Historically, financial crisis is the bane of the populace but the boon for those who have cash-laden pockets. It is a chance for governments to show their magnanimity and “save” its constituents from something out of control. Or a chance for the opposition to showcase the ineptness of current administration and have a go at recapturing power.
The Great Depression resulted into an aftermath of socio-political engagement that have leaned to Marxist tendencies where the then communist parties gave solace to the fragmented peoples that were suffering from the failures of capitalism – their basic needs unmet, the rug pulled under their feet. It also spurred the rise of activism where grassroots rallies were held to protest hiring practices that were discriminatory, and lack of social benefits, among many others which pushed Roosevelt into office with the promise of reform.
The Great Recession or better known as the 2008 Financial Crisis slanted many into Populism when the public questioned how plugged-in leaders were to the needs of their electorate when billions were expended to companies and financial institutions hit hard by the meltdown. With inequality widening and households drowning in debt, the more liquid middle and upper class seized the opportunities from falling prices brought about by austerity measures. While the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 reformed the post-recession economy, minimum wage workers were still left with the short end of the stick with salaries not adjusted to inflation.
Smaller economic dives internationally such as the prolonged Lost Decade of the Japanese Crisis and Chinese Stock Crash seemed to have reinforced what was known all along – that the opportunity for the upper class to gain money and power presents itself best in the financial meltdowns of markets. Many will take advantage of the situation to push their interests, which includes dragging festering socio-economic sentiments and using them for their personal gain.
COVID-19 has spawned silent murmurs of discontent as the population festered in uncertainty and restlessness. The murder of an African-American man by erring police forces sparked a spate of outrage and protests in the midst of a pandemic. What started off as a proposed peaceful process rippled into anarchic pockets of violence across the country.
Behind the Protests and Principles – Have we been blindsided into rejecting democracy?
Without undermining the continuing fight for equal opportunity to end racial discrimination and other social issues, there is a need to check the forces at play. The varied allegations of the espousal of Marxism to promoting of civil disobedience seem to take root with the manifestations of violence. It makes one come to the observation of the use of diversity of tactics which incite heated groups within the populace.
Thanks to modern technology, awareness of public issues is heightened. This is commendable to an extent. Unfortunately, algorithms within these internet platforms breed herd mentality, with the viewers being fed only the social, mental, and moral principles which they are predisposed to. And alas, thanks to the same real-time vehicles available online, these netizens are able to be vicariously present in situations that may be inflammatory if taken out of context. This becomes the rich soil for injections of disruptive tactics.
The Trifecta of Financial Meltdown