Tree People vs Boat People – which are you?
by Alec Hogg
Most of us have been amazed at the massive swing in political allegiances worldwide. Not so Charles Gave, chairman of Gavekal Research, who wrote earlier this year about a phenomenon re-establishing itself: the age-old battle between Tree People and Boat People.
As one of Gave’s admirers, Deon Gouws of Credo, pointed out in our interview this week, after decades of ascendancy the Boat People (well travelled, broad-minded globalists) are in retreat. The Tree People (stay-at-home, internally-focused localists) are rejecting grand schemes that promote global integration because, to them, they haven’t worked. So the Tree People have been clawing back power.
The trend is evident in the Brexit surprise; a resurgence of the Right in Europe; the elevation of Donald Trump to a credible POTUS candidate and, in South Africa, mushrooming of a decidedly insular EFF. Whether you like it or not, Tree People are now in the ascendancy. The pendulum swung too far. It is now correcting.