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Why Piketty’s wrong (again): it’s the hump, not the trunk!

Much has been written about voters converting to populism because they feel deprived, abandoned or humiliated. Thomas Piketty even argues that inequality and populism are linked. In essence, Piketty says that both inequality and populism can be explained by dramatic shifts in the traditional two-party system that favour different elites. Citing historical data from France,…
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The ABC of racism

What type of racist are you? Racism is the belief in the superiority of one race over another–usually one’s own. Irrational as it may seem, it has never disappeared, with more than half of Americans expressing negative attitudes about African Americans still today. Hence it is worthwhile examining the underlying motivators of racism as well…
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What Uber reveals about the future of government

Try to name one aspect of your life that is not digitising and globalising at a rapid pace. Chances are you’re spending more of your money on amazon and less at local retailers. Your media consumption probably has shifted from linear TV and radio to Netflix, Youtube and Spotify. Instead of browsing the local library,…
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Freedom for all–a manifesto.

1. Political decisions shall be based on facts, reason and logic. We reject ideology, manipulation and conspiracy theories and will call to account those who use them. 2. Every citizen shall be able to live, work, trade and travel wherever they want. Open borders shall faciliate free movement of people, goods, services and capital. 3.…
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Inside the mind of a populist voter

Will the populist wave fade out? One might assume so, given that populism is supported by exactly the opposite demographic from those that drove the 1968 counter-culture revolution as well as the 1989 anti-communist movement. Both were victorious thanks to younger, well-educated, secular voters. And today, these demographic segments are among populism’s staunchest opponents. In…
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Stupid or evil?

Which type of nationalism are we dealing with?   “You really have to be an idiot to be a nationalist,” says one of the characters of Robert Menasse’s prize-winning novel, “The Capital”.   At first sight the judgment seems unnecessarily harsh, even when accounting for the fact that supporters of nationalist candidates skew less well-educated…
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Strong men, weak currencies?

Putin. Erdogan. Orban. Trump… Western European defeatists tremble at the mere mention of the names of nationalist strongmen that rarely miss an opportunity to point out weaknesses of the European Union. One of their favourite targets is the Euro and its perceived instability due to the joint currency’s lack of a central fiscal authority. Currency…
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The chimera of culture

Dismantling the core of the nationalist argument Nationalists often claim that different countries couldn’t possibly work together because they all have a different “culture.” This can be proven wrong easily. Countries are political entities whose boundaries have been shifting over the centuries. Therefore it is almost impossible to determine a coherent “national culture”. One can…
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Ninety degrees

  DECLINE AND FALL Europe’s traditional parties are faltering. While centre-right Christian Democrats witness slow but steady decline, centre-left Social Democrats are collapsing dramatically. Explanations have been put forward for the phenomenon that include the erosion of traditional voter segments such as christian churchgoers and socialist labourers. And yet, demographics are only a part of…
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Democracy–thy enemy is dopamine!

Much has been speculated about the rise of populist, nationalist and reactionary voices in the public discourse. The rise of Trump, Brexit and ‘strongmen’ leaders around the world has been associated with potential causes from deindustrialisation to immigration to Islamisation to filter bubbles and Russian hackers. Studies have been undertaken on the psychological disposition of…
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