177. Economy or democracy? Do we really have to choose?
The last 25 years have shown a concerning political trend. For most, politics have become about the economy, and not much else. This was first realised (or instrumented) by Reagan and Thatcher, and ultimately enunciated by Bill Clinton’s ‘It’s the economy, stupid’. The trend is logical, we seemed to be entering a post-political period. With the USSR gone, there were no great political questions, or struggles, left. Capitalism was victorious, its politics widely accepted and democracies rose unchallenged. But this is no longer. Populism, fuelled by inequality and social problems, is waging war on democracy. Citizens are asked to choose between GDP and climate, jobs and minority rights, protectionism and international order. Still lulled into a false sense of security, they are, half sleep, choosing economy, when the battleground is on democracy. We are defending income and property when society and liberties are at risk. Wake up or kiss goodbye to democracy and, with it, to your economy
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