Power to the people, really?

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“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.” Abraham Lincoln

Democracy, sovereignty. Bureaucracy, globalisation. The Brexit debate has brought forward a whole gear of concepts that have been massively over-used, in an urge to give some intellectual weight to each side’s arguments. The EU? a bureaucratic machine – a loss of sovereignty for its member states. The UK? A country that can face the winds of globalisation on its own, with Brexiting finally allowing its population to make choices on a democratic basis. Is it a euphemism to say that some of us have felt betrayed by the striking emptiness of these claims? That it felt like complex notions such as sovereignty and globalisation have been overly simplified and used as smokescreens to justify all sorts of self-interested political moves?

Democracy is an interesting one. On one side the Leave campaign was shouting at will that the sprawling EU machine had led to an atrophy of democracy. Leave to regain control! On the other side, it was fascinating to observe how a flurry of disdain and cynicism from the remain supporters blew on social media after the referendum results, as some claimed that this is democracy in action – or, give a voice to the people and that’s what they do with it. So what’s the diagnosis here? Too much democracy? Or not enough?  Continue reading

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Why every vote for Trump should matter to us all non-Americans.

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“If evil has a geographical place, and if the evil has a name, that is the beginning of fascism. Real life is not this way. You have fanatics and narrow-minded people everywhere.” – Marjane Satrapi. 

The Trump Effect

Michelle is heading for the ballot, holding strong to the protected piece of paper, her confident gaze overlooking the people she passes by. She is voting for Trump today, as primaries are being held in her state, and she feels proud about it. Like her, over the next few months millions of people all across the United States will decide to elect first their party’s presidential nominee, and then their president. With 458 delegates won as I write, Trump is leading the way of the Republicans, supported by the enthusiasm of his fans.

Many pieces of analysis have been brought about recently to explain Trump’s rise. A series of them is pointing to identity and moral as the main underlying factors. Trump’s supporters, far from being ignorant fools unaware of the radical implications of Trump’s program, know too well what they’re getting from him: the liberating feeling that comes with the unleashed power of racial superiority and disregard for human rights that liberals had been stuffing under the carpet for too long and that a part of the population was willing to uncover again in full force, without the “political correctness” of mainstream politicians. Continue reading