Is That What It Is? The Roots of Malignant Populism.
I am developing a morbid fascination with the spread of malignant populism throughout not just the United States but also many other countries, Canada included. We were once the staid, even boring, bunch seemingly immune to extremism in public discourse. Now we have those among us who rise up against knowledge itself as some sort of plot or hoax.
Andrew Potter's book, "In Decline," addresses this stagnation and the concurrent decline of liberal democracy. I'll have more on that in future posts. For now let's consider Fiona Hill's warning that Britain's social divide and lack of social mobility has become a security crisis.
A lack of social mobility in Britain’s “left behind” communities risks fuelling populism and becoming a national security crisis, according to Fiona Hill, the coalminer’s daughter who became a top White House adviser.
The 55-year-old, who shot to prominence as a witness in the Donald Trump impeachment trial, where she described how her background and “very distinctive working-class accent” held her back in England in the 1980s and 90s said that class barriers today were still holding back people with regional accents.
Hill said many people outside the big cities had been “left behind” in Britain, with a sense that “the rest of the UK doesn’t belong to all of the people who are from there”.
“It’s this lack of social mobility, all this grievance, that feeds into populism and it becomes a national security crisis over time, as we saw, because all of this can be exploited”.
It “feeds into the idea that you have to be associated with the party in power to have anything turned around for you, or have policies focused on you,” she said.
Morneau was describing the hellish economy the Liberals and their power-sharing partners, the Conservatives, have crafted for our nation. One party may throw more baubles to the plebs than the other but both zealously defend the neoliberal order that lays the nation low. There'll be no restoration of progressive democracy from those two, not while they can keep us shackled to their undemocratic electoral system.