At first sight the rage of the likes of the magazine “The Economist” against Trump and Le Pen is strange: after all, The Economist is on the “right”, so are the preceding two. A clue: The Economist put the preceding two in the same bag as Bernie Sanders, under the mysterious label “Populist”… I guess a “populist” is someone for the People by contrast to those who are not (the likes of “The Economist”).
My own mom accused me to be “Front National” just because the French (“far right”, not that it is clear what that means) National Front has adopted certain issues I have long held dear. For example, many countries (and not just in the West) have seen the rise of new aristocracies. ⅔ of the top French companies by market value are held by inheritance, whereas it’s only around 20% in the UK or the USA; the reason emanates directly from the tax system; and the exact same tax forces are now at work in the USA, namely the exemption of the hyper rich from taxation, and inheritance tax, with a artfully crafted loopholes and exemptions. Notice in passing that this is a case where France is more “capitalist” than the USA (contrarily to legend).
[“Léa Seydoux“, in the latest Bond movie, above, of her true name, Léa Hélène Seydoux-Fornier de Clausonne, is from an immensely rich and famous family, which has been that way, for many generations. So it is, all over French society: Sons of… and Daughters of… are those who succeed and get into the .1% of everything (singing, acting, administrating, politics, medicine, engineering, etc.). Consider the just published book “Fils de.. Filles de...”]
I guess, by that token, I am pro-Trump as Trump has embraced single payer, or even socialized health care system. In truth I am pro-truth and about issues.
Much of these outrages emanate from a political system which has embraced hero-worship, instead of issue-worship.
Hero-worship, celebritism spurns thinking. Thus a world where 97% of the convicted for serious crimes in the USA do not come in front of a jury, and are judged by non-judges… While Americans are persuaded they live in a country of justice. Or a world where a human right lawyer in China joined Marine Le Pen in being accused of “ethnic hatred” (the difference being that Le Pen is number two in French preference for president whereas the Chinese lawyer has been incarcerated for 18 months).
OK, let’s quote some of the (honorable, supposedly) USA “Republican” pundits. A raging conservative, Guy Benson, bemoans that:
“Republican voters — driven, it would seem, by Trump backers — became astonishingly supportive of (a) maintaining the Iran nuclear deal, (b) government-run and -funded healthcare, and (c) race-based affirmative action when the pollster informed respondents that those positions were held by Donald Trump, as opposed to Barack Obama. These aren’t hypotheticals, by the way. Follow those links, and you’ll discover that longtime Democrat Donald Trump has embraced all three liberal stances during his current presidential run. Not back when he was donating generously to Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid over the years (yes, yes, “because he’s a businessman!”), and not even more recently, when Trump was declaring his support for the wasteful “stimulus” package enacted by Obama, whom he declared had rescued the American economy; no, these are viewpoints articulated by the current iteration of Trump. The punchline is that his supporters don’t care at all. Trump’s Democrat-style campaign is driven by feelings and identity, not issues. The HuffPo survey also revealed the same phenomenon at play on the other end of the spectrum, as hordes of Obama cultists reflexively tossed foundational liberal-left ideals overboard after they were told they were agreeing with Trump, versus Obama. Can we abandon all reason and alleged principles in order to march in lockstep with an anointed political figure, or oppose a bete noir? Yes we can. The point is that emotion-based hero worship can heavily erode afflicted parties’ previous adherence to values, ideology, and critical thinking.”
Hero-worship, what I call “Celebritism” is an increasing problem, and fully a part of the oligarchic phenomenon, itself a subset of the plutocratic mindset.
The plutocratic phenomenon does not suck out all the air from democracy, but from intelligence itself (the USA’s first billionaire, Carnegie, explained this, 130 years ago). Yet plutocrats should remember this: at some point great vengeance is exercised (it happened even in the USA, witness president Eisenhower 93% upper margin tax rate). And history indeed shows that, at some point always, the pen trumps plutocracy…