Former President Barack Obama had a speech in Johannesburg on Tuesday. In an address Tuesday in honor of the late Nelson Mandela ahead of the 100th anniversary of his birth, Obama criticized populist movements toward authoritarianism around the world.
He was warning against protectionism, climate change and closed borders. Obama said “The politics of fear and resentment and retrenchment began to appear. And that kind of politics is now on the move. It`s on the move at a pace that would have seemed unimaginable just a few years ago.”
“I can`t find common ground if somebody says that climate change just isn`t happening, when almost all the world`s scientists tell us it is. I don`t know where to start talking to you about this. If you say it`s an elaborate hoax, where do we start?”, Obama said in the speech.
Strong man politics is on the rise. In the west you have far right parties that are based on closed borders, protectionism and nationalism. Many developed countries are now looking at China`s model of a totalitarian control combined with capitalism.
The free press is under attack. Censorship and state control of the media is on the rise. Social media once seen as a mechanism to promote knowledge, understanding and solidarity, has proved to be just as effective promoting hatred, paranoia, propaganda and conspiracy theories.
We are now standing at a crossroad. A moment in time in which two very different visions of humanity`s future compete. Two different stories and two different narratives. About who we are and who we should be.
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