The world enveloped virus of populism

Мир охватил вирус популизма

Donald Trump

The original on the website Project Syndicate

The developed countries of the world, apparently, enveloped virus of populism and their political establishment is in retreat. Outsiders are making a serious political victories with radical promises to shake or even destroy the system. The enemies of the populists declared representatives of “global elites” who betrayed our national values. However, rebellion against this “globalism” as he calls future US President Donald trump, is also becoming a global phenomenon and, moreover, it relies on the internationalism of his special suit.

Like an epidemic or contagion effects are a well-known process in the world of Finance. A shock in one place is causing tremors around the world, even in the case where the direct financial linkages are not available. The fact that market participants are constantly searching for the model and see in these phenomena the action of the fundamental forces.

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The current populist revolt demonstrates similar dynamics. Trump previously promised that his victory will be the enhancement of Breccia, and when he won the Dutch and French far-right political forces really saw in his election a harbinger of future events in their countries. As supporters of voting “against” on the forthcoming in Italy’s constitutional referendum (which the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has put his political future).

The obvious historical parallel to current events is the interwar period in the twentieth century. Vladimir Lenin introduced Soviet communism as a global brand and created the Communist international. Italian fascism Benito Mussolini — a reaction to the movement of Lenin and also entered the international arena: movements of colored shirts to mimic the Blackshirts Mussolini, appeared in Europe, Latin America and Asia with the aim to make authoritarianism an alternative model of liberalism.

Extreme nationalist movements such as the fascists of Mussolini and the Nazis, Adolf Hitler, arguing which of them is truly fascist, but eventually, they United to resist the liberal order. So today a political riot can be followed by irresistible logic, according to which each country should be closed from international trade, migration and capital flows, or it risks losing the zero-sum game.

This raises a fundamental question: is it possible to build a wall that protects from this political epidemic?

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For the termination of financial crisis and reining in the financial chain reaction generally, there are two funds — the international financial aid packages and financial reforms. We could develop the political analogue of this measure, perhaps connected with the reform of institutions of global governance and the existing democratic mechanisms. Many of the problems which now suffer from individual countries, are in fact transnational and cannot be resolved by each state alone. The most obvious example is climate change that causes droughts and crop failures are regular, and consequently a mass migration flows.

However, modern populists refuse, on principle, to think collectively or to participate in international cooperation. Anything that looks like a transnational problem, immediately announced no importance to national interests. Any coordinated international action, ridiculed and perceived as an unnecessary folly.

Perhaps the current infectious populism creates the conditions for further self-destruction. A state of significant uncertainty that it causes can lead to the termination of investment and economic growth in those countries where it is already weak. However, autocratic, populist thinking can use such fears. For this reason, those who call themselves “anti-liberal Democrats” promise stability and certainty, and often they manage to reach an agreement with representatives of the business, to ensure all this.

At the moment the UK is a Prime example of postopolis economy in action. The results of the June referendum on the question of Breccia has not led to the economic disaster that was predicted by many supporters of the camp, in favor of maintaining membership in the EU. However, after Breccia a considerable uncertainty, and began to speak fundamentally incompatible suggestions about the future of the country, which triggered a political struggle in Parliament and in the government of the British Prime Minister Theresa may.

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Due to its attendant economic fears and political tension Brakcet can hardly be called an attractive role model for other European countries. Indeed, public opinion polls, conducted after the British referendum show the growing support of the European Union in most (but not all) EU countries.

The upcoming presidency, trump will probably lead to similar problems. His promise to remain “unpredictable” could further tarnish the populist model, especially if the fears about trade wars or sharp fluctuations in the dollar because of the reckless fiscal policy and tightening monetary measures will increase the degree of economic uncertainty.

However, the United States is able to a unique stability. Historically, the United States is the global safe haven in times of economic uncertainty, so they are less than other countries affected by the negative effects of unpredictability in politics. After the financial crisis of 2008 (crisis, which undoubtedly began in the United States) the effect of safe Harbor has led to increased capital flows and strengthen the dollar. The same thing happened in the first weeks after the victory of trump.

As a result, the economy of American populism is not necessarily collapse, at least not immediately. And it can enhance its attractiveness in the eyes of the authoritarian and nationalist leaders, who see trump’s colleague and role model. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was quick to fit into the agenda of the trump.

A large country like the United States, in General, is able to shift the costs of its unpredictability in other countries, and particularly developing. And smaller countries such as the UK, tend to be confronted with these costs almost immediately, and in addition they are more vulnerable to the effects of populist policies of major countries.

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While the Nations of the world ponder these lessons, they could begin to form a regional defense units to protect themselves from populist cholera. For example, China could start to speak on behalf of all of Asia, and the European Union to finally find a way to unite against those who want to destroy it. In the worst case, this new regionalism can be a source of geopolitical hostility, repeating tension of the 1930-ies. And at best — regional integration would create the conditions for badly needed reforms in management, clearing thereby the way from the populist traps.

Harold James

The Independent

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