Thursday, February 18, 2016

Will the rising populism be co-opted?

Across the Western world all the establishment politicians stand for the same things: free enterprise, social liberalism, egalitarianism, and internationalism, and the far left and far right are considered oddballs, as Freddy Gray pointed out, (Chronicles, Nov. 2016).

The people rise against the elites. Populism is fed up, as it usual is, and people are shouting that the Western establishment has to go. In the U.S. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have been making populist points declaring that globalism has worked only for the super rich, that democracy is controlled by Big Business.

Reality usually goes where the power goes, and the established powers usually find a way around populism. Populist candidates could of course cave and join the global imperium when they get close to real power. But it is also possible, in the case of Trump, that a few powerful capitalists have decided that they have ridden the global tsunami as long as they can, and now there is money to be made in closing down their international rivals and bringing business, and the military, back to the United States.

This way the new economic nationalism, the golden mean, would be co-opted by crony capitalism. I suppose the Clinton's could contaminate the White House once again. But perhaps we need to be realistic and not demand purity. Things seem to be moving in the right direction, even as things falls apart.

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