“This new nationalism takes different economic forms: trade barriers, asset protection, reaction against foreign direct investment, policies favoring domestic workers and firms, anti-immigration measures, state capitalism, and resource nationalism. In the political realm, populist, anti-globalization, anti-immigration, and in some cases outright racist and anti-Semitic parties are on the rise.”And it’s not just Europe seeing a worrying rise of far-right nationalism. Across Asia, for instance, a number of countries, such as Japan, India, Turkey, and Russia, have increasingly seen their politics dominated by more nationalistic (and in many cases, more authoritarian factions). The same can also be said of South America, as well as right here in the United States, were a once insurgent TEA Party has now successfully wrestled ideological control of the Republican party away from the party’s more moderate political elements.
At the heart of this backlash, according to Roubini is an “anemic economic recovery,” which has provided a populist opening for parties pushing protectionist economic policies, while playing on xenophobic fears. At face value, Roubini’s analysis that a poor economic recovery is to blame for the rise of radicalized nationalistic parties appears strong. That is, however, until you consider the fact that in many important respects, the anemic economic recovery which Roubini speaks of, is in fact a fantasy. If we were to look at performance of the stock market, for instance, we would see that not only have the losses from the 2008 crash been regained, but additional stock value has likewise been added. Similarly, corporate profitability is at an all-time high, as are the capital holdings of many multinational conglomerates.
Indeed, from the perspective of the 1% – and perhaps more accurately, from the perspective of the 1% of the 1% – times have never been better. Of course, for the rest of us, the past 6-years haven’t exactly been times of plenty.
Thus, it is not a poor economic recovery that is to blame for the rise of radicalized nationalism, but rather the unequal distribution of economic spoils. And on this point, globalization should not be blamed for growing economic disparity, or for that matter, for growing economic insecurity. At its core, globalization is merely the shrinking of space and time. Or put differently, globalization is the process through which the world becomes a global village. Unfortunately for globalists, the economic policies so often attributed with the phenomenon of globalization have nothing to do with globalization specifically, and are instead the result of a growing global embrace of neoliberal capitalism. Globalization is merely the vehicle through which neoliberal capitalists further enrich themselves at the expense of the rest of the globe.