25 November 2016   1 comment

For a British view of the recent American election. one could hardly ask for a better analyst than David Runciman.  In an essay for the London Review of Books, Runciman gives a completely different interpretation of Mr. Trump’s election.  The anger that propelled many voters to vote for Mr. Trump is not the type of anger that will lead to protests in the street.  The real violence of that anger is manifested in the high rates of incarceration and the high rates of suicide and drug abuse–an anger bred of hopelessness and not rage.  Runciman then takes a breathtaking step:  that hopelessness cannot be addressed if the political system tries to protect itself and

“Under these conditions, the likeliest response is for the grown-ups in the room to hunker down, waiting for the storm to pass. While they do, politics atrophies and necessary change is put off by the overriding imperative of avoiding systemic collapse. The understandable desire to keep the tanks off the streets and the cashpoints open gets in the way of tackling the long-term threats we face. Fake disruption followed by institutional paralysis, and all the while the real dangers continue to mount. Ultimately, that is how democracy ends.”

While he does not make the point explicitly, Runciman suggests that the correct course of action would be to let the system collapse to force citizen action.  Undoubtedly, a risky option.

The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, the group administering Berlin’s state museums, holds more than 1,000 human skulls from the German East African colonies–now Rwanda and Tanzania–controlled by Germany from 1885-1918.  The macabre collection is just one measure of the horrific legacy of imperialism and reflects the contemptible attitude of the Europeans toward non-European peoples during the period of European expansion.  There are many such collections throughout the developed world, but there finally is an intense campaign to have such remains returned to the homelands of the dead.

Map from 1909

Related image

Yesterday the European Parliament voted to temporarily freeze negotiations on Turkey’s accession to the European Union.  These negotiations have been going on for years, but the increasingly authoritarian policies of President Erdogan have raised questions in many European minds about Turkey’s commitment to human rights.  Additionally, President Erdogan has grown impatient with what he regards as the unfriendly policies of the EU toward Turkey.  Today, Erdogan threatened to “open the border gates” to about 3.5 million refugees who wish to emigrate to European states.  The threat must be taken seriously, but it is unlikely that the EU would change its decision.

What happens if nationalism defeats globalization?

From the Washington Post

america-first

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Posted November 26, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

One response to “25 November 2016

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  1. I’m sorry but I’ve been very confused about what’s going on exactly with these that I care about a lot.

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