Headline: Putin poses a bigger threat than populism
We are living in momentous times. The key phenomena of 2016 and 2017 continued to dominate 2018: Brexit and Donald Trump. This was not just because of their own unpredictability and international impact but also because they illustrate a wider disruption of the established rules-based international order. This populist challenge has manifested itself in many different forms.
The opening paragraph gives the game away, framed in the political panic of an apologists for that ‘rules-based international order’ another name for American Hegemony i.e. NATO, and the EU as its partner. Call this what it is Propaganda framed in maladroit Political Melodrama! Brexit and Trump are the twin phenomenon ‘because they illustrate a wider disruption of the established rules-based international order.’ That ‘rule based international order’ didn’t just embrace the Neo-Liberal Mythology, it was its enactor, that clung to this monstrosity until the collapse of 2008. But still it can’t emancipate itself from this failed Mythology’s thrall! This is the key element in the rise of the dread Populism, that Mr.Eamon Delaney erases from his ‘history made to measure’ : call it utterly inconvenient to his hysterical polemic!
The attack on Putin, as the historical recrudescence of the redoubtable Stalin, is this essay’s reason d’etre! But the Populists must be shamed in print as they are the witting/unwitting accomplices of the Master Political Games-man Putin!
Most notably we saw it with the often violent protests of the gilets jaunes in France, who posed a serious challenge to President Macron’s reform agenda for both France and, ambitiously, for the European Union.
The gilets jaunes’ demands are incoherent and contradictory but the protests represent an angry reaction against globalisation. It is the same with the anti-establishment sentiment behind Brexit and President Trump. Added resentment at immigration and multiculturalism has fuelled similar reactions in Germany, Hungary and Poland and the rise of strongman leaders in Turkey, Brazil and the Philippines. We should, however, not give too much validity to the motives behind these manifestations of anger. Much of it stems from a feeling of individual empowerment and negativity fed by a 24-hour news cycle and social media, which is why it can be manipulated by resourceful governments such as the meddling Russians.
‘President Macron’s reform agenda’ is the defense of the Neo-Liberalization of France. What Mr. Delaney carefully omits from his enthusiasm for the ‘Reformist’ Macron is that 36.5% of voters, in the final round of voting, rendered their ballots spoiled or otherwise uncountable. That already presents what can only be the precursors to the gilets jaunes, if the writer were being historically honest , but propaganda and honesty are antithetical practices if not concepts!
Brexit and President Trump, added resentment at immigration and multiculturalism has fuelled similar reactions in Germany, Hungary and Poland and the rise of strongman leaders in Turkey, Brazil and the Philippines.
The above catalogue of the ‘bad actors’ and their countries of origin , simply fill out the picture of the what that ‘rules-based international order’ must contend with in the volatile politica present.
The reader is then confronted, after some nearly vacuous preliminary chatter, to the final paragraph of Mr.Delaney ‘s polemic:
One of the greatest international threats is on the edge of Europe itself: the continued threat from Russia. Not only can Vladimir Putin raise the stakes in his Ukraine incursion at will, but he has also been testing western defences, engaging in cyberattacks and meddling in the Baltics and Balkans, not to mention the poisoning of opponents. As we enter 2019, Nato and the EU will need to be more vigilant than ever.
The point of propaganda is to endlessly repeat The Party Line, allied to assuring that the reader is exposed to as many impressions of that Line as possible. As my Latin Professor repeated to us almost daily, ‘repetition is the mother of memory’! The reader can see clearly that repetition of ‘impressions’ is also the key to effective propagandizing!