Wednesday 22 November 2017

Beware of those selling simple solutions to complex problems

Demonstrators scuffle with security forces during an opposition rally in Caracas, Venezuela. Photo: Reuters
Demonstrators scuffle with security forces during an opposition rally in Caracas, Venezuela. Photo: Reuters
Dan O'Brien

Dan O'Brien

There are simple answers to society's big problems. Everything that annoys and frustrates you about your life can be put right easily. The reason things aren't put right is because bad people are conspiring to screw you over. This, in essence, is the worldview of the populist.

While there are malign people aplenty and vested interests are usually at least partly to blame for hindering greater-good reforms, solutions to the world's woes are almost always difficult to design, agree and implement.

Despite rising levels of education across the western world, there appears to be a growing number of voters willing to brush aside this complexity and support populists who claim that their simple answers will make problems go away.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss