Global Analysis from the European Perspective. Preparing for the world of tomorrow




Populism vs Mobilization

Populations grow despite the best efforts of abortionists. Even a cursory look reveals that abortions routinely only take place in high income countries. Populism occurs where people express its dissenting voice i.e. vox populi and mobilization is where the underclass is organized to dissent (protest) against its elites.

From an elitist point of view the age-old question is always how to manage the underclasses. It can be compared to a CEO managing the company night watchman or an African King his herdsman. In an organized structure these managerial techniques are generally successful because the manager is ahead of the curve, while with respect to populism or mobilization, it is behind the curve.

Generally speaking a company manager is subtly reminded on a daily basis of the performance of low level employees and the same holds good for the African King. When referring to “elites”, it becomes obvious (by their very actions) that they are so far removed from reality that all control is essentially lost. The elitist lifestyle becomes decadent to the extent that they don’t care what their underclasses do and are always surprised by those “deplorable populists” and their mobilization.

The reaction of the elites to these “uprisings” differ with respect to whether it is populist or mobilized. In high-income America they become viciously anti-populists while in communist China they exert MORE control.1)Opinion: 3 reasons why China hasn’t (yet) cracked down on Hong Kong protesters, MarketWatch 2019-09-02.

Violence against high-income country populists is also visible in France2)French police fire tear gas, arrest yellow vest protesters, Deutsche Welle.while almost no action is taken in low-income (communist) South Africa against xenophobia3)Attacks on foreigners must stop, Ramaphosa says at summit, The Citizen 2019-09-04.where the elites4)ANC touts yet again new service delivery plan to get municipalities working for the people, news24 2019-09-27.are also attempting to improve measures of control (such as to reduce unproductive protests against municipal service deliveries).

Most observers are continuously using American President Donald Trump as an example of populism in high-income countries. The President’s ability to use populism to his advantage has landed him the most powerful political position in the world.

Few are aware of the concept of mobilization and why it requires a different counter-technique. Historically, part of the Soviet downfall can be attributed to Poland’s Solidarity Movement.5)Poland’s Solidarity Movement, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.By the end of the 1970s, people’s self-organization and a broad coalition of workers, intellectuals, students, members of the Catholic Church and peasants became a potent force for change in Polish society. Their mass nonviolent mobilization meant that there was a covert parallel society alongside the existing authoritarian system which operated to liberate society from the control of the ruling party without overtly challenging its dominance.

Another example of systematic mobilization (in the same period) was found in South Africa,6)Strategy and Tactics of the ANC, African National Congress 1969.where General strikes as a method of political mobilisation were suppressed. Though mobilization was touted as peaceful, protests and strikes eventually led to active terrorism against the white opponent. However at the SAME time, mobilization has become a very good method to subdue and control supporters to this day.

The terms “mobilization” and “harvesting” of voters became synonymous with South African culture. During the 2019 elections the ANC party expected a landslide victory with 65% of the vote, but only achieved 57%. The party’s leadership understood that they need to tighten up control.

In the currently unstable geo-politics it appears that the confrontation between populism and mobilization is heating up in high-income countries. On the issue of climate trade unions around the world support global climate strike:as follows:

    1. Trade unions representing hundreds of millions of people around the world have come out in support of what is expected to be the biggest climate mobilisation the world has ever seen.7)Trade unions around the world support global climate strike,

The Guardian 2019-09-19

    .

This begs the question which mass control method will win: populism or mobilization? It appears that the positive feedback inherently causing strike wave mobilization makes it a fearful tool (similar to sympathy strikes in South Africa):

    1. Waves of collective mobilization, when participation increases rapidly and expectations shift dramatically; pose an important puzzle for social science. Such waves I argue, can only be explained by an endogenous process of ‘‘positive feedback.’’ This article identifies two distinct mechanisms – interdependence and inspiration – that generate positive feedback in collective mobilization. It also provides a detailed analysis of one episode: the wave of strikes that swept American cities in May 1886.8)Positive feedback in collective mobilization: The American strike wave of 1886,

IT Help

    .

Labour unions have and still are playing a strong role in mobilization despite declining Western participation in labour organizations. This may be due to the growth in job flexibility but as the Polish example shows, their initial solidarity mobilization grew because of NON-participation by the elite (leaders).

Since this won’t be a problem with populist leaders, there remains the particular insidiousness of language confusion i.e. the Tower of Babel. In this particular case the linguistic misconceptions involve the words “mobilization” and “organization”:

    1. We find that the terms mobilizing and organizing are used interchangeably, which, we argue, is problematic and has led to confusion about what is actually happening in unions. Unpacking the difference between the two terms can help to explain limitations in the way mobilization theory has been used by scholars, and, at the same time, deepen our understanding of why unions have not been particularly successful in reversing their decline despite the ‘turn to organizing’ over the last few decades.9)The limitations of the theory and practice of mobilization in trade union organizing,

White Rose

    .

Unless populist leaders address this pidgin language effect, mobilization will become unstoppable in the West.

References   [ + ]

1. Opinion: 3 reasons why China hasn’t (yet) cracked down on Hong Kong protesters, MarketWatch 2019-09-02.
2. French police fire tear gas, arrest yellow vest protesters, Deutsche Welle.
3. Attacks on foreigners must stop, Ramaphosa says at summit, The Citizen 2019-09-04.
4. ANC touts yet again new service delivery plan to get municipalities working for the people, news24 2019-09-27.
5. Poland’s Solidarity Movement, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.
6. Strategy and Tactics of the ANC, African National Congress 1969.
7. Trade unions around the world support global climate strike,

The Guardian 2019-09-19

    .
8. Positive feedback in collective mobilization: The American strike wave of 1886,

IT Help

    .
9. The limitations of the theory and practice of mobilization in trade union organizing,

White Rose

    .

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