Published On: Mon, Sep 4th, 2017

Limits of elitism

dekker_0Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela, should watch his back. Sooner or later, popular uprise will get in the way of his ideological Bolivarian revolution. The end of FARC demonstrated that even after more than a 50-year civil war in Colombia, and 400,000 death, the ideologically motivated Leninists, had no other way but to surrender.  There are limits to what the communist elite could and can achieve; even the USSR fell apart and free market China is still communist but in-name.

With globalization, a hope existed that nations converged on a universal set of values, like the UN, Human Rights Act of 1948, The UN, Rights of Children Act of 1996, or the Paris Accord on Climate Change, of 2015.

But with the descent of Donald Trump, Western-led globalization is suddenly looking very fragile.

Little islands in the Caribbean already steered away from belonging to larger clubs. The British and Dutch kingdoms were spat on; the EU discarded by racial and post-colonial arrogance.  Caribbean Economic Clubs became paper tigers, solely designed to justify perks for an elite of island politicians and their families at tax payers’ expense.

TTP tried to eliminate 18,000 trade barriers put on American products across 11 countries, which put the USA and its allies at an unfair disadvantage today.

Like in many multilateral deals, U.S. and Europe had to reciprocate, but that was too much to swallow for the seeming illiterate US-President.

Trump canceled TTP, the moment, he entered the WH -office and took world trade back to the dark ages with Gulliver-size steps.

Isolationism as we see it in the Caribbean with Cuba, and in South America with Venezuela, is choking on its very own poison; what will be left over is a skinny skeleton of economic anorexia as can be observed in those countries. Cuba is, after North Korea, the most horrible display of collectively engineered poverty in the world and Venezuela elite is eager to copy it.

Island isolationism for an economy, traditionally based on traffic and trade, is suicide. It also means opening the door for the rapid growth of a shadow economy, with illegal and shady constructions. It is a super highway to the development of a criminal society.

Governing political elite often become henchmen of organized crime as we have witnessed over and over.  But there are limits to the arrogance of elitism, as history teaches us every day.

By Jacob Gelt Dekker
Columnist for Curaçao Chronicle

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