Sunday, January 17, 2016

Democracy In Crisis

This is a clearer and more succinct explication of the rise of dangerous right-wing politics than I think I have ever heard.
It might be tempting to view the political success of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as something uniquely American. But, argues Gary Younge, rightwing populism and scapegoating of society’s vulnerable is cropping up all across the west. This is what happens when big business has more power than governments

12 comments:

  1. The 1930's all over again, Lorne?

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  2. There was a time, Owen, when we were aghast at how the German people succumbed to the siren song of rightwing populism that spawns the most lethal variety of nationalism. Americans, I hope, are still some way away from their own Krystalnacht but it's unclear how far and that's the scary part.

    These rightwing populist movements are one of the greatest threats to the continuation of the European Union and, hard as it is to believe, Pax Europa. This sort of thing dissolves the very glue of comity.

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    1. Unfortunately, Mound, although history offers some very sharp lessons, few seem willing to learn from them.

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  3. We are witnessing the end of freedom not just in America, but in the whole of the west Lorne. "It is global economics that shapes the narrative" That narrative is Neoliberal economically and authoritarian politically.

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    1. This is an apt description, Pamela. The question becomes, "What is the best way to challenge that narrative?"

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    2. We talk alot Lorne about democracy being in crisis and that is true,but we need to challenge the narrative at its root. The narrative of neoliberalism has replaced a philosophical system of ideas, fundamental ideas that democracy is based on and has evolved from. These ideas have also defined the political infrastructure supporting democracy.To call Neoliberalism a fundamental economic system that defines political freedom, destroys the real philosophical ideas that give rise to political freedom, ideas such as democracy. There is something very wrong with holding economic freedom as being a fundamental driver to political freedom. I think that is what we have to challenge and it has to be challenged philosophically.
      It is simply not true. But how does an untrue idea like Neoliberalism, held up as a dominant force, impact peoples freedom, culture and lives? It is so hard to analyze and identify, yet it exists all around us.

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    3. I think Pamela's concerns are worth pondering, Lorne. Ralston Saul believes that we're wallowing in globalism's death throes, awaiting the 'next big thing.' I'm not sure anyone remains in control today because the models by which we're organized socially, economically and politically were constructed for an era past spanning the 18th to 20th centuries but rapidly lost their utility once we began running into walls. It's now reckoned that half of today's wars are, at the root, resource contests. That's only going to increase for no one puts forth any effective solutions. We know what they are but no one - no one - wants to even suggest we go there.

      Jesus, take the wheel.

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    4. Very well-said, Pamela. The primacy of the world of ideas has taken a steady beating these past many years. If you haven't already done so, be sure to check out Owen's post today, which is quite relevant to the discussion, I think: http://nor-re.blogspot.co.id/2016/01/when-artists-and-public-intellectuals.html

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    5. Thanks, Mound. Until the West stops believing in its supremacy and its infallible authority, I fear no new insights into the structures of society and the root of conflicts will take place.

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  4. .. the video is excellent.. and there have been some exceptional indy posts lately nailing the same issues.. Kirby Cairo, Mound & Owen's are good examples.

    I see some conundrums in the way of my simple views. I'm leaning more and more towards a certain 'isolationism' needed in Canada, yet can't deny our world is becoming networked.. and it seemingly shrinks daily in terms of what is left unexplored or unrevealed. We no longer need Mainstream Media TV or newspapers or radio to give us summaries or breaking news. We are connected to an instant stream of it, as fast or even faster than Mainstream Media.

    .. in a nod to the brilliant wit and humor of my neverending hero Marshall McLuhan, I present this question to you and your readers...

    In a 'kudetah'.. what is one of the prime & critical targets.. ?

    I would suggest the uprising is well underway
    & Politics and Its Discontents is part of its very sharp guerilla edge

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    1. Thank you Salamander. it is surely an irony of the times that we have such unprecedented access to news and views, yet none of that seems to make a difference to certain entrenched souls who only look to select sites and channels for a reinforcement of their views. I suppose we are all guilty of that to a certain extent, but I like to think that some of us can at least offer logical and deserved criticisms to the more egregious insults to intelligence that present themselves.

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