.

More than focusing on particular issues (is Russia really just “returning,” and to what?), we should carefully read Putin’s general rationale for his assertion: “In order to claim some kind of leadership – I’m not even talking about global leadership, I mean leadership in any field – any country, any people, any ethnic group should assert their sovereignty. Because there is no in-between, no intermediate state: either a country is sovereign or it is a colony, whatever the colonies are called.

The implication of these lines, as one commentator put it, is clear: there are two categories of state: “The sovereign and the conquered. From Putin’s imperial perspective, Ukraine should fall into the latter category.

And, as is no less clear from the official Russian statements of recent months, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Finland, the Baltic states… and finally Europe itself “fall into this last category”.

We now know what the call to allow Putin to “save face” means. This means accepting not a minor territorial compromise in the Donbass but Putin’s imperial ambition. The reason why this ambition must be rejected unconditionally is that in today’s global world where we are all haunted by the same catastrophes, we are all in between, in an intermediate state, neither a sovereign country nor a conquered country: insisting on full sovereignty in the face of global warming is sheer folly since our very survival depends on close global cooperation.

But Russia isn’t just ignoring global warming – why was it so angry with the Scandinavian countries when they expressed their intention to join NATO? With global warming, what is at stake is the control of the Arctic passage. (That’s why Trump wanted to buy Greenland from Denmark.) Due to the explosive development of China, Japan and South Korea, the main transportation route will be through northern Russia and Scandinavia. Russia’s strategic plan is to take advantage of global warming: control the world’s main transport route, develop Siberia and control Ukraine. In this way, Russia will dominate food production so much that it can blackmail the whole world. This is the ultimate economic reality under Putin’s imperial dream.

Those who advocate less support for Ukraine and more pressure for it to negotiate, including agreeing to painful territorial surrenders, like to repeat that Ukraine simply cannot win the war against Russia. That’s true, but I see the greatness of the Ukrainian resistance there: they risked the impossible, defying pragmatic calculations, and the least we owe them is full support, and for that we have need a stronger NATO – but not as an extension of US policy.

The US counterattack strategy across Europe is far from obvious: not just Ukraine, Europe itself is becoming the site of the proxy war between the US and Russia, which could come to a compromise between the two at the expense of Europe. There are only two ways for Europe to get out of this: play the game of neutrality – a shortcut to disaster – or become an autonomous agent. (Just think how the situation might change if Trump wins the next US election.)

While some leftists argue that the ongoing war is in the interests of the NATO industrial-military complex, which uses the need for new weapons to avert crisis and gain new profits, their real message to Ukraine is : OK, you are victims of an aggression, but do not count on our weapons because you play the game of the industrial-military complex…

The disorientation caused by the Ukrainian war produces strange bedfellows like Henry Kissinger and Noam Chomsky who “come from opposite ends of the political spectrum – Kissinger being Secretary of State under Republican presidents and Chomsky one of the leading intellectuals of left in the United States – and have often clashed. But when it comes to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the two have recently pleaded for Ukraine to consider a settlement that could see it give up claiming certain lands to reach a faster peace deal.

In short, both represent the same version of “pacifism” that only works if we overlook the essential fact that the war is not about Ukraine but a moment of brutal attempt to change our whole geopolitical situation. The real objective of the war is the dismantling of the European unity advocated not only by American conservatives and Russia, but also by the European far right and left – at this point, in France, Melenchon meets Le Pen.

The craziest idea circulating these days is that, to counter the new polarity between the United States and China (which represents the excesses of Western liberalism and Eastern authoritarianism), Europe and Russia should rally their forces and form a third “Eurasian” bloc based on the Christian heritage purified of its liberal excesses. The very idea of ​​a “Eurasian” third way is a form of fascism today.

So what will happen “when voters in Europe and the United States, faced with soaring energy costs and broader inflation driven by sanctions against Russia, may lose their appetite for a seemingly hopeless war? end, with needs only growing as both sides head for a protracted stalemate”? The answer is clear: at that point, European heritage will be lost and Europe will be de facto divided between a American sphere of influence and a Russian sphere of influence. In short, Europe itself will become the site of a war that seems endless…

What is absolutely unacceptable for a true leftist today is not only to support Russia, but also to assert more “modestly” that the left is divided between pacifists and supporters of Ukraine, and that it must treat this division as a minor fact that should not affect the global struggle of the left against global capitalism.

When a country is occupied, it is the ruling class that is usually bribed to collaborate with the occupiers to maintain its privileged position, so that the fight against the occupiers becomes a priority. The same goes for the fight against racism; in a state of racial tension and exploitation, the only way to fight effectively for the working class is to focus on the fight against racism (which is why any appeal to the white working class, as in right-wing populism today’s alternative, betrays the class struggle).

Today, you can’t be on the left if you don’t unequivocally support Ukraine. Being a leftist who “shows understanding” for Russia is like being one of those leftists who, before Germany attacked the Soviet Union, took “anti-imperialist” rhetoric seriously. German campaign directed against the United Kingdom and advocated neutrality in Germany’s war against France and the United Kingdom.

If the left fails here, it’s game over. But does that mean the left should simply side with the West, including right-wing fundamentalists who also support Ukraine?

In a speech delivered in Dallas on May 18, 2022, while criticizing the Russian political system, former President Bush said: “The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, and one man’s decision to launch a totally unwarranted and brutal invasion of Iraq. He quickly corrected himself: “I mean, from Ukraine”, then said “Iraq, anyway” to the laughter of the crowd, and added “75 years old”, in reference to his age.

As many commentators have noted, two things cannot but strike the eye in this rather obvious Freudian slip: the fact that the public laughingly received Bush’s implicit admission that the US attack on Iraq (ordered by him) was “a totally unwarranted and brutal invasion”. , instead of treating it as an admission of a crime comparable to the Russian invasion of Ukraine; plus Bush’s enigmatic sequel to his self-correcting “Iraq, anyway” – what did he mean by that? That the difference between Ukraine and Iraq doesn’t really matter? The final reference to his advanced age in no way affects this enigma.

But the enigma is dispelled the moment we take Bush’s statement seriously and literally: yes, all differences taken into account (Zelenskiy is not a dictator like Saddam), Bush did the same thing Putin is now doing to Ukraine, then they should both be judged by the same standard.

On the day I write this, we learned from the media that the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States had been approved by British Home Secretary Priti Patel. His offence? Nothing more than to publicize the crimes admitted by Bush’s slip: the documents revealed by WikiLeaks revealed how, under the presidency of Bush, “the American military had killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents during the war in Afghanistan, while leaking Iraq war files showed that 66,000 civilians were killed and prisoners tortured. Crimes quite comparable to what Putin is doing in Ukraine. Looking back today, we can say that WikiLeaks leaked dozens of American Buchas and Mariupols.

So, if judging Bush is no less illusory than bringing Putin before the tribunal in The Hague, the minimum that those who oppose the Russian invasion of Ukraine can do is to demand the immediate release of Assange. Ukraine claims it is fighting for Europe, and Russia claims it is fighting for the rest of the world against Western unipolar hegemony. Both claims must be rejected, and here the difference between right and left comes into play.

From the perspective of the right, Ukraine is fighting for European values ​​against non-European authoritarians; from a leftist perspective, Ukraine fights for global freedom, including the freedom of Russians themselves. That is why the heart of every true Russian patriot beats for Ukraine.

  • Slavoj Žižek is a philosopher. He is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana, World Emeritus Professor of German at New York University and International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities at the University of London.

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French elections: Macron loses absolute majority in parliament in a “democratic shock” https://movsoc.org/french-elections-macron-loses-absolute-majority-in-parliament-in-a-democratic-shock/ Sun, 19 Jun 2022 22:03:00 +0000 https://movsoc.org/french-elections-macron-loses-absolute-majority-in-parliament-in-a-democratic-shock/
  • 289 seats needed for an absolute majority
  • Macron’s camp falls at the right time
  • Early results point to suspended parliament
  • The left alliance considered the main opposition group
  • The far right wins major victories

PARIS, June 19 (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron lost control of the National Assembly in Sunday’s legislative elections, a major setback that could plunge the country into political paralysis if he is unable to to negotiate alliances with other parties.

Macron’s centrist Ensemble coalition, which wants to raise the retirement age and further deepen European integration, was on course to win the most seats in Sunday’s election.

But they will be far short of the absolute majority needed to control parliament, near-final results showed.

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A broad left-wing alliance was expected to be the biggest opposition group, while the far right won record victories and the conservatives were likely to become kingmakers.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called the result a “democratic shock” and added that if other blocs did not cooperate, “it would block our ability to reform and protect the French”.

A hung parliament will require a degree of power-sharing and compromise between parties unprecedented in France in recent decades. Read more

There is no set scenario in France for how things will now play out. The last time a newly elected president failed to secure an absolute majority in legislative elections was in 1988.

“The result is a risk for our country given the challenges we face,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said, adding that from Monday Macron’s camp will work to seek alliances.

Macron could potentially call a snap election if there is a legislative deadlock.

“The rout of the presidential party is complete and there is no clear majority in sight,” far-left veteran Jean-Luc Mélenchon told his cheering supporters.

Left Liberation called the result a “slap in the face” for Macron, and the business daily Les Echos an “earthquake”.

ALLIANCES?

United behind Mélenchon, the left-wing parties were on track to triple their score since the last legislative election in 2017.

In another significant change for French politics, far-right leader Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party could increase the number of MPs tenfold with up to 90 to 95 seats, according to initial projections. This would be the party’s largest representation in the Assembly.

Early projections from Ifop, OpinionWay, Elabe and Ipsos pollsters showed Macron’s Ensemble alliance winning 230-250 seats, with the left-wing Nupes alliance getting 141-175 and Les Républicains 60-75.

Macron in April became the first French president in two decades to win a second term as voters rallied to keep the far right out of power.

But, seen as out of touch by many voters, he presides over a deeply disenchanted and divided country where support for populist parties on the right and left has surged.

His ability to pursue reform of the euro zone’s second-largest economy depends on winning support for his policies from moderates outside his alliance, on the right and on the left.

MODERATE?

Macron and his allies must now decide whether to seek an alliance with the conservative Republicans, who came in fourth, or lead a minority government that will have to negotiate bills with other parties on a case-by-case basis.

“There are moderates on the benches, on the right, on the left. There are moderate socialists and there are people on the right who, perhaps, on legislation, will be on our side,” the door said. -Government spokesperson Olivia Grégoire.

The Republican platform is more compatible with Ensemble than the other parties. The two together have a chance of securing an absolute majority in the final results, which requires at least 289 seats in the lower house.

Christian Jacob, the leader of the Republicans, said his party would remain in opposition but would be “constructive”, suggesting case-by-case deals rather than a coalition pact.

Former National Assembly leader Richard Ferrand and Health Minister Brigitte Bourguignon lost their seats, in two major defeats for Macron’s camp.

Macron had called for a strong mandate during a bitter campaign against the backdrop of a war on Europe’s eastern fringe that has tightened food and energy supplies and driven up inflation, eroding household budgets.

The Nupes de Melenchon alliance has campaigned to freeze the prices of essential goods, lower the retirement age, cap inheritances and ban companies that pay dividends from laying off workers. Melenchon also calls for disobedience towards the European Union.

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Additional reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten, Michel Rose, Richard Lough, John Irish, Juliette Jabkhiro, Caroline Pailliez, Layli Foroudi; Written by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Barbara Lewis, Emelia Sithole-Matarise, Cynthia Osterman and Daniel Wallis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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January 6 hearings reveal true nature of US political split https://movsoc.org/january-6-hearings-reveal-true-nature-of-us-political-split/ Sat, 18 Jun 2022 05:00:00 +0000 https://movsoc.org/january-6-hearings-reveal-true-nature-of-us-political-split/

The BDN Opinion section operates independently and does not set newsroom policies or contribute to the writing or editing of articles elsewhere in the newspaper or on bangordailynews.com.

What does a talkative congressional candidate in Buffalo have in common with some witnesses at the January 6, 2021, insurrection hearings?

They believe that people want to follow strong political leaders.

Carl Paladino, who is seeking the Republican nomination for an open seat in the US House of Representatives, recently called Adolf Hitler “the kind of leader we need today.” He continued: “We need someone inspiring. We need someone who takes action.

Although Paladino didn’t mention exactly what this particular “actor” did, he liked how the Nazi Führer “excited the crowd.” The despicable substance of his exciting speeches meant nothing compared to how he got people to follow him. (Forget the Gestapo.)

During House hearings on Jan. 6, an attendee said he was on Capitol Hill because former President Donald Trump asked him to be there. Why would he easily do Trump’s bidding?

It’s easy for some media outlets to assume that Trump simply brought the racists out of the closet. That may be true, but it’s far from the complete answer.

Paladino implied that people react to bold, assertive and confident leadership for its own good. It doesn’t matter where the speakers want to lead people, just that they seem to take matters into their own hands. Perhaps that explains why the man went to Washington to attack the Capitol.

It may also explain why President Joe Biden has become less popular than Trump was at the same point in his presidency. Biden is affable, but not a crowd-pleaser orator who can articulate his politics through mere catchphrases.

One of the hallmarks of leadership is the ability to directly motivate others. Leadership is a learned skill, so it’s no surprise that 12 of our 46 presidents have served as generals. Among the most historic were professionals like George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses Grant and Dwight Eisenhower. Others in the lower ranks, like Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy, had led the fight.