Democracy vs Neoliberalism

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi officially resigned last week following a crushing and - some would say self-inflicted - defeat at the polls.

Like British Prime Minister David Cameron before him, Renzi had staked the future of his political career to a referendum, in this a case a referendum on amending Italy's constitution.

Renzi probably expected to win handily, but when voters went to the polls this weekend, he was crushed.

Italians voted overwhelmingly against his proposed constitutional amendments.

In the final tallies, 59.11 percent of voters voted "no," and 40.89 percent voted "yes" - a difference of almost exactly 20 points.

In the wake of Sunday's shocking vote, the mainstream media coverage in the US and across much of the Western press has portrayed the referendum much like it did the June Brexit vote in the UK -- as a massive populist revolt led by the far-right.

The New York Times, for example, ran a story with the headline "Renzi Quits; Italian Populists Seek Quick Vote to Win Power".

This narrative - that far-right populists are on the verge of taking over Europe - is a powerful one these days - especially after Trump's shocking victory here in the US.

But is it accurate, at least in this case with Italy?

Is the far-right on the march - or is something else entirely going on?


Ron G McComb 7 years 27 weeks ago

As Hearst said, you want a war ? I can do that. This is how the media fills it's role for the military industrial propaganda banking complex. In this case, turning workers into believers in the American dream that become debt slaves who support the lifestyles of the rich and famous, who actually are living the American dream. The workers are starting to wise up and demand a bigger piece of America's pie in the sky dream. Understandably, their first reaction is anger and betrayal at having been played for suckers. After t rump betrays them, yet again, some will step back after venting their anger at the ballot box and look for relief elsewhere, can the Democrats be the elsewhere?

cccccttttt 7 years 27 weeks ago

Must one be demonized as "far right" just because they do not want their country flooded by immigrants?

Is it "far right" to not like being unemployed when foriegners are working?

As both progressives and conservatives often do, Tom labels his opponents in a derogatory manner, and then proceedes as if conducting a rational discussion.


deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 27 weeks ago

"Concentration of wealth leads naturally to concentration of power, which in turn translates to legislation favoring the interests of the rich and powerful and thereby increasing even further the concentration of power and wealth. Various political measures, such as fiscal policy, deregulation, and rules for corporate governance are designed to increase the concentration of wealth and power. And that's what we've been seeing during the neoliberal era. It is a vicious cycle in constant progress. The state is there to provide security and support to the interests of the privileged and powerful sectors in society while the rest of the population is left to experience the brutal reality of capitalism. Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor."

-- Noam Chomsky in new documentary, "Requiem for the American Dream"

nanolightyearsahead's picture
nanolightyearsahead 7 years 27 weeks ago

karl marx once said that corporations are the leach. just nowadays the rest of the population are the one's left to experience the brutalilty of their self exploiting narcissisism where disembarassments are well beyond their capacities.

Pastor_Thoth's picture
Pastor_Thoth 7 years 27 weeks ago

I totally didn't get why the media portrayed Italy's referendom vote to Brexit. They're totally different. Italians weren't voting to stay in or leave the EU. They voted on whether or not the Italian Constitution would be amended in order to shift power in Italy's parliament. This shift requires ammenments to Italy's constitution. I don't recall reading any of the repugnant rhetoric that I saw during the Brexit or America's 2016 election.

However, there are other European countries where right wing, white extremists want to create a white oriented block which is heavily anti cultural diversity. Still, Italy's recent vote did not seem to be "protectionist."

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 7 years 27 weeks ago

We are on a road to revolution... without a leader at this time... sadly!

Collectively, humans can be controlled and urinated all over for a long time

But, at the end of the day human spirit ultimately rises to advance itself

"Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and consume your flesh like fire. You have hoarded treasure in the last days. 4 Look, the wages you withheld from the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in the day of slaughter.…


2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 7 years 27 weeks ago

Far right populism is merely angry and frustrated citizens allowing themselves to be manipulated by the very source of their anger, that source being the rich and powerful. A great example of this is Rupert Murdoch and the Koch brothers bankrolling the Tea Party.

Control of the message is everything and guys like Murdoch know this. When that message is a lie meant only to benefit billionaires, and enough citizens buy into it, that's when we end up with a guy like Trump and a Teapublican government. The billionaires will gain more billions and Skeeter will become more pissed off at the same old scapegoats the billionaires have confused and distracted him with.

Trump was already an insider, don't be fooled. He's a billionaire/fascist insider, just look at who he is surrounding himself with. These are some of the same people who already own the Teapublican party. The alligators don't have to hide in the swamp anymore, they're out in the open now....they have become emboldened and drunk with the power of the press, the power of their weapon of mass misinformation. It's all heading to one hell of a hangover though...another great depression.

Kend's picture
Kend 7 years 27 weeks ago

The world is changing. You lefties just don't get it. Well Hillary was out campaigning for sanctuary cities, LGBTQ, filling the country with illegal workers, and Gobalization, Trump was going to middle class Americans that just wanted a better life for their children and telling them he was going to make America great again and make. their life better. The Democratics have lost touch with middle America.

DFMM's picture
DFMM 7 years 27 weeks ago

The Twit-In-Chief pulled a scam.

The Twit-In-Chief pulled a scam on the LIVers (low-info voters; pronounced lie vers.) Trump was born and raised wealthy, born and raised in a big city, went to private schools, is a one-percenter, is a shyster, is a BS artist, cares about no one but himself, on and on. Yet he got the LIVers to believe that he identified with rural and suburban working class people; and would look out for them. It speaks to the power of propaganda, and the myriad broken BS detectors there are out there.

Dan, San Diego

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 27 weeks ago

@#9: You totally get it, Dan. (Even though Kend doesn't think so.) It is simply amazing how so many got hustled by this carnival barker. Maybe after he ruins the country -- and very probably the world -- they'll finally get it too.

But it will be too f---king late!!

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 27 weeks ago

@#8: Remarkable! You managed to squeeze a wide-ranging jumble of programmed libels into such a tiny paragraph -- crammed with full-blown fabrications, vile misrepresentations, naked bigotry, and an astonishing, naive gullibility of Trump's pathological lies. You took a pinhead of truth and contorted it into a truly disgusting regurgitation! Really? Is that who you are in real life away from the internet?

I refuse to dignify this spew by debunking every lie but will address that one grain of truth: Yes, "the Democrats have lost touch with middle America." But it is the Democratic Party, not the rank and file. We do get it, because we are middle America; you are the fringe, tied to a faction that can't win an election without lying, cheating, stealing, and disenfranchising hard-working Democratic voters (of all stripes).

Thanks to the corporatist, Republican "righties" on the Supreme Court, who recast our once great democracy into some kind of mongrel oligarchy (primarily through "Buckley v. Valeo" and "Citizens United v. FEC"), politics became a vicious money game, and politicians became hostage money whores who lost touch with the people.

This was by design. Thank God Bernie proved that we don't need their damn money! Now we must both take back our respective parties and wrestle away our county from the hideous claws of malevolent billionaires, represented oh so well by your puffy, pussgut, phony populist and his cabinet from hell.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 7 years 27 weeks ago

Hey Kend, I realize that not all of us can connect dots with the same amount of ease, but please do some homework regarding the difference between what Trump in reality does and what he told gullible voters that he will do.

Clinton had a stong economic platform for the working class, but of course Fox News and the rest of the fascist controlled media blocked her message, just like they refuse to let Bernie get his almost identical message out.

BTW: Hopefully a December surprise is on the way....The CIA will release the proof that Trump and his team were in collusion with Putin and his operatives. Game over for the Teapublicans.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 7 years 26 weeks ago

What the washed up lefties have attempted since President-elect Trump won the election.

1. Get the electors to change their vote....didn't work

2. Do away with Electoral College....didn't work

3. Recount.....didn't work

4. Collusion with the Russians.....won't work

5. Trump won' release his tax returns, sell his businesses, the sky is falling, etc. etc.....won't work

On January 20, 2017 at noon President-elect Donald J. Trump will become President Trump.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 7 years 26 weeks ago

2950-10k said, (Nice time BTW)

"BTW: Hopefully a December surprise is on the way....The CIA will release the proof that Trump and his team were in collusion with Putin and his operatives. Game over for the Teapublicans."

I will post this as many times necessary to remind the lefties here.

Hopefully Hartmann understands the schooling he got from Professor Stephen Cohen on the progressives pitiful and dangerous attempts to de-legitimize the Trump presidency.

They will fail and you will only pee further down your own leg and look more ignorant than you already do.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 26 weeks ago


"I don't like soldiers who were captured."

"Grab 'em by the pussy."

"She was bleeding out of ... whatever."

"-- you know, I'm, like, a smart person."

Your fake-haired boy can "de-legitimize" (sic) himself just fine without much help from anyone else.

And why do you always post about peeing down legs? And your Bobbsey Twin up there eating a big 12 incher? Just asking.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 7 years 26 weeks ago

To all the recent graduates of Trump University who post on this blog.....Russia's foreign minister admits to pre-election contact with the Trump team. All I can say is you better damn well hope that contact isn't in the form of emails intercepted by the CIA.

One thing we do know is that Putin's operatives also hacked the RNC, so Putin most likely has emails with Trump using the N word etc. etc. you know what blackmail is? Trump is Putin's bitch now....that is if he makes it to the White House.

Remember how Sherman's March ended? Humanity defeated inhumanity!

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 26 weeks ago

Kurt Eichenwald 12/13/16:

"Donald Trump hasn’t been sworn in yet, but he is already making decisions and issuing statements to world leaders that radically depart from American foreign policy, all to the benefit of his family’s corporate empire. Because of this, the next president of the United States is already vulnerable to undue influence by other nations, including through bribery and even blackmail."

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 26 weeks ago

Robert Reich 12/11/16:

"A dark cloud of illegitimacy hangs over the pending presidency of Donald Trump, given:

1. The CIA has found credible evidence that Russia intervened in the election in order to help Trump become president.

2. It has been suggested that Trump owes vast sums of money to Russian oligarchs, friends of Putin, who have also invested substantially in Trump’s enterprises -- which may explain why Trump won’t disclose his tax returns, which would show evidence of these deals.

3. Several of Trump’s key campaign aides – including his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort – have close ties to Russia. Between 2007 and 2012, Manafort received some $12.7 million in cash payments from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

4. During the campaign, Trump said he admired Putin, questioned whether the U.S. should continue to support NATO, and argued that Putin was justified in moving into Ukraine.

5. Trump is expected to pick as his Secretary of State ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who is also close to Putin. In 2013, Putin awarded Tillerson the Order of Friendship, one of the highest honors Russia gives to foreign citizens. Tillerson came up through the ranks at Exxon by managing the company's Russia account. After becoming CEO, Exxon bet billions on Russia's vast oil resources through a partnership with Russian oil giant Rosneft, owned partly by the Kremlin. Putin himself attended the 2011 signing ceremony for the deal. Russia has already indicated it would welcome Tillerson being named America's top diplomat.

6. Trump was defeated in the actual voting by a startling—and still growing—2,676,670 votes. Clinton’s popular vote victory margin is now 2 percent, thus handing Trump the largest defeat suffered by a candidate elevated to the presidency by the Electoral College in modern history.

Before the Electors submit their ballots for president next week, Trump must release his tax returns and the CIA must make public its report on Russia’s intervention in the U.S. elections in support of Trump.

What do you think?"

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 7 years 26 weeks ago


If Trump says anything, he is wrong.

If Trump doesn't say anything, he is wrong.

If he appoints anyone to anything, that individual is the wrong choice.

If he delays any appointments, he is slacking off.

Many progressives are going to have ulcers well before January 20 when your new president is sworn into office. One caller announced yesterday he was going to therapy. One of many I would suspect. Sounds like a new business opportunity to consul broken hearted lefties that are living in denial.

Get over it.

Go Donald

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 26 weeks ago

Your habitual, paranoid thoughts and frequent, callow opinions (defensively projected onto others) seem chronically obsessed with stress, denial, therapy, medications, peeing down one's leg, and an immature, not-too-bright sexual pervert, plainly unfit to be a fast food worker let alone a president.

Subconsciously, you may be pleading for intervention. For your own sake, Diane, please seek help.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 7 years 26 weeks ago

Deepspace: you want to trade celebrity quotes

Here's one from Jim Brown "I fell in love with him after I meet him"

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 26 weeks ago

Not Joe Walsh the musicisn; Joe Walsh the former teabagger Republican Representative from Illinois' 8th District and rightwing, goofball talk show host. What is wrong with you!

Obviously you didn't bother to peruse the link before throwing out an inane nonsequiter, which is a typical tactiic of a troll.

In context to the subject at hand -- the very real probability that a foreign geopolitical enemy of the U.S. might have breached our election process in favor of its preferred candidate -- who cares what Jim Brown thinks about what a pathological liar with a short attention span happens to babble whatever he thinks a person sitting in front of him wants to hear?

He's a cheap hustler, and gullible people like you are his marks.

Old Kel's picture
Old Kel 7 years 26 weeks ago

It is a choice to associate 'demonizing' with 'far right' matter who is using it. 'Far right', 'far left' are just words on a sliding scale. It is never 'good' to be unemployed unless you are lucky enough to be retired...with enough...but it's ok to be far right or far left if you leave room for compassion. And it's ok to slide...except on the roads. Take good care.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 26 weeks ago

Haha, good points all, Old Kel!

We're all just people -- well, not me, actually; I'm just an ornery, Irish talking horse stuck in a pasture close enough to the farmhouse to get wifi.

Labels are just labels, used for talkin' politics, inevitably and unavoidably I suspect. I figure after eight years of "the right" constantly demonizing "the left" so dishonesty that it is way past the time to fight back with demonstrable facts and emperical evidence.

Too much is at stake with massive wealth disparity, wars everywhere, and anthropogenic climate disruption smacking us upside the headbone. I'm far from being compassionate enough, but I do try to focus more on the bad ideas and destructive thought patterns, which is fair game, rather than the people behind them. Heehaw ... and fail miserably too many times!

You take good care too.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 7 years 26 weeks ago


I suspect it will take years for you to overcome the emotional trauma you endured from Trump winning the election. Too bad, you may be an intelligent person. BTW you have the wrong end of the horse in the avatar representing you. :)

deepspace's picture
deepspace 7 years 26 weeks ago

Hah ... looks like your avatar might like the "other end." ~~~>

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