Thursday, November 1, 2018

Remember Chavez?

Way back in 2002 a most unusual man was elected President of Venezuela: Hugo Chavez. Remember him?  People may forget now, but he was the first 21st Century example of a Reactionary Populist to gain power in a major (almost) Western nation.  You may argue that Venezuela was not a truly Western nation and you aren't far wrong - but you aren't too right, either. It was then one of the wealthiest countries in South America and had (still has) vast reserves of crude oil.  Why did Chavez gain power? Massive income and wealth inequality. The masses were poor and the rich were massively wealthy.

Hugo Chávez salute.jpg

 Hugo Chavez, First Of Many...

Fast forward to today.  Populism is increasingly prevalent across the West: USA, Brazil, Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Turkey, all now have populist leaders or strong populist parties rising fast (eg AfD in Germany). The same cause applies as in Venezuela: income and wealth inequality - real, perceived or threatened.  The latter applies to Germany and Great Britain in particular, where the economy is doing well but your Average Johann and Joe feels threatened by the "unwashed masses" of illegal economic migrants (Germany) and poorer EU citizens "stealing their jobs" (Great Britain).

Should we be concerned? Is another Mussolini or Hitler on the rise?

I believe the political ideology clash is no longer between Left and Right.  Rather, it is Rationalism versus Populism, or to put it in personal terms Merkel vs. Trump.  Unfortunately, Ms. Merkel - who is certainly to blame for lots of issues but is certainly no Populist -  effectively just resigned. And that's really bad news for us Rationalists...


  1. a debt payment is something that you owe to the military either for spending that you did and didnt have covered or maybe because you had a check that didnt go through or maybe they overpaid you..something but basically its them taking money that you owe them.

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  2. Big difference between populism and populisims. The world urgently needs populism to bridge the enormous inequality of today; not populisims which just gives crumbs to the poor. This is the distinction which few people get.