Australian future, American past

Nationwide, the ALP is wedged between a senescent union apparat and an insurgent green movement. The Queensland debacle is just the most recent and most dramatic evidence of this crisis.

At the moment, despite the ravages of the GFC, the majority of voters believe that their ever-increasing material expectations will be satisfied by globalising capitalism. Both the green movement and the union movement doubt this orthodoxy, preventing the ALP from unreservedly representing the interests of globalising capitalism.

The centre right, on the other hand, suffers fewer internal stresses over promoting the interests of globalised capitalism.

The ALP faces a future of electoral failure until it learns how to resolve its internal divisions and establishes itself as a useful servant of globalised capitalism, or until voters stop believing so unconditionally in the benefits of globalised capitalism.

In many ways the current political climate replicates that most interesting period in the US at the end of the 19th century when robber barons, populists and progressives vied for power. Notably absent from this struggle was a strong, politicised labour movement.

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