The World Now

I recall distantly having written several political posts at the start of this blog, but then that promptly gave way to reviews of movies, TV shows and anime. I feel like it’s time to go back to talking and ranting about politics just a little, before I turn into someone completely divested from the world around me.

It’s a pretty dark world since the days of Russia invading Ukraine. The rise of nationalism and populism all across the developed is pretty scary to behold, and the tragic state of Syria is heartbreaking, especially as the tragedy gets reduced to a political talking point for the populists.

I’m a firm believer in social democracy and globalisation being beneficial to all eventually. National pride is all well and good, but the world needs to be more than competing countries all fighting for their own interests, and sometimes not even the interests of the people. I think it’s a sad indictment of human nature that we pour so much of our resources into petty squabbles and power plays rather than into science and technology to eradicate disease and poverty. Compassion is a virtue that’s always extolled but seldom practised. Just look at all the opposition to Angela Merkel’s position on Syrian refugees, or the disgusting attitudes of American lawmakers.

As someone who has received quite a bit of education, I find it easier to discern fake from real news. This is not so easy for people who don’t have the same education, who let confirmation biases guide their media consumption, to let the polarised media reaffirm their views. It’s one of the major failings of democracy, which demands a certain level of facts and truths that everyone makes decisions upon. It is a system that puts the onus on people to educate themselves to make the right choice, and so very often people don’t.

Just look at Brexit. So many Leavers didn’t bother to listen and to think about what a Brexit truly meant, and just voted without consideration for the power of their vote. Regret struck when it was too late, and now their country has to suffer.

Also, when did education and levelheadedness become untenable in politics? Trump became the US President thanks to populism, but anyone who looks past his bluster and his charisma can easily see his lack of qualifications. Did people think taking a hammer to the system will fix it? Did anyone really think that you can break the system and rebuild it so easily?

It can be so frustrating to see these things happening abroad, because the implications are massive but you are helpless on your little island in Southeast Asia. And when your friends, whom you know have no interest in politics whatsoever, also mention Trump, you know that it’s truly big.

Now all eyes are on the French elections. I think most sensible observers will be hoping for a Macron win and a blow to populism. With the escalation between the US and North Korea, it already feels like World War III is on our doorsteps. We don’t need divided Europe and a broken European Union.

Unfortunately, the world will remain as divided as ever.


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