Scandalous Helplessness

In Hbl of to 9.02.17 Pär Stenbäck was publishing a column titled “Låt oss tacka Donald Trump”, in which he was pointing out that in spite of all the problems with Trump’s presidency it is at least a good demonstration in which direction our politicians should change their dealings with the electorate if they want to save liberal democracy. Because, as he states correctly “…: Känslomässig mobilisering ger större sprängkraft än den som baserar sig på förnuft.” From where then Trump’s success.

Stenbäck’s recommendations include the admission that there can in fact be alternatives to what, e.g., was a while ago in Finland presented as “den enda rätte vägen”, and he also mentions “större lyhördhet”, but altogether there is MUCH more which could have been mentioned: E.g. there had already on ti 24.01.17 been a column by Katarina von Numers Ekman with the title “Stränga fäder mot vårdande föräldrar” which was, to some extent, presenting Johanna Korhonen’s book “Mitä Niitä Riivaa?” which is indeed thought-provoking and presents quite a number of very helpful ideas (especially for journalists who have to function as discussion-leaders and interviewers). – Meanwhile I have read the book myself, think that it is only moderately well fitting on the Finnish conditions, but think it anyway a VERY valuable demonstration that our politicians should certainly learn MUCH (!!!) more about psychology. Just to mention one point: most people will NOT vote on the basis of logic reasoning, but rather in order to confirm an identity (i.e. their belonging to a group which they identify with) – which in turn is a big problem for parties who want to care for less successful members of society (i.e. for groups which only few people will want to identify with). And in addition to the recommendations of this book one could also think of a broader approach to the problem, e.g. of teaching in the schools’ psychology lessons also a few politically relevant things, so that it could become common knowledge what a demagogue is, how to recognize a demagogue if one sees/hears one, and what are the dangers with demagogues. And as to economy, Stenbäck could at least have mentioned that there are since quite some time books available (by Ha-Joon Chang and others) which give quite clear alternatives to neoliberalism. – The scandal is that, by the way how he writes, he seems simply to be unaware of all these possibilities and suggestions, so that he (and from the general impressions about politicians, most of our present politicians) seems especially badly equipped to deal with the present wave of populism/demagogy which, as we know, is not limited to the USA.

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