palaver

As I peruse my daily Facebook feed, I cannot help but think the absurd “Brexit” and Clinton vs Trump debacles have for a vociferant some rekindled an otherwise long since numbed youthful fervor and sense of conspiracy that has overridden mature, purposeful debate and any understanding of historical precedence or political mechanics and replaced it with vain palaver.

Incidentally, though Portuguese in origin, I find the English adoption and use of the word “palaver” – an awkward conversation between groups of differing sophistication – absolutely brilliant.

The simple truth is Britain has not only reaped the benefits for decades of a European Union it helped create, “Great Britain” is also seemingly oblivious to its own irrelevance. Moreover, most of Britain’s current social ills can be non-circuitously linked to the post-WWII “nanny state” from which all of the baby-boomer Brexit voters themselves have benefited. The decision to leave the European Union can be easily interpreted either as old fashioned xenophobia or as a backwards reaction by predominantly elderly, white Britons to the state’s inability to adapt and adjust social policies to meet the changing needs that have arisen in the modern Europe which Britain itself has inarguably had a hand in creating.

Similarly, for Americans, or any people for that matter, who have had limited exposure to diversity and/or lack the cognitive & abstract reasoning skills necessary to grasp the complexities of a rapidly changing world, a strict-right wing ideology such as that being espoused by Donald Trump may be understandably more attractive.

Often in my experience, the only other people who are drawn to extreme conservatism and nationalism are those who were socialized under conditions and states of authoritarianism.

Interesting and important to me however, are the young, inquiring minds of those who have grown up under authoritarian regimes and have developed a heightened ability to smell bullshit. These are the people to whom I gravitate.

I have lived over 30% of my life in a country that is so corrupt it cannot even be properly considered a “developing country.”

Least developed countries (LDCs) tend to be kleptocratic, authoritarian states governed by those who seek personal gain at the expense of people who are ruled as much by their own fears and genuine threats to safety as they are by restricted access to resources, information, and education.

Sadly, under such conditions, people learn to become ruthlessly shortsighted and to have expectations neither for themselves nor of their governments.

I applaud anyone who is not only able to sustain their dreams in a hopeless reality yet also to stand proud and declare inequities, but to draw comparisons between pervasive corruption throughout underprivileged nations and the sophisticated machinations present in countries with democratic sovereignty is not only offensive, it betrays an embarrassingly limited understanding of how the world truly operates.

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