Wednesday, 22 May 2019

How Farage outflanked everyone

'Future historians will point to how the liberal Left made two fateful miscalculations about Farage and indeed populism more generally. The first was to assume this was but a fleeting protest movement not rooted in deep structural shifts within our societies; they considered it a passing ‘blip’, a brief stop on the journey to a new liberal, pro-European and cosmopolitan world order. 
'This miscalculation, encouraged by some academics, has been devastating for the Left because it has prevented people from really interrogating the appeal of these movements. If politics is reduced to a waiting game, a conveyor belt, waiting for the old white people to die, then you do not need to engage with the grievances that are driving these movements forward. Liberal progressives have long bought into the notion that the arc of history must inevitably bend in their direction, yet this is an incredibly simplistic interpretation of reality.

'The second miscalculation, rooted in questionable Marxist assumptions about what makes people tick, is that all of this awkward populism stuff can be squashed through transactional appeals to people’s economic interests. The evidence for this claim is similarly weak and it is undermined by the reality of everyday life. People do not die for GDP. We routinely underestimate their continuing attachment to the nation state and to their wider tribe.'

Matthew Goodwin in an essay in Unherd, entitled 'How Farage outflanked everyone'.

Do we underestimate attachment to nation state and tribe? In Romania people don't, unless they went to university in the West.

My friend Bunny put it well when she said that people have died fighting for independence and we are worried about an economic slowdown. 

She is a very good aphorist. She also said that people who do not believe in their religion are doomed to be conquered by people who believe in theirs.  

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