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Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party and ringmaster of the Brexit vote, appeared as a warm-up act at one of Mr Trump’s rallies. Photo: overpassesforamerica.com

First Brexit, then US President-elect Donald Trump: Now the political earthquake rattling the West threatens current political leaders and institutions in Europe and elsewhere

A nationalist backlash against mass immigration has been gaining momentum. Since 2008 populist politicians have also harnessed grassroots anger over the financial crisis, globalisation, austerity and elite leaders cushioned from hardship, whist banking in Panama

Huge electoral tests are coming up for establishment politicians in the EU. Will Donald Trump's "Brexit plus" turn into a tsunami?

Brexiteers and Trump

Hand-in-Hand, Shoulder-to-Shoulder

Making Britain and the US Great Again!!

The Three Common Men! Photo: bing.com

Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson are already making Britain great once again and Donald Trump will make America great, once again, from January 2017!

The frightening rise of populism in Europe

The next French President?

Marine Le Pen. Photo: prosperity.com

Populist, anti-Islam/anti-foreigners Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orban- the only EU leader openly supporting Trump's presidency- is already at work making Hungary great again!

Far right candidate for president in Austria- Norbert Hofer- is planning to make Austria great again!

Populist, anti-Islam/anti-foreigners Geert Wilders is eagerly waiting to make Netherlands great again!

The rightwing, populist, nationalist, with anti-Islam rhetoric, the AfD party in Germany is also working hard to make Germany great again!

And then, there is France’s National Front leader, Marine Le Pen, who wants all legislative, territorial, economic and monetary sovereignty returned to France, so that she can, as she hopes, as the next president make France, once again, great!

Oh My God!

Photo: bbc.co.uk

If, you, like me, are getting very worried about so much “Greatness” coming your way, and are wondering how to stop the march of the populist demagogues, then, please continue to read:

This is how to defeat the demagogues and the rightwing populism

Introduction and reflection: Pondering and wondering

Anger has trumped hope

Brexit(UK) and President Trump (USA)

9 November 2016, a day that will probably change the world far more for worse than the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in New York in 2001. The election of Donald Trump as President of the US is a victory for a candidate who during his campaign had openly challenged many of the values that many of us in the GCGI global community stand for, value and cherish: Values such as kindness, humility, respect, openness, global solidarity, caring for others and for the environment, personal integrity, collaboration and cooperation, and interfaith dialogue.

Mr. Trump embodies extreme hostility to anything and everything of value, shown time and again, by his contempt for ethnic minorities, his hatred for Muslims, his indifference to due process, his dismissal of rights, his willingness to use torture, his mocking of the disabled, his dismissal of political correctness, and above all, perhaps, his attitude to women. He is not alone in these attitudes in his party. But he has been willing and able to say so, openly and clearly, with pride and joy!

His election can be seen as yet another shocking instance of a trend in many countries around the world of a growth in rightwing populist movements, where demagogues are elected into high office. We witnessed this in Britain with the Brexit. This was followed by the rise of ‘Trumpism’ and the eventual election of Trump as US President.

Populists despise institutions and reject expertise. They offer, instead, charisma and ignorance. Rightwing populists also blame foreigners. Mr Trump did this with utmost effect in the US as Nigel Farage and Boris Johnston did it in Britain.   

Populism is characterised as an ideology in which an individual or party claims to be the only, true representative of ‘the people’. “We are the people” – as opposed to the ruling elites – is the slogan that has brought the demagogues and rightwing populists to power in the USA, Britain, Eastern Europe, the Philippines, and elsewhere, whilst Western Europeans are waiting for their "saviours" in forthcoming general elections in 2017!

The biggest danger of populism is its link with ultra nationalism, authoritarianism, fascism and absolutism. Since these leaders represent ‘the people’, they feel themselves to be above the law, the media and other powers.

Populists want to replace freedom with control, justice and equality with priority being given to ‘the true people’, peace with polarisation, caring for the earth with short-term benefits for their own nations, honesty with shameless manipulation, integrity with ‘power at all costs’, respect with aggression. Thus, 9 November 2016, will remain in our memory as a day that challenges us to reassert the importance of global values.                           

This is why the GCGI community  so firmly believe that now is when values matter more than ever. In as much as we respect the democratic process, people must be supported to regain the inspiration that the GCGI vision and mission offers; as it places people at the centre and pushes for values-driven leadership and inclusion. 

To defeat the demagogues and the rightwing populists, we must, by our actions, show that there is an alternative to their venomous ideology.  In order to become the model and the path to a better world, we must, as members of the household of humanity provide security, sanctuary and constructive engagement for all of our human family. Sustained by the bounty of all, called by the Sacred, and animated into action by the Spirit of peace, Justice, and Reverence for All Life, we must be guided by values and take action in the interest of the common good, empowering each other to build a better world, for all of us. 

First We must ditch and throwaway the poisonous neo-liberalism into the dustbin of history, where it belongs.

Neoliberalism: A sick ideology, at the root of all our crisis, founded on lies, is the backbone of rightwing populism 

Financial meltdown, environmental disaster, poverty, inequality, inhumanity, loneliness, depression and anxiety,…, Brexit and Donald Trump: neoliberalism has played its part in them all.

The architects of Brexit and Trump

The “Chief neo-liberals”- Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher at the White House

Photo: guardian.co.uk

The Destruction of our World and the lies of Milton Friedman 

People’s Tragedy: Neoliberal Legacy of Thatcher and Reagan

Now I wish to quote a few excerpts from an excellent article by Naomi Klien:

“Here is what we need to understand: a hell of a lot of people are in pain. Under neoliberal policies of deregulation, privatisation, austerity and corporate trade, their living standards have declined precipitously. They have lost jobs. They have lost pensions. They have lost much of the safety net that used to make these losses less frightening. They see a future for their kids even worse than their precarious present.

At the same time, they have witnessed the rise of the Davos class, a hyper-connected network of banking and tech billionaires, elected leaders who are awfully cosy with those interests, and Hollywood celebrities who make the whole thing seem unbearably glamorous. Success is a party to which they were not invited, and they know in their hearts that this rising wealth and power is somehow directly connected to their growing debts and powerlessness.

For the people who saw security and status as their birthright – and that means white men most of all – these losses are unbearable.

Donald Trump spoke directly to that pain. The Brexit campaign spoke to that pain. So do all of the rising far-right parties in Europe. They answer it with nostalgic nationalism and anger at remote economic bureaucracies – whether Washington, the North American free trade agreement the World Trade Organisation or the EU. And of course, they answer it by bashing immigrants and people of colour, vilifying Muslims, and degrading women. Elite neoliberalism has nothing to offer that pain, because neoliberalism unleashed the Davos class. People such as Hillary and Bill Clinton are the toast of the Davos party. In truth, they threw the party.

Trump’s message was: “All is hell.” Clinton answered: “All is well.” But it’s not well – far from it.

Neo-fascist responses to rampant insecurity and inequality are not going to go away. But what we know from the 1930s is that what it takes to do battle with fascism is a real left. A good chunk of Trump’s support could be peeled away if there were a genuine redistributive agenda on the table. An agenda to take on the billionaire class with more than rhetoric, and use the money for a green new deal. Such a plan could create a tidal wave of well-paying unionised jobs, bring badly needed resources and opportunities to communities of colour, and insist that polluters should pay for workers to be retrained and fully included in this future.

It could fashion policies that fight institutionalised racism, economic inequality and climate change at the same time. It could take on bad trade deals and police violence, and honour indigenous people as the original protectors of the land, water and air.

People have a right to be angry, and a powerful, intersectional left agenda can direct that anger where it belongs, while fighting for holistic solutions that will bring a frayed society together.”

If rightwing populism is to be defeated, one must offer alternatives: This is my offering- Economy and Globalisation must become for the Common Good!

How might this be achieved? How can Economy serve the people? How can businesses do well by doing good?

The answer lies in understanding the true nature of who we are, why we are, what we are, and then nurture those values and construct our better world around them.

Will We Ever Learn?

The fact is that we are learning. And with our understanding comes an urgency and a responsibility to ourselves, each other, our countries, our world, and Mother Earth.

Brexit and Trump: we should not mourn, but remain positive, hopeful and get organised. We must escape from the crony capitalists and the greedy ‘Fat Cats’  plantations, strategically submerge our respective differences for the common good of everyday people, and set about creatively and collectively building a more just and humane society and world. We can do this because we must do this!

Brexit and Trump: A Journey to the 'Heart of Darkness'

Globalisation for the Common Good: A Journey Driven by Hope 

GCGI: Introduction and a bird’s eye view

 

‘We recognise that our socio-economic problems are a reflection of our attitude to life and to one another. Justice, peace and harmony will come about only when the connection between the spiritual and practical in life is valued by each one of us and in society at large. This is beautifully expressed in a Chinese proverb:

“If there be righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character.

If there be beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home.

If there be harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation.

When there is order in each nation, there will be peace in the world.”

This brings the problems of life closer to home. It is not ‘they’ who have to change, but ’we’ who have to change our attitude. It is a journey from ‘what’s in it for me’ towards discovering, living and promoting the common good. The principle of the common good reminds us that we are all responsible for each other – we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers – and must work for social conditions which ensure that every person and every group in society is able to meet their needs and realise their potential. It follows that every group in society must take into account the rights and aspirations of other groups, and the well-being of the whole human family.

One of the greatest challenges of our time is to apply the ideas of the global common good to practical problems and forge common solutions. Translating the teachings of philosophers, spiritual leaders and religious scholars into practical policies that statesmen can apply across the world is a challenge which Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (GCGI) has taken on. The purpose is not simply to talk about the common good, or simply to have a dialogue, but the purpose is to take action, to work for the common good, using dialogue to resolve differences.

What the GCGI seeks to offer - through its research and conferences, as well as its outreach and dialogue projects - is a vision that places the quest for economic and social justice, peace and ecological sustainability within a spiritual context and a practice of open-heartedness, generosity and caring for others. All are thus encouraged by this vision to serve the common good.

The GCGI has from the very beginning invited us to move beyond the struggle and confusion of a life preoccupied with materialism to a meaningful and purposeful life of hope and joy, gratitude, compassion, and service for the good of all.

Perhaps our greatest accomplishment has been our ability to bring Globalisation for the Common Good into the common vocabulary and awareness of a greater population along with initiating the necessary discussion as to its meaning and potential in our personal and collective lives.

In short, at Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative we are grateful to be contributing to that vision of a better world, given the goals and objectives that we have been championing since 2002.’ 

The following three links go a long way to explain how we might be able to imagine a better world and how that world can be for the common good:

What might an Economy for the Common Good look like?

Fat Cats: An invitation to dialogue

Economics, Globalisation and the Common Good: A Lecture at London School of Economics

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