Social Mood Conference  |  Socionomics Foundation

By Chuck Thompson | Excerpted from the December 2016 Socionomist


Negative social mood leads people to forsake the political center and gravitate toward extremes—a trend that is currently under way in Europe. As Alan Hall explained in the January 2016 issue of The Socionomist, “More extreme candidates better fit the rationales people construct to explain the way unconscious social mood is making them feel.” In the December 2016 issue, Chuck Thompson shows negative mood at work in the politics of two of Europe’s most populous countries: Italy and France. Following are excerpts from Thompson’s article:

In the December 2009 issue of The Socionomist, European Financial Forecast editor Brian Whitmer noted that the fortunes of the euro and the European Union ebb and flow with social mood. Whitmer said that positive mood drove the desire for a European political and monetary union and sustained that desire after its formation. He forecast that in the future, negative mood would present “the greatest threat to European peace and solidarity since World War II.” …

In Italy, Eurosceptic parties are eyeing a December referendum that could propel one of them to power. The country has had 64 governments since it became a republic in 1946. Its current prime minister, Matteo Renzi, has proposed reforms to Italy’s constitution to streamline the country’s political system. …

One of Renzi’s biggest mistakes was to tie his proposed reforms to his political future; he promised to step down if the reforms do not pass. His resignation would open the door to Italy’s three opposition parties, all of which hold Eurosceptic views. …

In France, Marine Le Pen, head of the country’s far-right National Front, is expected to occupy one of two spots in a May 2017 run-off for president. Le Pen wants to pull France out of the euro and hold a referendum on the country’s membership in the European Union. …

In the March 2012 issue of The European Financial Forecast, Brian Whitmer noted that Le Pen “best represents France’s inevitable political direction during the bear market.” A negative mood trend would favor Le Pen’s platform, and France’s CAC 40 index is 13% below its April 2015 high. The question is, how much negative mood would it take to drive the French toward a far-right candidate? …


 

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