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Jack Populist versus Julius Caesar

Dickson Igwe

Dickson Igwe

By Dickson Igwe, Contributor

In western countries, populism, more direct political action from the voter, is winning over representative democracy, the rule by elected elites

The biggest news in the world today is the ‘takeover’ by small people: the Pitchfork Rebellion.

In Europe the blue collar, low income, working men and women, are disrupting the usual flow of power and politics.

In Britain the result was Brexit: the greatest transformation in UK politics for decades. Britain was always a uniquely troublesome neighbor of a Europe led by Germany and France.

It joined the European Common market in 1973. It became a troublesome member of the Club of Europe until 2016 when it voted to leave

In the USA, the Trump Phenomenon has seen a disruption in an American values system driven by Democratic Party Leaders that has been globalist, cosmopolitan, and tolerant.

Today America is becoming increasingly isolationist and weary about long standing allies.

Pre-Brexit and Trump, the western world was driven by elected and un-elected elites. Today, there is a subtle revolution taking place.

The idea that a unique set of individuals that sit at the top of the proverbial social pyramid, and that were born to rule because of privilege and the possession of specific gifts, talents, and skills, is swiftly eroding.

Now, we all assume we live in a democracy, which we term as rule by the people. In reality we are ruled by the representatives of the people, not the masses.

The legislator and senator are voted in by a subset of the voting population.

He or she is normally very well educated, and even wealthy. He or she is well placed as a result of these advantages to stand for a position of political power.

Most politicians are therefore from the elite class. Even in the populist revolt, the man at the head of the people movement in the US is a gilded billionaire.

OK. The challenge with representative democracy is age old. Over time, the privileged elitist representative begins to live in a bubble.

He or she becomes estranged from the voter: the men and women who put Julius Caesar in power in the first place.

He stops consulting his constituents. He begins to enjoy the cocktail parties,and the company of the jet setters, in Washington D C, London, Paris, and Brussels.

He starts to fraternize with the billionaire class.

He flies in their jets. He vacations on their private islands. Davos becomes his main port of call, not Main Street.

Soon he has forgotten the small men and women. Their interests are replaced by those of the 1%.

Eventually Jack and Jill Voter begin to take note. Julius Caesar no longer knocks on their humble doors, except of course, at a General Election.

While Caesar lives the life of the rich and famous, Jack Average notices that for all Julius’s promises, nothing has changed for Jack and Jill. In fact life is actually worse. Jack sees a worse future for Little Johnny.

The gap between Jack the Voter and Julius Caesar the Ruler increases. Soon it has become an unbridgeable chasm. Jack and Jill are ‘pissed off’.

Caesar has begun to suffer the greatest affliction of the politician: he is increasingly tone deaf.

Yes. Caesar is so ‘caught up’ in his privilege and power, and in his sumptuous lifestyle, that he takes zero notice.

He has taken the people who placed him on the platform of power for granted.

They become simple fodder to be used at election time. Caesar has lost his feel for the street pulse of politics.

However there is always someone out there who feels the pulse. He or she does take notice of the anger and bitterness on the street.

He or she is frequently a member of the selfsame ruling classes to which Caesar belongs. He or she is also power hungry and opportunistic.

In a weak and corrupt democracy, even a tyranny of the wealthy and powerful, he or she is an Adolf Hitler or a Fidel Castro.

In a democracy he is a Donald Trump, a Michael Farage, or a Marine le Pen.

The Populist begins to agitate on behalf of the angry masses.

In fact he uses his eloquence and networks to stoke the fire. He is a chameleon and lion rolled into one.

Meanwhile Caesar remains in a ‘dreamland’.

He continues his song to the concerns of the powerful and wealthy. He looks down on poor Jack, while he flutters around the world’s trendiest locations.

He frequents the places where the rich and powerful habitué. He flies first class to the most exotic locations.

He hops about in the private jets of the 1%. He sails on their mega yachts.

He is in love with his upper class credentials, and even despises the cries and pleas of the poor and working people, even though he may have been one of the poor and suffering when he was a young man.

He has become hypocritical and double tongued.

However, the day of reckoning approaches. There is always the day when he has to report back to the angry masses, usually at a General Election.

And that day is always an awful for day the self-obsessed elitist. He has forgotten, in his upper crust delusions, that the world remains a cycle.

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