Like many people I’ve been deeply disillusioned by the recent election of Trump, as well as the concurrent rise of far right parties in Europe. I might need to read and learn more about populism and demagoguery, but until I do, I’m left with the knowledge and understanding I have, and it leaves me struggling.
You see, I’m a lefty. I believe in secular humanism and an ethos of making the world a better place for all, of redistribution and justice. Core to this belief is the inherent value of all human beings and that in a world awash in riches as ours is, that anyone living in want is unacceptable.
I think I’ve fallen into an intellectual trap wherein I’ve come to see the world like many other lefties, as a simplistic duality with wealthy exploitive overloads at the top and an oppressed majority at the bottom. While in very broad strokes aspects of this is true, there are degrees of oppression, based not just on economics but race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion and others. It’s a hierarchy with different people located at various levels depending o these differences, the one commonality being that the top is more or less universally populated by wealthy older white men.
But this vision is crumbling. I’ve read many analyses of the US election and think I have a general idea of why this is happening there and elsewhere. The greatest crisis for me comes from the fact that those I’ve championed in my life –those majority manipulated abused and controlled by the old white guys at the top, are showing damn good reasons why one should not advocate for them.