Social Mood Still Sinking, Political Authorities Divide The Public

In Europe, extremist immigration policies from the era of peak social mood continues to create conflict. The elites still fail to hear the message though, branding opponents of extremist immigration policies as xenophobic. We are now well into the mood cycle and many mainstream parties still have not changed their immigration policies.
Xenophobia mushrooms in shadow of Berlin tower blocks
As Germany confronts a rise in far-right populism, with "anti-Islamisation" marches drawing thousands in the eastern city of Dresden, this bland corner of the sprawling capital, a district home to almost 300,000 people, has become another flashpoint of resentment and xenophobia.

"I have nothing against foreigners, I've been around them all my life," said Fritz Siebke, 91, enjoying a Christmas season banquet of meat rolls, potato dumplings and gravy with fellow German pensioners at a district community centre.

"But since we've accepted refugees into Marzahn-Hellersdorf, things have changed in the neighbourhood. My gardening tools were stolen from right outside my house. In the past, that wouldn't have happened."

Christa Timm -- a fellow retiree who has lived here "for half a century," since the days when a Marxist-Leninist regime was in charge -- grumbled that "it would have been good if the authorities had informed us properly."

In Sweden:
Anti-immigrant sentiment is part of the story, though Swedish public opinion has become much more favorable toward immigration since the early 1990s. For some, immigration has become a symbol of a society gone astray. For others, the number of immigrants over the last few years has simply been too high.
In fact, the numbers are high – not in comparison with a country like Turkey, but certainly relative to other European Union countries. Sweden and Germany receive the largest inflows of immigrants by far – and Germany is nearly ten times the size of Sweden.

...In the new century, refugees have come increasingly from the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. One percent of Sweden’s population today is from Iran, and almost 2% are from Iraq. Indeed, after the Iraq war, the small town of Södertälje took in more Iraqi refugees than the United States did.

Given the numbers, immigration in Sweden has worked much better than expected. But there are problems. The Swedish labor market’s sometimes rather strict systems and stable structures have impeded integration relative to many other countries.
No mention of the rapes. Here is a chart of Sweden's rising immigration population along with the rising number of rapes. This increase is in distinct contrast to most crime rates in the West, which are generally falling as the native population ages.

The key issue here isn't the behavior of immigrants, it is the elite response. The political establishment doesn't just ignore the issue, it attacks those who even bring it up as racist and xenophobic. As the German woman stated, "it would have been good if the authorities had informed us properly." Authorities aren't informing the public, they're actively covering up incidents, such as the systematic rape of children in Rotherham. The public is angry that these things happen, but the authorities respond by attacking the people, which ratchets up the anger and leads to populist movements. The political establishment could defuse right-wing populism tomorrow by shifting their policies, but instead they are pushing even harder in the opposite direction. It does not take a genius to predict political victory for whichever party opposes mass immigration.

The typical elite opinion can be seen in this FT editorial on the Sweden Democrats victory: Rightwing populists in Europe make mischief
However, the priority now must be to expose the Sweden Democrats as a party with a reckless approach and an array of intolerant, socially divisive policies wholly out of keeping with Swedish political culture. The main parties need not be scared by the Sweden Democrats’ threat to make the election campaign “a referendum for or against increased immigration”.

The Sweden Democrats abandoned their neo-Nazi doctrines more than 10 years ago, making it inaccurate to label them a far-right party, but most Swedes correctly regard the party’s aggressive line on immigration as unpalatable. The more intensely the party dwells on immigration, the more remote its chances of making an electoral breakthrough. Come March, Swedish voters can show the world that the tide of rightwing European populism is anything but unstoppable.
There is a massive chasm between the voters and the political establishment. Instead of making mischief, the far-right is on its way to making policy because they have a near total monopoly on the hottest political issue for the rest of this decade.

Leaving aside the immigration issue, there's negative social mood. Is the west clinically depressed?
To some people, the future will always be behind them. Rarely, however, has such gloom covered most of the western world at the same time. Even during those brief moments — the stagflation of the 1970s, for example — it faded with the crisis.

Today’s pessimism is more troubling in two ways. First, economics does not fully explain it.
Socionomics argues that negative social mood created the weak economy.
What then, is the matter with the west? The answer is beguilingly simple. We are growing older. In economic terms that means secular stagnation.
Aging may play some role, but it doesn't explain all of it. The article notes how stagnation leads to more conflict as people fight over fewer resources. The elite solution of importing more foreigners to fight over dwindling resources is a recipe for political disaster.

The U.S. is also seeing major negative mood as the society fragments. Only a little more than a week ago: AL SHARPTON LEADS MARCH IN DC AS NYC PROTESTERS CHANT: ‘WHAT DO WE WANT? DEAD COPS!’

This weekend, the call was answered. Progressives and the Police
‘What do we want? Dead cops!” So chanted marchers at one of the protests organized in the last month against the failure of grand juries to indict white officers in the death of black crime suspects Michael Brown and Eric Garner. On Saturday they got their wish, as a black assailant citing revenge for Brown and Garner traveled from Maryland to murder two cops sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn.

Bratton: Tensions in NYC like 1970s
“Many issues of the 1970s are now revisiting us once again. And once again at the forefront of dealing with those will be America’s police forces,” Bratton said at a police promotion ceremony on Friday at NYPD headquarters, according to Capital New York.

Many Americans share Bratton’s alarm, according to a handful of recent polls.
Just Friday, a Gallup poll said the number of Americans citing race relations or racism as the most important problem in the country jumped to 13 percent, the highest since 1992 — in the midst of the Rodney King verdict — and up from 1 percent only one month previous in November.

Similarly, in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll also released last week, a majority of 57 percent of Americans said race relations are “bad” with an additional 23 percent who said they’re “very bad.” A pair of polls from Quinnipiac University showed New York City voters disapprove of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s handling of relations between police and the community — with approval numbers dropping even further among minorities.
The difference with the 1970s is that the U.S. was still mainly dominated by a single ethnic group, so political debate was mainly ideological. Now politics is identity driven, with no dominant group able to set policy. President Obama's main political agenda are things such as the "War on Women" and drumming up local news into national news, such as the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown shootings. Divide and conquer is now the operating agenda of America's political establishment. Exactly the policy agenda one would expect in a time of negative social mood.

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