Culture of Relativism

Mandela was prepared to break ranks with his fellow African leaders and condemn oppression. He did not indulge the ruinous culture of relativism and solidarity that had led to so many abuses in Africa passing unrebuked.

—Alec Russell, in ‘After Mandela


I love the term ‘Culture of relativism’. It’s a much better name for what’s come to be known as ‘whataboutery’ in the social media age.

Culture of relativism is also something that’s made a strong comeback in the era of social media empowered populism across the globe.

Democratic heroes

Liberal democracies, he has argued, faced with the dark menace of nationalism, need heroes if they are to rouse a positive national spirit and defeat the “sad passions” fanned by populists.

—The Economist on Emmanuel Macron in France’s victorious footballers do Emmanuel Macron a favour – France’s World Cup triumph

Continue reading Democratic heroes

The drawback of left-right “grand coalitions”

Grand coalitions play into the hands of populists, he suggests, because they signal to voters that political contests are redundant.

… “civilised conflict” helps keep politics, and parties, alive.

The Economist: Social democracy is floundering everywhere in Europe, except Portugal