Populism is the result of global economic failure
Larry Elliot - Guardian
Interesting comments on this article
One in particular
Good article. Sums up the core of the problem perfectly. If you add to that the complete imbalance of economic circumstances between first and third world countries you can see quite clearly why we're in the current mess. Which suits the populists just fine. All they have to do is pander to the instinct most of us have when faced with a crisis: circle the wagons. Insulate ourselves from all those nasty problems. Close the borders, no more immigrants or foreigners to take our jobs or flood our social security systems. Simple solution, really: revert to nationalism.
Except it doesn't work like that as countless examples throughout history have shown. The populists' "solution" is just another one of these panacea Elliot was talking about. Might work in the short run (and even that's doubtful, cf. Brexit or Trumpism) but it will definitely make things worse in the long run because it boosts group-think to levels where conflict, even armed conflict between first world states becomes a real possibility again.
The solution to all that misery is far, far more complex than the populists would have us believe. It lies in the fight to restore economic balance on a national AND an international level. This fight begins at home, that's true, and that's where the article is right (strengthen trade unions, get away from that "boss"-driven, profit oriented society back towards a saner and more just distribution of wealth). But by no means does it end there. If you want to combat social inequalities you have to acknowledge these things don't stop at borders. Multinationals and profiteers can only be tackled on an international level because, as the name implies, they are not hampered by nationality. And it certainly won't help if we turn in on ourselves like the populists want us to do. On the contrary, that will only enhance the "business opportunities" for the 1% who are very adept at playing one nation against the other.