Why Every European Country Has A Trump Or Sanders Candidate

Authored by Richard Drake via TheAmericanConservative.com,

The suicide in the Friuli region of northern Italy earlier this year of a 30-year-old man, identified in the newspapers only as Michele, has become a symbol of the country’s unemployment tragedy, particularly as it affects young people.

Though much worse in the South, the country’s economic crisis also has had a blighting effect on the North. The national unemployment rate now stands at nearly 12 percent. A 40 percent youth unemployment rate nationwide, however, has people speaking of a generational apartheid in Italy. There is no work to be found for young people. In the workplace, comparatively speaking, they have been walled off from the rest of the population.

Friuli is a region of plain and mountain in the northeastern part of Italy, flush against borders to the north with Austria and the east with Slovenia. The annals of Friuli antedate by many centuries the arrival of the ancient Romans, who founded the colony of Aquileia there nearly two hundred years before Christ. The barbarian invasions swept over Friuli in the general wreckage of the Roman Empire. An Aquileian state arose in the Middle Ages, but was absorbed in the 15th century by the expanding Venetian empire. Then Friuli passed through French and Austrian phases of occupation and control before becoming part the newly founded Kingdom of Italy, in 1866.

The Friulani, a highly energetic and resourceful people steeped in the work ethic common to the peasant and artisanal cultures of traditional Europe, tilled the land and also gained a well-deserved reputation for their skill in specialty crafts and the building trades. Typically in such cultures, the work that a man did defined him. The modern world has changed those old ways of life, but the culture they generated persists. More recently, Friuli became renowned for its small businesses and factories, which played a vital role in the national economy. There was still hard work for the Friulani to do.

From his mother’s milk, Michele would have imbibed the work ethic of his native region. He would have thought of work as dignity and honor. In a suicide note, he claimed to be bereft of such things and of hope. “Desire has passed me by,” he wrote. Michele never had been able to find a meaningful job and had despaired of ever finding one. Contemplating his blank future, a sense of deep frustration had crushed his spirit. He hoped that his parents would forgive his dreadful act, but could not envisage a place for himself in a society without work.

No less than many other regions in the country, Friuli has been devastated by the economic crash of 2008 and its seemingly permanent aftermath. Hundreds of its small businesses and factories have closed, leaving many thousands unemployed. Michele’s father called his son’s death “the defeat of a moribund society.” What other way is there to describe a society unable to create work for its young people?

One of Italy’s rising political figures, Beppe Grillo of the politically eclectic Five-Star Movement, has proposed a guaranteed citizen income for all Italians. His reasoning appears to be that the Italians should be getting something from their government other than its slavish devotion to the corrupt oligarchy of the banks and corporations that rule the country.

There is a strong Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein component in the Five-Star Movement, as well as an admiration for the challenge that Hugo Chávez threw down to the multinationals in Venezuela. Grillo also has praised Ecuador’s Rafael Correa for his opposition to the International Monetary Fund, an institution that the Italian leader reviles as a battering ram of noxious austerity policies. Since the recent presidential election in the United States, Grillo has praised Trump as a much-needed change-of-air in world politics. Change of any kind, a powerful sentiment in the United States last fall, exerts the same kind of force in Italy now.

Even if a guaranteed citizen income initiative were to prevail and become law, the main problem underscored by Michele’s death would still remain. An allowance conjures up the image of juvenile dependence. A national welfare program for all citizens certainly is preferable to leaving ever rising numbers of them in want, but it would not solve in a socially edifying way the anterior problem of work. Michele was not asking for an allowance. He wanted work to do. This is a human need that societies deserving of survival are obliged to supply, a point raised by Thorstein Veblen in the book of his he valued most, The Instinct of Workmanship (1914). Human beings, he wrote, are called by nature to useful effort. It is not only the deprivations and frustrations associated with sex that undermine and subvert the human personality. He judged the men who live by moving money around to be the greatest peril of all to those who live by work.

The problem of work in Italy today belongs to the class of social consequences identified by Pier Paolo Pasolini in a famous Corriere della Sera article in 1974. “The Italians are no longer what they once were,” he observed. By this statement, Friuli’s greatest poet, filmmaker, and social critic meant that Italy’s traditional values had undergone an anthropological mutation. The country had abandoned its traditional way of life, which in its peasant culture had achieved a kind of poetic synthesis in the saying of Padron ‘Ntoni, novelist Giovanni Verga’s lead character in I Malavoglia (1881): “He is richest who has the fewest wants.” Pasolini feared that the new values of a hedonistic consumer society would be a poor substitute for Italy’s Christian and socialist ideals. What a debased fate for Italy, to come through the civilization-defining vicissitudes of its millennial history, only to end up ignobly aping American-style conspicuous consumption.

Pasolini had in mind a particular phase of the globalized economy, which since the 1970s has sped forward on the principle that money must be completely liberated to maximize profits for those who have it. It is immediately evident why this golden rule for today’s economy, though achieving its purpose of profit-maximization, has been a poor proposition for most of the working people of the Western world.

While rates of extreme poverty worldwide have declined in recent decades, the means to produce such a result have required an outsourcing of the West’s manufacturing base. The coincidental surge in profits made possible by the relocation of manufacturing jobs to countries unencumbered by high wages, labor unions, and environmental laws has with perfect justice sparked a political firestorm.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz explained in Globalization and Its Discontents (2004) that the basic problem with the world’s current financial arrangement concerned the institutions and organizations commanding it. The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the U.S. Treasury, and the European Monetary Union protect special interests, Wall Street most of all. Despite their lip-service in democratic argot, the very last thing seriously on the minds of the top financial policy makers is the well-being of ordinary people.

As a result of the methods used to promote globalization, the consequences for the West have been tragic. Work is becoming increasingly uncertain and insecure, or it is in the process of disappearing altogether. It would take Veblen’s talents for social satire, which are unsurpassed in all of American literature, to depict with the essential exactitude of artistic synthesis how far the United States has fallen away from democratic grace, the country’s dramatically widening gap between the haves and the have-nots being what it is. Clearly, we are on the wrong course. What the robotics revolution, now at an incipient stage, will do to further diminish opportunities for Western peoples to work can be easily imagined, if the economic imperative of corporate capitalism is the rule to go by.

The same desolating trends can be seen in Europe, where people increasingly regard the European Union as a Trojan horse. The economic elites and their political front-men responsible for this image-challenged contraption lose public support with each new poll. The people by and large blame the European Union and the other accessories of globalization for their worsening standard of living. When informed by the establishment media that thanks to globalization Europe has never been more prosperous and peaceful, Europeans in historic numbers are reacting with disbelief. Their deepening sense of betrayal propels the surge of populism that defines the politics of Europe today.

Arguments long-settled in favor of deregulation, liberalization, open borders, and other globalization watchwords have been reopened. The constituency is growing for a politics that puts the well-being of Europeans first. Political measures calling for the protection of European jobs and cultures have gained a following unforeseen prior to 2008.

In Italy, for example, 77 percent of the people questioned in a recent poll could see no advantage to them at all from the country’s membership in the European Union. Sixty-four percent of them expressed hostility toward it. Eight Italian businesses out of 10 can find nothing positive to say about the European Union. It is seen to be a creature of the banks and the big financial houses. As public relations disasters go, this one has unfolded on an epic scale as the underlying populations, long left out of consideration by the economic elites, have begun to sense the fate their masters have in store for them.

Leaving underlying populations out of consideration was a special feature of the planning that went into globalization. They have been voiceless. In America, Trump gave them a voice, and they responded to him with their political support. It did not matter that he came before them without a plan for their deliverance. That he came to them at all mattered. He understood the depth of the anger and alienation in America against a status quo personified by his opponent, Hillary Clinton, whose repeated and munificently rewarded speeches before the captains of finance on Wall Street effectively branded her as the safe candidate for all who wanted to leave existing economic arrangements fundamentally undisturbed.

Trump may go down in history as a president who was hopelessly out of his depth on all vital matters, but his presidential campaign will be studied for as long as historians have an interest in American politics. It was a masterpiece of intuition based on an uncannily correct judgment about the spirit of the times. Bernie Sanders had the same insight, but the Democratic Party turned out to be much more corrupt and vulnerable to manipulation than the Republicans, an astonishing feat. In possibly an even more flagrant instance of interference in the American democratic process than anything yet proven against Vladimir Putin, internal machinations weighted the primary process against Sanders. The Republicans tried to head off Trump, too, but a fiercely loyal base and a dearth of plausible opponents gave him an easy victory in the primaries.

At an academic conference in New York in May a year ago, I participated in a conversation among scholars, journalists, and government officials who generally thought that Trump would not even win 20 percent of the national vote. His ridiculous campaign surely would fall of its own dead weight. Professional pollsters, though not so far wrong as my conference colleagues in New York, also missed what appears to be the main story of the campaign: a loss of faith, unprecedented in its severity, by the American people in the rules of the game. There is no other way to explain the stunningly bizarre choice that they made for the man to lead them.

That Trump has rapt admirers and self-confessed imitators in Europe should come as no surprise because the mood he represents is an international phenomenon. Virtually every European country has a Trump candidate saying basically the same things that he did in his campaign against immigrants, globalization trade agreements, and the establishment media. Italy has two such candidates: Grillo and the leader of the xenophobic League Party, Matteo Salvini. They are riding a wave of anti-establishment outrage and in tandem are outpolling the two major mainstream parties, the center-left Democratic Party, now in internal disarray from schism, and the center-right Go Italy Party.

As Europe since the end of World War II has slipped ever more securely into the orbit of American military and economic power, it is only to be expected that the Atlantic Community will be increasingly homogeneous. The Italian case is most instructive about the fundamental meaning of America for Europe. Italy’s greatest postwar novelist, Cesare Pavese, explained in The Moon and the Bonfires (1950), “America is here already. We have our millionaires and people are dying of hunger.” Contemporary Italy, in keeping with Europe as a whole, is best understood as an example of America’s role as the prime mover in international affairs and economics, or of how the world works per necessità, in Machiavelli’s phrase, according to the dictates of those who hold irresistible power.

By outsourcing its manufacturing base in search of portfolio enhancement, the United States exercised a freedom for which liberty-loving European businessmen, bankers, and politicians hungered as well. Unable to compete with 50-cent per hour labor, the working classes in America and Europe would have to go to the wall, but while adjusting their blindfolds they could rest assured that in the fullness of time the wonder-working ways of the free market would redeem the world.

Such a promise held no meaning for Michele, and he left this world slamming the door. “I feel betrayed,” he wrote in his suicide note. Who can say which other factors drove him in those last desperate hours before he took his life? We do know what his stated reason was for doing it. Work was the final thought that he had. How else could a Friulano give a good account of himself in this life?


ET (not verified) Wed, 08/30/2017 - 02:15 Permalink

Nobody has figured out that the Trumps and Sanders out there in the world all belong to the same money-printing party.“Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.” Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812), founder of the House of Rothschild."Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose." - John Maynard Keynes, British economist

androkles TBT or not TBT Wed, 08/30/2017 - 05:31 Permalink

I am in the Netherlands. There is more going on than you suggest.We have "Geert Wilders,  with the PVV party" which satisfies your description, ... and....we have "Thiery Baudet,  with the party: Forum for Democracy" which seems to seek inspiration from old traditions.So far this guy achieved something: we have real discussions in our parliament -instead of "being nice" contests, for the first time in 30 years or so.There are parallels between nations, but some nations have more experience than others.President Trump:  I can congratulate US, it could be better, sure, but it is a relieve that "outcomes" matter again, instead of "being nice". 

In reply to by TBT or not TBT

Omen IV androkles Wed, 08/30/2017 - 09:35 Permalink

The solution is Secession ....everywhereTalking is a waste of time and will always be manipulated The States do not need Washington - they can figure it out themselves one way or anotherwith incremental tax revenue from elimination of the FedNo tariffs between states and no welfare  - so the welfare people all go to Chicago and the equivalent

In reply to by androkles

Escrava Isaura ET (not verified) Wed, 08/30/2017 - 02:36 Permalink

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ET, Your first quote is false. Rothschild never said that. Second, there won’t be money printing to the masses, because it will collapse the currency in five minutes. Third, we don’t have a financial problem. We have a prediction, because the world face a population overshoot. Problems can be solved but, predictions have outcome.  

In reply to by ET (not verified)

androkles Escrava Isaura Wed, 08/30/2017 - 05:09 Permalink

Who is "we" in your last sentence?In europe there are lots of nation states, and in each we have "the state" and "the people" and other players....OOh, and we have a clan in Brussels that calls themselves "europe", but none of the adults I know believe that."financial problem"   Germany and my tiny country have no financial problems, but lots of citizens are in dire straits. We have a communist-like regime that promises to arrange everything in detail to ensure happiness for all, but how it works in practice is an entirely different matter.  

In reply to by Escrava Isaura

Ghordius androkles Wed, 08/30/2017 - 08:14 Permalink

well, at least you are aware that in Europe we have several where in the US... there is the choice between Humpty and Dumptyas in the article's header"Why Every European Country Has A Trump Or Sanders Candidate"why? a different political system, for starters. actually, 27 of them excluding the UK, with a total of 100+ political partiesand what do our American Cousins do? ask for "who is the Sanders, who is the Trump equivalent?"

In reply to by androkles

Paul Kersey ET (not verified) Wed, 08/30/2017 - 06:33 Permalink

And to think, someone came up with this almost 55 years ago:

"In 1963, anthropologist Jules Henry wrote in Culture Against Man that the U. S. culture of his day was “a culture increasingly feeling the effects of almost 150 years of lopsided preoccupation with amassing wealth and raising its standard of living.” He believed that the two main “commandments” of U. S. culture were “Create More Desire” and “Thou Shalt Consume,” and that these two commandments contributed to planned obsolescence, instability, “technological drivenness,” and to making any religious or moral restraint on wants outmoded."

"In 1987, over 90 percent of U. S. teenage girls in one survey listed shopping as their favorite leisure activity."

In reply to by ET (not verified)

LetThemEatRand Wed, 08/30/2017 - 02:19 Permalink

The vast majority of people don't want any of this.  They just want a functional government that isn't corrupt, and that isn't in bed with the Rothschilds.   But in order to distract and divide us, we have choices like Trump and Sanders and Clinton and Macron.  We're on to you, mother fuckers.

Putrid_Scum LetThemEatRand Wed, 08/30/2017 - 02:25 Permalink

Maybe you are, but do you know why they do all this? And what they are about to do, not because of hate or madness, but due to necessity. I'm sorry friends, but you may want to organise your thoughts and preparations. We've by now modelled the entire System and The Reset has begun.This is going to be epic. Unlike anything ever witnessed. I'm certain my own family won't make it, thankfully I have no children.Putridwww.beforethecollapse.com/2017/05/23/the-reset/  

In reply to by LetThemEatRand

Oldwood Putrid_Scum Wed, 08/30/2017 - 03:27 Permalink

Our surrender is what they are depending on. Resignation is passive suicide.Humanity is about the unending struggle....with ourselves. Our leaders simply seek to LEAD US in their desired direction. We are and have always been manipulated to specific ends. Ends that only we, individually, can resist.The dream of a collective society can on be achieved voluntarily, without coercion or force, and thus will never happen but in only the smallest and most homogeneous groups.The.multicultural world they have deliberately created to achieve the needed chaos that provides them power will prevent their collective dream from ever happening....unless they instigate a war that can achieve the elimination of all but the truest of all believers.Your reset is is mostly the destruction of the bulk of humanity in the desire to create a minimalist population of like minded individuals who will live comfortably under the service of relatively few grunts and significant automation technology paid for by the now extinct working class.

In reply to by Putrid_Scum

HillaryOdor Putrid_Scum Wed, 08/30/2017 - 07:30 Permalink

"They just want a functional government that isn't corrupt"And I just want a unicorn.  I'll even settle for a conscientious 10 with big tits and a bubble butt who isn't self-absorbed or vain, but has intelligence and a great personality.  Is that so much to ask?GTFO with your non-corrupt government bullshit.  Where do you people get this idea?  It doesn't exist.  It never has.  It never will.  We do not need government.

In reply to by Putrid_Scum

Putrid_Scum JRobby Wed, 08/30/2017 - 06:49 Permalink

I'd rather remain ambiguous. I prefer the background so to speak.

But I told you to read the series, many do, many don't.

Those that do, no longer frequent Zerohedge as often, they find out the truth.

You all assume there's a conspiracy against you, but there's actually been a conspiracy to keep you alive.


In reply to by JRobby

Ignatius Wed, 08/30/2017 - 02:39 Permalink

"America is here already. We have our millionaires and people are dying of hunger."As an American I can feel the tears welling up in my eyes; our work is nearly complete.

Joe A Wed, 08/30/2017 - 04:11 Permalink

I can imagine the despair but suicide is just caving in. TPTB don't care about your suicide. Just like those people that set themselves alight with gasoline. You have a horrible painful death but in the end it won't matter. Just like battling the police: it does not make any difference and the people on the hill just laugh at these silly games. If you want to make a statement or difference, at least combine your suicide by taking out some of the Mofos that put you in your desperate situation.** disclaimer: I by no means call for people to do this. It is just an observation. (You never know who is reading this).

androkles Wed, 08/30/2017 - 04:53 Permalink

Nice read. I do have other thoughts as well. I'm Dutch, not Belgian and not German. I don't want to be Belgian or German or whatever. I like Italians, but I do not want to be Italian and I hate it I am forced to use an Italian currency (I mean Draghi's Euro) right now.Younger generations may feel a it different though.I believe one should not underestimate such sentiments. When the soviet union died, al the old nation states re-appeared. Yougoslavia broke up in old pieces. They were held together by force for a while, and when the force disappeared old divisions took prevalence.So I do not believe much of europe becoming more atlantic. Currently Germany seems at it again, for the third time in a litte more than 100 years, to become a superpower.  Economically and financially they have defeated southern europe. Greece and Italy are already under their boot.

East Indian Wed, 08/30/2017 - 05:59 Permalink

We are at the cusp of another revolution - like those very big ones - agricultural, bronze age, iron age, industrial scale. I dont know how it will shape up - a society where most people will have good standard of living, and expanding into space, or a society where a few oligarchs control the entrie world, and the rest of us are serfs.But in achieving either world, we are going to lose a lot of people living today. Whole geneologies will go extinct.But the sad point is that TPTB do not care.As someone remarked, everytime one of these "revolutions" occured, people became more suppressed and their living standards became far worse; yet a few select among them achieved a better life and more power. When the agricultural revolution occured, for the first time slavery came into human society. Till then it was impossible to tie up a man and to extract the fruits of his labour in return for his basic sustenance. When the industrial revolutin occurred, hundreds of thousands of children died in poverty, slave labour and malnutrition. Now when this yet-to-be-named revolution is occuring, it will certainly result in millions of if not billions of, deaths.The end result will bea. TPTB mining other planets and asteroidsorb. TPTB overlording in a feudal society, after a worldwide EMP attack and economic collapse due to debt money,or, the worst option,c. a combination of a and b.

Batman11 Wed, 08/30/2017 - 07:31 Permalink

They tried running an economy on debt in the 1920s.The 1920s roared with debt based consumption and speculation until it all tipped over into the debt deflation of the Great Depression.Keynes looked at the problems of the debt based economy and came up with redistribution through taxation to keep the system running in a sustainable way.The cost of living = housing costs + healthcare costs + student loan costs + food + other costs of livingDisposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)High taxation funded a low cost economy with subsidised housing, healthcare, education and other services to give more disposable income.Keynesian ideas went wrong in the 1970s and everyone had forgotten the problem of the debt based economy that he originally solved.Rinse and repeat.Debt. maxes out and the world is reaching the limit.

Batman11 Batman11 Wed, 08/30/2017 - 07:34 Permalink

The debt based economy seems to work as long as you don't look at private debt. We bought back 1920s, neoclassical economics, that doesn’t look at private debt.Everything seems to be going so well before 2008 (just like the 1920s).https://cdn.opendemocracy.net/neweconomics/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/04/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13.52.41.png 1929 and 2008 stick out like sore thumbs when looking at unproductive, private debt in the economy.The UK:https://cdn.opendemocracy.net/neweconomics/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/04/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13.53.09.png We are working through the 1930s thought processes before reaching the inevitable conclusion. Keynes said monetary policy wouldn’t work.Yes, we can see that. Asset prices have been maintained but the real economy is going nowhere fastKeynes said monetary policy would just lead to a “liquidity” trap.Companies have cash piles they won’t invest and use for share buybacks until demand picks up.Yes, we can see that. We are sitting in Keynes’s liquidity trap.Keynes called for fiscal policy to create jobs and wages which will increase demand. The increased demand will then spur investment in the real economy.No, we are waiting. They hate this bit and will put it off as long as possible.

In reply to by Batman11

rjdsaldanha Wed, 08/30/2017 - 07:31 Permalink

In Europe: governments clean their asses with gold toilet paper, older people are abandoned and left to euthanasia waiting; The despicable young living dead work as slaves do to have a holiday at low cost where they are going to give their ass somewhere.Fuck you prostitute morron douchebag europe.

nevertheless Wed, 08/30/2017 - 08:39 Permalink

The elections are about public opinion, and when the Zionists control the media, and much of social media, they can control opinions.  Trump is a fake populous, a real Zionist, and we saw how the Zionists use the media to paint Trump a fake "America firster". The media did the same for Obama, painting him a liberal, all the while he acted like a globalist Marxist. Same with Clinton.  Le Pen was a real nationalist, and we saw how the Zionist banking system responded. They likely stole the election from her, either at the polls or by strictly controlling the election/media.  Le Pen was for removing the option for Isrealis to have "DUAL-CITIZENSHIP", and the Zionists could not have that. Chump on the other hand is all about giving Zionists even more support and loyalty.  When Le Pen said she was going to stop migration she meant it, Chump, not so much. Everyone knows a wall along the American border is a boondoggle, meant to placate fools with the idea, but it will NEVER be built. Trump did not focus on the real fix, work place enforcement. Trump did not focus on a real fix because it was well within his power to do it, and it would work. And Zionist's number one weapon against the west is open borders, and no zionist will ever allow secure borders for America.  The Zionists have divided the American people, and now they are starting the next phase, civil war. All to take away our liberties and our rights. We are all becoming Palestinians, and we deserve it, when you allow other rights to be taken, you allow your own to be taken as well.