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Home / Tribune / Brexit, Trump, populism: The “post-truth”, its accomplices and its antidote (José María Compagni Morales)
Brexit, Trump, populism: The “post-truth”, its accomplices and its antidote (José María Compagni Morales)

Brexit, Trump, populism: The “post-truth”, its accomplices and its antidote (José María Compagni Morales)

It could be said that we’re all accomplices of the so-called “post-truth”, although not to the same extent. But, what is the post-truth?

The post-truth refers to circumstances in which emotions and personal beliefs are more determining when shaping public opinion than objective facts[1].

post-truth-enThe post-truth is used in the political sphere. It is incorporated by populisms and reflects a general principle well known in marketing: what matters is not reality, but perception of reality.

The mechanism is simple. Someone gathers some truths that are recognizable by all of us, but tells them in a politically incorrect way, and that’s it! Intentions don’t matter. We accept that person as the new saver.

But who are the accomplices of populisms? We, the citizens that allow ourselves to be seduced by them? The ones that just resign ourselves to them? The political leaders who manage the status quo? The invisible hand that moves everything?

And the most important question: what’s the antidote to populisms? In good politics, the antidote to post-truth and populisms is authenticity. And authenticity is not only reached through new or spotless people, but also through leaders who honestly recognize their errors and apologize to citizens.

Let’s take for instance our Europe. Most part of the political class is aware of the mistakes committed over the last decades. But, what are they waiting for to publically acknowledge the true causes of the current crisis?

-> To acknowledge, for example, the momentum provided by the fall of the Berlin Wall to the market economy, as a fundamental force of change, which ended up seducing the independent political class.

-> To acknowledge that the convergence criteria of the Maastricht Treaty derived, a decade later, in the great divergence between politics and citizens.

-> To acknowledge that they couldn’t catch the warning message dropped by the citizenship in 2005, when they rejected the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe. The paralysis as a response and the globalizing corruption that kept going forward, until creating the gap which is the reason why today when it rains, it pours.

-> To acknowledge that it was the leaders of the political parties who dissolved the legitimacy of their political parties, when the world globalized and parties didn’t know how to structure themselves, at least as trans-European parties.

-> To acknowledge their inability to anticipate and to create a vision for the future that provides challenges to our societies.

Our beloved friend Franck Biancheri, probably the most politically intelligent person in recent times, described, already trapped by the disease that ended his life, two scenarios for this decade we’re living. Poetically, he called the less negative scenario “the painful dawn of the world after” and the darkest scenario, “the tragic twilight of the world before”. Aware that his account of events for this decade wouldn’t become literally true, but would describe the atmosphere surrounding us, in 2012 he wrote[2] for the present year 2016:

First scenario. The painful dawn of the world after 2016

U.S. President re-elected on a platform of a new multipolar world order and re-industrialization of the United States.

Second scenario: The tragic twilight of the world before 2016

Election of a new American President on an isolationist programme.” Real truth.

Leaders of Social democracy, of Christian democracy, of Liberalism, recognize your mistakes and apologize to citizens! Only then, will we be able to stop the populism wave now devastating both sides of the Atlantic Sea! Or maybe they are aware of their mistake, but recognizing it would mean the end of their parties and themselves, since they are financed by economic interests benefited from them… and that’s why they have contributed to this drift of the traditional political parties…

New people will come again, but they will need you by their side to defeat the post-truth and populisms, and thus give rise to the world-after.

José María Compagni Morales 

Vice-president AAFB (Association des Amis de Franck Biancheri)
Secretary General LEAP (Laboratoire Européen d’Anticipation Politique)


[2] Crisis mundial, encaminados al mundo del mañana. Europa y el Mundo en la década 2010-2020. Anticipolis Editions, 2010.

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