> In France, Christophe Guilluy has got notability with his theory about la France périphérique (peripheral France). In his different books he stated that a great part of the political elite has lost contact to the popular classes mainly situated in rural France, which he defined as the France périphérique. Guilluy has also tried to explain the rise of the National Front in France. In the international Academia his work is currently unknown. Guilluy has also tried to explain the vote for Trump with the existence of a peripheral America in an interview in the French magazine Le Point.
I’ve just finished reading one of his books, he totally deserves to be better known in the Anglo-Saxon world because he makes a lot of sense in what he’s saying.
We may be past the point of even being able to listen and change anyone’s mind - the solution needs to come from within the right, or a major real reworking of the economic state to include rural prosperity somehow.
The reality is, lots of people have been asking for just that for a long time, and it's not come to fruition because it is an extremely difficult thing to do.
Consider Native Americans. They wanted change for years, and essentially had to start casinos to begin making headway. Even now, a material number of tribes and reservations are still racked by poverty, and are unable to participate in the vast majority of legal industrial activities at scale. The system has not changed for them, some of them have simply been forced to find a method of adapting to the economic system that we have.
Blacks are another example. They're a group that has agitated for change for what seems like an eternity. It's similarly doubtful that the system will change for them either. The ones who have found success are the ones willing to leave their neighborhoods and participate in the larger economy not on their own terms, but on terms set by that larger economy.
I actually would like for a new economic state to take hold that would include people who concerned thinkers have termed "those left behind". It's just that, given the interests embedded in the current system, I can't see how it will change. As I pointed out, many groups have tried previously, and tried for a very long time, yet we still have the same system in place. The best we seem to be able to do, is to allot a few set asides for the purposes of elevating a chosen few of "those left behind". I suspect we'll follow a similar path in the instance of rural "left behinds". But my suspicion is that the inertia in our system will mean that wholesale change to accommodate the majority of "those left behind" is not likely to occur.
What sort of change are you referring to? Surely by any metric the situation for black Americans has improved tremendously?
Which is absurd.
The United States has just shy of one billion acres of farmland. In 2014 The United States had an agriculture export surplus of almost 40 billion dollars. The current Farm Bill, and the historical trend, pushes the market towards consolidation and mono-crops. In 2014 we produced 54 billion dollars of corn, and our 10th biggest crop (barley) was 0.9 billion dollars. The median farm income in 2014 was $-118.
If you want to increase the wealth of rural America I suggest looking for ways to make small to mid sized farming profitable. We are literally covered in farmable land, and rural areas will be better at it then urban areas for a long time.
The idea of call centers and "remote" workplaces come to mind frequently - in theory anywhere with an internet connection should be able to find people cheap to do any digital work that needs doing. We need to find a way to not concentrate all the wealth in cities.
Urbanization is currently a strong force in all economies. In the developing world, it mostly isn't a bad thing because it improves conditions for migrants from rural areas.
It's an open question whether it's a bad thing in developed economies, especially if it reduces the kind of residual racism and intolerance that brews in the countryside. It's not just economic poverty that is reduced by urbanization.
In other words, the calls for understanding "flyover country" and healing the rural economy can prove to be futile. If they are futile or unrealistic, what then?
If, for example, we're going to premise a society on "having jobs" then efficiency-ing those jobs out of existence might not be the wisest move, all in — especially if, to The Fine Article's point, we do so in a manner that adversely affects some regions disproportionately.
(Yes, there are always alternative jobs. They may not be palatable, or the society in question may not offer meaningful forms of skills transitioning. Or people might be stuck where they are for reasons beyond their control. "But efficiency!" isn't very comforting to someone who's out of work and starving.)
We have no proof of this, and the "gig economy" suggests quite strongly to the contrary.
Given that the "gig economy" generally represents jobs of last resort, what happens when we automate those away?
In the short-to-medium term, there aren't enough jobs to go around. Automation is only making that worse, and we haven't yet come up with a meaningful alternative for the folks who are being displaced. As for the long term, my crystal ball doesn't work too well, that far out.
Maybe we will come up with something for them, but the alternatives I've seen tossed around suggest everyone will end up trying to market someone else's products, or services jobs. It doesn't strike me as readily apparent there will be enough of those jobs to go around, either.
So, it's perhaps more accurate to say "there are always alternative jobs, but probably not for everyone", which really just reinforces the point that efficiency-ing away this thing we've predicated the functioning of our society upon doesn't ultimately serve us very well.
Perhaps we should prioritize food supply reliability over maximal efficiency.
If shipping around the world suddenly stopped (perhaps due to war), our food supply would become very unhealthy with very little choice until we had a growing season or two to rediversify.
Fascinating. That analysis sounds very much like the assessment of hostage-taker motivations that FBI hostage negotiators have built their more modern negotiation techniques around (see for example the book “Never Split the Difference”). Riffing on that thought, it feels like Trump’s verbal handling of them aligns much more closely with the FBI negotiators’ recommended techniques than Hilary’s verbal handling of them (hers is a better fit to the FBI’s older more intellectually focused less emotionally focused strategy that was abandoned in the wake of the Waco disaster).
Also rich gated or very segregated neighborhoods, where people are rarely step out side their homogenous envirements or cars fall under this extrapolation of the contact hypothesis in relation to suspectability to populism for me.
This movement of people ensures that the urban-rural divide, as well as the growth-stagnation divide will persist, because the working definitions will naturally fit around the current facts on the ground.
This is neither a new phenomenon, nor freshly articulated. For example, much of Thomas Jefferson's political career was devoted to addressing issues of the urban-rural divide in the early United States.
> This movement of people ensures that the urban-rural divide, as well as the growth-stagnation divide will persist
Counterexamples are Sweden and Norway. A century ago they were stagnation areas with people moving away. Today they're more affluent than areas they were losing population to.
The tide can change.
Good watch which talks about rural populism in the 1800s quite a bit.
How the 'Places That Don't Matter' Fueled Populism
A CA electoral college delegate represents the will of ~710,000 voters. A WY delegate represents the will of only ~200,000 voters, so a vote in WY counts more than 3x as much as a vote in CA. (For much the same reason, congress also sees disproportionate representation of smaller states, since the number of senators is fixed.)
Not to mention gerrymandering results in outsized influence of rural/urban boundaries as well.
It seems like that would only matter, if politicians had to win votes person-by-person. But instead, influence is peddled to subcultures. "Urban blacks", "coal miners", "white supremacists", "tech entrepreneurs", etc. And effort spent appealing to urban blacks will get you votes all over the country, as opposed to appealing to coal miners which will net you support in certain parts of Wyoming and West Virginia.
I think buying a coal miner vote is more expensive than a latino vote, considering the amount of influence both groups yield.
That's a complaint which is not particular to rural voters though right? The same can be said of the impoverished urban masses gripped by hopelessness and drug activity. Or the impoverished suburban masses gripped by hopelessness and an opioid epidemic.
Many voters all over the US "... feel alienated from the actual politicians they're able to pick..."
Closing the chasm between leaders and those being led is an age old problem. It's a problem that was likely present in every great civilization.
And the democratic principle would be more perfectly approached: At the moment, there's 436 democratically allocated seats in presidential elections, versus 102 non-democratically allocated seats. With a doubled congress, it would be more like 872 give-or-take versus 102 (the exact number will depend on how many congress seats Wyoming earns, as this affects the number of college seats DC receives). This benefits urban residents most clearly.
>This benefits urban residents most clearly.
Yeah it benefits urban residents at the expense of rural residents. There's no way you can claim it would make everyone better off, it reduces rural voting power in presidential elections.
See  and : in , about half-way through when the interview topic turns to gerrymandering.
The Senate would be difficult to fix, but House district gerrymandering and a national popular vote for President would be helpful improvements.
TL;DR: People from unimportant areas who don't vote correctly are merely vengeful simpletons having knee-jerk reactions. This is the reason we enlightened people from coastal US cities have been thwarted.