Death of democracy by extortion

It is not my intent to invoke fear or panic, merely to observe an ongoing trend and comment on it.  There are benefits and risks of either staying on the trend or departing from it, probably manageable in most cases.

And THAT is the point of disagreement.  It is the CLAIM of politicians and bureaucrats from Putin to Paul Ryan, from Christine Lagarde to John Kaisch, that “the world WILL FALL APART, catastrophically” if voters have their way from Brexit to the leading TWO candidates in the Congressional majority US party, and the not-far-behind 2nd candidate in the party that controls the White House.

Describing the now-seemingly-likely exit of Britain from the EU, the head of the IMF says it could “derail Europe’s shaky recovery … and lead to years of financial uncertainty.”

Really?  For most of my life there was no EU and the world economy was growing and doing a lot better than it is now, almost everywhere, but especially in the US, Japan, and the Middle East (which is about trashed now except for the few remaining totalitarian oil kingdoms).  So, yeah, there is precedent for democracy leading to catastrophic consequences.  But let’s be clear about the context.  There was previously NO democracy in those regions of the Middle East, whereas democracy has been doing fine in England at least since the Knights of the Round Table (round so that no one not even the king sat at the “head” and was elevated over anyone else).

It seems to me Lagarde has a similar fear mongering message to corral voters into line as did Kaisch and Romney, whom we discussed in a previous post.

Even if our worst nightmares came to pass and Cruz was elected and attempted to implement his anti-Fed gold standard, it seems unlikely that he would succeed, or if he did, that the policy would not be shortly rolled back when the consequences began to be felt.  The only thing that would keep the policies from being rolled back is if you keep people from voting!  Which seems to be the point of all this fear mongering.

And how is that different than Putin’s disdain for the democratic will of the people of Ukraine to join the EU?  Not everyone wants to leave it, just the countries which are doing well, and can you blame them if they have to support all comers?  It’s like having an open border policy in the US.

Yes, well, it seems to me that Lagarde, Kaisch, Romney and Putin have something in common.  And it is not a burning desire to see the will of the voters prevail.

They have something else in common too.  They are not merely fear mongering.  They are extorting.  That is, they are making threats they intend to back up.  Just as Putin made sure Ukraine fell into calamity by financing and arming an invasion of “green men” in unmarked tanks, it seems to me Lagarde (a banker, they are always extortionists) and Kaisch and Romney are all prepared to make sure the consequences are felt, whether it is EU uncertainty or the suicide of the Republican Party.

There is in my view only one way to deal with extortionists.  You have to make your own well considered decision while carefully ignoring them.  And if they act badly afterward, like Putin, you have to fully confront them.  If you cave to them, you take a bold step right out onto the world’s most slippery slope.  So slippery that it amounts to free fall, complete with the splat at the bottom.

Addendum 4/22/2016 – Obama’s critique of Brexit & Mayor of London’s response:

See BBC article on Obama’s speech about Britain going to the back of the queue on trade deals with the US if it exits the EU.  If you read Money, Wealth & War, you already know I consider the EU to be “illegal” under the WTO rules of no preferential trade deals, as well as all other localized deals.  In his response, London mayor Boris Johnson points out most of Britain’s trade (73%) is not part of any preferential trade deals and he cites the WTO as making such deals unnecessary.  He then points out the US defends its own borders (well, depends on who you ask) and does not cede its sovereignty to any sucking federations.  (Well, the states did 2.5 centuries ago.)

Slightly heavy, energetic, with blonde hair, Johnson looks like a younger Trump.  Would be interesting to see how trade policy and international entanglements would come untangled if each became head of his own country.

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