The Future: More Alienation or New Self-Defeat and Disappointment

No political paradigm lasts forever (the lifespan seems to be 40 years give or take a little) and Neoliberalism has worn out its welcome.

Looking at elections in the US and Europe the trend is pretty clear. Voters are sick of the Neoliberal consensus and politicians who’ve signed on to that in any form are either losing elections or holding on with their fingernails. Voter enthusiasm (as opposed to just barely tolerance) has been generated by populists and nationalists. It seems reasonable to expect that the next political paradigm in the US and Europe will be a combination of some kind of economic populism or political nationalism with different local emphasis.

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The past and one version of the future….

Every political paradigm carries within it the seeds of its own destruction and its easy to see the internal contradictions in populism and nationalism. Populists have to make promises that they cannot fill which leads to disappointment at best and overpowering cynicism at worst. Nationalists can only function in opposition to some internal or external Other and once it wins tends to peter out…

On the other hand, Neoliberalism leads to alienation and nihilism and sterility even among those who are most successful. It has no internal narrative for self improvement and tends to destroy other narratives (like religion). So those are the alternatives, continue down the Neoliberal path despite the social and personal costs or try something new that will be disappointing in a new way.

Sometimes the choices are just not that wonderful…



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