I guess a couple of things bother me about TED, namely my disappointment at supposedly “progressive” people. Because the event itself is mostly attended by those who identify with certain liberal/ progressive/ moderately leftist ideas (but who are wealthy enough to afford attendance) and the guest speakers all present over subjects tied to these as well. And I have said it before but I blame progressives for their collective detachment from the realities of every day hardships for the raise of the extreme right discourse in politics.

It happened in The Netherlands and I suspect it happened across the board in Europe, the US, etc as well. Both the Labor and the Socialist Parties, became enamored with the idea of middle class values, easy access to goods and services, a cultural offer perceived by many as elitist, etc. Both parties stopped addressing their core demographics (the working class) and, instead, sought to appeal to a more “educated” voter base. The gap was filled by the likes of Gert Wilders (and the Tea Party in the US, I suppose). Now, of course, it is too late because Wilders might have fed them lies, but he did address their concerns and growing disenchantment and, more importantly, he elevated them to the status of a worthy audience.

And I see TED, spreading these “liberal ideals” for an elite and it is more of the same noise. Moreover, I see it spreading some very old notions of Western values (with a veiled whiff of rancid colonial rhetoric) insisting that the rest of the world should follow suit and adopt them without consideration for local sociopolitical and cultural struggles/ realities. I just expected better from people who claim to carry the Social Justice flag. “Progressive values for some, miniature globalized right wing poverty for others”. We might as well make that our new leftist motto.

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