A selection of links and thoughts that I stumble upon throughout the week – everything from economics to politics to philosophy to the occasional music video.
I. Italian Immediacy
After the highly questionable move of Italian president Sergio Mattarella to veto Giuseppe Conte’s suggested finance minister Paolo Savona (because of concerns about how “the markets” would react to the latter’s anti-Euro stance, one which he shares with other respectable economists, by the way), a government formed by the populist parties Northern League and Five Star Movement was finally sworn in on Friday (Guardian). Meanwhile, the euro is still broken and the immigration crisis still remaining unresolved. Continue reading “Sunday Thoughts VI (May 28-June 3)”
This article reflects my personal opinion.
On Friday was the inauguration of the new US president, Donald Trump. His speech, invoking a homogenous movement of the people, bore testimony to the threat that his presidency will constitute to a liberal society. He is the spearhead of a multifaceted right-wing movement that is on the rise in most Western countries. Many narratives have been conceived to explain this uprising. One states that modern social media tend to promote fake news and right populist explanations for complex problems. Others include rising nationalist sentiments and aggravating economic inequality. However, while all of these narratives have a true core, what unites all of these new political movements is their promise of change, their promise of overthrowing the existing order. The condemnation of “the liberals” and “the elites” has been commonly looked down on as only appealing to the bigots, the ill-educated, the “deplorables”. What is often ignored are the real inconsistencies and weaknesses of the established system and the fact that in many countries, there is no real political alternative addressing these issues. Make no mistake, most movements representing the “New Right” exhibit an appalling lack of cogent concepts, many disgustingly coquet with racism and use the calculated breach of taboo as their main means of advertisement and all of them have a distasteful style. But their political attacks can only be as rewarding as the systems they are aimed at are frail. Unfortunately, modern Western societies, frequently characterised by the term “Social Liberalism”, are neither very social nor exceptionally liberal. Continue reading “The Crisis of Social Liberalism – And Why We Need More of It”