Rather than analysing politics by looking at events, decisions and shifting momentum, it would be useful to open the hood and look inside. By looking at the principles behind the goings on, we can reveal important truths about our world. Doing so will reveal the increasing ascendancy of emotion rather than law as the guiding principle that we follow. Growing up, I’ve always found comfort in knowing clearly what the rules were, precisely where the line was and the consequences of crossing it. Whether in school, kindergarten, at university or in the workplace, this system provided predictability, stability and fairness. I fear that that era is coming to a close.
With a disturbing rise in frequency we see that politics is influenced by and ruled according to emotion. The combined impact of the rule of emotion stems not only from the individual consciences of politicians (if such a thing even exists), but also from societal trends sweeping the populace. The MeToo movement is a great example of this. Yet again I feel like somewhat of a loner in the wilderness for defending and standing up for the principle of innocent until proven guilty. Falling short of that standard will allow not just the weaponization of accusations used tactically and strategically by morally unscrupulous political actors, but also a great retreat from the realm of politics. The retreat will be undertaken by those whose presence is most desirable. Virtuous people without skeletons in their closets will fear having their good name and reputation tarnished by lies. What remains when such people leave will be the typical power-hungry, abusive political types we have seen exposed recently for abhorrent behavior against women.
Immigration and the debate over refugees is another strongly emotionally laden subject. Recently in my neck of the woods, a bunch of Afghan refugees slated for return to their country of origin were “saved” by the collective emotion-cloud fogging the minds of politician and citizen alike. According to the law they had to go back, but as we know and see more and more, law is no longer the alpha dog in charge. It can’t be overstated how dangerous, perilous and catastrophic it is for a society when law is allowed to be supplanted by emotion. Emotion in this political context is nothing more than fleeting whims not subject to the desired rationality we fool ourselves into believing is the ruling force in our lands.
The entire country of Sweden is a sad basket case showcasing to the world what happens when facts, long-term thinking and rationality are left by the curb in favor of feelings-based political rule. By any objective measure, the decisions made in recent times regarding migration and refugee policy in Sweden have been disastrous. Crime, societal mistrust, ethnic strife and conflict are just the prelude to the economic woes around the corner. Having a vast amount of people not employed and not contributing to the welfare system can only end one way. Just like the US, Sweden faces a massive crisis in its unfunded liabilities. Either they will be forced by necessity to make radical reductions in their “generosity” or the end of free money will lead to widespread societal unrest. Disaster looms just the same.
These are just some examples of negative outcomes following the rule of emotion. Unfortunately, we are likely to see more of them in the all too near future unless something dramatic happens.