The Crisis of Western World: Populism and Fights for rights.
November 22, 2018
Let’s be realistic: which politician or government will take the responsibility of putting up the solutions we have suggested – more taxes for wealthy people, more restrictions at work and more immigrants?
In the countries where there has already been an electoral change, winning governments are all linked to populism or conservative, ready to say NO to real problems, to blame on the past or to give pills to electors to try and calm them down in a chaotic and irrational way.
Anyway, these parties have a great limit: they work on short-term programs, petting angry electors. Their recipe is often that of closing the world outside and supporting domestic trade. They never attack rich people, because they think they need them.
They have started their governments with populism and with an eye to the past, with black-and-white recipes. They cannot open themselves to this talking and connected world.
To support themselves they need enemies, whom they attack using truculent and bad words, to feel and to seem strong. Their favourite targets are – obviously – immigrants.
Attacking immigrants is simple: it means tweeting or posting something like “Let’s close our borders” or “Go home!” or better “They’re taking our jobs away”. To fight against these poor people, building a wall is enough.
It is absurd if you think that we need them for demographic reasons. We should invite them and not kick them out or let them die in the sea.
Verbal escalation could lead to search for other enemies, in order to stop disappointment or to divert people’s attention away from economic problems. And then there will be Europe, which will come with its elections. Drums are rolling.
But there is more. There will be the fight against rights and democracy. These are not in doubts yet, but they could be so soon. Because when you are poor and you think you are not going to have a future, laws and order are helpful. The elimination of some rights – such as divorce, abortion, gender – which are the benchmarks of post-war western countries, will be the first action of these parties linked to populism – even in this case it doesn’t cost a thing. For those people living in black and white, rights could become another enemy to fight. On the Internet, obviously.
For these parties it will be more difficult but possible to bend democracy by deleting some democratic characteristics of our societies, from freedom of information to freedom of association. In Hungary it is already happening after all.
Therefore, at the moment the chances to change our behaviour are few, if not inexistent.
However, it is precisely during hard times that good people start to think and fight. We already can see the embers – and sometimes also the results – of these fights. In Italy cases like those of Riace, Lodi, Claviere, Verona are answers to provocations. Despite opposition parties’ indifference – which only think of their internal changes – people are moving and the civil action has already started.