Can we all just calm the fuck down

People in the West are voting for irrational, impossible things out of open rage against the mistakes of the elites. Brexit, trump, nationalists, anti-immigration scaremongering, vote-rigging conspiracy theories, … it goes on. Sure, the elites fucked up. They took us into Iraq, they failed to foresee the Great Recession and then they failed to punish the fraudulent bankers who triggered it. They nearly suffocated Greece and they did nothing as millions of people flooded across international borders. They failed to prepare for the consequences of globalisation and the correlated shriveling of the middle class, all the while waging a ceaseless culture war that still now fans the flames of hatred.

But we can see the light at the end of the tunnel now: the bad times are nearly over! Economies all over the world are picking up a bit of steam, ISIS is being pushed back, and we’re helping to steadily eliminate hunger, poverty and disease around the world while simultaneously creating the potential for greater quality of life for people in the West through better services and automation.

A few moderate and efficient reforms* is all we need in the West to change up a gear and fully renew our push towards the dream of a free and peaceful world in which everyone is guaranteed basic dignity and everyone has the chance to contribute. Maybe, just maybe, the system is not quite as broken as everyone claims it is: after all it is the product of literally hundreds of years of tinkering and repairing, adjusting and calibrating, building and rebuilding, and it has survived far worse times than these. Far, far worse.

Sure it needs change. And we must demand it. But we must demand plausible change and demand rational, effective solutions to achieve it. We must throw out the deadlockers in Congress and other assemblies around the world, and instead elect smart, capable people who have the skills and the savvy to update the system and ignite the Long Boom of the 21st century: a period of unimaginable peace, prosperity and human achievement that is just barely out of reach.

So let’s all just calm the fuck down, take a step back and really seriously consider how exactly you will tell your children and your children’s children that your reaction to the events of 2008–2016 was to trash the whole system and replace it with big walls and angry thugs. ◊

*Reform banking to prevent a repeat of 2007’s subprime mortgage crisis, and reform healthcare & education to curb the out of control costs in those two essential industries. Reform immigration to welcome back the economic powerhouse of immigrant ambition that we have been shunning. Reform corporate taxes to ensure companies pay for their share of the benefits they accrue. Decriminalise drug use, expand drug education and increase addiction support resources to stem the economic and human bleeding from widespread drug addiction. Big international deals like TPP, TTIP are simply a step too far for the majority of people right now, and should be suspended until proper domestic reform can be achieved to help salve the tender wounds of the last 8 years. None of these things are technically difficult: there is a wealth of data and historical precedent to guide us, and so for competent administrators with a clear mandate they are very achievable. Our job is to create the mandate.

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