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11/4/16

People Power: People are fed up: "Populism against the Establishment - a Global Revolution in the making?"-by RM

There has never been a greater divide than that of today between the forces of Populism and the Establishment.

Most people are fed up with their corrupt governments and the power of corporations over the political environment, media, etc,  except, obviously, the "1% have all" global elite..

A Harvard University working paper explains this development as follows:"Rising support for populist parties has disrupted the politics of many Western societies. Perhaps the most widely-held view of mass support for populism -- the economic insecurity perspective--emphasizes the consequences of profound changes transforming the workforce and society in post-industrial economies. Alternatively, the cultural backlash thesis suggests that support can be explained as a retro reaction by once-predominant sectors" of the population to progressive value change.

Alternatively, the cultural backlash thesis suggests that support can be explained as a retro reaction by once-predominant sectors of the population to progressive value change. cultural backlash thesis.

Populist leaders like Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, Norbert Hoffer, Nigel Farage, and Geert Wilders are prominent today in many countries, altering established patterns of party competition in contemporary Western societies. Cas Mudde argues that the impact of populist parties has been exaggerated.

But, nevertheless these parties have gained votes and seats in many countries, and entered government coalitions in eleven Western democracies, including in Austria, Italy and Switzerland.2 Across Europe, as is demonstrated, their average share of the vote in national and European parliamentary elections has more than doubled since the 1960s, from around 5.1% to 13.2%, at the expense of center parties.3 During the same era, their share of seats has tripled, from 3.8% to 12.8%.

Even in countries without many elected populist representatives, these parties can still exert tremendous ‘blackmail’ pressure on mainstream parties, public discourse, and the policy agenda, as is illustrated by the UKIP’s role in catalyzing the British exit from the European Union, with massive consequences.

The electoral fortunes of populist parties are open to multiple explanations which can be groupedi nto accounts focused upon (1) the demand-side of public opinion, (2) the supply-side of party strategies, and (3) constitutional arrangements governing the rules of the electoral game."'';

But unhappiness with their situation and the rise of populism does not only limit itself to Western and Industrial societies.
  • Almost half the world — over 3 billion people — live on less than 2.30 a day.
  • The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the 41 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (567 million people) is less than the wealth of the world’s 7 richest people combined.
  • Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.
  • Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.
  • 1 billion children live in poverty (1 in 2 children in the world). 640 million live without adequate shelter, 400 million have no access to safe water, 270 million have no access to health services. 10.6 million died in 2003 before they reached the age of 5 (or roughly 29,000 children per day).
Why? Behind the increasing interconnectedness promised by globalization are global decisions, policies, and practices. These are typically influenced, driven, or formulated by the rich and powerful. These can be leaders of rich countries or other global actors such as multinational corporations, institutions, and influential people.

In the face of such enormous external influence, the governments of poor nations and their people are often powerless. As a result, in the global context, a few get wealthy while the majority struggle.

And now, here we have the US Presidential elections, with two candidates who in all reality are products of the Establishment, but both courting the populist movement.

Though Clinton has suffered from her perceived coziness with Wall Street, she took a hard line against “those who get rich by cheating everybody else.”

And she warned:“I want to send a clear message to every boardroom and executive suite across our country,” Clinton said. “If you scam your customers, exploit your employees, pollute our environment or rip off the taxpayers, we will hold you accountable.”

Billionaire Donald Trump is even more blunt and probably also slightly more honest when it comes to showing he is standing up for the "have-nots"   But while doing this, he is also demolishing the US Republican party as we know it.  Nevertheless, his most lasting impact may be more substantive — he has pushed the GOP into a much more populist corner on policy, challenging the party’s platform on everything from free trade to entitlements. The Republican party will never be the same again.

And last but not least - Donald Trump boasts he can’t be bought by the special interests and advocacy groups that normally fund political campaigns.   Yes indeed he can now safely label himself the   "billionaire populist".

Whatever the result will be of this totally unorthodox US Presidential election, one thing is clear - a political revolution is in the making around the world, and if we think this is as bad or dangerous as it can get - think again.
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