Did we learn last time around with populists and dictators?
Such a good reading in The Economist December 3rd 2016... All that is going on also happened just 100 years ago. The rolling 1920s with blooming international trade and wonderful inventions like telephones which were about to improve everything. But what followed was stagnation and protectionism, finally war. The masses reacted. The elite and intellectuals continued to underestimate the culture of common people and made differences between social groups worse. That led to rise of populist leaders and finally "dictators in the name of people". Well, the last one just died in Cuba. Time is ripe for the next ones.
History always repeats itself. Or have we learned anything? Please stop judging and mocking Trump, LePen, Soini and others. Learn, hug, understand and love. Change is hard for us all. We all desperately need insight and solutions to avoid that already chartered path to protectionism.
We live great times. All of the sudden there is so much at stake.
I had a discussion with my teenage son about all this. I asked that if people are afraid of all new stuff like Snap, FB, AI, Siri, Robot-cars and their jobs, wars, migration, violence, EU regulation, climate change and general insecurity what needs to be done. He said: "make it simple that always helps if you are afraid". There are two ways to make things simple
- Explain it and make it understandable
- Change it to be simple
I cannot explain digitalisation, migration, EU regulation, wars and climate change in a simple way. It is very complex. Thus the way forward is to make everything simpler. Like hockey players say "keep it simple ".
One alternative is to start simplifying things back to what they used to be like Trump tries to do in the US or May with UK Brexit to the extent it is possible, of course.
But then my son went on:" once you try something and it does not work, you must try something else". Western world technocrats had a decade time to resolve 2008 financial crisis. They did not deliver. So we need to try something else. But let that be something else than war and protectionism this time, please.