Populism and the triangle of Folly


Populism, short-sightedness and the triangle of Folly
As the challenges facing humanity grow more and more complex and difficult to overcome it is natural that people look with critical eyes on the ruling establishments and desire a quick fix. However, quick “fixes” generally only exacerbate underlying problems rather than providing a real solution. With the proliferation of possible news sources it is becoming increasingly difficult to know what to believe.

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Theresa May
Taking advantage of democracy’s essential weakness (the lowest common denominator factor) populist movements and leaders have sprung into action around the globe. Fear of immigrants had much to do with the foolish Brexit vote. Despite the fact that most of the UK’s voters now have a much clearer idea of what the real costs of Brexit will be, Theresa May and her government seem determined to carry on with this folly rather than offering the people a second referendum. The likely outcome will be the breakup of the UK itself in addition to a very large economic burden.

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Donald Trump
The election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the USA is another example of voters being so desperate for change that they forget that a disastrous change is much worse than no change at all. With an unpredictable loose cannon in the White House, the USA and the world must surely experience increasing levels of anxiety.

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Marie Le Pen
The third apex of the triangle hasn’t happened yet. If far right leaders, such as Marie Le Pen succeed in their presidential bids in upcoming European elections the collapse of the European Union would seem all but a certainty. The loss of Britain is a huge blow for the EU but the additional loss of France would be fatal. The collapse of the EU would be disastrous for Europe and the world. The outbreak of more armed conflict in the region would be all but certain.
With Putin’s Russia prepared to assert itself at all costs and China’s determination to steal sovereignty of much of the South China Sea the world is becoming increasingly a much more dangerous place. It is no wonder the Doomsday clock was reset at 2 ½ minutes to midnight after the inauguration of Donald Trump. We haven’t even considered yet that global warming and climate change is increasing all the time and has probably already reached tipping point and that the looney dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong Un is getting ever closer to having nuclear ICBMs. As the main suspect in the recent murder of his estranged half-brother, Kim Jong Un apparently will stop at nothing to maintain his grip on power. While the war in Syria drags on and millions of innocents suffer the power brokers in the world seem much more concerned with their own well-being than with any ethics, altruism or even common sense.

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Kim Jong Un

We are facing desperate times. Any more short-sighted populist quick fixes are likely to throw us all over the edge.

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War on the Korean peninsula?


Although Kim Jong Un and the rest of the North Korean leadership are probably delusional, they also possess a cold rationality in making assessments. Undoubtedly they realise that the USA simply cannot  economically afford another major war at present without triggering an American, and hence worldwide depression. Although they are massively expanding the quality and quantity of their nuclear arsenal and delivery missiles I am sure this is there doomsday card. It is a backstop against the total defeat of their regime. However, I am equally sure they will not use their nuclear weapons in any first strike.

They probably calculate that neither China nor Russia will help or even defend them. Nevertheless, it is likely they could launch a major conventional attack on South Korea without the U.S. even considering a nuclear response. Given the size of the opposing military forces it is likely that the North would be able to complete a conquest of the South this way. Basically, the USA would be totally hamstrung. To use nuclear weapons would be to invite the unthinkable. To defeat North Korea’s military with conventional forces would devastate the USA’s economy and that of the rest of the world. It appears to me that the North Korean leadership realise full well all of the chips on the table in this nasty game of poker. It is apparent that they will do anything to avoid their regime being overthrown.

Without China offering to step in and defend South Korea against the North Kim Jong Un’s strategy could well succeed. What would China do? That is the $64 question. If they sit on their hands as they did with Syria then the two Korea’s are likely to be united by force under the control of North Korea?

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