The Left Luggage…
It is from Aristotle’s concept of the ‘Golden Mean’ to Lord Buddha’s ‘Majjhima Nikaya’ (or the ‘Middle Discourses’ – a collection of 152 discourses by the Monk, Mendicant, Sage, Philosopher, Teacher and Religious Leader), it is advised to follow a ‘Centrist’ path in order to maintain the balance (in every Sphere of Life)… whenever someone is seen ignoring this rule, s/he has to face the consequences!
Europe had experienced the domination of Extremist Politics (or Ultra-Nationalism) many a times in the last century. However, it is Human Nature to forget the history, and naturally, to pay the price! Right now, the entire world is witnessing a wave of Extremist or Ultra-Nationalist politics, and Europe is no exception to it! From the Eastern Europe (including Russia) to Britain and from Scandinavia to Italy, people feel the presence of Ultra-Nationalism in most of the countries. The Ultra-Nationalists are heavily influencing their respective National Politics, by making the ‘Immigrant Issue’ the most important agenda.
There was a fear that the Ultra-Nationalists would perform well in the recently-held European Parliament (EP) Elections… and, the apprehension comes (partially) correct, as the alliance of Centre-Lefts and Centre-Rights has lost the majority in the EP for the first time in the last four decades. On the other hand, the Ultra-Nationalists have managed to increase their seats by 20-25%! A huge number of people have cast their votes in favour of anti-immigrant Ultra-Nationalist parties especially in Italy and France. The situation in Britain is distinct, as the Britons had elected their candidates and parties, keeping in mind the Brexit issue… and the excellent performance of the Brexit Party was expected in that context.
The fundamental character of the Ultra-Nationalist Rightist parties is contrary to the concept of a United Europe. For the supporters and members of these parties, the European Election was not an election of Europe as a unit, but a combination of Independent voting of many countries. This Right-turn of the EP makes the European Union’s future somewhat uncertain!
Meanwhile, the Leftists (especially the Green Parties), too, have managed to increase their share of votes. They have done really well in Germany, France and Britain. Although the main ideological base of these parties is Environmental Consciousness, they have started concentrating also on Social Justice, apart from opposing the anti-immigrant wave…. this, in other words, means that they are trying to ensure Social Justice through Economic Policies reminiscent of one’s adhered to by the Leftists! The Centre-Left votes in Europe may have gone to the Green Parties, but they should not be considered as Ultra-Lefts. Basically, they are the Environment Conscious Social-Democrats! In fact, the lack of self-confidence among the Centre-Lefts has prompted the Europeans to support the Green Parties! In Britain, the Labour Party is yet to make its stand clear on the ‘Brexit’ issue. As a result, the majority of Britons have cast their votes in favour of the Liberal-Democrats…
This change should be considered a positive one because of two reasons: Firstly, there could be a rise of ‘trustworthy’ alternative to ‘narrow’ Ultra-Nationalist Right-Wing politics. Secondly, the outcome of the European Elections could increase the importance of ‘Environment’ and ‘Social Justice’ in the Continent! Right now, it is just a (shimmering) hope…
Unlike India, Europe can hope for the best. In India, the space for the Left is shrinking from all meaningful forums…
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