A Waldo Moment

Have been re-watching Black Mirror episode on Waldo the last few days and I can't help compare that to these days. There are few analogies between Waldo and the so called alt-right movement.

1st Waldo doesn't stand for anything.

Waldo is in fact an empty container that makes it easy for people to relate to. It doesn't say he wants to raise taxes or change health care, in fact it doesn't say anything.

These have often been the tactics used by populist movements, and the same patterns we can observe now in the alt-right parties. More specifically the thing I hear the most is "we do not abide to any particular ideology, we only want what is logic and what the 99% wants".

Now this is a big mistake. Usual left-right ideologies usually define the vision of a particular party or candidate. What does this entity or person want for the world. If they are socialist, they might stand for workers right, if they are liberal for free market and so on. What if you say you stand for what is logical? But what is logical? For the Greeks and the Romans of 2000 years ago pedophilia was pretty normal and therefore logical.

You see, modern democracy are not exactly the rule of the majority. Sure elections are won by majority votes, but it doesn't mean that if the majority wants to kill people, killing becomes universally right and accepted.

In modern democracies there are different powers that balance themselves. One of this powers is the free press, there is justice and law, and there is the state and the political power.

In some countries and in some situation, some things cannot be decided by a simple majority vote. When you have to amend the constitution for example, special rule might apply. And that's OK!

2nd Waldo talks about beliefs and not facts.

Waldo swears instead of explaining what its stand for, so most of the time you do not even have to listen to what it says and decide if you agree with its vision. You can just laugh.

Waldo says the majority of the people do not vote or take politics seriously, even if this is not true, but he says what people believe is true, or are inclined to.

So in the last take 15 or 20 years we have seen a constant war on facts, science, progress. Global warming is something that you can or you cannot accept, and that's your opinion. The same for the theory of evolution, or the fact that we have gone to the Moon and back.

There is even an episode of Friends where Phoebes has Ross admitting that if you think scientifically Evolution might actually be wrong. Well strictly speaking Evolution might actually be wrong in a way, but not in the meaning that we come from aliens or Adam and Eve. Really, no.

Why have we started doing this? This paved the road to Trump, Farage, and the next fact smashers to come.

3rd Waldo is independent and promises to change things.

Waldo is not part of the establishment. Waldo is new.

Change per se is an empty box. Like Waldo really. If you ask me if I want things to change I might agree, but do I want them to change the way the alt-right wants? Well, not really.

I want the world to be more connected, not countries more isolated.

In fact I want more globalisation, but with the right regulations. You see, if you can reach the other side of the world in 2 days it is only normal that people and companies want to trade there. Globalisation per se can't be stopped and whoever said it can is talking bullsh*t. Unless they want to stop airplanes flying around and people communicating freely on the internet.

And even if this happens, i.e. we cannot trade freely, there is no guarantee that the jobs lost to globalisation will be reinstated. It is more likely that more jobs will be lost and that we transition away from the current geo-political status quo. Which isn't necessarily a good thing.

What we need is more regulation and protection for workers.

Well now, what we need to do is demand a certain standard from our politicians. Our current crisis is not economical. The economy is actually recovering. Our current crisis is political and we need to do something about it. Otherwise.. Do you remember how Waldo episode ends?

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.