SocraticGadfly: D-Day for international politics

June 06, 2024

D-Day for international politics

President Macron of France doesn't have to worry about inviting Russians to D-Day. He's a strong-presidency president with time left on his term. That said, any continued talk about getting French troops involved in the Russia-Ukraine War might be a different story!

And, with that, let's jump into a brief roundup of non-US elections.


In India, Narendra Modi appears to have won a third term, but, with India in a parliamentary system, he'll have to do that as part of a coalition, as the BJP fell short of an outright majority. It wound up about 35 seats, or 7 percentage points, short of a Lok Sabha majority. Dalits and lower-caste Hindus turned against him; the result was bad enough he lost the key state of Uttar Pradesh.

That second link has other takeaways, the biggie being that Thomas Piketty and other economists note that income inequality in Modi's India is worse than in the British Raj! Second-biggest being that Dalits worried that a Modi landslide would mean amending the constitution to eliminating affirmative action for them, and Muslims worrying that the constitution would be amended to eliminate references to India as a secular state.

For me, the question is, will this trim his Hindutva sails, or will it drive him to become even more of what he already is? 

Second question? Has America's own Hindutva-fascist Tulsi Gabbard thrown herself off a bridge in despair?


With Mexico's election just conducted, a retrospective on AMLO from The Nation. The Texas Observer reprints a piece by a consortium of Hispanic journalists that doesn't dive that deep. It's a shame, but not a surprise. 

There's plenty else to dissect about both AMLO and successor Claudia Sheinbaum. One is that — and this gets to the issue of HOW the Observer missed the mark — they're not always what NorteAmericano leftists have cracked them up as being. For example, per this piece, neither is a good environmentalist. And, while neither is an American neoliberal, overall, neither is as leftist as the above cracking up. Or, another way, the actual President Lopez Obrador is not that close to the previous 2006 presidential candidate Lopez Obrador.

Unless you're the National Endowment for Democracy, which decided to salute Sheinbaum's election by doing a hack job hit piece on AMLO.


Written last week, before all votes were counted, this Counterpunch piece sums up the clusterfuck of the South African elections. The ANC losing its majority, but still able to govern with coalition partners will likely further destabilize that country. Unfortunately, two of the most likely partners to coalition with are run by blatant ethnopopulists with their own problems.

As for the actual counting? The ANC barely hit 40 percent nationwise, down from 57 percent. The MK Party, run by one of those ethnopopulists, former president and former ANC head Jacob Zuma, soared to 15 percent. ANC leadership insisted Cyril Ramphosa will remain president, as if there's much of a choice inside the ANC or from the partners. But, that may be just whistling in the dark. Per the first link, Zuma thinks Ramphosa is behind his previous corruption conviction and ongoing woes, and says MK will not coalition with the ANC if Ramphosa is still in power.

That said, per that "barely hit" link? Yes, it's good that the ANC has lost its absolute majority. It might be forced to look at itself.


In all three countries, with two of them members of the "BRICS" acronym group, the income inequality growth will be a lead anchor on their economic short-term futures. China's also dealing with that, but a population on the decline will produce some pressures and alleviate others. It's hard to imagine Modi, with the world's largest population and a hate for Dalits as well as Muslims, really adjusting much.


Update, June 9: The AfD was CRUSHING IT in Germany in EU-wide elections for the European Parliament, with Chancellor Sgt. Scholz and his Social Democrats being the chief crushees.

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