The New Political Climate

The current state of world politics is in a very strange state these days.  Led by the United States and their political turmoil at the hands of Donald Trump and the Republican party, the world is seeing a shift in leadership.

It’s unknown if the influence of the United States will remain hindered after Trump has left.  It certainly seems that the attention span of the world has decreased, especially in these days of the internet and social media.  People are rather quick to forget specific instances, instead being distracted by the latest headline and event.

I do not think that Trump will leave a lasting mark on the US, rather I think that it will be a blip on the radar.  I am actually hopeful that the era of Trump will awaken the sleeping masses that have been lulled into passivity by continued comfort and taking for granted that the government will always be good in general.

I believe that a tide will be turned, and an entire generation of young people will be mobilized and start to care about the direction that government takes, especially after the Republican party has singlehandedly ransacked forward progress and turned the direction of the ship back towards the dark ages of oppression and rule by corporations.

It is evident in terms of the Arkansas election of Doug Jones.  Yes, his opponent was a vile predator and that certainly turned the tide.  Will we see this trend continue?  The deterioration of Trump seems to be leaving a sour taste in everyone’s mouth.

In the aftermath of the Holocaust it’s important to study the German psyche both before and after the war.  It’s interesting that the study of how German history affected Germans adversely has just begin, having swung away from how Germans inflicted this on others:

Perhaps the biggest reasons for these misplaced explanations are the confines of existing theoretical frameworks. Indeed, most analyses of memory in the German case are based on psychoanalytic notions of trauma, repression, mourning and working-through, empirically focusing rather exclusively on the memory of the Holocaust, the undeniable repression of it and the eventual (if only partially successful) working-through of these crimes. (7) Despite the interesting and informative conclusions that these studies have amassed, such frameworks today are overutilized and rather stretched. (8) Apart from problems intrinsic to the approaches, like the application of precepts developed at and for an individual mind onto a collectivity, they do not address several issues that are essential to understand fully the evolution and impact of memory in the German case. The two biggest lacunae are an under-theorization of the dynamics of and the actors that represent memories in public discussions and debates, and, as a consequence, a misplaced specification of the struggle being between memory of the Holocaust versus forgetting. Thus, a reexamination of the past and present of memory in Germany is necessary but is possible only by moving beyond current conceptual frameworks. The memory regime framework directly addresses the shortcomings of current approaches and is a useful tool for more fully analyzing the political dynamics of memory.

Based on the contentions that political cultures, values, or mass belief systems are phenomena that affect real political outcomes and that at least part of a present political culture is inherited through tradition, history and memory, the fundamental point of departure is that modern pluralistic societies always produce numerous memories. (9) These memories resonate with or are represented by members of the elite or “critical” community differentiated by factors like partisan identification, generation, religion, gender or divergent historical experiences. (10) Similar to advocacy of other values in a political culture, these “critical” elites then influence the attitudes and values of the general public. The salience of any value or memory can be assessed by the degree of diffusion and internalization among both the more general elite and the masses.

Precisely because control over memory influences political attitudes and confers power over outcomes, these potential pay-offs motivate representatives to compete for and achieve dominance–that is, maximum diffusion and acceptance of a preferred memory. This means that memory is contested and almost always previously or potentially occupied terrain. To achieve dominance, actors must use positive tactics, convincing people of the validity of their position, and negative ones, often-polemical attacks on the opposing memory and its representatives. A large part of the explanation regarding why a particular memory becomes dominant is that representatives of this memory have succeeded in delegitimizing and defeating competing memories. These incentives are important to recognize, because they help to account for the other components of a memory regime beyond the circulating memories, including supportive ethical discourses, master narratives, derived lessons, taboos and implied value connections–all of which are contested. (11)

Langenbacher, Eric. “Changing memory regimes in contemporary Germany?” German Politics and Society, vol. 21, no. 2, 2003, p. 46+

We should not forget the past as it is the only way forward without making the same mistakes.  And study of psychology is one of the most important aspects of this.  How people think and fall into regimes like this and how political leaders come to power are important studies.