Daily World Dispatch – Looking for clarity when uncertainty holds sway

We are often told that people and markets don't like uncertainty. But sometimes uncertainty can serve the purposes of groups within society - whether they are seeking to destabilise the existing political order, create terror and undermine state structures or buy themselves time in an increasingly difficult political environment.

What does it mean to say, as South Korea's President Park Geun-hye has, that you are "willing to resign"? Is it the same thing as saying you will do so?

And when you say that you think people should be jailed or lose their citizenship for burning the nation's flag, is that the same thing as saying it is your intention to proceed along that course? Or is it just another signal to true believers of where your allegiances lie, along the lines of "lock her up" and build the wall" and so on?

Until recently, we might have watched votes to tell us where the centre of gravity in any society actually lay. But both the Brexit and US election votes this year produced a split vote in which the very premise - what people were in fact voting for and against - remained murky.

So it seems unlikely that the upcoming referendum on constitutional reform in Italy will yield clarity, and very likely indeed that it will simply push us deeper into indecision and a malaise that we find hard to label, let alone escape.

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The story Daily World Dispatch - Looking for clarity when uncertainty holds sway first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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