Are you making life changing decisions after the elections result?

Hello all,
I’m wondering how you are feeling with this result?
Whether you are on one side or the other, are your personal or family plans affected by this?

Sending my best to everyone!
Noemi from Brussels

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After the elections the atmosphere in Poland is marked by frustration and mistrust towards politicians, especially now, when the country is leaving the Istanbul Convention https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53538205

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Yes, I was just reading that news.

@ja66er do you see people around you reacting to this?
It’s a pity, because the country is so polarised and probably at least half of the Poles are unhappy with the way things are going. Do you see anything other than social unrest…? Some concrete initiatives that are being taken?

The rally against this shameful withdrawal was organized in many cities last Friday. In Wroclaw where I live there are many protests and demonstrations every week, but the numbers are small.

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After the end of Donald Trump’s presidency, some questions remain unanswered: what will be the fate of authoritarian populists elsewhere.

Because every country is different, what works in the US political culture might not work in Poland @sonia, @EwaSJ, @michal.trzesimiech, @EwaJ-L, @margolys, @Justin, @Wiciu, @maniamana, @AndrzejMazur, @Annaz, @Ewa_Dryjanska, @Wojt

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Hey people. If you think France or Spain or Germany are not authoritarian now, you are either blind and deaf or the word authoritarian has a totally new meaning I haven’t learned at school. You know books like 1984 or Brave New World? They were obligatory lectures in my time but that might have changed. As for the US, the same people that have run it for decades remain in power, big corporations and private institutions, the FDA, the CDC, The CIA… For sure they are some new crowned princes like Mark Zuckerberg whose media platform has become the official ministry of truth although it is totally private… So frankly speaking if „edgeriders” just means repeating the same story that every mainstream platform does, just save my time and delate me from the email list thank you. Authoritarian populist are now in power in most of the world countries and whether its right or left frankly speaking does not matter at all. It’s the same sickening story and the same sickening food the want us to digest, just the color of the plate changes. So give us a break with Poland, Hungary and Belarus, its just like a choice between Staline and Hitler once again. If they are any young people here who really think they can make a difference please withdraw yourself from any long time existing political movements because I assure you this is a waste and misuse of your energy and good intentions and will serve to push forward simply said anti human agendas of some interests groups that none of us normal citizen does belong to.

Hi, Sonia!
I’m not sure if I got you right…
Are you saying that all over the world there are poeple and groups of people that remain firmly in their positions of power no matter the political setup and government administration? Be it transnational corporations or some business world tycoons, they do hold a tight grip on us all, wherever we are and whoever we chose to represent us and our interests in democratic elections. If this is what you’re saying, then I think there is little to argue here. That’s a fact.
However, I have some issues with what you wrote. Firstly, it sounds to me like you’re overstretching the application of the word ‘authoritarian’. Wouldn’t you agree that it’s a name for some processes within a spectrum (the opposite pole of which would be…donno…liberal/libertarian?)? To me it’s not a binary thing (either sth is authoritarian or it isn’t).
Secondly, you seem to be suggesting that people living in, say, Germany have the same amount of personal freedom as those living in Hungary - that it doesn’t matter where you live or what you do, you live under an authoritarian regime. Really? Is authoritarian a non-gradable adjective?
Thirdly, what would you suggest we do with our energy and good intentions? Do you see any chance of us ever overcoming the status quo?

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Hi Sonia, maybe you don’t know that protests in Belarus last already 170 days. People in Belarus do not give up and come up with yet new ways to amplify their cause. That is why it is necessary to highlight Belarus. I assume you don’t know that much about the situation there, please check this reading list:

Just saying protests for example in France are going on since 2 years or more. In the French official media Belarus is given as an example of dictatorship, while France itself has become one. So it’s about acknowledging that the former EU democracies have gone down the drain, a process started about 2015. And its not Poland, Hungary and Belarus only. Just a style difference, while censorship, taxes, propaganda and control are basically similar everywhere with just let’s call it cultural differences.

Hi

Yes basically this is what I am saying. I am also saying the current pandemic situation has shown there is no more freedom in Germany, I would even say at the current lockdown stage freedom might be greater in Hungary although I do not know. But lately people in Germany cannot go further than 15 km from home, that’s for me extreme authoritarism. Also kids have to wear masks all day in some schools depending of the land and no home schooling is allowed. Most businesses have to be closed. I do call it extreme authoritarism. I also can compare the mainstream media in France and in Poland and I can say there is much more censorship in the French media than in the polish ones. So yes it is gradable but the current grade used in the mainstream is for example focusing on abortion (as far as Poland is concerned) while for me topics like education or freedom of entrepreneurship are of the same importance. There is currently a presupposition than somehow „leftist” or „social” regimes are „progressive” and less authoritarian than „liberal” ones, actually in Poland its even more complicated. But there is no „liberal" regime on the planet currently as there is no free trade or free market. Everything is heavily regulated and basically all these regulation do favor very big often „international” entities, creating a false image of „liberal” market being „bad” while in reality artificial subsidies, tax and financial systems and transnational agreements do just kill small entrepreneurship, local businesses or any form of real sovereignty.
What should we do at this stage? I think we shall focus on local cooperation and local communities and put all efforts to create a sustainable way of life at local level, giving up the hope of reforming a system that is fundamentally wrong. If enough local communities could become an example, this could lead to another system much more decentralized, more fair, environment and people friendly. Of course we always hit the wall of what the central powers are enforcing and protests and civil disobedience are a way as well, but we have to be careful and notice when this energy is just hijacked to divide people and push forward the exactly same authoritarian agenda, with just a different style. The only chance I see is enough people starting to understand no government and no central power will take care of their life, health and security, and coming back to take responsibility for themselves and their closest surroundings. Summing up, empowering local communities and individuals seems the only possible way.

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This has been the subject of great debate with people around here from different parts of the world who disagree with covid handling by governments. There is clearly a looming danger of the surveillance state, and yes, arguably that is also part of authoritarianism, more on a continuum like @Wojt says.

Yes! and this is so worth struggling for! While many of us are trying to make a small contribution to this, the tension I think comes in at the personal level: when you’re deciding how much you are going to be in the very system that is so faulty, and what you can do about it.

To give you an example, I’ve started a local business to bring the world a more sustainable local protein food, building partnerships with local coops and so on… but I still have to run my project in a capitalist world, and a liberal democracy, and make it sustainable financially to be able to build a family and pay bills. I sometimes also get subsidies to develop a new product - which means I have to thank a government for that, like it or not. I will participate in society as a citizen with the rights that I have - voting, right to assembly, right to protest if I see a cause worth going in the streets for, and a lot of sympathy for radical alternatives in which I may or may not be able to be involved. I’ll probably also raise my children to be as civically involved as possible in the very societies in which they will choose to live.

So yes, taking responsibility is very important, but in the end the level playing field remains the same, and most of us have to partake at some level, and play nice or censor ourselves or be loud when needed. Maybe it sounds cynical, I don’t know. The rest of it, for me at least, is just individual grids that help us make decisions in a complex world - like living in a country that’s higher or lower in the HDI ranking, or choosing a profession that is more or against feeding a status quo, and so on.

By the way Sonia, you might like this approach elsewhere on Edgeryders, that @Matthias set up: for taking on more autonomous lives https://edgeryders.eu/c/earthos/autarky/288

Well, I do not want to sound depressive or pessimistic but the right to assembly just took a hit last year and actually it resulted in most countries in pushing laws precisely limiting personal freedom whether it concerns homeschooling in France, abortion in Poland, or vaccines in Germany, in the exact time period where people were not allowed to go out and protest.
Yes of course we have to manage with what we have but a thorough analysis of most tax systems shows frankly speaking there is nothing to be thankful of in terms of governmental subsidies. For the enormous majority of small entrepreneurs more deregulation and less taxes will do much more than any of the funds they can get. It is the same for family farmers.
So you know, many people come to the point where they realize that the weight of what they get from the government or more broadly the system if you wish and what is taken from them becomes so imbalanced, that they really don’t want to play the game any more. As for coming back to authoritarian state and handling of pandemics or whatever other calamity, to say this is looming danger is for me wishful thinking. There is no plan for „back to normal” at least not from the governments side, and the pandemics was widely used to implement many new controlling systems from QR codes through central registers, tracking apps, face recognition devices or new „sanitary" police forces. No magic vaccine or cure will make the ruling authorities withdraw from these very useful inventions. We can of course debate whether surveillance is already authoritarism or not but frankly speaking I do not see how centralization and surveillance together can lead to anything else than pure dictatorship. And as far as democracy is concerned, it is not enough to get the right to vote, there are other things to consider as who can you vote for (or how the electoral system is organized and who can reach positions of power), or how to ensure it does respect the rights of minorities as well. So „democracy” is not enough if this becomes „dictatorship of the majority” with low or no respect of basic human rights. I do not think it is a radical perspective, as what we see is precisely a radicalization of the existing system. Of course this is quite philosophical and at personal level yes it is about individual choices. The question is how much choice will be left to us even in the very daily life if we follow the current logic. If you’re not even allowed to meet friends for coffee do you think you will really still have any other rights?
I am not saying this to prevent people from being involved in any cause they wish, but just to acknowledge the overall political situation is currently dramatic, and not just „looming danger". And If we want to solve a problem, we first have to admit it exists.

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Of course…

Again, I agree with you. I meant ‘radical’ not as a way of looking at the world, but more as a set of decisions to take: as a human, a project, a non profit organisation etc: ‘not playing the game any more’, as you say, would be a radical move, just like other radical dissent acts, forms of protest. Which is a priviledge or a very courageous thing to do, depends on how you look at it.
In the end, like you say, the world is a very depressing place to be in, and most people I know acknowledge some of the things you mention, myself included.

What a good question. I hope so, otherwise I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. I’m curious what other people would say to this: @maria @nadia @amelia …? Perhaps you could point us to what other edgeryders say in other parts of the forum? There’s a lot going on, I missed some conversations on the surveillance state and the Internet of Humans etc.

Hi Sonia, this strikes a chord with me. Increasingly I find myself in an uncomfortable political space inhabited by groups that have very little else in common. Old school anarchists, randians and free market fundamentalists, conservatives who despise the current social democratic government because of political tribalism, antivaxers, crackpot conspiracy theorists. Many of whom are entitled nativists, racists or in some other way a nightmare afaic for obvious reasons.

But I disagree with the notion that there would be a shared, hidden agenda. The government in the the country I currently reside in is too chaotic and incompetent for this to be the case. Rather it is a knee jerk reaction to coping with something they clearly are unable to manage. What worries me is that once they have gotten an “apetite” for this kind of authoritarian response, it will increasingly become the norm. The individuals working within the system are creating a monster which will eat us all. The question is whether there is something to be done about it and if so, what is needed for that to happen…

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I was thinking the same 10 years ago and this is the widespread opinion of people who feel uncomfortable but prefer to think that the governments are incompetent and chaotic rather that have clearly bad intentions organized in an international way, which is of course the basic conspiracy theory. However when you check the progress of some surveillance and freedom limiting laws around the world, there is a striking consistency since many years, including the timelines, and the same concerns the political approach to pandemic. Didier Raoult, a very unradical scientist and manager of the big hospital in Marseille, as well as a committee of 30 000 French doctors, clearly state the pandemic is not managed in a medical way. There is no justification for the restrictions all over the world. The same idea is clearly expressed in the Great Barrington declaration. There are also many concerns about the vaccinal policies, and all the labels put on people who ask questions- „antivaxxers”, „conspiracy theorists” and many more are just a way to discredit anything that goes against the official propaganda -or shall we say world marketing plan run by those inexistent hidden agenda people. There is a huge censorship currently on all mainstream media platforms of all those who dare to ask these questions. So why is that happening? And I am not saying that the governments are not a mess in general, with many people just unaware of the bigger picture, including many people just thinking they are helping humanity by transferring the taxpayers money to Big Pharma corporations and saving lives by killing all small and medium businesses. But it is a bit the same level of total lack of knowledge that thinking GMOs in food have been created to save the world from hunger. It requires only a bit of research but a lot of courage to face the truth that there is a clear infiltration by some big lobbies and interest groups, representing for example the Big Tech and Big Pharma and Big Agrobusiness corporations of mostly all world governments and international organizations. When I was working on GMOs, we really came across very interesting facts and one was sure: although many politicians may seem incompetent, people who are in administration high positions in general know very well all the complexities of what is happening in the national and supranational laws and regulations. So the point is the government itself might be incompetent but this supranational interest groups are very competent and strategic oriented in reaching their mid term and long term goals. Very often they invested a lot of money in some developments (like GMOs) and they intend to get a return on investment. These supranational corporations are not so numerous-its like not acknowledging the 90% of the seed market is owned by just 5 companies or that we have basically the choice between Microsoft and Apple, or that most of the financial system is set up in a very curious way. There is also a theory that chaotic actions (like provoking riots, or raising up subjects that typically divide people) serves the hidden agendas by precisely creating an impression of chaos while the main strategy runs forward. Well, its up to anybody to interpret the reality but I think we have to face the fact that the political management of the pandemic is clearly not serving the people to the point I call it very intentional harming with premeditation, and trying to create long term effects in terms of control, surveillance, economy and destroying of civil rights, and this is a global situation not a national one.
Still the wording you use in describing the political divisions means you place yourself as a „social democratic” oriented while buying somehow into the divisions that are in my opinion precisely put forward to hide that the problem lies totally elsewhere than the left/right/other standard political divisions. It lies for me in the fact that supranational interests represented by big corporations running for global monopol in some key sectors have taken really too much power over even the national ones. And not saying I am nationalist, but I do favor mostly decentralized structures at all level, so it might be necessary t come back to actual national sovereignty before going to other forms of cooperation. I also think countries themselves shall be decentralized as much as possible.