One but cannot remember the riddle of what is the animal that starts walking with four feet, continues to walk on two feet and rends up walking on three feet. Of course quite a few of us know the answer it is “Man”.

Of course, even though religious dogma forbid us to bear the thought, science points more and more vividly that man is somehow a species that has through the development of its brain and a conscious realization of its existence as an individual, has evolved from one type of simian primate

Some of us have seen a film called the Planet of the Apes where the Apes acquire sufficient intelligence and power to dominate a weakened species of humans. Are we witnessing through populism a weakening of the moral and intellectual values that have shaped the modern development of mankind?

Greece as usual was at the forefront when it institutionalized the word of “no” meaning “yes”. More recently “Brexit” means “Brexit” has restored the meaning of logic if not economic sense. Everywhere else the voices of populism are rising across Europe and threaten perilously the vision of the founding fathers. But nowhere has the rise of populism increased the risk of a total collapse in Western values than the US election.

Through simplistic statements when not falsified, through unchallenged and unacceptable denigration of other candidates, through unrealistic and unachievable promises, a man who dominates reality shows but is totally unequipped to take the world mantel has been elected by a populist majority in rust belt States and inland communities totally unaware of world challenges.

To foretell what lies in the future would be as foolish as his promises but some of his statements can give us a foretaste of his spheres of interests. No doubt his early education in a military style institution for unruly juveniles must have been his most intellectual training. Does he not always refer to the element of surprise and of his awe for Generals Patton and Mc Arthur?

Am I wrong to remember a quip of his: “ we have nukes, we should use them”.

But of course he also had a business education which reinforced his intellect for “deal making”.

Lastly it is fair to say that he is one of the few men that has managed to fulfill his narcissistic needs to the fullest.

With this full baggage of information I think with unimpeded temerity to state what others have already prophesized; “expect the unexpected”. To which others have countered don’t worry : the “check and balances of the Constitution will keep him within acceptable boundaries”.

I beg to differ as I am greatly worried by two facts:

First the cabinet he has assembled is made of people who think like him or are people he would like to think. Who will ape whom? That is the question and I fear self-generated populism enthusiasm within the Cabinet will lead to  impulsive and hasty decisions.

Secondly, the Republican Party which controls both houses of the Congress has been debilitated by a virus called tea partisanship. Until it recovers and its wiser members can establish leadership, a lot of time will elapse preventing the counterweight to an overactive executive.

Future will tell whether this pessimism is warranted but warnings are visible in many areas. Most we have entered a world where reflection has been replaced by instant reaction. The proliferation of mass media has driven humanity to spend the greatest part of the time when they should be productive to manipulate their “intelligent” phones. (Fortunately some of them are staring to explode!).

If “Tweetocracy” is allowed to displace traditional “democracy”, then we will enter a period called “the Planet of the Apes”

By Digenis


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