When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

Why Aren't Politicians Listening To Our Anger?

Politicians are hiding behind complacent language instead of facing the challenges that their constituents are fired up about.

Comedian Keegan-Michael Key and U.S. President Barack Obama
Comedian Keegan-Michael Key and U.S. President Barack Obama
Oscar Guardiola-Rivera


BOGOTÁ — Only a politician could look at the state of the world — from Donald Trump to Brexit, from the Nice carnage to the coup attempt in Turkey — and say that everything is fine.

A day after Britons voted to leave the European Union, U.S. President Barack Obama addressed the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford University, and made a speech later described by TheGuardian columnist Thomas Frank as the "purest globaloney" with a "whiff of vintage dotcom ebullience."

In a recent article,Frank observed that members of the global elite were unable to see the seething discontent beneath them, and that their refusal to change their "venal and complacent" conduct could have dire results.

This complacency is evident in the type of language and the tone we are used to hearing from politicians like Obama, with his high-minded conversational style. It's mayhem out there, Frank suggests, but the key words in Obama's recent speech were "innovation" and "interconnection".

Another example of political complacency lies in the term "for now" (a día de hoy), as often uttered by Pedro Sánchez, the secretary-general of the Socialist Party in Spain, which hasn't had an effective government for months now thanks to a splintered parliament. Spanish commentator Álex Grijelmo says that politicians like the catchphrase because it can distract an audience. It helps the politician avoid saying what they specifically intend to do next.

When Sánchez says that, "for now, we're going to vote no" (to another austerity government led by Mariano Rajoy, for example), he is implying that tomorrow could be different. He avoids committing himself to a public position on a topic.

Nobody in the ruling class has the guts to tell us what will happen tomorrow because that would involve committing to reality or to institutional changes needed to give people hope for the future. The discourse of public figures reveals their complacency and lack of commitment in a society accustomed to spectacle.

By this I don't mean a society, as described by novelist and Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, that is enthralled by entertainment. I'm talking instead about "spectacle" as understood by the Situationists of the 1960s, who viewed our advanced capitalist society as plagued by social alienation, with people alternately hooked on consumer commodities or beholden to innovation, interconnection and entrepreneurs.

That world of ideas is crumbling. How can we tell? Well, for one thing, we're facing the real possibility right now of a fascist becoming president of the United States of America.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

A Profound And Simple Reason That Negotiations Are Not An Option For Ukraine

The escalation of war in the Middle East and the stagnation of the Ukrainian counteroffensive have left many leaders in the West, who once supported Ukraine unequivocally, to look toward ceasefire talks with Russia. For Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, Piotr Andrusieczko argues that Ukraine simply cannot afford this.

Photo of Ukrainian soldiers in winter gear, marching behind a tank in a snowy landscape

Ukrainian soldiers ploughing through the snow on the frontlines

Volodymyr Zelensky's official Facebook account
Piotr Andrusieczko


KYIVUkraine is fighting for its very existence, and the war will not end soon. What should be done in the face of this reality? How can Kyiv regain its advantage on the front lines?

It's hard to deny that pessimism has been spreading among supporters of the Ukrainian cause, with some even predicting ultimate defeat for Kyiv. It's difficult to agree with this, considering how this war began and what was at stake. Yes, Ukraine has not won yet, but Ukrainians have no choice for now but to continue fighting.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

These assessments are the result of statements by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, and an interview with him in the British weekly The Economist, where the General analyzes the causes of failures on the front, notes the transition of the war to the positional phase, and, critically, evaluates the prospects and possibilities of breaking the deadlock.

Earlier, an article appeared in the American weekly TIME analyzing the challenges facing President Volodymyr Zelensky. His responses indicate that he is disappointed with the attitude of Western partners, and at the same time remains so determined that, somewhat lying to himself, he unequivocally believes in victory.

Combined, these two publications sparked discussions about the future course of the conflict and whether Ukraine can win at all.

Some people outright predict that what has been known from the beginning will happen: Russia will ultimately win, and Ukraine has already failed.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest