Populism Politics : The Defeat of Reason

This is one of the most terrible days I can remember of my almost 70 years alive.

I have long been disturbed by the dumbing-down of the population and the impact of neoliberal economics and globalisation on our own and other nations.

We have seen the 1% reach ownership of over 50% of the World’s wealth and their piece of the pie continues to grow. At the same time, in correlation, so does poverty, dispossession, wage stagnation, inequity, depression and hopelessness.

The culture of consumerism and materialism has brought about a society in which the mass of the population are more selfish than selfless, where success is measured by what you take out rather than what you put in, and where the fact of politicians telling lies with impunity is taken for granted.

Nothing is any more what it seems. Trust has flown out of the window. Hold open a door for a woman and you are seen as being sexist. Offer to help an aged person across the road or cut their grass for them and the reaction is to question what is in it for you?

It appears that our only measure of anything today is the dollar. Whether it is a natural disaster, human incited crisis or a problem that needs fixing, it seems that the $$$ cost is what is reported or discussed first, last and in-between.

Ordinary people are hurting because globalisation and the actions of multinational corporations and governments that cater to them has created a World in which a new kind of worker exploitation exists and one about which it is hard for unions to do much, particularly as they are continually demonised by a right wing press and non-members receive the benefits of what they do achieve, selfishly, without making any contribution.

So, as wages stagnate and jobs disappear on the whim of companies who find a cheaper workforce elsewhere, the average person finds their standard of living falling, at least in material terms. The fear and uncertainty created by these conditions hurt. The governments and right wing controlled media cater to it with populist policy and rhetoric. The Trump and Hanson phenomenon of parsimony, hate speech, blame, suspicion and mistrust increases.

So those disillusioned people misguidedly lash out, as we have seen with the re-election of (essentially) the Abbott government but this time under Turnbull. Even worse, we see the likely election of an ignorant, racist, sexist, egomaniac such as is Donald Trump, to the Presidency of the most powerful nation in the World.

I am depressed. Now I fear. I’m not as circumspect as are you, to believe that it won’t be as bad as I expect and there’s another election in 4 years that can right things. I fear too much damage will have been done.

The 9th November 2016 will go down in history as a dark day for the whole World. The day that the World’s leading democracy lost its mind and, swallowing lies and empty promises, voted on the basis of personal enmity and misguided understanding and made a billionaire capitalist cheat the Commander in Chief with access to the nuclear button.

They did this for understandable but purely selfish and base motives arising from their feelings of despair and being ignored. They elected as President a man with no political experience, ludicrous policy ambitions, a divisive agenda, racist and sexist propensities, and no indication of any intellectual understanding of the process of government and complexities of either internal or foreign relations. A man completely unsuited to any such position.

Ironically, the people who were largely responsible for his election were white industrial workers who have suffered due to the very sorts of shady deals and exploitation of workers that has made billions of dollars for Donald Trump. They have elected probably one of the last people on Earth who would actually give a toss for their situation and one whose promises to rectify it don’t stand to scrutiny and will come to nothing.

This is the direct result of the neoliberal economic policies and globalisation given such a kick start by Reagan, Thatcher and Howard. It is the result of an economic system based on privatisation of public assets and the myth that government cannot provide community services as efficiently or cheaply a private industry. This is, of course, blatant nonsense. It has led to the deterioration of community infrastructure paid for over years by public taxes and also of the loss of control by government of significant public utilities and services. Now that the neoliberal economic experiment has been shown to fail, and the infrastructure and services are crumbling, private industry is walking away and the government is held to blame for the mess. Private industry has taken the profits, the government has taken the blame.

This is the result of a bad economic theory and practice, globalisation, loss of public services and safety, and the populist rhetoric sold by a media controlled by the 1% who stand to gain. It is a display of populist politics at its worst. It is a disaster for the USA and a disaster for the World. The mess it will create will not be undone easily, if at all. Indeed, World War III could very well be the result…


Leave a Reply