Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Parties become groups of followers

This was predicted by Spengler 100 years ago. In the last century of a modernity the political parties are gradually being transformed into groups of followers used as tools by single persons. A party has a program, a group of followers has a leader.

In the northern rich world we have already for a long time seen that political parties become more and more person-focused. Their leaders acting like superstars and the parties gaining votes as a function of this. But this never removed the role of programmatic political views. This has changed definitively for the new populist parties, often on the right wing. These are often a strong leader surrounded by "village fools".

And now most of the leaders of the Grand Old Party has been reduced to a group of followers. Surrounding and flattering their presidential candidate in the hope of getting high posts no matter the political principles. The long standing obstructionism in Congress was already a clear sign of the political decline. But it was still politically motivated. Now the only motive seems to be personal power. This is the end point of the political decline in  late modernity which the Western civilization is entering.

The building up of NATO in Eastern Europe is a misguided and hawkish brick, reestablishing the Iron Curtain further to the east. But the talk by Mr. Trump of no longer garantying the security of for example the Baltic states must awake horror in NATO and in the US institutions established for securing America and its power in the world. Another reason why the support for Trump from leading Republicans is so incredible.

In principle a stable end predictable world order is preferable. But only for big players with an equal balance of power between them. Since the break up of the USSR this equal balance has been altered, Russia being pushed back very far toward Moscow. No wonder that Putin is no fan of a stability as is looks presently. NATO's recent expansionist behavior has just added to this. For subdued powers an unstable world order ruled by the will of single leaders is preferable to an unequal stability.

But seen from Washington as the capital of a superpower the Republicans under Donald Trump must look like a security risk.



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