Sun Feb 17th, 2019 at 07:23:46 AM EST
The crisis and distrust in politics grew into discontent due to the financial crisis in 2008/9 and started a counterrevolution. As the West spurned the Arab uprising of 2011 by pushing for regime change through military means, it was the last nail in the coffin and downfall of Western Europe as a liberal society. In the end the Syrian civil war spurned as an offshoot created two years of war refugees that led to European states refuting human rights. By closing borders it was not a show of strength, it revealed just how devoid of empathy, care for our fellow men we have become as a society. Trump trumps it all - America is a decade ahead of Europe. The clock is ticking, but it's two minutes before midnight.
More below the fold ...
Some thoughts on the crisis of liberalism--and how to fix it | The Economist |
BREXIT is such an all-consuming process for the British--at once a drama, a muddle and a mess--that it is easy to forget that it is part of something bigger: a crisis of liberalism in the west. A growing number of countries have had their own equivalents of Brexit: Donald Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election; the election of a populist government in Italy; the Catalan revolt in Spain; the rise of populist authoritarians in Russia, Hungary, Poland and, to some extent, India; the simmering rage against what Viktor Orban calls "liberal blah blah" in the intellectual dark-web. The list will be a lot longer by the time Brexit has been completed.
Populism and the economics ofglobalization | Kennedy School - Harvard |
Populism may seem like it has come out of nowhere, but it has been on the rise for a while. I argue that economic history and economic theory both provide ample grounds for anticipating that advanced stages of economic globalization would produce a political backlash. While the backlash may have been predictable, the specific form it took was less so. I distinguish between left-wing and right-wing variants of populism, which differ with respect to the societal cleavages that populist politicians highlight. The first has been predominant in Latin America, and the second in Europe. I argue that these different reactions are related to the relative salience of different types of globalization shocks.
Journal of International Business Policy (2018 - Springer).
How populist uprisings could bring down liberal democracy | The Guardian - Essay |
There are long decades in which history seems to slow to a crawl. Elections are won and lost, laws adopted and repealed, new stars born and legends carried to their graves. But for all the ordinary business of time passing, the lodestars of culture, society and politics remain the same.
Then there are those short years in which everything changes all at once. Political newcomers storm the stage. Voters clamour for policies that were unthinkable until yesterday. Social tensions that had long simmered under the surface erupt into terrifying explosions. A system of government that had seemed immutable looks as though it might come apart.
This is the kind of moment in which we now find ourselves.
Until recently, liberal democracy reigned triumphant. For all its shortcomings, most citizens seemed deeply committed to their form of government. The economy was growing. Radical parties were insignificant. Political scientists thought that democracy in places like France or the United States had long ago been set in stone, and would change little in the years to come. Politically speaking, it seemed, the future would not be much different from the past.
Then the future came - and turned out to be very different indeed. Citizens have long been disillusioned with politics; now, they have grown restless, angry, even disdainful. Party systems have long seemed frozen; now, authoritarian populists are on the rise around the world, from America to Europe, and from Asia to Australia. Voters have long disliked particular parties, politicians or governments; now, many of them have become fed up with liberal democracy itself.
Donald Trump's election to the White House has been the most striking manifestation of democracy's crisis. It is difficult to overstate the significance of his rise. But it is hardly an isolated incident. In Russia and Turkey, elected strongmen have succeeded in turning fledgling democracies into electoral dictatorships. In Poland and Hungary, populist leaders are using that same playbook to destroy the free media, to undermine independent institutions and to muzzle the opposition.
'It will be called Americanism'
To have enslaved America with this hocus-pocus! To have captured the mind of the world's greatest nation without uttering a single word of truth! Oh, the pleasure we must be affording the most malevolent man on earth!" These words come near the end of Philip Roth's 2004 novel The Plot Against America, but for some they could have been written yesterday. The election of Donald J Trump as president has been called "unimaginable", but the truth is many people did imagine the forces that have brought him to power, or versions of them; we just stopped listening to them.
In 1944, an article called "American Fascism" appeared in the New York Times, written by then vice president Henry Wallace. "A fascist," wrote Wallace, "is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends." Wallace predicted that American fascism would only become "really dangerous" if a "purposeful coalition" arose between crony capitalists, "poisoners of public information" and "the KKK type of demagoguery".
Philip Roth's altered image of America's past in The Plot Against America is a stroke of genius ...
○ The relentless unforeseen | The Guardian - 2004 |
○ The Story Behind 'The Plot Against America' | The New York Times - Book review |
○ The Frightening Lessons of Philip Roth's "The Plot Against America" | The New Yorker - Feb. 2017 |
My excuse if you read this before your first cup of coffee today ...