By Carl Boggs (auth.)
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Additional resources for Ecology and Revolution: Global Crisis and the Political Challenge
Strong anti-Keynesian upsurges are in fact generously funded by some of the wealthiest Americans, always ready to assist right-wingers looking to brand themselves as a grouping of ordinary folks who like to mingle at workingclass bars, attend NASCAR races, and speak down-home English. Meanwhile, “blue-dog” Democrats join Republicans in stepped up efforts to overturn New Deal reforms. Here Obama’s bipartisan gesture of “reaching across the isle” and taking the “middle ground,” recalling Bill Clinton’s presidency, should have been anticipated by close observers of the American scene.
But initial hopes for a gradual, peaceful transition to socialism quickly gave way to welfare-state capitalism in such countries as Sweden, Denmark, Holland, France, and England. From the 1930s to the present, these parties evolved into institutionalized ﬁxtures of statecapitalism, serving as a loyal opposition with diminishing transformative ambitions. Leninism served as the ediﬁce of vanguard parties for the great twentieth-century revolutions, starting in 1917 Russia. 20 In contrast to social democracy, Communist triumphs came in preindustrial nations subjected to imperial domination and, in some cases, military occupation.
The prospects for genuine environmental reform thus face new impediments with each passing electoral spectacle and political-branding campaign. 31 Here short-term ﬁscal and monetary policies, along with federal stimulus programs, treat 20 E c o lo g y a n d R e vo lu t i o n surface phenomena rather than more fundamental sources of crisis, whether national or global. Popular resentment toward “elites” is yet another expression of right-wing populism, recalling earlier periods of severe crisis, as in Europe between the two world wars.