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Showing posts from July, 2016

Uber and the neo-Luddites

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[Caption: Economic losers from creative destruction: machine-breaking Luddites (English workers who believed that new industrial machineries threatened their jobs) from early-nineteenth-century Britain. Taken from "Why Nations Fail" by Acemoglu and Robinson.]
Throughout history, from the age of the industrial revolution in the early 19th century until today, there has always been groups or communities that have attempted to resist change, specifically technological change, as represented here by the Luddites.
Today, the 'neo-Luddites' are represented by groups of extreme anti-Uber taxi drivers who  have attacked and damaged many Uber cars. The two men pictured here are the modern day anti-Uber taxi drivers. See, this is why I love history. It never fails to repeat itself, again and again and again.
I have nothing against taxi drivers, except for the few uncivilised ones. Technology has change. Society will change. 21st century is not the same as the 20th century. Wha…

Revisiting Moïsi's "The Geopolitics of Emotion"

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"The Geopolitics of Emotion: How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation and Hope are Reshaping the World" (Anchor Books, 2009)
I have read this remarkable work by one of France's leading scholars, Dominique Moïsi, 5 years ago. It remains as one of the best books on contemporary global politics in my collection. But nothing quite struck me of how spot-on his views were, until recently; namely the Syrian refugee crisis, the rise of the far-right anti-immigrant parties across Europe, the global appeal of the IS terrorist group, the rise and the populism of the xenophobic Republican Donald Trump in America and most recently the British fear and anger behind #Brexit.
To Moïsi, the three major global civilisations are represented by three important emotions; West; America and Europe (fear), Islamic (humiliation) and, India, China, East Asia and Africa (hope).
It is grossly insufficient to only be focusing on Trump's racism and his personality alone without understanding the appeal …