Less hand-wringing, please!
The world-wide shakeup in electoral politics has many people concerned with what we fear is a significant turn away from democratic institutions and a turn to interest in totalitarian personalities parties and government. Trump, of course, Duterte, Salvani ... in Poland, Hungary, India, Brazil – even Ontario and Alberta.
However, what we fear may be only the launch of a large upheaval, not the upheaval itself. For example, while many people seem ready to trust their futures in the hands of dictatorial leaders, there is also a significant shift of interest to even more democratic avenues than the neo-liberal model we have been following since the Second World War. In the US today – that vipers’ nest of uncontrolled capitalism, the Democratic Socialists of America are polling in the 50% and have already elected socialists to office from federal senators and congress-people to all sorts of city councillors and local officials. This nation which periodically purges “socialists and communists” from elected and public offices of all types is now electing them to office!
Also, the Greens are riding a tide all across Europe, and many commentators have pointed out that rather than a rebirth of Fascism and various right-wing movements, the popular mood is actually negative: anti-government, and that’s not particularly positive to one side or the other of the political spectrum. Factions do try to claim that dissent – but it’s merely anger and frustration, not formal dissent.
The post-War model of strong central governments governed by centrist parties on either side of the political spectrum, distinguishable by personalities and pet projects and pet fears but inevitably favouring the growth of neo-liberalism: massive multi-national corproations dominating an environment hostile to both innovative, individualistic capitalism and to more community minded and progressive programs.
Sixty years later we now find that neo-liberalism is not spreading its benefits equally, but creating a super-class of the super-wealthy. This is the path which leads directly to the French, Russian, Chinese, and Cuban revolutions. And we are perhaps at the opening stages, whereas we recognize the problem with the liberal-conservative horse-trading and try out various non-radical alternatives: Bernie Sanders & Elizabeth Warren in the US, Jack Layton here, Corbyn in Britain, etc.