Ralf Hoppe and Jan Puhl in Der Spiegel on Poland and populist rule:

'The office is the headquarters of KOD, or Komitet Obrony Demokracji, the largest protest movement Poland has seen since the Solidarnosc trade union in the 1980s. Kijowski is the founder, strategist and face of the movement, a lanky, relaxed-looking man. He is the most important adversary of the national conservative government of the Law and Justice (PiS) party and its leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

Some 8,000 people are part of the KOD, from Gdansk in the north to the Carpathian Mountains in the south, and they include lawyers, teachers and business professionals. "Resistance is a civic duty," says Kijowski, adding that he is wary of his political rival. "Kaczynski is obsessed with power," says Kijowski. "He wants to control people. That's his obsession. So what is at stake here is democracy, our freedom and European values."'

Read the article here.

Part of the electorate appears to be angry. Their so-called saviors are just obsessed with power. "Keep them angry. Keep them obedient."




My new krav maga instructor is very kind. He said: "Don't hit me in the groin. I like my groin."





Beppe Severgnini in today's Times:

'Moreover, in Britain, broadly speaking, older voters chose to leave the European Union, while the young voted to stay. In Italy, it’s the other way around. The young turned their backs on Mr. Renzi. It was not, as in Britain, a nostalgic vote; young Italians don’t want to return to a past they’ve never had.

They are angry about enormous youth unemployment. They hate begging for poorly paid temporary jobs — with an average monthly salary of 1,200 euros, or $1,300 — not enough to let them plan for the future. It’s no coincidence that affluent Milan is among the few large cities that voted “yes” (so did Bologna and Florence, Mr. Renzi’s hometown). All the others — from Rome to Turin, from Naples to Palermo, from Genoa to Bari — voted “no.” For all his talk about moving Italy into gear, Mr. Renzi forgot the key Clintonian lesson: “It’s the economy, stupid.” If the referendum had a larger meaning, it was a vote on Mr. Renzi’s place in Italian politics, not on Italy’s place in Europe.'

Read the article here.

Everywhere else in the West it's mainly identity and less economy, in Italy it's mainly economy and less identity. That's good to know.




Last night I had dinner with an economist. She claimed that China was the big threat to the lower middle class in the Western world. She also said that China was the future and that Trump wouldn't have won without China.
I answered: "In the eighties people claimed that Japan was the future."
"That's incomparable," she answered.


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