“Come back, come back, Don Quixote sir, I swear to God they’re sheep you’re charging! Come back! By the bones of my poor old father! What madness is this? Look, there aren’t any giants or knights, or cats, or armour, or shields quartered or left in one piece, or blue vairs, or the devil. What are you doing? Lord have mercy on us sinners!“
Cervantes, Don Quixote
An immoderate amount of populism has a tendency to end up with a lovely cathartic book burning session. It’s the only way to maintain control and momentum when it’s out of equilibrium.
The established political group in the UK have struggled to control, maintain or influence positively the narrative of how society should be. They’re two steps behind the people and society, and two in front in maintaining their position. All it takes is for a single politician to talk about them and the people come flocking. Farage, Corbyn, Sanders, Trump. Populist outsiders and it’s really not hard to be an outsider in this current climate. Almost 4 million people voted for Nigel Farage’s UKIP in 2015 despite the fact that their policies have as much content as an empty cup. People want to believe.
Us nobodies frustrated at our mediocrity and insignificance don’t want to countenance the reality, we are insignificant individually. But we’re sold the lie that we matter, everyone’s opinion must be heard. Enter minority rights and an imbalance is perceived – why are they getting handouts and rights we don’t need enshrining? (simplistic right wing view) – even though it’s a much needed re-balancing . They also see the truth and of course, self interest is going to kick in (right and left wing views).
Either by Othering or proposing a wealth reset, a collision is set in motion. It starts moderate but never ends that way. Each has to out do the other for popular support until finally, completely insane is the victor, usually by managing to shame the opposition into recognising their own insanity and hence submission. That insanity can be seen in the ongoing polarisation and hatred that is becoming political discourse in the UK and US.
Wealth resets have and do happened; globalization is an absolute and irresistible reset, but not a hard reset.
There may be trouble ahead…
I’m not sure anyone ultimately is going to get a say, neither the establishment (whether left or right) nor the populist mobs (likewise). It’s nothing but lifeboats until the dust settles. Can we keep the killing down to the bare minimum in the meantime, please?
But while there’s moonlight and music and love and romance…
- Edited 15/07/16 to remove David Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party.