#fbpe #abtv The rise of populism and Occam's razor

While this entire Brexit debacle is playing out in the foreground, we are basically at a point where, for the most part, we have seen and heard everything there is to be said on the subject. When such times arise, occasionally a new subject comes up that is discussed, simply in the interest of filling time.

The daily problems of life have been relegated to the backburner and so today on Daily Politics, the subject of the Rise of Populism, especially in Eastern Europe came up. A bunch of politicians were asked to explain why this was happening and inevitably various flavours of the failure of politicians to listen to the people was blamed.

Let me go back a few steps and explain the term Occam's Razor, mentioned in the title. Basically Occam's Razor is a principle used to explain things; and basically states that all things being equal the simplest explanation (that is the fewest assumptions) is the correct one. Applying this to the explanation for populism given above ... i.e failure of politician's etc. etc. - it is correct, but what does it mean. But what does it mean exactly? Funny how this question is beginning to resemble Brexit already - this is what the people voted", "No it isn't", "Yes it is".

By the way, I am reminded here of the lines from 'Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy'. Humanity in its development, having built supercomputers, asked the question what is the meaning of life? Having promised an answer to humanity that would take thousand of years of computational processing time, the day finally dawned when the answer was due. When asked for the answer to the meaning of life, the computer stated, "the answer is 42." What the hell does that mean?

Compare that to where we are now in the Brexit negotiation. This is Teresa May's answer to "here's my Brexit solution!" We know nothing about what the final deal will look like but we now have official limitations on what we can negotiate.

Back to the problem at hand. The rise of populism and the failure of political leaders to understand what the people want. My theory is simple. It is simply because of the growing imbalance between rich and poor - the growing chasm that is the wealth gap. Everything in our society seems to be biased in favor of the richest, where the laws (misnamed as justice) seem to favour the haves rather than the have-nots. They can afford the best lawyers when accused, the best doctors when they are sick and whenever new systems and technology appear in our society, they are the first to benefit, hoarding the majority of the gains for themselves long before the masses have a chance to even see the profits.

The people at large may not be the smartest in the land, and they may not be able fully understand what is happening, but they can see that day by day the lights on the hill burn brighter while their own grow dimmer. So they respond in the only way they know how. They try to destroy it - the system that is excluding them. That is why a populist government can never (by definition work). Even if you vote for it democratically, populism is a negative philosophy and solutions can never be found through negativity only through creativity.

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