The clash between the transatlantic plutocracy and the masses is reaching all corners of European society, and turmoil and agitation are growing. But seeking “solutions” within the rules of the capitalist system is guaranteed to produce failure, since it is such rules that caused the crisis in the first place.
(Gaither Stewart in Rome) ||| Under a hot May sun, Italy’s neo-Communists marched through the streets of Rome last Saturday under the slogan of “Communist Pride”. Images of Che Guevara and Lenin, the hammer and sickle, symbolic relics of the now defunct, once beloved Italian Communist Party, accompanied by the Communist salute of raised left fists and the powerful voices of the 40,000 marchers singing the song of Italian Communists, Bandiera Rossa, Red Flag, and distributing copies of Communist publications named for the Leninist publications, The Spark, What Is To Be Done and Hammer and Sickle.
Italian marchers were joined by representatives of the radical left of Europe: Die Linke (The Left) from Germany, the Front de Gauche which got 10% of the recent vote in France, Izquierda Unida which reached 7% in Spain last November, and above all, Syriza, the Communist left of Greece which garnered over 16% in recent elections in Greece and which is will make a big electoral advance in probable re-elections, since the decimated right has been unable to form a durable Athens government.
The Rome march of Communist Pride coincided with a sudden revolt in Italy against the reigning savage capitalism to the slogan of “no liberty without equality”. The majority, non-privileged classes of Europe see the non-elected European Union bureaucrats in Brussels as “aggressive and strong against the powerless and weak working class and timid and namby-pamby toward the powerful rich financial class”.
The recent victory of the French Socialists of François Hollande has changed the cards on the political table: two recent regional victories of the powerful German SPD (Socialist) indicates either a Socialist win in next year’s general elections or, at least, a coalition with the Christian Democrats of Angel Merkel.
Airs of change reach across the continent from France to The Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and the three Baltic states. Europeans are fed up. Enough sacrifice, Europeans demand. Enough German-imposed austerity. Less taxes and more social equality.
The Left in France, Italy and Greece head the revolt marked by movements modeled on Spain’s Indignados and Italy’s Arrabiati or the Enraged who snob the non-violent Occupy movement in the USA. Though using a slogan equivalent to Fuck Off concerning today’s capitalist political class and the inequalities it engenders and contrary to the American Occupy movement, they have a political program, are running in communal and regional races and won victories in recent administrative elections.
Communist Pride coincides also with a resurgence of symptoms of Red Brigade style terrorism in Italy. The alleged Anarchist shooting in the leg of an industrial leader in Genoa recalls the beginning stages of Red Brigade terrorism in the 1970s. The neo-insurgents have promised more of the same to come. Red Brigade leaflets found here and there cast doubt on the true authors of the legshooting. The image of the early Red Brigades, before infiltration by US-Italian agencies, still lives in the minds of many Italians. Mob attacks on offices of one of the symbols of austerity (read: tax raises and cuts in social security and national health systems and increasing social inequality), the ruthless Equitalia collection agency, do not appear to be spontaneous.
The French Socialist victory is the key to the winds of change blowing over the continent. Fundamentally, Europe is conservative. France and Italy are largely conservative peoples. But these are exceptional times. Inequality and youth unemployment have reached unbearable levels. Traditions of violent revolt are still alive. If the European Union and Germany do not back down and react positively to the demands of rebellious youth, Europe can expect a steady, or even a sudden, escalation of violence. At the same time Left wing political parties will be forced to reverse their movement toward the center and act on leftist demands.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gaither Stewart serves as senior editor and European correspondent. He is based in Rome. His latest novel, The Trojan Spy (part one of The Europe Trilogy) is currently available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other major online booksellers.
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