Wednesday, July 10, 2013
When governments fail their publics, the environment becomes ripe for radicals who propose simple solutions. What isn't said, however, is that simplicity often leads to more problems, to curtailment of speech and government controls that make things worse. Witness Venezuela. European countries have lost their publics for the time being and that is worrisome. One or more countries could descend into non-democratic regimes, if they are unable to turn around their economic slide. Government leaders are flailing but they few options other than austerity, and it is that stringency that has cost them support. The perception is that of captains in a storm lashed to their wheels who have lost control of their vessels and are unable to turn into the wind. All their passengers want is the firmness of land, but their hopes have died and their trust. What is needed is for the captains to project calm and purpose while struggling. European publics don't appear to be getting that, however. Hence, they are ready to put someone else at the helm whether or not that person understands the situation. It is a dangerous time.