Herd Immunity

The populist herd that voted in the likes of Balsonaro in Brazil, Trump in the USA and Johnson in the UK may be about to become immune to their infection. The one comforting fact about populism is that, like a virus exposed sunlight, its virulence evaporates once it is exposed to facing and dealing with the harsh realities of life.

Populist infect their supporters by telling them that the world is how they would like it to be and so persuading them to ignore the obvious realities that do not pander to their preferred loves and hates, especially their hates. What is depressing is that only a major disaster seems capable of vaccinating the populist herd against the fantastical infection and allowing them to recover from their contagion and reestablish contact with reality .

In much the same way that the populism generated by the Crash in 1929 was  exposed to harsh realities and defeated in the West by WWII, so we might hope that the populism generated by the Crash in 2008 will be defeated by the harsh realities of the Pandemic in 2020 albeit the price in lives and misery must leave us all astounded by our capacity as a species to repeadly elevate fantasy over fact.

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