Nationalism and a growing sense of unease

#1
I'm not even sure if Nationalism is the best peg to hang this on and i have a feeling that i'm on the verging on tinfoil hat territory but when i look at the situation today it feels like we're seeing some pretty seismic changes right across the western world.

Politics in Europe are changing dramatically with voters generally moving away from "the establishment" regardless of what side of the political divide that establishment resides. This shift has not necessarily completed yet but to me it seems like a definite direction of travel; as per the title the only common theme i can detect is that Nationalism often seems to play a part.

Looking at history these sorts of wholesale political changes are often a precursor to some sort of wide scale conflict and with the western world in one of its periodic bouts of prolonged peace are we 5 year, 10 years away from some sort of European or Global conflict?
 
#3
Some sort of South China sea conflict seems to have been bubbling away for a long time now
yeah, and the fighting in Ukraine, and the Middle east is a mess with large powers being drawn in on different sides etc.

its not so much that i see any one conflict kicking off WW3 its more that there's a lot of political upheaval and when you look at what happened before WW1, WW2, The Napoleonic wars there was often widespread political change then a few years later it all kicks off. My point is i see the widespread political change, should be now be getting ready to fight the French?
 
#4
When was the last time we (the west) did NOT have a "bogeyman"? It almost seems that we actively seek to have one...or three.
 
#7
When was the last time we (the west) did NOT have a "bogeyman"? It almost seems that we actively seek to have one...or three.
are we alone in that? we've got terrorism and Russia, Russia has terrorism and us, the US vs everything, everyone in the south china sea vs China, N Korea vs the US and S Korea, India vs Pakistan, Iran vs Saudi

the bogeyman seems pretty constant wherever you go, at the moment my thinking is that there is much more political change going on at the moment which will add more unknowns into the status quo (us all not trying to kill each other), the more you add in the more potential you have for a volatile outcome.

i'm not too fussed, i'll be too old for the infantry by then
 
#8
Politics in Europe are changing dramatically with voters generally moving away from "the establishment" regardless of what side of the political divide that establishment resides. This shift has not necessarily completed yet but to me it seems like a definite direction of travel; as per the title the only common theme i can detect is that Nationalism often seems to play a part.
I would suggest that it is "the establishment" that has moved away from the voters tbh..! My feeling is that the political model has become so distorted by the current players, coupled with a largely self serving media, that there is now a significant misalignment between tectonic elements in society and that there is a danger of a violent realignment unless we can find a mechanism to relieve this pressure..

British society used to be very good at doing this in a pragmatic way, in that the power in the UK was very dispersed across society. There was clear water between the responsibilities of the elements of society such as the crown, parliament, the judiciary and the military. Most authority was very devolved down to local level and most decision making was pragmatic and locally driven. This has changed dramatically over the past forty years, with the standardisation and centralisation of process and authority and the imposition of a compliance rather than a competence based culture.

I believe this is the root of our current problems.. our so-called "diversity" and "equality" drives over the recent decades have been anything but equal or diverse, rather that the population has been lectured to by an ever decreasing, out of touch and dictatorial minority. We have suffered from the effects of generations of pressure groups, imposing their will by applying often quite unjustifiable leverage to the mechanisms of society. The trick is to pick some issue that is easy to gain sympathy for or engender fear and then wield the argument in a wholly unjustifiable and illogical manner to gain the support of the uninformed and easily influenced. Religion used to form a relatively harmless earth spike for this activity, however with its demise in western society, many have rushed in to fill the void...!

This situation somehow has to be relieved, preferably in a controlled and evolutionary manner.. I believe that the sensible solution is to gradually dismantle many of our central institutions and mega groupings such as the NHS and the Banks, and allow the pent up frustrations to be directed into re-establishing local society and activity, free from the dead hand of centralised bureaucracy. We do need strong central bodies such as parliament, and the judiciary, however we need to reduce their ability to meddle and interfere with the minutiae of life...

I would start by reversing the trend to form national police forces, split up the NHS, and dismantle the BBC...
 
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#9
I would suggest that it is "the establishment" that has moved away from the voters tbh..! My feeling is that the political model has become so distorted by the current players, coupled with a largely self serving media, that there is now a significant misalignment between tectonic elements in society and that there is a danger of a violent realignment unless we can find a mechanism to relieve this pressure..

British society used to be very good at doing this in a pragmatic way, in that the power in the UK was very dispersed across society. There was very clear water between the responsibilities of the elements of society such as the crown, parliament, the judiciary and the military. Most authority was very devolved down to local level and most decision making was pragmatic and locally driven. This has changed dramatically over the past forty years, with the standardisation and centralisation of process and authority and the imposition of a compliance rather than a competence based culture.

I believe this is the root of our current problems.. our so-called "diversity" and "equality" drives over the recent decades have been anything but equal or diverse, rather that the population has been lectured to by an ever decreasing, out of touch and dictatorial minority. We have suffered from the effects of generations of pressure groups, imposing their will by applying often quite unjustifiable leverage to the mechanisms of society. The trick is to pick some issue that is easy to gain sympathy for or engender fear and then wield the argument in a wholly unjustifiable and illogical manner to gain the support of the uninformed and easily influenced. Religion used to form a relatively harmless earth spike for this activity, however with its demise in western society, many have rushed in to fill the void...!

This situation somehow has to be relieved, preferably in a controlled and evolutionary manner.. I believe that the sensible solution is to gradually dismantle many of our central institutions and mega groupings such as the NHS and the Banks, and allow the pent up frustrations to be directed into re-establishing local society and activity, free from the dead hand of centralised bureaucracy. We do need strong central bodies such as parliament, and the judiciary, however we need to reduce their ability to meddle and interfere with the minutiae of life...

I would start by reversing the trend to form national police forces, split up the NHS, and dismantle the BBC...

i think you nailed where i was coming from in your first paragraph. its interesting that it doesnt matter if its left or right there's been a blow-back against the ruling classes across many countries post financial crash and as such what we might need in this country to relieve tensions between the ruling class and the voting public could be totally different to what is required elsewhere.

if there isnt a change then voters will be pushed to the margins looking for someone they feel represents their interests, again, adding more risk and uncertainty to the situation.
 
#11
The killer line for me is in here
Populism vs post-democracy
But the great undiscussed problem of modern democracy is that liberalism without democracy is the system of government towards which the West has been moving for a generation or more. There has been an increasing shift of power from elected and accountable bodies, such as Parliament, to semi-independent bureaucratic agencies that make their own laws (called regulations), to the courts, and in more recent years to European and other transnational bodies.
 
#12
I would suggest that it is "the establishment" that has moved away from the voters tbh..! My feeling is that the political model has become so distorted by the current players, coupled with a largely self serving media, that there is now a significant misalignment between tectonic elements in society and that there is a danger of a violent realignment unless we can find a mechanism to relieve this pressure..

British society used to be very good at doing this in a pragmatic way, in that the power in the UK was very dispersed across society. There was very clear water between the responsibilities of the elements of society such as the crown, parliament, the judiciary and the military. Most authority was very devolved down to local level and most decision making was pragmatic and locally driven. This has changed dramatically over the past forty years, with the standardisation and centralisation of process and authority and the imposition of a compliance rather than a competence based culture.

I believe this is the root of our current problems.. our so-called "diversity" and "equality" drives over the recent decades have been anything but equal or diverse, rather that the population has been lectured to by an ever decreasing, out of touch and dictatorial minority. We have suffered from the effects of generations of pressure groups, imposing their will by applying often quite unjustifiable leverage to the mechanisms of society. The trick is to pick some issue that is easy to gain sympathy for or engender fear and then wield the argument in a wholly unjustifiable and illogical manner to gain the support of the uninformed and easily influenced. Religion used to form a relatively harmless earth spike for this activity, however with its demise in western society, many have rushed in to fill the void...!

This situation somehow has to be relieved, preferably in a controlled and evolutionary manner.. I believe that the sensible solution is to gradually dismantle many of our central institutions and mega groupings such as the NHS and the Banks, and allow the pent up frustrations to be directed into re-establishing local society and activity, free from the dead hand of centralised bureaucracy. We do need strong central bodies such as parliament, and the judiciary, however we need to reduce their ability to meddle and interfere with the minutiae of life...

I would start by reversing the trend to form national police forces, split up the NHS, and dismantle the BBC...
Well, shove it up me with a rat tailed podger spanner. This is the most cogent post I have read anywhere in the world for at least ten years.

Have an intergalactic like and instant promotion to deputy President of the EU.
 
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skid2

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
I would suggest that it is "the establishment" that has moved away from the voters tbh..! My feeling is that the political model has become so distorted by the current players, coupled with a largely self serving media, that there is now a significant misalignment between tectonic elements in society and that there is a danger of a violent realignment unless we can find a mechanism to relieve this pressure..

British society used to be very good at doing this in a pragmatic way, in that the power in the UK was very dispersed across society. There was very clear water between the responsibilities of the elements of society such as the crown, parliament, the judiciary and the military. Most authority was very devolved down to local level and most decision making was pragmatic and locally driven. This has changed dramatically over the past forty years, with the standardisation and centralisation of process and authority and the imposition of a compliance rather than a competence based culture.

I believe this is the root of our current problems.. our so-called "diversity" and "equality" drives over the recent decades have been anything but equal or diverse, rather that the population has been lectured to by an ever decreasing, out of touch and dictatorial minority. We have suffered from the effects of generations of pressure groups, imposing their will by applying often quite unjustifiable leverage to the mechanisms of society. The trick is to pick some issue that is easy to gain sympathy for or engender fear and then wield the argument in a wholly unjustifiable and illogical manner to gain the support of the uninformed and easily influenced. Religion used to form a relatively harmless earth spike for this activity, however with its demise in western society, many have rushed in to fill the void...!

This situation somehow has to be relieved, preferably in a controlled and evolutionary manner.. I believe that the sensible solution is to gradually dismantle many of our central institutions and mega groupings such as the NHS and the Banks, and allow the pent up frustrations to be directed into re-establishing local society and activity, free from the dead hand of centralised bureaucracy. We do need strong central bodies such as parliament, and the judiciary, however we need to reduce their ability to meddle and interfere with the minutiae of life...

I would start by reversing the trend to form national police forces, split up the NHS, and dismantle the BBC...
I've no wish to start ww3 on this (famous last words) but.
Years ago everyone had a stake in the country. We paid taxes and the taxes went to infrastructure , military,health and education etc.
There were careers and apprenticeships we knew who to grumble at when things broke. We also owned stuff, rail, post office and telecommunications, power and water.
Now it's all been sold off and privatised. The people who own it and profit from it don't give a rats arse, as long as they get their dividend.

All these bellends who go on about 'getting our country back' will still wake up and find Europe and America owning large lumps of it and the money pouring overseas.
Take it back. renationalise it.
 
#14
I think that the shift to globalisation, and the ever more remote politics that entails has also built a resistance to the 'establishment'.The old style of politics, 'the will of the people' has been reversed and now more policies are dribbled down from far above any individual sphere of influence. That's not always a bad thing. Saudi Arabia is one of 180 countries that have signed up to the UN Agenda 2030 and that's what is driving the glacial change in that country. I suspect that if the choice for change were left with the populace in KSA that change wouldn't happen. IMHO it's the failure of those higher and more remote decision makers to engage constructively with the various populations that has led to this fracture. The media know that people want snappy headlines and instant gratification so they aren't really interested in filtering down the impact of global policies.

The EU is an example of this failure to engage. Interestingly though, they have driven a policy of empowerment at a local level to give the impression of local accountability and control, though it all happens under a set of strict rules established at the unaccountable level of EU government. That's my tuppence anyway.
 
#15
I would suggest that it is "the establishment" that has moved away from the voters tbh..! My feeling is that the political model has become so distorted by the current players, coupled with a largely self serving media, that there is now a significant misalignment between tectonic elements in society and that there is a danger of a violent realignment unless we can find a mechanism to relieve this pressure..

British society used to be very good at doing this in a pragmatic way, in that the power in the UK was very dispersed across society. There was very clear water between the responsibilities of the elements of society such as the crown, parliament, the judiciary and the military. Most authority was very devolved down to local level and most decision making was pragmatic and locally driven. This has changed dramatically over the past forty years, with the standardisation and centralisation of process and authority and the imposition of a compliance rather than a competence based culture.

I believe this is the root of our current problems.. our so-called "diversity" and "equality" drives over the recent decades have been anything but equal or diverse, rather that the population has been lectured to by an ever decreasing, out of touch and dictatorial minority. We have suffered from the effects of generations of pressure groups, imposing their will by applying often quite unjustifiable leverage to the mechanisms of society. The trick is to pick some issue that is easy to gain sympathy for or engender fear and then wield the argument in a wholly unjustifiable and illogical manner to gain the support of the uninformed and easily influenced. Religion used to form a relatively harmless earth spike for this activity, however with its demise in western society, many have rushed in to fill the void...!

This situation somehow has to be relieved, preferably in a controlled and evolutionary manner.. I believe that the sensible solution is to gradually dismantle many of our central institutions and mega groupings such as the NHS and the Banks, and allow the pent up frustrations to be directed into re-establishing local society and activity, free from the dead hand of centralised bureaucracy. We do need strong central bodies such as parliament, and the judiciary, however we need to reduce their ability to meddle and interfere with the minutiae of life...

I would start by reversing the trend to form national police forces, split up the NHS, and dismantle the BBC...
Spot on - and your opening sentence is pretty much word for word how I was going to open my response to the OP.

I'd add something else, though (from the OP):
voters generally moving away from "the establishment" regardless of what side of the political divide that establishment resides
In terms of the overall multicultural mustn't-upset-the-minorities/must-include-all mindset, I'd suggest that as far as the mainstream parties are concerned you couldn't get a fag paper between them.

In this country, for instance, the Tories have embraced 'multiculturalism' just as Labour and the LibDems have. There may differences in the degree of embrace but all of the major parties have jumped onboard. I suspect that in Europe and in an EU context (if I might make subtle distinctions) you'll find the same in other countries.

In the US, the response to that feeling of displacement among the majority has been Trump. In Europe, the rather cozy mainstream and really quite centrist set-up is being challenged by the so-called 'Far Right'.

I say 'so-called' because, for instance, UKIP was/is anything but Far Right but that's how some people and the UK's media have tried to portray them. I concede that some of the parties in Europe are more radical but the point remains that we've had a very Leftist mindset even among the 'mainstream right-wing' for quite some time now.

I don't see a lot of what's going on as nationalism at all, much less racism. As you note, I see a rump of people - the majority - getting fed up of being lectured over the degree of accommodation and advantage they have to offer to minorities. The moon-howlers will immediately brand me racist for saying that but I'm not; I'm just saying that equality should mean being no more than equal. It should not mean being somehow special or beyond reproach.
 
#16
People are moving away from the centre and closer to the far left and right
i dont think it has as much to do with centre/left/right as it does with mainstream politicians and new emerging forces in politics.

Trump, Le Pen, Corbyn, Sanders etc. would not have had the same support a few years ago and they come from very different places.
 
#17
I'm not even sure if Nationalism is the best peg to hang this on and i have a feeling that i'm on the verging on tinfoil hat territory but when i look at the situation today it feels like we're seeing some pretty seismic changes right across the western world.

Politics in Europe are changing dramatically with voters generally moving away from "the establishment" regardless of what side of the political divide that establishment resides. This shift has not necessarily completed yet but to me it seems like a definite direction of travel; as per the title the only common theme i can detect is that Nationalism often seems to play a part.

Looking at history these sorts of wholesale political changes are often a precursor to some sort of wide scale conflict and with the western world in one of its periodic bouts of prolonged peace are we 5 year, 10 years away from some sort of European or Global conflict?
I feel your tinfoilery is getting the better of you. Yes there is political change going on and it may have a bit to do with nationalism, but IMHO more to do with people getting fed up with all the PC nonsense and leftist crap that so affects everyone's lives. I doubt this will lead to the massive European/Global conflicts we have seen in the past as the prelude to those events were of nationalism but of course in a vastly different way to what is happening today.
 
#18
I'm not even sure if Nationalism is the best peg to hang this on and i have a feeling that i'm on the verging on tinfoil hat territory but when i look at the situation today it feels like we're seeing some pretty seismic changes right across the western world.

Politics in Europe are changing dramatically with voters generally moving away from "the establishment" regardless of what side of the political divide that establishment resides. This shift has not necessarily completed yet but to me it seems like a definite direction of travel; as per the title the only common theme i can detect is that Nationalism often seems to play a part.

Looking at history these sorts of wholesale political changes are often a precursor to some sort of wide scale conflict and with the western world in one of its periodic bouts of prolonged peace are we 5 year, 10 years away from some sort of European or Global conflict?
The similarities to the early 1930's are definately there to be seen.

However the big difference is our liberally educated youth.

Predominantly those with Nationalistic views seem to be either older and/or poorly educated.

Each generation leaving school seems to be more tolerant than the last so I dare say barring some fairly significant event(s) on a scale much bigger than we've seen recently the current rise of Nationalist views will plateau then start to fizzle out.
 
#19
If you study your history then we are now in a "factors leading to" paragraph before the chapter where maps get super flaggy and arrowy.
 
#20
There were careers and apprenticeships we knew who to grumble at when things broke. We also owned stuff, rail, post office and telecommunications, power and water.
Now it's all been sold off and privatised. The people who own it and profit from it don't give a rats arse, as long as they get their dividend.
Firstly I'm not sure I'd say the telecomms, rail, power and water was any better in terms of price or service pre nationalisation. But I'll agree it's a moot point. Post Office has gone downhill but I'd argue that's due to the massively restrictive practices of the unions and the explosion of the interweb. All my postie seems to deliver now is junk mail.

Secondly, I don't actually care if my water comes from a public or private body. Still tastes the same.

Thirdly, and probably most importantly, who do think has bought all the shares in said privatised companies; The pension funds. It's they that get the divi. It's they that pay the divi to the like of us in our pensions. Also said private companies pay corp tax to the government.

Careers and apprenticeships; I'm with you all the way on that one
 

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