Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The rise of populism - and what we can do

I know, my blog hasn’t been very active over the past years. As ist is typical for teenage life, my personality and opinions have changed a lot. Stress and work for school have also taken their toll. But now, I am back.

The truth is, and what I need to tell you, that I am pretty worried. The most dangerous thing about the latest developments concerning right wing populism, is, that one cannot pin down anything obviously wrong about it. Who could mistrust these political leaders and spokesmen, when they only bing to words what a majority of the people thinks. Stopping them would mean not acknowledging the opinion of a huge percentage of citizens, which is not very democratic. Then again, the rise of leaders with that political orientation has often enough had a negative outcome, which we happily ignore if it is ignorable. I wanted to get to the root of this political confusion and it all comes down to three main things: righteousness, long-term thinking and self-awareness.

First of all, to look behind the manipulative concept of populism we have to say goodbye to the popular interpretation of righteousness, truth and honest intention. While lies mostly lead to wrong conclusions, truth might cause a wrong response as well as a right one, and what’s wrong or right in that case depends on the consequences (Because the decision is made based on the change people want to see in society. Change is consequence.). Although right wing politicians are usually very careful to keep their intentions clear and innocent, the consequences of what they’re suggesting are often fatal.

Secondly, what they’re suggesting usually doesn’t bring long-term satisfaction to the problems people are complaining about. For example, it is understandable that there’s a lot of fear connected with illegal immigration of all sorts, yet we fail to make the connections and come up with long term solutions. We are facing a worldwide inequality of life standard that is entirely dependent on the place of birth. We can observe that the inequality of chance and population differences lead to a movement we like to call the “refugee crisis”. The motives for leaving the home country are often quite personal, but they all have one thing in common – they want to live the life of their dreams. The scenario also showcases the western egoism in the reaction of the people; they want equality of chances, but only for themselves. One possible solution is, to overcome the collective egoism of the western culture and let the world shift population until the life standard is equal everywhere. We complain, because we have managed to get our life standard up quite high by oppressing others. However, oppression is not a sustainable system which is visible in the fall of previous high cultures. In a world, where people have an understanding and desire of equality within humanity, they will always strive to be in power. And this leads to another possible solution, which is to actively work against the oppression we order by buying and consuming what we feel are symbols of our wealth. Let’s take a moment to remember how a factor that caused French revolution was the continuous provocation of the poor by the rich who showcased their wealth, because it was necessary in order to be accepted and feel good in their community and in front of the king. And let’s think about how we feel compelled to share and show off the good moments in our life for the approval of others. We know that this is not our life, but why be honest? We long to impress those who we think are in a better situation. We don’t think of those who are in a worse situation and feel quite disheartened by what other people can have and enjoy. We don’t waste a thought on those who were born in other countries with a mind that couldn’t be more western, with the western thoughts the western TV program planted, a striving for luck as it sits in every person and a social network account in front of them that tells wordless tales of a place where following your dreams is as easy as snapping your fingers, or at least so it seems.

This little example leads me to the third and last mistake we make in solving political issues: underestimating our own power. We manage to constantly contribute to problems we truly have the intention to solve, without acknowledging that we do. We also get surprised when we realize that the problems aren’t getting solved by themselves. Officials call for better education and bring more information bingeing and brainwashing, when what the younger generations actually need to learn is what officials do not want them to know. We are dancing and shouting on top of a grave. It’s about time that we become conscious of what we have ignored since the introduction of capitalistic principles. The fact that it is dug deep under centuries of cover-up, dishonesty and a lack of revolution further highlights the urgency of this issue.

There is a lot we can be proud of, but all our innovation, art and science is balancing on a fragile fundament. I think it is time to strengthen the roots of our high culture and confront our own problems so that we can look into a positive future for all of us.