FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

It‘s Globalization, Stupid!

The coming presidential election is not about Trump. It‘s about the nation state vs globalization.

If the democrats don‘t get that; they will surely loose no matter who becomes their eventual candidate.

The recent rise of populist leaders and their nationalist agendas are surely the inevitable political reaction to the Neoliberalism of the last thirty years.

Globalization for globalization’s sake was an ideological vision of perfect markets and the alleged growth of individual freedoms mutually supporting each other.

It didn’t turn out that way.

Global flows of capital, technology, and to some extent, labor proved far more destabilizing for the majority of the planet who were less wealthy, less educated, and less willing to let go of regional, national, and local ties and traditions.

Global elites, whether in the shadows or upfront in the limelight, were for far too long oblivious to the disconnect between economic and, yes, cultural liberalization and deregulation as opposed to the growing disquiet about these global trends among the traditionally situated citizenry of the nation-state.

The global financial crises of the 90’s were, as it turned out, but a foretaste of what was to come. The “Great Recession” however was the ultimate comeuppance for detrimental ideological bullying versus more realistic assessments arguing for a more tempered globalization, one that would not exacerbate the living conditions of people necessarily tied to the boundaries of the nation-state.

Thus, for all his negatives, Donald Trump gets it. He gets the fears, frustrations, and animadversions of the vast multitudes of this planet who still inhabit and will continue to inhabit nation-states. As a practical consequence of all this, he pursues trade deals that favor the US, especially in relation to China. He gets, for example, that Chinese undervaluing of their currency cannot be tolerated anymore. He understands how politically explosive would be an agreement to end or at least significantly curtail such manipulation while simultaneously strengthening the national economic decision making powers of both countries as regards finance and trade. Such a deal would not only energize his base but would expand it.

If in private and for a long time, Trump was both a practitioner and beneficiary of neoliberal policies is not in question. For now, he presents and to a large extent practices the politics of national determination in economic, political, and cultural matters. He knows what the people want and what they fear most. In this sense, Trump is not only populist but essentially expressing the democratic will of millions.

The problem is of course is that he seeks to regulate the inherent problems of globalization in increasingly authoritarian and retrograde ways, while perhaps even managing to unleash the forces of an irrational kind of protectionism. Globalization, it should be remembered, has many faces: economic, technological, cultural, and political. In many ways, particularly for national minorities and women it has proven to be a net benefit and will likely continue to be so.

The question for the future (and for the Democrats) is not so much to extinguish the prolific and polymorphous nature of globalization but how to tame it so that it is more in harmony with the imperatives of democratic publics who are still, and for the foreseeable future, will continue to be self-inscribed within the static boundaries of nation-states. We must emphasize the good that is in Globalization while reducing the speed, impact, and range of its more destabilizing effects.

More articles by:

Dan Corjescu teaches Political Philosophy at Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

June 17, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
The Dark Side of Brexit: Britain’s Ethnic Minorities Are Facing More and More Violence
Linn Washington Jr.
Remember the Vincennes? The US’s Long History of Provoking Iran
Geoff Dutton
Where the Wild Things Were: Abbey’s Road Revisited
Nick Licata
Did a Coverup of Who Caused Flint Michigan’s Contaminated Water Continue During Its Investigation? 
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange and the Scales of Justice: Exceptions, Extraditions and Politics
John Feffer
Democracy Faces a Global Crisis
Louisa Willcox
Revamping Grizzly Bear Recovery
Stephen Cooper
“Wheel! Of! Fortune!” (A Vegas Story)
Daniel Warner
Let Us Laugh Together, On Principle
Brian Cloughley
Trump Washington Detests the Belt and Road Initiative
Weekend Edition
June 14, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump’s Trade Threats are Really Cold War 2.0
Bruce E. Levine
Tom Paine, Christianity, and Modern Psychiatry
Jason Hirthler
Mainstream 101: Supporting Imperialism, Suppressing Socialism
T.J. Coles
How Much Do Humans Pollute? A Breakdown of Industrial, Vehicular and Household C02 Emissions
Andrew Levine
Whither The Trump Paradox?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of 10,000 Talkers, All With Broken Tongues
Pete Dolack
Look to U.S. Executive Suites, Not Beijing, For Why Production is Moved
Paul Street
It Can’t Happen Here: From Buzz Windrip and Doremus Jessup to Donald Trump and MSNBC
Rob Urie
Capitalism Versus Democracy
Richard Moser
The Climate Counter-Offensive: Secrecy, Deception and Disarming the Green New Deal
Naman Habtom-Desta
Up in the Air: the Fallacy of Aerial Campaigns
Ramzy Baroud
Kushner as a Colonial Administrator: Let’s Talk About the ‘Israeli Model’
Mark Hand
Residents of Toxic W.Va. Town Keep Hope Alive
John Kendall Hawkins
Alias Anything You Please: a Lifetime of Dylan
Linn Washington Jr.
Bigots in Blue: Philadelphia Police Department is a Home For Hate
David Macaray
UAW Faces Its Moment of Truth
Brian Cloughley
Trump’s Washington Detests the Belt and Road Initiative
Horace G. Campbell
Edward Seaga and the Institutionalization of Thuggery, Violence and Dehumanization in Jamaica
Graham Peebles
Zero Waste: The Global Plastics Crisis
Michael Schwalbe
Oppose Inequality, Not Cops
Ron Jacobs
Scott Noble’s History of Resistance
Olivia Alperstein
The Climate Crisis is Also a Health Emergency
David Rosen
Time to Break Up the 21st Century Tech Trusts
George Wuerthner
The Highest Use of Public Forests: Carbon Storage
Ralph Nader
It is Time to Rediscover Print Newspapers
Nick Licata
How SDS Imploded: an Inside Account
Rachel Smolker – Anne Peterman
The GE American Chestnut: Restoration of a Beloved Species or Trojan Horse for Tree Biotechnology?
Sam Pizzigati
Can Society Survive Without Empathy?
Manuel E. Yepe
China and Russia in Strategic Alliance
Patrick Walker
Green New Deal “Climate Kids” Should Hijack the Impeachment Conversation
Colin Todhunter
Encouraging Illegal Planting of Bt Brinjal in India
Robert Koehler
The Armed Bureaucracy
David Swanson
Anyone Who’d Rather Not be Shot Should Read this Book
Jonathan Power
To St. Petersburg With Love
Marc Levy
How to Tell a Joke in Combat
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail