Current Perspectives: The Western Countries

15 Jan 2017 Scratch the surface of security and you get a prompt abridgement of liberty. Those who practice the politics of fear and hate expound populist promises of security and economic opportunities by scapegoating minorities and immigrants, which are proclaimed to be free-loaders and opportunists not to mention potential terrorists. These same politicians attack the legitimate governments, which are branded as incompetent or in the pay of special interests. Today there are such politicians in every country who fan the fears of the public, who play on the economic difficulties, promote hatred and xenophobia, and use the ensuing distress to build a power base and to try to dictate to the state the course that it should follow. They build on the alienating effect of vast bureaucracies and on the real distress of many who are suffering economic deprivation. They point to the presence of minorities and the difficulties of culturally assimilating them, to call for a return to a pure and powerful vision of the nation, the people the religion that they claim as the cure-all for the ills of society. But is more debate, more participation sufficient to check the advance of the populist xenophobes? Or are there major other actions that are required? Hossam BadrawiRexhep MeidaniKazuo TakahashiPetru LucinschiEmil ConstantenescuViktor Yushchenko
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