May 20, 2014

Rundle: politics keeps it simple, stupid in global shift to outrage

Outrage is sweeping the world. But it's more complicated than a rightward push. Crikey's writer-at-large examines Turkey, the UK Independence Party and nationalism abroad.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


“Erdogan plans to restore Haga Sophia as mosque” … “UKIP leader Farage says people would be uncomfortable with Romanian neighbours” … “Senior BJP figure calls for revenge against Muslims for ‘insult'” … “Donetsk separatists proclaim: ‘we will destroy Kiev junta and the Euro-gays'” … “Danish People’s Party polling number one for euro elections” …

The news is coming from all over the world, not much of it is good, and it is all the same: whether through religion or nationalism, whether fused with neoliberal economics or statist populism, people across the world are reaching for simplistic politics — a politics that superficially looks like the old-fashioned hard-right politics, but is in reality something more complex.

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25 thoughts on “Rundle: politics keeps it simple, stupid in global shift to outrage

  1. Ellen O'Gallagher

    It would be interesting to know what Rundle thinks will happen in Europe and elsewhere when Climate Change hits with even greater force and frequency. For example the floods in Bosnia, the disastrous mud slides caused by extreme rain storms, fires, etc. Governments will have to come up with programs to assist populations affected. How is this likely to influence political parties, nationalism and decision making?

  2. AR

    Unlike the Continent, Britain clings to the iniquitous 19thC FPtP electoral system (as does India & the US)except for the EU parliament which is PR – the only reason that Ukip is scaring the bejasus out of the Establishment.
    Even Farrago wasn’t crazy enough to stand in a recently proffered bye-election (caused by the departure of yet another disgraced tory grifter)because he knows that in a General Election he will be gravel under the wheels of the Con/Lab behemoth.

  3. Kevin Herbert

    Ellen Gallagher:

    And when exactly do you predict that CLIMATE CHANGE will hit?

    For the record, the floods etc to which you refer are weather events, unless you know something that we don’t.

  4. Carr Daniel

    “Erdogan offered a simple religious identity, one that would bring people together, as neoliberal economics began to divide them between winners and losers, city and country, suddenly rich and still poor.”

    Gini coefficient has fallen over Erdogan’s term. I know Rundle loves to lay into ‘neoliberal’ economics, but opening up the Turkish economy has made the country more equal.

  5. Sean Duckworth

    I was going to say that these groups will end up like the Tea Party here in America – the butt of many jokes with an inability to deliver on their promises or platforms.

    But then I realized that, in so many cases, these groups actually have a much better chance of getting things accomplished. And that’s terrifying.

  6. Andrew Dolt

    Kevin Herbert, you apparently don’t know that climate change is making extreme weather events, like the floods in Bosnia (and the UK) more likely, more destructive and more frequent. This is something that the world’s climate scientists know, and have been warning you about, for many years now. It is about time you paid attention, unless you know something that 97% of the world’s climate scientists, the CSIRO, the Bureau of Metereology, NASA. the Royal Society of London, the US National Academy of Sciences, NOAA, in fact every reputable scientific organisation of any standing, don’t.

  7. Kevin Herbert

    Andrew Dolt:

    Your source data clearly doesn’t confirm your motherhood claim that climate change is making extreme weather events. Your data source includes the following statement:

    “Extreme weather events do not have a single cause but instead have various possible contributing factors – and human-induced climate change is now one of those factors.”

    Clearly you certainty about climate change making extreme wether events is not shared by your source data e.g. “…various possible contributing factors…”

    You need to learn how to assess data, rather than repeating views that smack of cultural atavism.

    For the record, I unreservedly support the long held fact of climate change but am sceptical of the current mass hysteria & its associated self serving data promoted by the ‘publish or perish’ academic gang.

    Finally, if climate change research outcomes were assessed without the individual
    research institutions credentials in view, I expect the so called 97% of the world’s climate scientists you quote as being in agreement, would drop by at least 30%…but of course that’s only a “possible contributing factor” at this stage.

  8. Kevin Herbert

    Sean Duckworth:

    The term ‘Tea Party’ is regularly appearing in Crikey comments of late.

    Can you tell me which US politicians are formally TP members…and please, don’t quote the Wiki entry which explains virtually nothing.

  9. Sean Duckworth

    Kevin Herbert:

    Depends on which branch of the Tea Party you’re talking about, since it’s rather balkanized. As one self-described Tea Party member, Jason Chaffetz, said “Structure and formality are the exact opposite of what the Tea Party is”

    Realistically, the Tea Party are a branch or subgroup of the Republican Party here in the US. Michele Bachmann, Jim Demint, Rand and Ron Paul, the aforementioned Chaffetz…those are the people who come to mind when one mentions the Tea Party. It’s like an unholy mixture of Katter, DLP, FF, and One Nation.

  10. James

    The tensions brought about by the wholesale importation of people from Asia, Africa and the Middle East in to European countries (including Australia other European descendent countries) can’t be so quickly dismissed as simple racism. Guy wants to talk about the atomising effects of capitalism, well how about the atomizing effect of being an Englishman in the city of London which now is majority Non-English? Huge immigration is causing this “atomisation” that leads people to turn to parties like UKIP.

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