It goes far beyond Trump and Brexit and Le Pen — it’s a massive social and political crisis and we can’t ignore it.
Across the Western world in 2017 much of the political and media caste is stuck in the role of Coulmier.
Faced with a sudden and unexpected age of revolution that is unfolding around the globe in unpredictable fashion the ‘thought leaders’ largely don’t understand the nature of the drama they are witnessing — or the fact that they do not stand outside it as onlookers but are important characters who have been stripped of authority and made to look foolish.
I raised this idea that we are in a new age of revolution even if is not readily visible as such in a column last week about whether the Western model of representative or parliamentary democracy is doomed.
‘Revolution’ is perhaps an overloaded term that suggests underground encampments and people wearing bandoliers and consulting maps; one could also say turmoil or upheaval or widespread but inchoate revolt.
But I think the concept is worth taking seriously.Of course I’m talking about Donald Trump and Brexit and Marine Le Pen and the rise of both right-wing and left-wing populism on a scale the technocrats and neoliberals believed was no longer possible.But those things are symptoms rather than causes.The real issue is something much larger: the unprecedented collapse of social and political institutions that in most cases still exist but have lost much of their prestige and authority.(cont..)