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Institutional Anarchy.

The West is now entering a period of political turmoil – the next few months are going to be perilous. 

Britain is struggling and failing to find a way through its self imposed Brexit fiasco – no one is minding the shop!

At the fulcrum of Europe and the Middle East,Turkey’s president, desperate to hang on to power is challenging his own  democratic voters in Istanbul.

Now all 27 member nations of the European Union go to the polls this week, rudderless, leaderless and increasingly tribal and nationalistic. Confusion, incoherence and cover up twist in the wind of US foreign policy over Europe, China, Iran and at home in Canada and Mexico. And we are at the start of our own enervating and bloated 18 month electoral process to choose our next president. 

I do not think the next weeks are essentially about the young voter, the millenial or the hispanics – though these will all be important subsidiary issues. We are instead at a tipping point. The world probably always looked out of kilter, its just that we did not know it. But now we are in a different age and we can see all too clearly how politics has failed and how we need a new paradigm if we are to succeed. we can see only too clearly that the really important issues – Climate change, Education, Poverty and the successful harmonisation of new technologies – these issues now are no longer about littl america they are about global collaboration, and a new spirit of cooperation. But instead of a thoughtful reappraisal of the traditional political leadership that has failed so in its place there is erupting a new and dangerous force –  what I will call Institutional Anarchy. 

Voters are just human beings. We want a coherent framework of values, strategies and tactics – a clear and firm understanding of how we can evauate, adapt, and pursue useful lives. And we want a visiion of success that appeals to our best instincts and fundamental knowledge. But wherever we look  these values have been torn to shreds, there are no visions to rally us.

Here in the US lying, false interpretations, and political misinformation has challenged the very core institutions that used to stand at the heart of the nation. But, and this is important, the US is not alone in shredding the play book. The febrile leadership of Cameron and May has led to aspiring British Euro MP’s standing for an office in Europe they may wish in fact to disband. Europe’s own leadership has allowed its membership criteria to be shifted and debased  to the point where over the last decade nations have been welcomed to the enlarged “Club” who are manifestly unfit to join.

We are now about to see the results of  this lack of robustness and stickabiity. Already in the vacuum that has been created a new tribal politician has emerged – look at Hungary, Poland, Romania, Italy and most recently Austria, Germany even and Spain –  where leadership is no longer about meaningful action but about constant and vituperative electioneering. To our discredit American riff raff have become fellow travellers with these desperate new nations promoting, together with Russia, more confusion and disharmony without offering any useful alternatives. 

The next two weeks in Europe will I fear see a tripling of the extreme vote, the collapse of centrist parties, a rise in defensive nationalism and a major erosion of the values and visions that made Europe once so important. It may take the West a step towards Institutional Anarchy. It will not help our cause here in the US.

Have a good day, James