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Kaunisto Profile
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Populism in current politics


]It’s Time for the Elites to Rise Up Against the Ignorant Masses
quote:

The Brexit has laid bare the political schism of our time. It’s not about the left vs. the right; it’s about the sane vs. the mindlessly angry.

Blunt way to put it, but I agree with lot on this article.
The speculation about where this is going is slightly far-fetched, but then again there have been dramatic political changes in number of European countries during last decade.

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Jun/29/2016, 15:19 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 
Morwen Oronor Profile
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I think England is being stupid. Do they really think people are going to visit them for their wonderful food, friendly engagement with visitors, and to want to invest in a country where summer lasts a week while it rains the rest of the time. If they did away with their Royal Family, they'd never get another tourist coming there. They need to stay in the Union so they can keep investment there. Just my 2c.
Jul/2/2016, 11:48 Link to this post Send PM to Morwen Oronor
 
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Re:


Do you realize that you just described Finland?

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Jul/2/2016, 13:30 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 
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Re:


Sorry. I didn't mean to make it sound boring. emoticon

At least Finns do make an effort to learn about the rest of the world. I've met a few interesting Finns in my years on the internet.
Jul/2/2016, 16:15 Link to this post Send PM to Morwen Oronor
 
Li0nh3eart Profile
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Re: Re:


quote:

Morwen Oronor wrote:

I think England is being stupid. Do they really think people are going to visit them for their wonderful food, friendly engagement with visitors, and to want to invest in a country where summer lasts a week while it rains the rest of the time. If they did away with their Royal Family, they'd never get another tourist coming there. They need to stay in the Union so they can keep investment there. Just my 2c.



I don't think this is fair at all. With or without the Royal Family there'd still be people interested in visiting Britain for its history and culture. The birthplaces of Shakespeare and the Bronte sisters bring in international tourists, and people would still be interested in their family history if coming from the USA, Canada etc, and the history would remain regardless. I can't see anyone arguing for demolishing the castles, stately homes and monuments which generate interest; Buckingham Palace would be standing and would still generate interest. The Palace of Versailles lures many tourists in France because of its history despite the French monarchy being long gone, so the interest would still remain in such buildings. Events like royal weddings and royal births may create a cause for people to come over when they occur, I'm not saying that there is no benefit in tourism whatsoever, but I think the situation is more complex than "without the Royals no-one would dream coming here."

Besides, the major issue of Brexit is not tourism, because our economy is not reliant upon this one factor; we're not Egypt, whose civil turmoil has led to a severe decrease in one of their major sources for their economy. The real worry is that the UK, which has developed a solid reputation for engineering, technology and commerce, is going to face short term pain in trade deals with the EU and the major companies which have based themselves in London and elsewhere across the UK will possibly cut their losses and move abroad as the UK can no longer offer them economic stability or ties with Europe that are necessary for growth in their business. Uncertainty in the UK's ability to maintain a strong reputation in such fields outside the EU has led to a plummet in the pound and Britain's economic standing. I doubt an investor in Britain is going to be put off by bad weather, reputations of its people or by having shephard's pie on the menu as opposed to lasagne, especially when foreign cuisine is commonly found on menus in pubs and restaurants dedicated to the cuisine of other countries are commonplace across the UK. Italy has a reputation for good food, good wine, good weather, a fascinating culture and beautiful tourist destinations, yet it remains economically unstable and is not as attractive for investment as the UK has been. There are arguments with regards to Brexit having a negative impact on tourism and foreign investment, such as the difficulty in obtaining visas increasing the likelihood of investors choosing somewhere else within the EU or the reduction in migrant workers within the tourism industry meaning that there will be a jobs shortage, but it has little to do with the royals (most Brexiters will favour the monarchy) or enticements to others in our food or weather.

I agree that there are too many Brits who are ignorant of the world around them, but this is a global problem; I've seen more than enough opinions from French and Germans who are completely ignorant of the world outside of their own spheres, especially if you were to discuss the Middle East or Africa. Americans have a worse reputation than any European nation, fairly or unfairly (I think that the UK's geographical position means that the most ignorant Brit can be somewhat more aware of the world beyond their borders than the most ignorant American).

I agree that there is a problem with populism on the rise, but I think it's more a case of the political spectrum shifting from left v right to those who embrace globalism and those who feel alienated by it. Whether we agree with it or not, people are feeling left behind as the world embraces a more global approach and see no benefit for their own communities as they see stagnating wages, breakdown in what they saw as community ethics and an association of corruption with the movers and shakers in this massively changed world. As politicians of the last 20-30 years have encouraged this new world the disaffected have had their trust decimated in the eyes of the voters, and the consequences of this schism between those who've embraced a more 'globalist' worldview and those who shun it is now evident. I don't think social media or alternative media have helped. As much as I value the internet and its ability to bring people together from around the world, it has led to the development of echo chambers and self-protective communities, as it has enabled the disaffected to get in touch with others who think like them and this has meant that they have become emboldened through their solidarity with one another. Opening up such outlets has led to online communities developing which appear gated and impervious to opposing logic. This group of the alienated have found themselves drawn to the alternative media whose standards of neutrality fall way short of what is reasonable. Through their disdain for the current system and through mistrust of news sources, like BBC or CNN, which make some effort to be partial, the likes of Breitbart, The Drudge Report, The Canary and Russia Today have succeeded in giving the disaffected what they perceive as a worldview and explanation for why the world is not as they want it, and this is formed through exploiting the conspiratorial mindset which has developed. It's always been there, but meeting those of a like mind and the rise of alternative media outlets have given credibility to the suspicions of those who have long felt that they have not had a voice which can be listened to. A conspiratorial mindset can be easy to fall into if you feel that everything is against you, because it reduces complex arguments to simplicity, it gives an easy answer as to why people disagree (they're brainwashed or they're enemy agents) and it's so hard to argue against because of the paranoia it brings. The likes of RT have played into this by bringing confusion to accounts given in actually credible news outlets and any claim of their bias can be washed away with "well, the biased BBC would say that we're biased, wouldn't they?"

A few months have passed since the referendum and not much has improved. The government has given no plan for which we can realistically trust; claims of the government needing to safeguard the plans from parliament for the betterment of the country are betrayed by conflicting messages coming from the PM and her cabinet and bluster about 'respecting the referendum' whenever David Davis, Boris Johnson or Liam Fox are challenged in parliament. It all seems like deflection and May's appearances with other EU leaders doesn't create the impression of a stateswoman with gravitas and the capability of delivering a vision we can unite behind. We cannot ignore the result of the referendum, such a tactic could be disastrous, so the only way forward is to leave the EU unless there is a change of mind. However, this doesn't mean that the way forward shouldn't be put under scrutiny and that the intricacies of the deal cannot be put forward through parliament. It's ironic that a referendum to give greater parliamentary sovereignty has led to a move to stymie parliamentary politics, where any attempt to scrutinise the Brexiter Tories is now disregarded as ignoring the results of the referendum. Heck, even people like Mark Carney, head of the Bank of England, are under pressure because they remain frank and honest about the challenges of Brexit, and he may be replaced by some safe Brexiter Tory like Jacob Rees-Mogg. Carney being the man whose actions have prevented the pound from completely collapsing.

It's not like we can rely on the opposition either, because of the vain, unprincipled and vile leader of the Labour party who has done little to guide Labour into forming a position in which it can combat a Tory vision for Brexit. Any time it's brought up there's a glib remark about how we must respect the referendum from Corbyn, but there's nothing said as to how Brexit can be formed with Labour opposition to bad Tory ideas or through guidance into a vision which can suit Labour values. It's sad, because right now Brexit looks like a dream for conservatism. If it wasn't for Keir Starmer challenging the Tories the Labour opposition would be meaningless entirely. Not like it matters though, so long as Corbyn has his perception of being a man of righteous principle, with no substance to back it up, he's going nowhere and the Labour Party will be impotent in parliamentary politics. Corbyn's more bothered about getting involved in social justice and rallies for anti-austerity measures or himself to bother with the hassle of engaging in parliamentary politics.

Last edited by Li0nh3eart, Oct/31/2016, 15:15
Oct/31/2016, 15:07 Link to this post Send PM to Li0nh3eart
 
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Re: Populism in current politics


It's interesting (not to mention fortunate) that in Finland we have hardly any what could be called "alternative media". We have great trust on public broadcasting and the major commercial media have always competed by imitating them: keeping reputation of reliable, unbiased information. This may be a result of post-war/Cold War era when certain level of censorship (under the threat of Soviet Union) kept language moderate and made news stick to the facts.
quote:

I agree that there are too many Brits who are ignorant of the world around them, but this is a global problem; I've seen more than enough opinions from French and Germans who are completely ignorant of the world outside of their own spheres, especially if you were to discuss the Middle East or Africa. Americans have a worse reputation than any European nation, fairly or unfairly (I think that the UK's geographical position means that the most ignorant Brit can be somewhat more aware of the world beyond their borders than the most ignorant American).

Considering the amount of information available modernly, it's obvious that people have always been ignorant. So what is happening now? Couple theories:
1. Uninformed become misinformed: There's the classic test where you take questions related to common misinformation, give multiple choices and get result that bunch of monkeys(/any random method) do better than almost any, even relatively educated, group of people. Is there so much misinformation around that people are worse than when they were truly ignorant?
2. There's more to know: While many events in world (say, Lebanon getting a president or truce in Colombia) don't actually have any effects on our lives - and many more tend to be exaggerated - there are increasing amount of connections between different parts of world and there's more and more one should be aware of. So the ignorance is relative: people know more than they used to, but there's still more relevant information they're lacking than earlier.


Finland's populist party True Finns have lost much of their support after gaining power in last election. (They won huge, becoming second largest in parliament, but because they are in cabinet with two of the old parties, main right and center, they haven't been able to do much.) While they temporarily became a fourth major party (those having about 15-20% support), they seem to be stabilizing among the "medium" parties (previously Greens and extreme left) of 5-10% support.
Which still leaves them too high for my taste, but at least they're (mostly) more moderate than other European populist parties. Besides, once their leader foreign minister Soini quits, I'd expect them to go even lower, but I don't expect the party to disappear anytime soon.

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Oct/31/2016, 18:22 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 
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Re: Populism in current politics


Oh, I agree. I don't think that there is necessarily a vast difference in the propensity for ignorance today in comparison with the past (as a percentage of population), pre-internet. It's just that the internet has allowed them to communicate with each other, so that they can then share their ideas across the web and outlets have come into existence that represent their paranoid worldview. They gain trust in these outlets and they get their information from them, sometimes on matters they wouldn't normally think about, and this spread of misinformation can bolster their worldview, make them feel like they're informed and it can dint their confidence in their own political system. Russia have played into this mindset to try and create a distorted view of the news in the minds of people abroad in order to make people think like they can't trust anyone, and they've done this through state sponsored media outlets like RT and through spamming countries with misinformation, as they are believed to have been doing in ]Sweden. I was thinking along similar lines to what you said in your first theory when talking about the alternative media. It's given people a [faulty] source of information for ideas they might not have thought about in the past, and this can help shape how they view the world. They gather information through it, some of which may be truthful, but have their perceptions warped if they place trust in the news expressed without skepticism. I don't want to sound like I'm against the digital age, because the internet can be a brilliant resource for research and collecting evidence to help form a rational opinion. However, it can't teach critical thinking abilities, and there are outlets which exist to cater to the misinformed.

As the world has grown smaller it has allowed us to keep up to date with pertinent news stories across the world, be it the Syrian Civil War or an earthquake in Pakistan, to a greater degree of ease (24 hour news channels, improving technology and the internet has helped here). This has enabled reputable sources to expand their coverage and helps us stay in touch with the big stories abroad in quick time and with a greater degree of ease, but it has presented an opportunity for disreputable outlets to exploit the negative perception and disadvantages of the more reputable outlets by creating a sea of conflicting information, which can leave people confused.

]This is an interesting article on the influence of social media and the perception of the news.

Last edited by Li0nh3eart, Oct/31/2016, 20:39
Oct/31/2016, 19:26 Link to this post Send PM to Li0nh3eart
 


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