Now, what can this phenomenon depend on? In Sweden there is only 25% of the people that want to join NATO but a large parliamentary majority for the Libya and Afghanistan operations. The elites think differently than the people. The same thing seems to be happening in Germany, except for Libya, but for Greece and Portugal.
This is Sweden where the gap is supposed to be unusually low. In an election in Spain people want what they call real democracy. They want the people to be a resource.
In the world at large we find to lanes. One where the people is a resource and the other where government is afraid of the people that has to be controlled. Ian Bremmer discusses this phenomenon by means of what he calls the J-curve. You can move from one state to the other via a minimum. But how do you peacefully move from an order where government fear the people to where they think the people is a resource? Did this ever happen in modern times, actually? Probably not if you talk about countries like the UK and China. There was a democracy wave but I have my doubts on how serious the democracy is in these cases because people might just be controlled in this new way that nobody talks about.
There has been hope, and still is in some quarters, that the two lanes will merge and liberal democracies all over the world will live peacefully ever after. However, recently many voices have appeared that say we are in for a Zero-Sum game and conflict. One large potential trouble is the competition for resources. India and China say the Earth cannot support us if we consume like the West. The West probably sends this moral back by humbly asking if they are not too many already.
Science did help us in one very important aspect. Contraceptives. It has been estimated that the world population will peak at 9bn around 2050. This is a very positive thing. After that, we can manage. However, one question that pops up is if the increasing gap between the rich and the poor is a Noah's Ark phenomenon? If it is, it will be very hard to counteract.
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