Tag Archives: Populist politicians

So-called own sacred values under threat

The last few years we have seen populist politicians becoming more popular and getting a stronger following who wanted to cause a fuss here and there. Often they want to have their people believe their nation was great but got damaged by the many immigrants. They say the immigrant population weakens the country and brings democracy in danger.

On the other side there is also a contemporary myth that European societies used to be homogenous. Europe has always been a blanket of a lot of diversity. Always it has been a mixture of all sorts of people and cultures. Throughout the ages we could find a battlefield in the Low Countries. Lots of pieces of land changed hands many times, once belonging to the Romans, than to the Germans, the Austrians, the French, the Dutch. Even the languages and religion changed more than once.

Threat to the security and stability of the nation

Today we can find lots of people who say the land belongs to them and others bring their Judaeo-Christian values in danger. Though many of those crying about their values, do not have any of such juedo christian values at all. The 2016 Islamist fundamentalist attacks showed clearly how far countries as France wanted to go putting liberty of thought, freedom of expression and clothing at the side. France and Belgium so secularised took measures which went totally against real democratic rules and humanitarian freedom.

Big problem in Europe today is that lots of people do not worship God any more and do not keep to the essential commandments of God and as such do not mind not telling the truth, not loving the other, not taking care of others their goods or of nature, they even enjoy being better than the other wanting to have more than they have. For many, hatred and envy are the order of the day. We notice that hatred under Christians is nothing new any more. In the previously Chrisitan countries, we also come to see more hatred against religions in general, many thinking religion is the cause of all the problems. In West Europe we find many that much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism have become No God Zones.

The last few years we also could see that several countries did not mind to take up again very discriminatory laws.  We could see that even in the so-called most free country of Europe: France; and also in the so-called most progressive liberal country Denmark where they even went so far to go for Nazi-laws.

Too many people do forget our world evolved to a world where lots of people go from one place to another and influence each other. There are already many influencers on the net who cross many country borders and bring people to change their normal and consumption habits, plus eating and clothing customs.

Best examples which show how it is going wrong at the moment, are the United States of America, Brazil, Hungary and Hong Kong. The States takes the cake by having a president who goes in against everything the founders of that State stood for. That country was built on the aspiring hopes of people who came from all sorts of countries, all sorts of cultures and different religious denominations. The land is created or grown by a mixture of peoples. In the few years the 45th president of the U.S.A. ruled he managed to destroy a lot what was build up in the previous decades and created a lot of division between the inhabitants of those states which should be unified.

Instead of all trying to come to one unified Europe we do find more and more people going against the tendency for unification. Several politicians want to create such hammock in the country people get fed up with politics and start wanting to do their own thing in the way they want to do it.

A few years ago there was the beginning of fear created by Islamist fundamentalists. Now an other fear was added. This time it is not the clash between Islam and the West, but the power of a virus, which destroys our free way of life as well. Religious conflict was the norm in the old so-called homogenous Europe. Often the Roman Catholics were the killers to be afraid of. They had a terror regime that forced everyone to Catholicism. The people having most to fear then were the ones who worshipped the Only One True God and not Christ. Many brethren and sisters in the faith had to hide their faith or even had to hide in less easy to reach regions.

The English philosopher John Locke put it, ‘to a foreign prince’, the Pope, whose values were incompatible with those of liberal democracies, and who posed a threat to the security and stability of the nation.

At one point in European history we have two centuries where Jews were seen even more of a threat to European identity, values and ways of being, so much so that they became victims of the world’s greatest genocide. Today many forget that the treatment of Jews as the ‘Other’ was not confined to Germany. It was a central theme in most European nations, from the Dreyfus affair in France to Britain’s first immigration law, the 1905 Aliens Act, designed principally to stem the flow into the country of European Jews. And up in the North lots of Jews got burned in their homes by Russian attacks against them.

In all cases we see that governments and people want to find a victim, someone or some people to point with the finger, to cast them as the cause of all misery.

In the previous centuries high society also looked downwards to the working class. The working class and the rural poor were seen by many as racial distinct.
The French aristocratic anti-egalitarian diplomat, writer, ethnologist, and social thinker Arthur de Gobineau, in his Essai sur l’inégalité des races humaines, 4 vol. (1853–55; Essay on the Inequality of Human Races), remarked already that

‘Every social order represents a racial variety’.

Joseph-Arthur, comte de Gobineau.

Arthur de Gobineau, French diplomat, writer, ethnologist, and social thinker whose theory of racial determinism had an enormous influence upon the subsequent development of racist theories and practices in western Europe.

In the Essai Gobineau asserted the superiority of the white race over others and labeled the “Aryans”—i.e., the Germanic peoples—as representing the summit of civilization. That idea is not killed yet. Also today in Europe as well as in the United States we do find people who cling to that idea, that the fate of civilizations is determined by racial composition, that white and in particular Aryan societies flourish as long as they remain free of black, brown and yellow strains, and that the more a civilization’s racial character is diluted through miscegenation, the more likely it is to lose its vitality and creativity and sink into corruption and immorality.Donald Trump does find this enough reason to make sure everyone comes to understand that, and that it are the white federal troops which are the ones who can and should have everything in control.

Gobineau insisted that

‘We imagine that we are one nation, but we are two nations on the same land’,

each a distinctive race with

‘perpetually contradictory spirits’.

The Christian socialist Phillipe Buchez, giving a talk to the Medico-Psychological Society of Paris in 1857, wondered how it could happen that

 ‘within a population such as ours, races may form – not merely one but several races – so miserable, inferior and bastardised that they may be classed below the most inferior savage races, for their inferiority is sometimes beyond cure.’

The races that he was talking of were not, of course, from Africa or Asia, but the working class and the rural poor. In this century some reflect similar words now also referring to those who work on the fields (seasonal workers) and those who do the jobs the ‘nationals’ do not want to do.

Gobineau’s writings were quickly praised by white supremacist, pro-slavery Americans like surgeon, anthropologis and slaveowner Josiah C. Nott and the Swiss American propagandist for the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War, Henry Hotze, who translated his book into English. They omitted around 1,000 pages of the original book, including those parts that negatively described Americans as a racially mixed population.

In the 19th century in many countries, the poor were

‘a race of whom we know nothing, whose lives are of quite different complexion from ours, persons with whom we have no point of contact.’

explained an article on working-class life in East London in The Saturday Review, a well-read liberal magazine of the era.

‘Distinctions and separations, like those of English classes’,

the article concluded,

‘which always endure, which last from the cradle to the grave, which prevent anything like association or companionship… offer a very fair parallel to the separation of the slaves from the whites.’

Just before the pandemic struck our regions there were already enough signs we were evolving back to a segregation position of modern slaves, the working class.

With the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, we will have to be very careful that politicians and CEOs do not take advantage of this situation in order to corner the workers and exploit them even more because of the emerging economic crisis.

In the States, we see already how the president got so many people to believe that we should ignore this virus or Chinese disease and should all go back at work making our economy great again. For him, the economy comes first. Human lives are not so important and when they are black or brown they are even less important. For him as for some in Europe as well there should not be Corona restrictions, because they go against our liberty. All such matters to protect the health of people undermine the economy and therefore (according to them) should be annulled. Inc ase there are people dying from Covid-19 they should be considered as just ‘accidents de parcours’.

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Preceding

Tribes Redux

Trans-ability and Identity and Political correctness

Seeds from the world creating division and separation from God

Denmark votes in favour for a Discriminatory Nazi law

American Christians have to think twice before going to vote

Tolerance Ends When There Is No Tolerance Shown Towards Us

Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’

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Additional reading

  1. Belgium, Belgicae and the fertile floodland
  2. Disturbing language inbalance
  3. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  4. Morality, values and Developing right choices
  5. Subcutaneous power for humanity 2 1950-2010 Post war generations
  6. 2014 Religion
  7. Europe and much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism becoming No God Zones
  8. 2016 in review Politics #1 Year of dissonance
  9. Negative views of immigrants, Muslims and Jews
  10. Migrants to the West #5
  11. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #1 Christian Reform
  12. President Trump shall have to recognise that Immigrant Workers Are Vital to the U.S.A.
  13. Secularism in France becoming dangerous for freedom of religion
  14. Christians, secularism, morals and values
  15. Being Christian in Western Europe at the beginning of the 21st century #2
  16. Need to Embrace People Where They Are
  17. 500 Years of Reformation Divisions Have Lost Much of Their Potency
  18. American Christianity no longer resembles its Founder
  19. What Steve Bannon really wants
  20. Is Europe going to become a dictatorial bastion
  21. Challenges of the Post-Pandemic period

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Headlines - News, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’

image from BloggingHeads.tv podcast

American political scientist, political economist, and author Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama in 2015

The American writer and political theorist Francis Fukuyama wrote

“Human beings never existed in a pre-­social state. The idea that human beings at one time existed as isolated individuals is not correct.”

In his seminal 1989 essay ‘The End of History?’ he also wrote

‘What we may be witnessing is the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.’

Fukuyama trying to convey silent messages through stories about the evolution of democratic societies he continued

‘With the fall of the Soviet Union the struggle for recognition, the willingness to risk one’s life for a purely abstract goal, the worldwide ideological struggle that called forth daring, courage, imagination, and idealism will be replaced by economic calculation, the endless solving of technical problems, environmental concerns, and the satisfaction of sophisticated consumer demands.’

The End of History and the Last Man.jpg

The End of History and the Last Man is a 1992 book by Francis Fukuyama, expanding on his 1989 essay “The End of History?”, published in the international affairs journal The National Interest.

Fukuyama did not suggest that the end of history meant the end of wars or conflicts, but rather that capitalism and Western-style liberal democracy were the culmination of human political development and would not, and could not, be transcended. He beliefs that the triumph of liberal democracy at the end of the Cold War marked the last ideological stage in the progression of human history. The initial political challenge having to escape beyond tribalism and the “tyranny of cousins”.

For Fukuyama, tribal organisation responds to structural imperatives in social evolution but also blocks the path to further development. The early account of the origins of state-like forms relies heavily on Lawrence Keeley’s military-focused argument in War Before Civilisation (1996) and does not consider the evidence assembled by Keith Otterbein in How War Began (2004): that warfare greatly declined in importance following the hunting to extinction of the larger mammals. Keeley himself grants that early settlement cultures, such as the Natufian,

“furnish no indication of warfare at all”. {Robin BlackburnThe Origins of Political Order: From Pre-Human Times to the French Revolution, By Francis Fukuyama}

We can see that in the West the majority prefers a capitalist system and in several industrialised countries people are a lot afraid of what smells social or communist. Fukuyama thinks that all states are going to adopt a form of capitalist liberal democracy. It was an argument contested from almost the moment he finished writing his essay.
The rise of Islamism, the unleashing of ethnic conflicts, the challenge posed by China – a myriad developments, his critics suggested, questioned the presumption of an end of history.

Donald Trump’s Presidential victory was one of the signs how politicians would easily be able to lure people in false ideas, by their words. The last few years we have seen a seemingly unstoppable rise of populist forces throughout Europe.

Many will probably see how in the quarter of a century since Fukuyama wrote his essay, politics, particularly in the West, has indeed shifted away from ‘ideological struggle’ towards

‘the endless solving of technical problems’.

The broad ideological divides that characterized politics for much of the past two hundred years have been eroded. Politics has become less about competing visions of the kinds of society people want than a debate about how best to manage the existing political system, a question more of technocratic management rather than of social transformation.

What might more come to an end is the believe of people in political systems and in politicians. Lots of people are convinced that politicians are not listening to them and are mostly just working for themselves and trying to get the best paid job.
The majority of politicians have lost connection with the ordinary people who want to feel as if they are justly recognised and that their voice can be heard. The last few years they feel more they are mocked at, nobody taking their voice seriously. Politicians should come to know that this desire to experience both personal and collective recognition is inescapable to the modern human condition.

Liberal democratic states that Fukuyama so vigorously defended in “The End of History” have not responded well to the challenges of pluralism.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, few believed in an alternative to capitalism, not seeing that the Soviet Union was not really the best representative of communism, because it had more dictators than real communist leaders. Communist parties crumbled, while social democratic parties remade themselves, cutting ties to their traditional working class constituencies while reorienting themselves as technocratic parties. Trade unions weakened and social justice campaigns eroded.

It seemed that not only in Europe social movements and political organizations eroded,  and the far-right movements gained space. Local people wanted to become recognised and wanted to look upon social change through the lens of their own cultures, identities, goals and ideals.

Many sections of the working class have found themselves politically voiceless at the very time their lives have become more precarious, as jobs have declined, public services savaged, austerity imposed, and inequality risen. Many also came to see all those immigrants as a danger for their own position, their jobs and income as well as being afraid of loosing their culture.

Having their world coming to an end.

Lots of people in charge of the working of society did not see the discontent many their votes expressed.

Prominent alt-rightists were instrumental in organising the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017. Here, rally participants carry Confederate battle flags, Gadsden flags and a Nazi flag.

In Europe and America, people have become disaffected with the old order and felt more attraction for those who promised heaven on earth and for them “a great nation” again. Many of the opposition movements that give voice to that disaffection of the labourers, are shaped not by progressive ideals but by sectarian politics, and rooted in religious or ethnic identity. The Islamist AKP in Turkey or the Hindu nationalist BJP in India are the equivalents of the Front National in France or the alt right, far-right, white supremacist, white nationalist, white separatist, anti-immigration and antisemitic movement in America and Europe.

Those growing right-wing and far- or extreme-right-wing groups should make us aware of the severity of the present political situation. We are witnessing a globally disinformation movement which is creating more hatred and racism as well setting up people against others for wrong reasons.

The current tumult is the result of struggles for recognition that remain unshaped by progressive movements, of ideological struggles in a post-ideological world.

Demand for recognition of one’s identity is a master concept that unifies much of what is going on in world politics today. In his new book: Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment Francis Fukuyama looks at the new layers of meaning of the voters or citizen’s identity.

Fukuyama believes that the focus on self separates people from their communities. The demand for identity cannot be transcended and therefore people must begin to shape identity in a way that supports rather than undermines democracy.
When coming to know the self one can not ignore the connection with religious feelings. One aspect of wisdom is recognizing your need for The One Being outside man.

Christianity succeeds in diminishing family ties when the Church takes a strong stand against practices which enhanced the power of lineages such as cousin marriage, divorce, adoption and marriage to the widows of dead relatives. The looser family pattern favoured by the practices of Latin Christianity have the effect of channelling assets to the Church itself (eg through widows’ bequests). Fukuyama further urges that “contrary to Marx, capitalism was the consequence rather than the cause of a change in social relationships”. Yet he soon acknowledges that

“the most convincing argument for the shift has been given by the social anthropologist Jack Goody“,

an authority whose work could be seen as a distinctive fruit of Cambridge Marxism. {Robin BlackburnThe Origins of Political Order: From Pre-Human Times to the French Revolution, By Francis Fukuyama}

Fukuyama has the idea that the individualistic sense of identity comes to the fore during periods of modernisation in which people fled from rural areas into the cities and were confronted with a mass of different dialects or languages, religions and cultures and were aware of a sense of the difference between where they were and where they are now. Today in some way many people seem to be lost or are so much afraid of such confrontation they do hope their politicians can solve that problem of difference between the inhabitants of their villages, cities and countries.

Fukuyama notes the ways in which questions of identity politics have come to be regarded as synonymous with the right. Donald Trump supporters are animated around the removal of Confederate statues and the president’s lack of defence to political correctness is a significant mobilising force on the right.

Intimidation and efforts to control people have become the present day norm for many politicians, who gain a lot of popularity because many fall for their lies. That virus threatening democracy has not only infected the United States but also the European Union. As such we may see that identity politics has become the political form of cultural fragmentation of these days, and is corrosive of some features of an effective democracy – social cohesion, talking with strangers and working across the aisle.

According to me the politicians do have to give an identity to the people again and have to show them that we all have more in common with each other than what divides us.

It is a “we” who are the same, and not a “we” who are strangers dwelling together despite our differences. {Jeff RichIdentity Crisis – some theses on identity politics}

The End of the End of History?

History shall continue and show how man tries to find different political solutions and ways to govern a country. Man shall have to find a way to make it that by the globalisation more and more people would be going to see the richness of a multicultural society, instead of fearing it.

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Read also

  1. Our political systems and juggling with human laws
  2. Declaration of war against Islam and Christianity
  3. Declining commitment to democracy : What’s going on around the world ?
  4. Collision course of socialist and capitalist worlds
  5. Subcutaneous power for humanity 2 1950-2010 Post war generations
  6. The Free Market (and all that) did not bring down the Berlin Wall
  7. Common Goods, people and the Market
  8. Pushing people in a corner danger for indoctrination and loss of democratic values
  9. Populism endangering democracy
  10. An European alliance or a populist alliance
  11. British Parliament hostage its citizens for even more months
  12. American social perception, classes and fear mongering
  13. United in an open society relying not on command and control but on freedom
  14. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey

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Further related

  1. The Origins of Political Order: From Pre-Human Times to the French Revolution, By Francis Fukuyama
  2. What Do We Mean When We Say Something Is Political? — Recommended Readings
  3. The Sisyphean Task at the Core of Identity Politics
  4. Fukuyama has a new book on identity
  5. Little Theories
  6. The Decline of Liberalism
  7. Identity
  8. Identity Crisis – some theses on identity politics
  9. We’re in This Together Now 
  10. Two Books by Francis Fukuyama
  11. What Fukuyama got right.
  12. From ‘End Of History’ To ‘End Of Democracy’ – Why Fukuyama Now Likes China
  13. “Echoing Margaret Thatcher’s dictum that ‘there is no alternative’ …
  14. Social Psychology and Religious Behavior
  15. Francis Fukuyama and technology
  16. Eurasianism: The Struggle For The Multi-Polar World

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Filed under Being and Feeling, History, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Parallels between what is happening in our world today and the atmosphere in pre-Nazi Germany

When looking how certain populist politicians react in Belgium, we can not resist to think about the times of our grandparents and parents. Our family members who were confronted with an attitude which made them fear those around them, never being sure if that person could be trusted.

The present situation makes that several Jews and Messianics do not want to come into the public and therefore from the contacts we made and discussions we had the previous weeks, we found that not many are interested to make themselves know to others or to have their meeting and synagogues or prayer-houses be known to non-Jewish people.

No wonder when we do know that more than one  holocaust survivor says that they see a lot of parallels between what is happening in our world today and the atmosphere in pre-Nazi Germany that led to millions of people being murdered by the state.

> Read more about it: >

Holocaust survivor says Trump’s America ‘feels like 1929 or 1930 Berlin’

Neo Nazis and white supremacists pictured at the rally in Charlottesville Getty

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