France, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Brexit & Trump - any underlying theme - or not?

As far as Trump, Brexit, Netherlands, France - I see a connection of regular people who do the real work - losing out, not being respected or listened to ...
Will the world become present-day Greece? I can't help but wonder.

Comments

  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    I think you’re right in the sense that there was a significant economic downturn in 2008 which has hit hardest the less well off who were less able to insulate themselves from its effects.

    In the UK that has been amplified by the mistaken policy of austerity which has constricted precisely the sort of resources which make it easier for the less well off to manage. And, as far as Brexit is concerned, a long-standing pattern of UK governments and media finding the EU a convenient Aunt Sally to blame for ills real or imaginary which have often been self inflicted.

    In a similar way one can see the impact of climate change as an underlying cause for the Syrian situation.

  • I think the underlying problem began before the 2007-2008 collapse, but that accelerated it.
    Since nothing grows forever, the growth for the have mores had to come from somewhere else and it comes increasingly from the have less'. Fear of losing what one has, combined with general fear of political instability, causes people to look for a blame. Blaming the other is the easiest thing. Understanding the complexity of the economy and political situations is more than most people want to do.
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    What happened in the Netherlands? Did I miss something?
  • Tulip crash. Wasn’t pretty.
  • MoyessaMoyessa Shipmate
    LeRoc wrote: »
    What happened in the Netherlands? Did I miss something?
    Farmers are conducting sizable demonstrations over agricultural policy.

  • Tulip crash. Wasn’t pretty.

    Well, we've just had the South Sea Bubble.
  • The far right have also had some success in the Netherlands, including electorally, over the last few years. The far-right parties don't like the EU as an idea, as they're nationalist, so there have been stirrings of Nexit, but for now that is definitely filed away for future reference as they've seen the mess we're making of Brexit.

    I think that the inevitable changes to social security systems that are happening in Europe due to aging populations are also upsetting many, especially those who have limited private pensions to draw upon, and therefore are dreading increased pension ages. Given French industrial relations and the power of their unions, any suggestion that people will have to work more is forcefully opposed.

    I don't think Hong Kong is quite in the same camp, except in the vein of the protests that is now about the cost of housing, as the issues there are far more around democratic rights, and the protesters are somewhat younger than their European and US counterparts.
  • I reckon we are pretty close to the apex of the drift to the right, which has been going on since Thatcher in the UK, and the Hawke Govt in Oz. People are linking austerity to this political shift, but I think the 2008 crash and the policy response are symptoms of economic policies in place since (in Australia) the 1990's. I think the next American election will be critical in changing the zeitgeist, and changing the zeitgeist is critical.
  • Simon Toad wrote: »
    I reckon we are pretty close to the apex of the drift to the right, which has been going on since Thatcher in the UK, and the Hawke Govt in Oz. People are linking austerity to this political shift, but I think the 2008 crash and the policy response are symptoms of economic policies in place since (in Australia) the 1990's. I think the next American election will be critical in changing the zeitgeist, and changing the zeitgeist is critical.
    You have too much faith in people seeing reality. They do not. The shift to the right will become stronger, at least in some demographics. The only hope is that the shift left grows in a larger number of people.
  • Looks like a drift to the right;
    in the world that we were born in;
    But the horizon is bright;
    Yonder comes the morning.

    Saint Billy Bragg, King James Version, 1996
  • Tulip crash. Wasn’t pretty.

    Well, we've just had the South Sea Bubble.

    If the EU hadn't forced us to repeal the Corn Laws, we'd be fine.
  • And then the disappearance of villeinage has had negative effects.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    The right exploits.

    These situations bring about conditions ripe for exploitation.

    Social media and the instant nature of communication speed up the process.

    :cry: :angry:

  • RussRuss Shipmate
    Not sure who qualifies as a "regular person".

    But the commonality seems to me to be around populism. A decline in the willingness of the populace at large to be told by "experts" what is or is not politically realistic. The expectation that democracy ought to deliver whatever people want.

    You could perhaps add in the Arab Spring.

    Not clear to me how far that populism has its roots in the internet (we're all political commentators now).

    Or in trends in the education system towards teaching children to value their own uninformed ideas rather than seeking out expertise.
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    I suppose my interpretation is strongly influencesd by Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine, This Changes Everything), but there are those who wish to profit out of disasters, and so have to cause them to continue to profit.

    Knowing that they will cause unrest, but that they will be secure from it.

    Not caring about the climate collapse, because they believe they are secured against the impacts. As long as there are not too many survivors.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    Russ wrote: »
    Or in trends in the education system towards teaching children to value their own uninformed ideas rather than seeking out expertise.
    This is not a trend that I have observed in either of the tiers of UK education (primary and secondary) that I am familiar with as a parent and school governor and part of a family of teachers.

  • BroJames wrote: »
    Russ wrote: »
    Or in trends in the education system towards teaching children to value their own uninformed ideas rather than seeking out expertise.
    This is not a trend that I have observed in either of the tiers of UK education (primary and secondary) that I am familiar with as a parent and school governor and part of a family of teachers.

    Exactly what I was going to say. Indeed to claim that such a trend exists does seem to be relying on one's own uninformed ideas rather than seeking out expertise.
  • edited November 3
    Several countries are left out of the list perhaps? The UK, America, Canada; Australia has already been mentioned. Or perhaps the list is where the first run of the movie is playing. The others are pending.

    It's all about business. The "monetization" of everything. How things are paid for by individuals to corporations and not via the commonweal and not through taxation. And who to blame when life more troubled, is harder, less affordable, more anxious. In this understanding the discourse - the way we talk and perceive things - is all controlled by those who want to maximize their influence and wealth. Nothing about it is aimed at improving individual or community life.

    Then when the average individual comes to understand they're being left out and left behind, the corp interests cum governments artfully control the discourse so that the blame is deflected to the evil external influences, hence Brexit, immigrants, various racist initiatives. It is highly threatening to them to have the public opinion not "correctly" cultivated toward the appropriate object of blame and hate. It's directed differently when it's China doing the corporatist thing but the principles are the same as western corporate-controlled governments.

    Nothing about modern governance and life is about improving wellbeing. Troubled people are better consumers and easier to sell something to with promises of making them feel better. It's the sin of the age avarice, greed. You don't have to have money to suffer from this sin. You have to think and believe that having money means happiness. Which flips the truth: it's only poverty that equates to unhappiness. Wealth is a friend to unhappiness as much as it is to happiness.
  • The golden idol doesn't help, but is it the only issue? We've touched on power and control, but are they simply slaves of the golden idol too?
  • RussRuss Shipmate
    the discourse - the way we talk and perceive things - is all controlled by those who want to maximize their influence and wealth. Nothing about it is aimed at improving individual or community life.

    Then when the average individual comes to understand they're being left out and left behind, the corp interests cum governments artfully control the discourse so that the blame is deflected to the evil external influences...

    ...Troubled people are better consumers and easier to sell something to with promises of making them feel better.

    Is this not verging on conspiracy theory ?

    Yes, the way we look at things is formed by the news media we consume, and many of those media are owned by profit-seeking commercial entities. Our sense of what is news is determined by what sells newspapers.

    And yes, the way we look at things is also determined by the fiction we consume, whether books, movies or TV. And that's also created for profit. So anyone foolish enough to form their idea of what's normal from soap opera will have an exaggerated sense of the frequency of dramatic events (affairs, violent crime, long-lost relatives returning, etc).

    But where I'd need more convincing is if you go beyond that to suggest that various government and business interests are actively collaborating to maximize each other's influence and wealth.




  • Oh, I think there's a valid meta-point in what NP says. I don't think its verging on a conspiracy theory. There are plenty of actual conspiracy theories with legs floating around in the ether at the moment. NP's criticism of the market economy is pretty sound, for a few brief paragraphs.

    Russ, have you chopped up those words from a few of NP's posts? I'm struggling to locate them all in his last post, and those I can locate seem spaced out. I worked overnight, so it might be me...
  • RussRuss Shipmate
    No, only one post, from which I quoted the bits that best summarised the theme I was responding to.

    He's right up to a point. Retail therapy is a thing, and encouraging us to feel we need it seems like it's in various corporate interests.

  • Simon Toad wrote: »
    Looks like a drift to the right;
    in the world that we were born in;
    But the horizon is bright;
    Yonder comes the morning.

    Saint Billy Bragg, King James Version, 1996

    OTOH, maybe we could get Left and Right Congressfolk, the administration, and all the other suspects mentioned to dance on the Capitol Mall to this:
    It's just a jump to the LEFT {plop}, and a step to the RI-I-GHT.

    (From the "Rocky Horror Picture Show".)
    ;)

    That would be the viral video to end all viral videos.
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