• ssu
    4.7k
    In 2018 I was in a meeting where a top official of the Finnish Border Guard talking to key reservists told what publicly never had been said (and I had only anticipated): That in 2015-2016 Russia had pressured both Norway and Finland by a hybrid attack by sending refugees to the Arctic border. He emphasized that Russia is in total control of it's border (which are guarded by the FSB, yes, that same FSB, the successor organization to KGB) and basically this was a show of force to both countries. Basically that Russia can do this, so notice.

    In the larger migrant crisis that prevailed then this debacle was indeed very strange. Remote border posts in Norway and Finland, that had seen perhaps some 5 to 10 asylum seekers annually suddenly were swarmed with 5500 asylum seekers, in literally nowhere in the frozen Arctic. A book published in 2019 found that a large part of the people were from the construction sites in Moscow. The refugees themselves even then told that the officials had said to them that the border was open...specifically in the north (not in the South). Now years after Finland even officially admits that Russia did play an active role in getting the refugees to the remote border back then. (We have not joined NATO and the border with Russia has stayed since then totally calm. For now, at least.)

    (In 2015-2016 the refugees peculiarly had at first all bikes at the Norwegian border, because simply walking over the border wasn't allowed)
    dba96b018cc746f682f7a216b93e8f33.jpg

    Now with the events at the Polish and Lithuanian borders with Belarus the idea that countries are directly using (abusing) migrants and refugees has been accepted even in the media. How EU policy changed could be seen from the support Greece got last year when Turkey decided to open the border: the clashes between the Greek border guards and refugees weren't condemned, but support was given to Greece. EU has already changed a lot in this way.

    21_10_Migration%20als%20Waffe%20Kopie.jpg?itok=t0pfzXMN

    Yet even in 2018 it was totally different: I understood quite quickly that the official would never publicly then say to what he said to selected reservists. Publicly stating this in 2018 would immediately (and even today) get an angry denial from the Russian Embassy and Russia. The Finnish government would have a lot of explaining to do and likely the official would be an ex-official. In a situation where the global media hadn't reported these issues as 'hybrid' operations, it would be a really tough sell. In fact, back then to talk about the refugee problem and 'hybrid attacks" was perhaps reserved only to the nativists. And likely even those were not talking about it.

    And this brings me to the real issue here: We face the danger where debate about various policies are taken over by the larger "culture war", dumbed down to simple rhetoric which doesn't put into context the actual issues at hand. Hence there isn't much actual debate of the real political issues, but a discourse separated to an ideological simplified realm. Debate about actual policies or international politics is done behind closed doors and not openly in the media. Who would say what actually is true, if you get a ton of hate mail and your career is threatened. Just bringing up an issue and you are either thought to support one or the other (and to hold their views) or attacked viciously. The discourse about immigration and immigration policy was earlier represented in quite black and white terms and in my view now have made the change to be seen in more colors or shades. Immigration policy isn't the only example of this.

    I think that it is dangerous if in a democracy real issues aren't openly discussed and rhetoric not adhered to facts and reality but to public sentiment and feelings takes over. In a way, that "dumbing down" of a political debate is a way of control. When political debate becomes a shit show, a distraction, somebody still has to make the actual decisions.

    What do you think? Is this a serious problem or am I exaggerating?
  • tim wood
    8.1k
    I think that it is dangerous if in a democracy real issues aren't openly discussed and rhetoric not adhered to facts and reality but to public sentiment and feelings takes over.ssu
    Dangerous indeed.

    (I wonder how many of us want to reply, but pause because so many topics are included.)

    But what is the solution when many people just plain simply deny reality? To start, imo lying should be a civil" crime with penalties at least sufficient to make people stop and think before lying - details for another discussion.

    As to refugees, again imo, in the western hemisphere (wh) the US ought to declare that the national policies and practices of other wh countries that create refugee crises are a matter of internal US concern, and, that the US has every intention of attending to its own concerns. (Everyone please stop laughing.) That is, if a vicious regime in South or Central America is causing a refugee crisis even a thousand miles to its North, the US and the other affected countries can, should, and we're coming to must, say to to the offending regime that they get their house in order now or their neighbors will put their house in order for them now - details for another discussion.

    This approach obviously won't work in Europe, unless by combined European pressure against, e.g., countries like Syria. I think the ultimate solutions to refugee crises is not closed borders but open and controlled borders; refugees, then, being able to know they'll be safe - details for another discussion - and not creating them in the first place.

    And I clearly remember reading a book fifty yeas ago that accurately predicted these problems, meaning not that I'm clever, but that for at least fifty years the exact problems of the 2020s have been well and thoroughly anticipated.

    That leaves truth, facts, and reality, and of course in the rarified air of TPF we have no problems at all with these things. Most of us sooner or later recognize that at the extremes of human endeavor, and usually most clearly evident with athletics and sport, are individuals doing things that most of us cannot do nor ever will be able to do. And as a rule, I think this applies to all human endeavor. The liars, propagandists, manipulators are simply very good at what they do, and as well undertake their efforts with corporate strength and purpose.

    My own aha! moment occurred, again about fifty years ago, when I encountered in a college library a Soviet English edition encyclopedia. In the space of two hours I was confronted with how ignorant, stupid, and dumb I was, and, how thoroughly good the "enemy" was in terms of my own personal skills. I don't think much has changed except I have some appreciation of the skill level involved.

    So still that leaves truth, facts, and reality. But not just the question as to what a particular truth, fact, or reality is, but also as to what they are in themselves. And these not impossible to achieve, just sometimes difficult, and even then denied.

    In sum about refugees: mainly open borders, and national and international treasuries opened to accommodate them. That or clean up their houses so that they can stay in them.
    ,
  • ssu
    4.7k
    That is, if a vicious regime in South or Central America is causing a refugee crisis even a thousand miles to its North, the US and the other affected countries can, should, and we're coming to must, say to to the offending regime that they get their house in order now or their neighbors will put their house in order for them now - details for another discussion.tim wood
    The problem is that the US only threaten of making more of a mess, instill more disorder, it simply cannot threaten to get countries that are verge of collapse to "into order".

    And since the US has only one nation at it's southern border and the level of engagement with this country is at the level of "We'll build a wall and you will pay for it", where the country correctly gave the finger to such idiotic nonsense, then it's totally understandable that things don't work. In fact, Trump's famous election promise of 'Building a wall and Mexico paying for it' is a perfect example of the rhetoric that is purely focused on the domestic voters without any thought being given into it actually working as real foreign policy. No thought is given for the idea to actually to work on another sovereign state. It is pure show for an eager audience.

    This approach obviously won't work in Europe, unless by combined European pressure against, e.g., countries like Syria.tim wood
    Again, Syria is already under sanctions. In fact, Belarus is already under EU sanctions, so there already is combined preassure.

    Since October 2020, the EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures against Belarus. The measures were adopted in response to the fraudulent nature of the August 2020 presidential elections in Belarus, and the intimidation and violent repression of peaceful protesters, opposition members and journalists. The EU does not recognize results of the Belarus elections, condemning them as neither free, nor fair.

    A total of 166 individuals and 15 entities are now designated under the sanctions regime on Belarus. These include Belarusian President, Alexandr Lukashenko and his son and National Security Adviser, Viktor Lukashenko, as well as other key figures of the political leadership and of the government, high-level members of the judicial system and several prominent economic actors.

    This of course may well be the reason just why suddenly there happens a refugee crisis on the Belarussian-Polish border.

    And do note it's not the countries that have the refugee problem. In them creating a refugee problem might be one strategy to win the war (which in rather ugly way seems to be what is happening in Syria), but wars, crime and poverty creates on it's own these problems naturally. It's more about those transit countries that can create a problem. And of course in the case of Libya, it is doubtful that the country with two governments fighting each other can perform the basic task of border control as other countries in the first place. The plight of the refugees is real, but so is that they are sometimes pawns in a political game between countries. Admitting both can make it difficult to come up with simple solutions that can be used as political slogans.

    The liars, propagandists, manipulators are simply very good at what they do, and as well undertake their efforts with corporate strength and purpose.tim wood
    I agree. And now thanks to the way media has been reorganized by social media and the internet. The much hated "mainstream media", the journalism that intended to be non-aligned and objective, isn't the gatekeeper anymore and media seems to go back to the classical times of the 19th Century "Yellow Paper" journalism and people following the media of their own echo chambers. It seems to work so well.
  • baker
    3.3k
    I think that it is dangerous if in a democracy real issues aren't openly discussed and rhetoric not adhered to facts and reality but to public sentiment and feelings takes over.ssu

    What's the use of discussing a problem if no workable solution is in sight, or worse, when there's reason to believe that there is no workable solution at all?
  • TheMadFool
    13.7k
    I'm just all stoked by the fact that the present migration patterns more or less match the prehistoric migration patterns taken by our human ancestors. See :point: Out Of Africa Hypothesis! What an amazing coincidence!
  • ChatteringMonkey
    1k
    I think that it is dangerous if in a democracy real issues aren't openly discussed and rhetoric not adhered to facts and reality but to public sentiment and feelings takes over. In a way, that "dumbing down" of a political debate is a way of control. When political debate becomes a shit show, a distraction, somebody still has to make the actual decisions.

    What do you think? Is this a serious problem or am I exaggerating?
    ssu

    No I think you're right... more generally, I think social media has made most politicians scared of doing anything that might cause something like a social media storm. The ones that aren't scared are the ones that have nothing to lose or those that make a career out of controversy anyway.
  • Outlander
    1.4k
    It's complicated. It doesn't take much effort to see both sides.

    What if you were a non-criminally inclined third-world person, never hurt a man, always there to help, who was just sitting there in his shack only to have it blown up and his only child fatally wounded. The idea of this "better life" is a promise every nation makes. Sure perhaps to one-up each other and then be able to call the other out.

    Then of course, if you send not just a person but tens of thousands of persons who don't speak your language, know nothing of your rules, laws, and customs, and perhaps have a few what many call "backwards customs" ie. arranged marriage, honor killings (not too dissimilar to duels in early America), what some say is oppression of women, etc. when the host nation does not have sufficient and most importantly successful "cultural integration procedures" (which due to Covid-19 is quite impossible) then of course the citizens will not take to that. Neither will the refugees feel comfortable nor will they be safe as the law is applied equally. So nobody actually benefits from this, except as you say, these potential external and malevolent forces acting in the interest of their own nation who are allegedly purposely sewing chaos in the lands of potential adversaries.

    It's tough man. Real tough. Better than how it was before though, who can (appear to) be the kindest nation vs. who can really be the cruelest. We've come along way. Don't you agree?
  • ssu
    4.7k
    What's the use of discussing a problem if no workable solution is in sight, or worse, when there's reason to believe that there is no workable solution at all?baker

    It never will be perfect, but democracy has worked up until now somehow. I guess the point is to notice the vicious-circles where can really go downhill compared to those times that were just "more restless" than others. In my view open discussion in a democracy upholds the system. Democracy is the best safety valve we have. It's also the best way we have to legitimize the state as not many of us believe in monarchs having been given the rule by God.

    Worth doing something about it, at least getting informed, wouldn't you agree?
  • baker
    3.3k
    It never will be perfect, but democracy has worked up until now somehow.ssu

    Or maybe things have somehow worked out so far _despite_ democracy.

    I guess the point is to notice the vicious-circles where can really go downhill compared to those times that were just "more restless" than others. In my view open discussion in a democracy upholds the system. Democracy is the best safety valve we have.

    I only need to look at the situation in the country I live in, and I see that democracy doesn't work. In fact, it seems that it is precisely because we have a democracy that the current mess has come about.

    I think that what matters most for a functioning society is that people (everyone, those in positions of power included) are honorable, regardless of what the officially declared system of government is.

    Because when people are not honorable, things go wrong.

    It's also the best way we have to legitimize the state as not many of us believe in monarchs having been given the rule by God.

    In the end, it's probably better to believe that monarchs have been given the rule by God, as opposed to having no other choice but to conclude that might makes right.

    Worth doing something about it, at least getting informed, wouldn't you agree?

    And be concerned, but powerless.
  • ssu
    4.7k
    I only need to look at the situation in the country I live in, and I see that democracy doesn't work.baker
    Just remember what the alternative is: authoritarianism. It is just like the alternative to individual freedom is regulation, control and supervision by some authority. Nothing in between.

    I think that what matters most for a functioning society is that people (everyone, those in positions of power included) are honorable, regardless of what the officially declared system of government is.baker

    I think that people are quite similar in every country. The vast majority are honorable, decent and abide the rules of the society and in every human population there is the fraction of people who are unsocial and those who are criminals. It's not an issue of individual character. The problem is that people are highly adaptable and do adapt to situations where the society doesn't work. When it doesn't work, people adapt to the reality. It's best explained by an example:

    My wife is Mexican and I've been many times in Mexico and know her relatives and friends. They are basically similar kind of people that Finns are and the cultural differences are in the end basically just small nuances. Yet the two countries are totally different with huge parts of Mexico having been collapsed into total anarchy and lawlessness. I try to explain the situation to Finns by telling that Finland would be similar - if criminals could do just whatever they want and the police wouldn't operate at all or would work with the criminals. Quite quickly the trust in the police and in officials in general would erode and social cohesion would take a hit. It would become similar to Mexico. That hasn't happened here, so the people, even the Mexicans living here, do trust the Finnish police. And Finns participate in various associations as eagerly as they take baths in saunas, so democratic participation comes naturally.

    (Reality in Mexico, a town's whole police department was arrested after the killing of a mayoral candidate. Even the tourist guides warn of ever approaching the police.)
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSiRUEaQP0mCaB4DoVLLXGZi9f5h84af_u_nIx0YeA9DgBszaj-a79INnSNCBd5o_93BD0&usqp=CAU

    I think it's the societies themselves, which mold people to behave in a certain way. And how, why, societies change is the crucial part. How they change for the worst is the crucial issue. Key factors are the basics services any state should provide. The most basic issue that the state should give is the most important: safety of it's citizens, the monopoly over violence as Weber would put it. The argument for keeping borders intact and letting people in who have permission is a similar issue to this.

    Here the crucial factor is the military and the security forces. Comparing the Finnish and Mexican armed forces and police forces and you find a difference similar to the large Atlantic ocean separating the two countries. The worrying signs of what is happening in the US make me really wonder how bad is it there.

    In September/October issue of Foreign Affairs, Elliot Ackerman, an ex-CIA paramilitary officer writing about the War on Terror, makes a note that is in my view notable and important. He writes about the US armed forces in this way:

    For now, the military remains one of the most trusted institutions in the United States and one of the few that the public sees as having no overt political bias. How long will this trust last under existing political conditions? As partisanship taints every facet of American life, it would seem to be only a matter of time before that infection spreads to the U.S. military. What then? From Ceasar's Rome to Napoleon's France, history shows that when a republic couples a large standing military with dysfunctional politics, democracy doesn't last long. The United States meets both conditions. Historically, this has invited the type of political crisis that leads to military involvement (or even intervention) in domestic politics. The wide divide between the military and the citizens it serves is another inheritance from the war on terror.

    Do notice the reference to "partisanship tainting every facet of American life" and to "dysfunctional politics". Ackermann doesn't even have to argue for why he sees it like this, it's quite common knowledge. That the US military has had to state publicly that it basically accepts the election results and will work with the new administration is in my view a warning sign of things not being normal. And so is the text above written in the magazine published by the Council on Foreign Relations.

    In my view the US is on a dangerous path, that easily could blow up again. All it take is an economic downturn, a monetary crisis or both. The immigration issue will just add to this as it will keep the sides in their "tribes". Because I see now examples of tensions easing out and things getting back to normal...whatever that was.

    b602f220-55b5-11eb-bff7-1484c5fed2de
  • NOS4A2
    5.2k


    I think this has always been the case, frankly, it’s just that nowadays no one is insulated from popular opinion. Information travels so quickly that one can expect an accounting of his words almost immediately.

    Orwell mentioned a problem like yours in his article “Through a Glass, Rosily”. Both sides of any culture war would apply the suppression of truth before saying anything that might aid the enemy.

    Whenever A and B are in opposition to one another, anyone who attacks or criticises A is accused of aiding and abetting B. And it is often true, objectively and on a short-term analysis, that he is making things easier for B. Therefore, say the supporters of A, shut up and don't criticise: or at least criticise "constructively", which in practice always means favourably. And from this it is only a short step to arguing that the suppression and distortion of known facts is the highest duty of a journalist.

    He concludes that it all leads to violence, in the end. “The trouble is that if you lie to people, their reaction is all the more violent when the truth leaks out, as it is apt to do in the end”.
  • Outlander
    1.4k
    monarchsbaker

    That's the other thing. One great man, a man of compassion, duty, bravery, power, all only used when appropriate.. one you wish to rule forever, never will. For such would be a hell in and of itself. There is no guarantee, in fact perhaps as some argue an inverse guarantee, that the successor (biological kid) would not be, in less adept terms, a shit. How can one have time to father a nation and his own child without neglecting one or the other. Man cannot serve two masters.
  • Nothing
    41
    Guys : 100 year marathon, russia is a small player... USA weak up !
  • dimosthenis9
    497


    Migration is the inevitable cost that West should pay for fucking up the other countries throughout recent history(and I don't only mean via wars of course). It's its "personal responsibility" that should take over.

    If they don't want migrants the best "policy" for West countries is to try make their countries living conditions better (economical, health systems etc etc) . As less people in the future to migrate. It's the only logical solution that I can think of.

    Till that happens, a way should be found as these migrants, that are already here, to become useful members of our societies. Well I see that already happening in some countries and I find it right.
  • Michael Zwingli
    417
    Or maybe things have somehow worked out so far _despite_ democracy.baker
    :up:
    Let us not forget that for most of history, "democracy" did not mean "universal suffrage". To the "founding fathers" here in the States, in fact, such a notion would have seemed as nonsensical as it did to the ancient Athenians.
  • ssu
    4.7k
    Migration is the inevitable cost that West should pay for fucking up the other countries throughout recent history(and I don't only mean via wars of course).dimosthenis9
    Let's look at what have been the largest refugee crisis in the World:

    They have been:

    1. WW2 in Europe (11 to 20 million)
    2. The Partition of India (14 million)
    3. The Bangladesh Liberation war (10 million)
    4. The Soviet Afghan war (6,3 million)
    5. Syrian Civil War (6,7 million)
    6. Venezuelan Refugee Crisis (6 million)
    7. The Korean War (5 million)
    8. War in Indochina -wars in Vietnam, Cambodia (3 million)
    9. Yugoslav civil war (2,4 million)
    10. Great Lakes refugee crisis (Rwanda)

    Of these basically 4, 5 and 6 are ongoing crises. But looking at the list it's not so evident that it's the West that has created all these problems. With basically Afghanistan (and Iraq, which is later) you could argue that, but for example the Venezuelan refugee crisis has happened because of Venezuelans themselves and the economic policies the ruling regime has implemented. To argue that the West is behind everything that happens simply isn't the case. You can do something, assist, have fair trade policies, but inevitably the countries and people have to solve the issues themselves. And when you look at the list, some countries have solved their problems.
  • dimosthenis9
    497
    To argue that the West is behind everything that happens simply isn't the case. You can do something, assist, have fair trade policies, but inevitably the countries and people have to solve the issues themselves. And when you look at the list, some countries have solved their problems.ssu

    Well of course it is not only the West which caused all the harm. It would be more appropriate to say the developed-wealth countries in general.

    Despite wars, most wealthy countries take full advantage of the natural sources of poor countries. And we, the citizens of those countries, know all these things but we just say "oh what a shame" and that's it. We just go on our lives, buying products from these companies etc etc. We take benefits also from this situation maybe not directly (like politicians or big companies) but still indirect.
    We just chose all these years to close our eyes but now the problem has reached to our doors,and we only blame the "bad migrants" who threaten our way of life.

    Yeah the countries should solve their problems mostly on their own. But when you have someone with his hands tied you can't just expect him to untie himself on his own. You do need to help him.
  • Kenosha Kid
    3.1k
    And this brings me to the real issue here: We face the danger where debate about various policies are taken over by the larger "culture war", dumbed down to simple rhetoric which doesn't put into context the actual issues at hand.ssu

    As far as I can tell, this is the explicit part one of your thesis: that you're being constrained against discussing a particular and interesting event (a mode of warfare) because it falls under the banner of a tabboo subject (immigration). For all I know, that is the case where you are, but that isn't a global "We". Britain apparently has no problem faking mass immigration stories and both British and American leaders have enjoyed great success describing immigrants generally as dirty criminals, so I don't think anyone there would bat an eyelid at bemoaning Russian immigration into Finland as warfare. If they're not, there's three more viable reasons:
    1) it didn't really happen;
    2) it happened, but we didn't know;
    3) we know, but we really don't care (very likely)

    From where I am, far from the right-wing paranoid fantasy that you can't speak the truth about immigration without being cancelled, the right-wing press actually devotes a lot of its energy to anti-immigration propaganda in a manner that betrays the fact that, far from being a considered opinion based on evidence a la Russia, it is against immigration _even in principle_ along lines adjacent to racial purity arguments (e.g. they speak the wrong language ["I don't recognise this country any more!"], have the wrong religion ["They're trying to cancel Christmas!"] or otherwise the wrong culture.)

    If dialogue about immigration is difficult and heated, that's because it's been poisoned by racist, nationalistic, traditionalistic i.e. conservative sentiment. You prove the point yourself by making the instantaneous leap from Russia's typical wrongdoing (a non-controversial topic except to the Putinbots) to Mexicans-have-the-wrong-culture arguments that have no analogy with Russian cold warfare.

    Probably a better example (required since immigration-phobia in the right apparently blinds them from distinctions between immigration stories) is Syrian refugees in Germany and France. A large number of sexual assault allegations were made by women, the picture painted being that this mass influx of Syrian men brought a sexually misogynistic culture with it. I even know women personally who were so molested*. That said, we're also told this happens to all women every day anyway, and I'm not sure how strangers on a train are verifying each others' residential status*. Did the governments fail to respond to the danger they put women in because they were afraid to say anything negative against even a minority of immigrants? Or did the right very easily convince the people to accept an incredibly tenuous, unverifiable link between eeeeeeevil immigrants (or at least people who look different to me who we might arbitrarily identify as immigrants) and crimes that were supposed to be already happening? How did such crimes supposedly become caused by immigration? I have no idea and don't see any barrier to discussing it beyond there being nothing to discuss.

    *And, yes, I asked the question 'How do you know they were Syrian and refugees?' and, yes, I was immediately labelled a misogynist for not being a racist, cuz they're _obviously_ immigrants, right?

    The implicit part two as far as I can tell has the following logic:
    1. Russian warfare via immigration against Finland is bad.
    2. Therefore immigration is bad.
    3. Therefore immigration of refugees is bad.
    4. Therefore "silenced" (and yet ubiquitous) ab initio anti-immigration arguments are justified.

    I don't think that takes a lot effort to obliterate. It's perfectly straightforward to condemn Russia's experiments with the Finnish border _and_ support helping refugees from war at the same time. This only appears contradictory if you're an extremist (i.e. have the view that immigration must always/never be supported).

    On your first image btw, I'm reminded of Farage's tactics in Brexit campaigning. Photos of groups of people allegedly from abroad are no doubt extremely potent to the right wing, you guys go nuts over that stuff. They're just not all that scary to the rest of us. It's just a photo of a group of cyclists to me, and it doesn't concern me at all where they've come from.

    Your second image suggests that, contrary to your assertion that people can't talk about Russian emigration, people are in fact talking about it. Even the cartoonists.

    If we all just agree that, if the Russia story is true, it was a bad thing to do, does that satisfy you? Maybe do a poll? Or would that put the cancel culture fantasy too much at risk? ;)
  • baker
    3.3k
    The good thing about a monarchy is that the decision as to who should rule is, for all practical intents and purposes, taken out of people's hands (leaving aside the actual machinations in the royal court).
    A king is placed into a position of power by God, and this, on principle, relieves everyone else of the responsibility for whom to choose as a leader, whom to follow.

    This way, people focus on minding their own business and don't waste their time, energy, and other resources on things over which they can exert no control.
  • baker
    3.3k
    I only need to look at the situation in the country I live in, and I see that democracy doesn't work.
    — baker
    Just remember what the alternative is: authoritarianism. It is just like the alternative to individual freedom is regulation, control and supervision by some authority. Nothing in between.
    ssu

    Authoritarianism can come in subtle, implied form as well. The invisible force that makes people conform, live in constant fear of public censure.
    The freedom we have in a democracy is illusory, or only applies to trifles.

    I think that people are quite similar in every country. The vast majority are honorable, decent and abide the rules of the society and in every human population there is the fraction of people who are unsocial and those who are criminals. It's not an issue of individual character. The problem is that people are highly adaptable and do adapt to situations where the society doesn't work. When it doesn't work, people adapt to the reality.

    How can that be then, how can the society not work, when, as you say, the vast majority are honorable, decent and abide the rules of the society?

    My wife is Mexican and I've been many times in Mexico and know her relatives and friends. They are basically similar kind of people that Finns are and the cultural differences are in the end basically just small nuances. Yet the two countries are totally different with huge parts of Mexico having been collapsed into total anarchy and lawlessness. I try to explain the situation to Finns by telling that Finland would be similar - if criminals could do just whatever they want and the police wouldn't operate at all or would work with the criminals. Quite quickly the trust in the police and in officials in general would erode and social cohesion would take a hit. It would become similar to Mexico. That hasn't happened here, so the people, even the Mexicans living here, do trust the Finnish police. And Finns participate in various associations as eagerly as they take baths in saunas, so democratic participation comes naturally.

    Or, alternatively, the Finns are extremely conformist people, with very little sense of individuality, in comparison to Mexicans.
    Or, another alternative, the differences between the two countries are grounded in the different types of the natural resources that are available in each region. Ie. the natural givens form the basis for a particular type of human socioeconomic system that can exist in them.
    Or, the Finns are a culture that is less focused on classism in comparison to Mexicans (classism being related to social strife).

    It's not clear that the existence of an effective police force is what keeps crime levels manageable, or how this correlates with a particular socioeconomic system.

    I think it's the societies themselves, which mold people to behave in a certain way. And how, why, societies change is the crucial part. How they change for the worst is the crucial issue. Key factors are the basics services any state should provide. The most basic issue that the state should give is the most important: safety of it's citizens, the monopoly over violence as Weber would put it.

    On the other hand, there is the Christian doctrine of rendering unto Caesar. For example, during the WWII, the Catholic Church has mostly cooperated with the Nazis and Fascists. We can expect that those with a Christian perspective (and there are many such people), have a very specific view of what counts for "safety". Christians basically act by the principle "might makes right", and that can mean not protecting anyone, citizens or foreigners, from violence of any kind.

    Do notice the reference to "partisanship tainting every facet of American life" and to "dysfunctional politics". Ackermann doesn't even have to argue for why he sees it like this, it's quite common knowledge. That the US military has had to state publicly that it basically accepts the election results and will work with the new administration is in my view a warning sign of things not being normal. And so is the text above written in the magazine published by the Council on Foreign Relations.

    In my view the US is on a dangerous path, that easily could blow up again. All it take is an economic downturn, a monetary crisis or both. The immigration issue will just add to this as it will keep the sides in their "tribes". Because I see now examples of tensions easing out and things getting back to normal...whatever that was.

    I'm sorry, I'm quite spent. The government of the country I live in has passed a law recently according to which all police commanders and some other high officials in the police were automatically demoted to acting commanders etc., and now there is an open competition for those functions, by new criteria. And more.
  • ssu
    4.7k
    Kenosha Kid, sometimes the answers one gets unintentionally make exactly the point you are trying to make. Thanks!

    If I confuse you, I hope I can make my point more clear by commenting your response. I'll start from the end and go backwards.

    If we all just agree that, if the Russia story is true, it was a bad thing to do, does that satisfy you?Kenosha Kid
    Would be somewhat rare if people would do that. Many wouldn't bother to read it through, but just to assume what the person will talk about from few words. Those that read it through, I would think that some would think that the whole story is just thing invented by people with anti-immigrant attitudes and wouldn't care to give a moment to look at the story. People get confused about Russian 'active measures'. Just look at the other example of Trump and Russia. Perfect example of polarization and the dumbing down of the discussion.

    Your second image suggests that, contrary to your assertion that people can't talk about Russian emigration, people are in fact talking about it. Even the cartoonists.Kenosha Kid
    Actually, the point I was making was that IN THE YEAR 2018 there wasn't this debate or those cartoons. As I stated, NOW things have changed. If you haven't noticed, the EU has adopted a different strategy or basically has had the time to come up with a strategy.

    On your first image btw, I'm reminded of Farage's tactics in Brexit campaigning. Photos of groups of people allegedly from abroad are no doubt extremely potent to the right wing, you guys go nuts over that stuff. They're just not all that scary to the rest of us. It's just a photo of a group of cyclists to me, and it doesn't concern me at all where they've come from.Kenosha Kid
    I assume that if I start a thread with "Discourse and Reality" and have pictures that remind you of Nigel Farage, do you assume I'm in his camp? (Well, I think he is one of the most irresponsible British populists, but that I guess doesn't matter.)

    Ok, do you have any idea how remote the Norwegian-Russian border is? And how absolutely bizarre someone cycling to the border is in the winter? It's basically tundra, wilderness. Few inhabitants, few if any villages on both sides of the border. The reason for the bicycles was of course that Russian law bans people just walking over the border. But do note that just how hilarious it is to assume that suddenly a black market would swing up in bicycles in Murmansk. That some "entrepreneurial" Russians noticing the sudden arrival in Murmansk would have the ability to give thousands of them the 136 mile ride to the border and then have bicycles there for them to go over the border? And note that once bikes weren't allowed, the refugees suddenly (but not before) had cars. The fact is that smugglers don't have such organizational skills (or basically incentive) to suddenly come up with bicycles and later cars and fly people to the arctic makes it obvious that this was an active measures operation by Russia.

    It's perfectly straightforward to condemn Russia's experiments with the Finnish border _and_ support helping refugees from war at the same time. This only appears contradictory if you're an extremist (i.e. have the view that immigration must always/never be supported).Kenosha Kid
    Of course. Have I been saying anything else? I think you assume so if I start a thread about migration with "Discourse and Reality..."

    he implicit part two as far as I can tell has the following logic:
    1. Russian warfare via immigration against Finland is bad.
    2. Therefore immigration is bad.
    3. Therefore immigration of refugees is bad.
    4. Therefore "silenced" (and yet ubiquitous) ab initio anti-immigration arguments are justified.
    Kenosha Kid
    No,I'm not saying that. But seems you think that I am.

    And what you are describing is the typical right wing anti-immigrant view. Hence the referral of making my point.

    Population growth is the most natural reason for economic growth and if you don't have population growth, but negative growth, then immigration would be very beneficial. And countries like US and Canada have benefited hugely from immigration. Yet one kind of immigration, those that are refugees, has historically been viewed negatively and not all refugee problems have been resolved. Everybody loves tourists as they bring money to the community, but refugees are viewed as a burden to the community. In many cases that hasn't been true, and in many cases refugees are accepted, especially in the cases of internal displacement. Yet that countries use refugees pawns in their political games is simply disgusting. One should have a debate about that without the typical polarized mantras. That's my main point.

    You prove the point yourself by making the instantaneous leap from Russia's typical wrongdoing (a non-controversial topic except to the Putinbots) to Mexicans-have-the-wrong-culture arguments that have no analogy with Russian cold warfare.Kenosha Kid
    Sigh.

    At least I tried to make the OPPOSITE case: that people are the same. Mexicans put into Finnish society behave quite similarly as others and there isn't really much cultural difference. The point was that the societies themselves, the institutions, are different and people have to adapt to this even if they, the vast majority, are totally honest hardworking people.

    If dialogue about immigration is difficult and heated, that's because it's been poisoned by racist, nationalistic, traditionalistic i.e. conservative sentiment.Kenosha Kid
    Well, @Kenosha Kid, can we have a discussion without the poison of polarization? It's not about "winning" the argument, proving others wrong, but exchanging views and learning from others.
  • Kenosha Kid
    3.1k
    1. Russian warfare via immigration against Finland is bad.
    2. Therefore immigration is bad.
    3. Therefore immigration of refugees is bad.
    4. Therefore "silenced" (and yet ubiquitous) ab initio anti-immigration arguments are justified.
    — Kenosha Kid
    No,I'm not saying that. But seems you think that I am.
    ssu

    Let's check first how wide of the mark I am. Correct me where I deviate from what you say you meant.
    1. Russia engaged in a bizarre demonstration of power by flooding neighbouring countries with immigrants.
    2. People can't talk about [1] because immigration is taboo.
    3. But we need to talk about immigration, viz [1].
    4. This includes accepting the fact that, while people are people everywhere, subcultures differ, and some subcultures would, translated elsewhere, be intolerably criminal, e.g. Mexican subcultures in Finland.

    If the above is correct, perhaps you can sketch the delta between that and my original summation of the implicit argument, since they look pretty darn adjacent to me. My point was that [4] has absolutely nothing to do with [1] and yet was presented as supported by it, via [2-3]. When the conclusion had nothing to do with the premise, something is amiss.

    Well, Kenosha Kid, can we have a discussion without the poison of polarization? It's not about "winning" the argument, proving others wrong, but exchanging views and learning from others.ssu

    You miss my point. I was describing historical content of right-wing media (at least in English-speaking nations), not laying out a manifesto for future conduct here. The problem isn't that progressive people have made anything related to immigration taboo. The problem is that right-wingers don't seem to be able to talk about Russian invasion of Finland and Norway without bringing up Mexican immigrantion to the US, which makes the debate not only toxic but meaningless except to like-minded paranoiacs, who therefore dominate the discourse. And this holds pretty much across the spectrum of politics.

    For my part, I don't care that much. I believe, as you seem to, that we should take in refugees of war, famine, societal collapse, and soon climate change. Beyond that, have an immigration policy and manage it. It doesn't matter that much to me what the policy is.

    Ok, do you have any idea how remote the Norwegian-Russian border is?ssu

    I've crossed the Finnish-Russian border, so an idea, yes, but not been there.

    I assume that if I start a thread with "Discourse and Reality" and have pictures that remind you of Nigel Farage, do you assume I'm in his campssu

    No, what I said was that these photos aren't as ghastly to everyone. I presume you posted it to have an impact and as evidence, right? But they're not very impactful images, or compelling evidence, unless you're predisposed to be alarmed and swayed by them. You're obviously very concerned about immigration (you started a thread on it). As per two paragraphs up, it's not something that bothers me much. I guess my immediate response is, 'They look cold, poor things.' Not, 'Oh my god, we need to start talking about something right-wing media never shuts up about.' But like I said, most people would probably be apathetic anyway. Could you imagine a redneck giving a crap about Russian cyclists in Norway? :rofl:
  • ssu
    4.7k
    How can that be then, how can the society not work, when, as you say, the vast majority are honorable, decent and abide the rules of the society?baker
    Thanks for asking, this is an important point.

    Simply if they have a lot to lose themselves and are not desperate, they won't stand against braking of those rules. Sure, they won't like it at all, likely will be disgusted about how low things have gone in their country, but will try to go on with their lives. The simple fact is that a lot of people aren't interested in politics and just want to live their lives. Hence democracy can be dismantled even with the majority of people are decent and law abiding.

    Let's say that in your country after a terrorist attack, political turmoil or something, the ruling administration makes a self-coup and hence demolishes democracy, yet promises that the actions taken are only temporary. Those people that accept the administration's promises, are they suddenly not honorable, decent and law abiding?

    It's not clear that the existence of an effective police force is what keeps crime levels manageable, or how this correlates with a particular socioeconomic system.baker
    It's more like a canary in the coal mine. The simple fact that tourists are not advised to call the police if something happens to them, but to contact preferably their embassy does say something about the institution. It just tells that many issues are off, not that the reason would just this institution in the society for why it's dysfunctional.

    On the other hand, there is the Christian doctrine of rendering unto Caesar.baker
    Yep. You can quote part the Bible here directly. Explains well why Roman Emperors finally accepted Christianity and threw out the old Roman gods.

    I'm sorry, I'm quite spent. The government of the country I live in has passed a law recently according to which all police commanders and some other high officials in the police were automatically demoted to acting commanders etc., and now there is an open competition for those functions, by new criteria. And more.baker
    But ironic (or sad), but I cannot immediately know what country you are talking about. Would it be Slovenia? Slovenia is so small that it barely surfaces in English news media...
  • ssu
    4.7k
    Let's check first how wide of the mark I am. Correct me where I deviate from what you say you meant. - The problem is that right-wingers don't seem to be able to talk about Russian invasion of Finland and Norway without bringing up Mexican immigrantion to the US, which makes the debate not only toxic but meaningless except to like-minded paranoiacs, who therefore dominate the discourse. And this holds pretty much across the spectrum of politics.Kenosha Kid
    Notice Kenosha, that the OP isn't at all about Mexico. I brought up Mexico (and Mexicans) to specifically answer the comment @baker made about the role of the character of people and how society works, which basically a totally different topic than immigration itself. And yes, it's different from European immigration and especially the use of refugees by third countries.

    So bunching up different topics is a bit confusing for me, hence I have a bit of a problem to follow your reasoning.


    You're obviously very concerned about immigration (you started a thread on it).Kenosha Kid
    More concerned about the ability to have an open discussion in this forum without people being put into the molds that political polarization wants to put us. And people hearing dog whistles (or assumed dog whistles) if you start a thread about some politicized issue.

    Could you imagine a redneck giving a crap about Russian cyclists in Norway?Kenosha Kid
    Something the same happening in let's say the US-Canadian border, and I could evade the crap only with simply not following the media here, which does report even all the small things that happen in the US, like what Biden has said or what the Rittenhouse verdict was etc. (And no, both don't have anything to do with the thread)
  • Kenosha Kid
    3.1k
    Notice Kenosha, that the OP isn't at all about Mexico.ssu

    No, but a) it was about immigration in general, despite the specific example of Russia having nothing to do with any other immigration case, and b) you nonetheless found the connection to Mexico in later posts.

    And people hearing dog whistles (or assumed dog whistles) if you start a thread about some politicized issue.ssu

    As I said in my first response, I see no barrier to discussing the Russia story at all, it's interesting. You started out in your OP claiming that this was somehow subject to censorship, a point I take issue with, but you seem to be sticking to that line. That's a very common claim these days from your side of the political divide. People can't shut up about not being able to speak.

    Something the same happening in let's say the US-Canadian border, and I could evade the crap only with simply not following the media here, which does report even all the small things that happen in the USssu

    Yeah I get that. But my point is that it doesn't follow that the world not talking about Russian cyclists has anything to do with immigration being taboo. The West discusses the US in far too much detail (I see far more US news than British news), but they don't particularly talk about Finland, or Norway, or Sweden, or Belgium, or Holland, or Austria, or... It's not evidence of a cover-up, just that foreign affairs are not egalitarian.

    As for why Finland didn't talk much about it, sure, maybe you're all nuts (my Norwegian friends assure me of this), but here's another theory: it's not that immigration is a taboo subject, but rather that the failure to protect borders at the height of paranoia about Russia was politically awkward.

    We have a comparable thing here. The foreign office has been trying to get a count of how many illegal aliens are in the UK for decades, but it's consistently blocked by No. 10 and the home office. Why? Because if you don't have the numbers, you don't know how "bad" it is and don't have to deal with grief about it from your anti-immigration backbenchers and constituents. You'd have to _deal_ with it (and them) then. So they just don't talk about it. Not because it's taboo, but because it's a topic poisoned by right-wing hate. Even right-wing leaders don't want to face that.
  • ssu
    4.7k
    You started out in your OP claiming that this was somehow subject to censorship, a point I take issue with, but you seem to be sticking to that line. That's a very common claim these days from your side of the political divide. People can't shut up about not being able to speak.Kenosha Kid
    Perhaps I should clear a bit more this as this censorship isn't about the political divide you are talking about, which is related to the "culture war" issue etc.

    If a Finnish high ranking officials make a statement of Russia using refugees as a pressure, that is far more than just me or you making the argument. It will be understood as a response from the government of Finland and will immediately get a response from Russia. Relations with Russia are of the highest priority to Finland, so it's not a laughing matter here. Hence the official wouldn't say this publicly... especially a few years ago. The problem back then was that nobody (or few if any) were publicly stating this, which would be quite easy to see from the bizarre and totally different nature of the incident compared to the larger mass-migration of 2015 and 2016.

    The problem, it isn't about censorship, but more of self-censorship. Or even more basically the attitude that if you made the argument that this incident was actively perpetuated by Russia being a trope of the anti-immigration activists. My main point was that it's not healthy for a democracy if the public discourse doesn't debate actual realities, but that is only left to be done behind closed doors. This can happen when the public discourse is dominated by ferocious lobby-groups, hyper-partisan activists or there's deep polarization. Immigration policy has fallen into this and yes, it has been basically the extreme rights favorite issue so much, that any criticism of the policy is seen as far-right.

    Now in the case of Belarus the EU itself has said that Belarus and president Lukashenko has taken these actions and used refugees as political pawns. And here you see then the change: the media does report this while understanding the plight of the refugee themselves. The only one holding the line that Belarus has nothing to do with this refugee crisis in the Polish/Lithuanian border is Lukashenko himself.

    (A short review of the situation in Belarus)


    But my point is that it doesn't follow that the world not talking about Russian cyclists has anything to do with immigration being taboo.Kenosha Kid
    (Btw a small correction, the cyclists weren't Russian, but the refugees from Syria, Afghanistan etc.)

    Immigration isn't a taboo. We just have lithurgies how to talk of it. On both sides of the so-called "culture war".

    As for why Finland didn't talk much about it, sure, maybe you're all nuts (my Norwegian friends assure me of this), but here's another theory: it's not that immigration is a taboo subject, but rather that the failure to protect borders at the height of paranoia about Russia was politically awkward.Kenosha Kid
    Maybe we are nuts. But I assume you never have heard about Finlandization. But the thing is that non-aligned countries like Sweden and Finland talk about Russia differently than NATO members like Estonia, Poland or Norway.

    We have a comparable thing here. The foreign office has been trying to get a count of how many illegal aliens are in the UK for decades, but it's consistently blocked by No. 10 and the home office. Why? Because if you don't have the numbers, you don't know how "bad" it is and don't have to deal with grief about it from your anti-immigration backbenchers and constituents. You'd have to _deal_ with it (and them) then. So they just don't talk about it. Not because it's taboo, but because it's a topic poisoned by right-wing hate. Even right-wing leaders don't want to face that.Kenosha Kid

    Being open right from the start is in my view the correct way to do things, because otherwise you will just give ammunition to anti-immigration populists who will concoct conspiracy theories around immigration policy and the role of the government. It's far more damning if the government withholds information or just looks as if it is withholding information of a "hot potato" issue.
  • Kenosha Kid
    3.1k
    The problem, it isn't about censorship, but more of self-censorship. Or even more basically the attitude that if you made the argument that this incident was actively perpetuated by Russia being a trope of the anti-immigration activists.ssu

    Indeed, hence my analogy with the self-imposed ignorance of the UK Conservative government. It's too difficult to handle the fallout of acknowledging it, so don't.

    But this has nothing to do with the mode of discourse about immigration generally, or as you put it:

    We face the danger where debate about various policies are taken over by the larger "culture war", dumbed down to simple rhetoric which doesn't put into context the actual issues at hand. Hence there isn't much actual debate of the real political issues, but a discourse separated to an ideological simplified realm. Debate about actual policies or international politics is done behind closed doors and not openly in the media. Who would say what actually is true, if you get a ton of hate mail and your career is threatened.ssu

    which is a clear reference to "You can't say anything any more" cancel culture culture (distinct from cancel culture), specifically around the topic of immigration. It's this typical conflation I was pointing out, because the reasons for Finnish authorities not talking about Russian migrants were incredibly specific (as you yourself have described them), not symptomatic of a broader problem in discussing immigration (same goes for the UK's wilful blindness on illegal alien numbers).

    Maybe we are nuts. But I assume you never have heard about Finlandization. But the thing is that non-aligned countries like Sweden and Finland talk about Russia differently than NATO members like Estonia, Poland or Norway.ssu

    I'd say get thee into Nato but I'm not sure how much juice is in that tank. But still... would Crimea be in Russia if the Ukraine had done the obvious thing and acted on its intent to join? They hedged their bets for fear of bringing Nato to Russian borders and look what happened: territory annexed.

    Being open right from the start is in my view the correct way to do things, because otherwise you will just give ammunition to anti-immigration populists who will concoct conspiracy theories around immigration policy and the role of the government. It's far more damning if the government withholds information or just looks as if it is withholding information of a "hot potato" issue.ssu

    I mostly agree, but as I said immigration is discussed openly, however the narrative is more or less owned by hate. Brexit was an immigration discussion. The remain side argued for pragmatism and humanitarianism. The leave side faked images of swarms of migrants queueing at our borders. It didn't matter that such propaganda was outed as such prior to the vote. Hate is blind but vigorous.

    It is the _quality_, not the amount, of discussion that is the problem. In service of better, more open discourse, the onus is on all parties to be honest, thoughtful and self-representing. If Trump supporters for instance have a problem with being "censored", i.e. being called racists when they e.g. call Mexicans rapists, the onus is on them to up the quality of their discourse, not on others to self-censor accurate descriptions of their behaviour. Let someone be a xenophobe by all means, but if they have a problem with being named as one, they're not an honest, thoughtful, or self-representing xenophobe :D Of course, I doubt that's feasible.
  • ssu
    4.7k
    the reasons for Finnish authorities not talking about Russian migrants were incredibly specific (as you yourself have described them), not symptomatic of a broader problem in discussing immigration (same goes for the UK's wilful blindness on illegal alien numbers).Kenosha Kid
    You got it.

    But still... would Crimea be in Russia if the Ukraine had done the obvious thing and acted on its intent to join?Kenosha Kid
    A bit sidestep from the thread, but I cannot help myself:razz: :

    For Putin offense is best defense. Russians think that way. Napoleon and then Hitler were such traumatic experiences, that many in Russia gather that West is up to no good, still. Putin rides on this sentiment. But the real tragedy here is that I think it's unlikely that Ukraine would have gotten to NATO. Ukraine's economy is a disaster zone, it's internal politics a total mess and if Putin would have just sat and waited, Ukraine would have continued just the way it had been. People can disagree with this, but I think that NATO membership of Ukraine wouldn't have happened. Likely outcome would have been like the present and the relationship that Sweden and also Finland have with NATO: cooperation, but no membership.

    In fact Russia had to just wait that the US got unfocused and overstretched in Central Asia, which was to Putin a very successful strategy: After 9/11 the US had bases all around the -Stans and now it has nothing, and Russia is holding military exercises with the countries. But yes, Crimea still would be part of Ukraine then, but half of Ukraine would be pro-Russian and the EU would have continued to dismantle it's various armed forces and Russia would have been seen in a better light. Perhaps just to get Crimea back to mother Russia is a prize for Vladimir the Great.

    But back to the subject!
    I mostly agree, but as I said immigration is discussed openly, however the narrative is more or less owned by hate. Brexit was an immigration discussion. The remain side argued for pragmatism and humanitarianism. The leave side faked images of swarms of migrants queueing at our borders. It didn't matter that such propaganda was outed as such prior to the vote. Hate is blind but vigorous.Kenosha Kid
    Or fear. The UKIP argument was a great example how a complex issue like EU membership was taken over by fearmongering (perhaps the hoards of refugees should have been placed with pictures of hoards of truck drivers to show the actual reality). Try then having an intelligent discussion about the membership, but that's the main point with populism. It isn't about having a true open debate. The worst part is that populists that believe in conspiracy theories are for totally open an unadulterated propaganda. Since they believe that all what the powers at be do is propaganda, they go with their own propaganda. Hence issues that they know aren't actually true are upheld, because it's all a way to fight the establishment.

    And do notice how the narrative is controlled. It's said that the woke-left virtue signals, but similar yet totally different virtue signalling goes on with the populist right, where in my view even more strict adherence to the narrative. Try saying anything positive about immigration and one is on thin ice. It's like US Republicans trying to talk about Trump. Best example of this is actually Trump himself. Trump seems to be actually fearful of losing his crowd, his base. You can see this how he immediately backed down from encouraging people taking the Covid-vaccination after getting immediate boos. For the Trump crowd in the age of tribalism, being for Covid-shots is the message of the other side of the "culture war", even if Trump's 'Operation Warp Speed' was in the end a success. A politician like Trump goes with this crowd.

    Trump stepping out of his Overton window, gets booed and immediately tries to backtrack...a sign of leadership?


    It is the _quality_, not the amount, of discussion that is the problem. In service of better, more open discourse, the onus is on all parties to be honest, thoughtful and self-representing.Kenosha Kid
    I'm starting to fear that the way how the discussion is dumbed down to low quality is done on purpose. It's like making politics into a show like professional wrestling in the US. I fear this kind of stupid politics will be mimicked here in Europe too. Why engage with the other side on actual (boring) policies when you have these wonderful fictional stereotypes to attack?

    If Trump supporters for instance have a problem with being "censored", i.e. being called racists when they e.g. call Mexicans rapists, the onus is on them to up the quality of their discourse, not on others to self-censor accurate descriptions of their behaviour.Kenosha Kid
    That was the deliberate and successful way for Trump to get into the limelight of media attention. It angered the people Trump wanted to anger, just like muslim ban or the Wall-thing. Let's take Trump's famous Wall. Any politician could say how they would increase border control (and not be picked up even by the reporters following the elections), but to get to the people, you make up this idea of "Building a big, beautiful wall and make Mexico pay for it!". Easy idea that can be a slogan and a meme to be spread around. Same thing with Colin Caepernick and "taking a knee". With George Bush (the elder) similar issue was trying to make the burning of the US flag illegal. I guess American policy wonks have a name for this.

    The real problem is that with populists like Trump, they are only showmen, not politicians who during elections would resort populist rhetoric, but behind closed doors would morph back to be actual statesmen. The election show never stops, it just goes on and on. And when you have that show going on 24 hours, having the ability to actually lead and get political consensus is the last thing on your mind. Trying to reach a political consensus, making deals with the opposition, would be seen as a defeat. This makes political leadership dysfunctional as we saw with the Trump administration. Or with the Chavez-Maduro administration, if we take an example of left-wing populism.

    The worst result is of course that actual policies will be a mess. And this, unfortunately, has happened with immigration policy in many countries.
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