Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, March 24, 2021

When it comes to Italian populism, purple is the new black:

The Purple People, who are not affiliated with any party, say they chose purple because it is not traditionally associated with politics, like red or blue. They contend [Premier Silvio] Berlusconi is undermining Italian democracy through his concentration of power and alleged use of his position to quash corruption probes…

But whether the frustration of the Purple People will translate into votes for the Democratic Party — which they often accuse of being too weak in its opposition to Berlusconi — or will instead go to more radical leftist groups, remains to be seen. Largely, it will depend on the parties’ ability to meet the Purple People’s demands, such as their plea for ethics in politics, says Professor James Walston of the American University of Rome.

The Purple People “do have an ideology, they do have a sense of identity,” he said. “They want to act as a stimulus to the regular parties.”

Yes, there are parallels to the Tea Party movement in the U.S., particularly in the reaction to business-as-usual in the chambers of power. But it’s more of a seismic shift in Italy, where — like the rest of Europe — party politics are considered the only channel for effecting widespread civic change (that, or going the militant route, which is less optimal in modern Continental affairs).

The color-coding of political sentiments is a nice touch. In this instance, it echoes the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine from a few years back. What happens when the standard palette of hues are exhausted? Hexadecimal movements for future upheavals?

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/24/2010 03:13 PM
Category: Political, Society
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Insofar as I keep track of the political turmoil in Somalia, or the rest of Africa, the following summation of the apparent late decline of the Islamist militant group Shabab seems fitting:

Defectors said the Shabab have begun plucking children off soccer fields, taking them to secret training camps, brainwashing and drugging them. The Shabab seem to be traveling down the same degenerative path of countless other African rebel groups that began with a discernible ideology, but then turned to terrorizing the very people they were supposed to liberate.

Children soldiers are a distinct part of that degenerative path: The same pattern was found in recent years in Liberia, Congo, and Rwanda. Certainly, other Third World trouble-spots see children swept up into strife as well; but it seems to be a chronic, generational problem south of the Sahara.

As far as the wider issue of would-be liberators morphing into exploiters: It’s also not unique to Africa. But the perpetually undeveloped infrastructure in places like Somalia makes for an ineffectual popular base, that any activist group (militant or peaceful) can’t count upon for much. Once that’s apparent, coercive action against the population becomes the unfortunate reaction, continuing an even more unfortunate socio-political cycle.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/24/2010 02:49 PM
Category: Political, Society
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