By Alejandro A. Tagliavini *
“The tsunami of tiredness of the European citizens – and westerns in general – does not deflate … Brexit, Trump and Bolsonaro are products of that feeling … Macron too”, wrote Andrea Rizzi in El País of Madrid. But, at the end, all the “antisystem” leaders end up being politicians, and Macron has his “yellow vests”.
The improvement of the economy, with growth rates of the European Union’s GDP of more than 2% since 2015, has not been enough nor has the improvement of the US economy. “The anger is visceral,” Rizzi concludes. It is likely that in the European elections this May, 60% of citizens do not vote and a quarter of the remaining do so by radical parties.
The common denominator is the satiety with the traditional policy. But people do not perceive the bottom of the problem so they fall back into the same trap: they vote “outsiders” who, finally, end up being politicians.
The problem is that the modern state is defined as the monopoly of violence over a territory and, thus, governments use that monopoly to force laws. And, as the Greeks already said, including Aristotle, violence is contrary to the ordering of the cosmos and, therefore, destroys harmony, the nature of creation.
If a law must be forced, it is precisely because it would not be fulfilled voluntarily, and then those forced will be dissatisfied. Now, is it possible to live together without people being forced? Yes, the market is that, the society that carries out transactions -with economic consequences- voluntary and peaceful.
But, although people suffer from the malaise caused by this state coercion, they do not understand the destructive nature of violence and even support it, otherwise these governments would not survive, nor their enormous expenditures on armaments.
World military spending grew 2.6%, surpassing US $ 1.8 trillion in 2018, the historical maximum according to the SIPRI. The US increased it 4.6% over the previous year to US $ 649,000 million -36% of the world total and 3.2% of its GDP- although it is still 19% lower than in 2010. Trump has reiterated that he will reduce its troops in conflict zones to a minimum.
Washington and Beijing account for more than half of global arms spending. The Asian giant spends 2% of its GDP. Now, while Japan allocates 0.9%, Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest importer of weapons, allocating 8.8% of its GDP, the highest percentage in the world.
The Saudi is a strongly violent and cruelly bloodthirsty kingdom. A crucified – public exposition of the body after the slaughter – and 36 beheaded make so far in 2019 already one hundred executed, condemned during the revolts requesting for a constitutional monarchy.
Meanwhile, Japan attended on April 30th the first imperial abdication over the last 200 years, when Akihito passed his throne to his son Naruhito whose character could deepen the differences between the imperial family and the government of Shinzo Abe that aims to militarize Japan more.
Akihito affirmed that the “most important duty of the emperor is to pray for peace” and he even dared to ask for forgiveness during his visit to China in 1992 when he recognized that Japan had “inflicted great suffering” on the Chinese people and called “to see never again the war destruction”. Clearly, there are leaders who do not intend to impose themselves by force and are the best.
* Member of the Advisory Board of the Center on Global Prosperity, Oakland, California