The pendulum of politics has swung, once again, to the left in Russia and France. Both nations, have recently completed national elections and the results show that both have embraced a return to socialism. In France, President Nicholas Sarkozy, a conservative, was replaced by President Francois Hollande, an ardent socialist. In Russia, former President Vladamir Putin, regained his throne to be sworn in again, as President. Putin’s party was widely believed to have rigged elections, and arrested the opposition.While, crowds of over 20,000, have protested the would-be “leader for life”- Putin remains the popular choice of most Russians.
The rise of socialism in both nations is the result of the political pendulum swinging leftward, after an equally dramatic shift to the right, in previous years. Russians, watched as democratic reforms, accompanied poverty, corruption, crime and inequality. The failure of previous administrations that embraced far right, free market reforms has left Russians with a jaded perspective on capitalism and democracy. When the global economy faltered, France responded with conservatism and it’s leaders embraced austerity measures, that scaled back entitlements and limited government spending. The results have not been promising. And French citizens have responded by lurching into the warm embrace of socialism.
The failure of Austerity measures in Europe has many wondering if Republicans in America are insisting on policies that have proven themselves to be ineffective.