Southern Europe, especially Spain, Portugal and Greece, would appear to be a natural ground zero for opposition to the prevailing order. Extremely high and protracted unemployment combined with nothing but more of the same from the mainstream political parties would seem to be ripe conditions for the appearance of a revolutionary movement. However, where is the organised opposition in these and other troubled Western states? Of these countries, only Greece has a popular social and political movement that is radically opposed to the prevailing system which dragging down the Western world. There, the Golden Dawn has risen from obscurity, won 7% in the national election earlier this year and is currently polling at 22%. Much more than just a typical political party, Golden Dawn’s popularity has been won with social activism in the streets and towns of Greece. This is what is noticeably missing in most other Western countries. Public unrest is insufficient to challenge and defeat the established order.
NBC News reports on large protests and public unrest in Lisbon, Portugal and Madrid, Spain:
Tens of thousands of Spaniards and Portuguese rallied in the streets of their countries’ capitals Saturday to protest enduring deep economic pain from austerity cuts.
In Madrid, demonstrators approached parliament for the third time this week to vent their anger against tax hikes, government spending cuts and the highest unemployment rate among the 17 nations that use the euro currency.
The boisterous crowds in the Spanish capital let off ear-splitting whistles near parliament and yelled ‘‘Fire them, fire them!’’ — referring to the conservative government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
…Spain’s unemployment rate is almost 25 percent, and more than half of people under 24 are jobless.
…In Lisbon, retired banker Antonio Trinidade said the budget cuts Portugal is locked into in return for the nation’s €78 billion ($101 billion) bailout are making the country’s economy the worst he has seen in his lifetime. His pension has been cut, and he said countless young Portuguese are increasingly heading abroad because they can’t make a living at home.
‘‘The government and the troika controlling what we do because of the bailout just want to cut more and more and rob from us,’’ Trinidade said, referring to the troika of creditors — the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. ‘‘The young don’t have any future, and the country is on the edge of an abyss. I’m getting toward the end of my life, but these people in their 20s or 30s don’t have jobs, or a future.’’