UARU
Tackling The Rise Of Populism
30 November, 2016

What You Need To Know:

✅ According to Matthew Taylor, human progress is continuing and the world is still a better place than it was even twenty years ago;
✅ On moral-righteousness: “The role of democracy and politics and institution builders is to find ways of tackling that human characteristic,”
✅ The political establishment is self-righteous rather than self-critical: “there’s a kind of contempt for those who voted for something different that we don’t like;”
✅ The challenge when facing unfavorable outcomes is either to “get self-righteous and despairing or be self-critical and determined.”

With the rise of populism and anti-establishment parties on either side of the Atlantic, many wonder when things went wrong and how these movements succeeded. According to Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, human progress is continuing and the world is still a better place than it was even twenty years ago.

Out of all our qualities and tendencies, Taylor says humans exaggerate and think that they are morally right, that their tribe is better than everyone else. “The role of democracy and politics and institution builders is to find ways of tackling that human characteristic,” he says. People need to get out of that headspace and focus on common humanity.

Taylor says that another big problem we face is anger. For example, the political establishment is self-righteous rather than self-critical: “there’s a kind of contempt for those who voted for something different that we don’t like.” Taylor also adds that too many people are succumbing to the idea that their lives are not a certain way because of somebody else.

The challenge when facing unfavorable outcomes is either to “get self-righteous and despairing or be self-critical and determined,” says Taylor. We must also question “what is it in our behaviors what we have done which has led to this situation and how is it that we need to change.”

Hromadske’s Nataliya Gumenyuk spoke to Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts via Skype in November, 2016.