Populists recall with nostalgia about the past that exists only in memories. Their supporters are often older people who are nostalgic for a life feelings of the 1960-ies.
Anton Chekhov has a wonderful line about the attitude of his countrymen to the story: “Russians idolize the past, hate the present and fear the future”. There is even a popular expression in Russian: bylo Ransche lutsche, that is, “it was better Before”.
“But it is” — say today, many people in the West. in the West after 70 years of peace and unprecedented prosperity is spread among them disappointment. Well-being, in their opinion, is not enough, at least for them personally, and the world they perceive as something self-evident.
Otherwise it is impossible to explain the fact that nearly half of American voters voted for this populist, what is Donald trump. They voted for aggressive, violent in structural terms, the person who separates and divides society as it did to him, no President. He’s carrying a nuclear suitcase and promises that everything will be better. That is, as before.
Moon rocket Brezhnev
“Make America great again!” (To make America great again). Like trump, a it imaginary or true followers in Europe refer to an imaginary Atlantis, which needs to Shine, lying somewhere on the seabed of the story. We hear promises about what the future will be better if you focus on those memories, which shamelessly distorted. The sociologist Karin Priester (Priester Karin) calls populism “backward-looking utopia romanticized, ahistorical, ideal world like “Middle America” or “La France profonde”, which in German corresponds to the concept of “life-world” (Lebenswelt).
In each country the preachers say differently. Russian politicians are encouraging the creation of myths on television, in schools, in political speeches and exhibitions. Teachers in Russian schools today are Peter the Great and Nicholas I.
Marine Le Pen believes France is a country that more wonderful times lived happy and uncomplicated and which was separated from other countries and then have it all destroyed by globalization. As to the party Alternative for Germany (ADH), depending on the region, its proponents idealize or protected existence in a fenced zoo called GDR, or life in the confined space of the old Federal Republic of Germany. Trump revives in memory the Golden days of the American rust belt (rust belt).
Crucial is a mythical idealization. In the speeches of the populists had not mentioned others. No one talked about the refugees. Previously, others did not take the decision for us, the other in Brussels, in international organizations or the WTO did not exist before the free trade agreements that opened doors and gates for locusts. Populists in a latent form idealize the 1960s and 1970s years, when smoked smokestacks and all over the Northern hemisphere has been less progress.
Trump talks about white America, which produced steel, cars and moon rockets, without resorting to the Chinese shop. In Russia fondly remember the head of the Communist party, Leonid Brezhnev, during the reign which had more to buy sausages in the shop than under Gorbachev. In Germany and in France, the populist claim that the German democratic Republic, the Federal Republic and France had no problems with the migration. They feed off of nostalgia for the certainty and uniqueness, which never happened.
But if you look at the past without the mythical scenery, then you need to recognize: in the United States in the 1960-ies there were riots and rebellions in France millions of people were forced to change their place of residence after the collapse of the colonial Empire. Both German States were States of refugees, which only gradually was able to integrate 17 million Germans expelled from Eastern Europe. In the period of economic recovery, the Federal Republic was invited to the country’s millions of migrant workers. Troubled times — both before and now.
The real problem is that many people who wistfully recall the past, today are elderly. Of course, among supporters of populists has a number of young people. However, the old spirit can become and in his younger years. At rallies of the party of ADH, the majority are older people, and the same can be said about the rallies with the participation of marine Le Pen and Donald trump. The referendum on Brexia was the decision of older Britons. In the 1960-ies they were all young people. It was a different perception of life, which, unfortunately, gave way to indignation. Many people today blame the politicians that they have lost a vital sense. And they can do very little in this regard.
Russian liberal politician Grigory Yavlinsky wanted to find out during one of the events during the election campaign that lies behind such feelings. “Please tell me what exactly used to be better?” he asked one elderly woman. Its the issue caught by surprise, but the silent thought, she said, “Well, you know, before men were younger”.