Can the Trumps and Le Pens of 2017 be proved as wrong as were Lenin and Spengler


For this is the biggest issue of our times: a matter of whether, having seen so much failure in foreign affairs since 2001 and in economic affairs since 2008, the world’s richest, long most successful countries — i.e. the west — might now be slithering unstoppably down a slope, their slide likely to be accelerated by the populist-insurgents who are coming to power. Or, to put it a cheerier way, the issue is whether the Trumps and Le Pens of 2017 can be proved as wrong as were Lenin and Spengler a century ago.

It is the ultimate irony: the west invented what we now call globalisation and it is America, epicentre of the west, that is demonising its own invention.

Merkel and May's kowtowing

Timothy Garton Ash:

Merkel made by far the most dignified response I have seen to Trump’s election. “Germany and America,” she said, “are tied by values of democracy, freedom and respect for the law and human dignity, independent of origin, skin colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political views. I offer the next president of the United States, Donald Trump, close cooperation on the basis of these values.” Magnificent.

Compare and contrast with May's vile kowtowing.

West, west, west and west

'In Flann O’Brien’s parodic novel The Poor Mouththere is a map of the world as seen by poor Gaelic peasants. It comes with a compass marking the four directions: west, west, west and west. This compass might also serve for the map of the world that most Europeans have had in their heads. For all the attempts of the EU to become an independent superpower, we have continued to look west for leadership.'

Terrific essay.

Fintan O'Toole in "The US will not be at the heart of a new world order after this election"

10: Artistry, and the masters of opportunity.

The likes of Barry John, Phil Bennett and Tony Ward, impish 10s dowsed in devilry, were considered obsolete as Jonny Wilkinson, all structure and sinew, pocketed the keys to No10. The romantic age was over, faded into black and white. There was no space to drift into and fly-halves became the executors of someone else's will.

Barrett and George Ford are hardly throwbacks to John and Bennett, but neither are they Jonny-come-latelys. They are, in the grand traditions of fly-halves, the masters of opportunity.

Paul Rees (no immediate relation)