Populism Isn’t For Sale Anymore
There’s something happening that the unelected oligarchs I like to call The Davos Crowd hate more than anything else. They can’t seem to buy people off anymore…
When we look around the world today at the plethora of popular/populist uprisings both peaceful and unruly we see the same thread running through them at their core.
The people simply don’t believe that the system works for them anymore. Whatever the catalyst was that got them off their couches and into the streets was the proverbial last straw.
And they can’t be bought.
We’re coming up on the one year anniversary of the Gilet Jaunes protests in France. The original €0.25 tax on diesel fuel died a long time ago. President Macron of France though he could just throw the unruly peasants some scraps, not take their final piece of bread from their tables and that would placate people bereft of not only their future but, more importantly, their dignity.
We’re three and a half years from the Brexit vote and Nigel Farage is still fighting the establishment in the U.K. who are dead set against it. This week he stood down 317 candidates to stave off a Remainer-heavy hung parliament, and the Tories responded by trying to buy off even more of his candidates.
The big scandal wasn’t that the Tories tried to buy off Farage: they’ve been trying to do that for years and it hasn’t worked. Now, they are brazenly trying to buy off the people around him to deny the Brexit Party any seats in Westminster to pave the way for the ultimate Brexit betrayal.
This goes far beyond putting party before country. This is all about protecting the political establishment from all threats domestic, but not foreign since they’re all committed neoliberal globalist scumbags.
Farage knows this and that’s why he went public with this information. The jury is still out whether the voters will respond to this and reward Farage’s people with seats in Westminster to finally change the dynamic in the heart of the old imperial capital of Europe.
Because it’s a lot easier to bribe a dozen or so candidates than it is to bribe the hundreds of thousands they could represent. This is the fundamental reason why representative governments don’t work.
It’s why they are just as bad as top-down unelected oligarchies regardless of the type — secular, religious, technocratic, communist, democratic.
It’s reached boiling point in Iran where protests have broken out again like in 2009, and just like in France, over a hike in fuel prices. Governments can have all the extra-territorial ambitions they want, but at some point they have to provide the basic services the people expect of them.
Just wait until the cost of living here in the U.S. rises to the point where government handouts here can’t cover the costs of the basics. We haven’t quite reached that point nationally, and we won’t in the next couple of years as capital flees into the U.S. in a massive safe-haven trade, but we will.
Because while that safe-haven trade is occurring, our government masters won’t get the hint about how much we don’t like them. They will keep the gravy train running on time just often enough to maintain the illusion of control until things get so expensive here the people revolt.
In Chile, the protesters there are fed up with the fake, corporatist privatization and rampant corruption of the country’s basic infrastructure. Again, this is a real revolt over a false liberation of nationalized businesses. It’s the same thing we see all over the West.
It will spark a push in Chile back towards the Left and socialist nationalizations, which will give rise to adolescent criticisms of capitalism from the likes of Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders.
And the sad part is, they’ll be right. It’s what they’ve been doing with health care in the U.S. for decades, purposefully destroying the marketplace for health care while allowing the worst excesses of the private portion of it to thrive in a captured market of regulatory nightmares and obscene wealth extraction.
These systems become so cocked up that even reasonable people scream for a nationalized solution to make things better, at least in the short run.
Why do you think the big tech firms are acting like openly evil overlords? Because they’re stupid? No. It’s because the longer-term goal is complete centralized regulation of speech in the public forum.
And the only way to get there and have it be sustainable is if the people scream for it themselves. Conservatives are being gaslit into pushing for oversight into Facebook and Google because they are being treated with such obvious bias.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that while we’re still falling for a lot of these false dichotomies, these Hobson’s choices, at the electoral level we are fundamentally aware of who the enemies of civil society are.
And that’s why The Davos Crowd is getting nervous. That’s why they are bribing Brexit Party members to stand down. It’s why they are ramping up the Project Fear on the economic costs of Brexit, Climate Change, Private Health Care, and decrying tax cuts as tyrannical.
While at the same time they continue to try and buy us off with cheap money, rising stock markets and easier credit terms to buy depreciating junk like new cars which cost more than many have equity in their homes.
But we’re not for sale anymore.
If we were, we wouldn’t keep voting for these populist reformers from the left, right and center. We wouldn’t be descending into the kind of toxic political discourse that is only interested in scoring points against the other side to validate our own anger and dispossession.
We would be looking for solutions. But we’re not ready for that yet. We may not be for sale anymore, but we’re not ready to take on the responsibility of fixing what’s broken.
It’s why we keep hearing stories about Millennials making peace with living like rats in cages for $800 a month rather than building enough wealth to *gasp* find a mate and *gasp* start a family.
But they know, deep down, this isn’t sustainable. It’s inhuman. But curling up in a rat’s nest and calling it home is better than taking to the streets, for now. And their depression will turn to nihilism, if it hasn’t already, and eventually will explode in the ugliest ways.
People are capable of selling themselves on the virtues of a terrible life only for so long, of putting up with suffering because there’s still a small comparative advantage to going along versus striking out.
There is little to no direct cost for voting against the system that is bankrupting you financially, emotionally and spiritually. That’s why we see things like Trump, Brexit, Catalonia and Italy.
But eventually voting isn’t enough, especially when it’s obvious that if voting changed anything, they would have outlawed it years ago… only they pretty much have.
Over and over we’re being told we voted wrong, that our betters will fix our mistakes for us. But it’s not working anymore. And as the inherent inconsistencies of these institutions take center stage over the next few years, we’ll see even more uprisings around the world.
Let’s hope it stays peaceful. That enough people like Farage and his ilk simply say, “No. I’m not for sale.” And the voters, cynical as they are, believe them.
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