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It’s tempting to view the results of last week’s European elections as a populists backlash against the forces of globalization and broader institutional integration. After all, a string of nationalist parties – from France’s far-right Front National, to Britain’s anti-European UK Independence Party, to Denmark’s Danish People’s Party, to even a neo-nazi party in Greece – all enjoyed impressive electoral victories. Similarly, many political pundits and those in the press are likewise heralding the surprise victory of several newer, far-left political parties as further evidence of a pan-european rejection of the globalization project. As Nouriel Roubini writes in Project Syndicate, “the backlash against globalization has arrived.”
“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.

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Poll

Should we abandon the capitalist project?

53%25 votes
12%6 votes
34%16 votes

| 47 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.” -Albert Einstein

    by Dr Christopher Boerl on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 01:33:25 PM PDT

  •  A nationalist reaction was inevitable, given th... (4+ / 0-)

    A nationalist reaction was inevitable, given that citizenship is still the only possible protection of human rights and the will of the people. A just world government was not created to manage globalization, and instead we have de facto corporate world governance with elite rivalries as the only partial check on the powerful. How could globalization conceivably produce something better for the great majority than the high-tech neo-feudalism we see emerging now?

    •  I don't see how we could create a just (3+ / 0-)

      world government if we lack just national governments.

      Sounds like a pipe dream.

      No War but Class War

      by AoT on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 01:57:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just national governments are needed... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thanatokephaloides, ImpactAv

        I would never dare say they are not. What I am arguing however, is that globalization is not the reason we have exploitative economic policies. In fact I would argue that we have economic exploitation because our national governments are not fair, are not just, and have been bought by the highest bidder. This economic experience has nothing to do with globalization, but rather a dangerous mentality embraced by a neoliberals which believes you can place a price on the environment and human well-being.  In this respect, why is it that whenever the topic of globalization is mentioned, many are quick to blame globalization for the failings of national governments, and likewise more than willing to give national governments a free-pass.  Perhaps this is the result of some deep seeded tribalism?  

        “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.” -Albert Einstein

        by Dr Christopher Boerl on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 02:10:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your question has an answer. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jbsoul, jlb1972
          In this respect, why is it that whenever the topic of globalization is mentioned, many are quick to blame globalization for the failings of national governments, and likewise more than willing to give national governments a free-pass.  Perhaps this is the result of some deep seeded tribalism?  
          No, it's actually a recognition of the fact that the only forms of government which have ever worked in the long term are also usually the most democratic ones: local government. This isn't because of some "deep-seated tribalism" so much as it is because of the fact that in local governments, the governors must needs live directly amongst the governed. The further departed from this principle, the less effective any government is in the long term.

          "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

          by thanatokephaloides on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 03:22:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This comment rings truer than the diary. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jbsoul, jlb1972

          However, I don't blame globalization for the failures of national governments.  They are different things.  Globalization is simply the method that some corporations and wealthy individuals use to avoid the regulations established by the national governments.

        •  Clarence Streit's "Union Now" - 1939 (0+ / 0-)

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          The promise was that increased prosperity would be wide spread. We've been on that path for 75 years now. In the years following WWII it seemed possible then something went very wrong.

          Was it during the Nixon years or later?
          What effects were triggered by the oil embargoes?
          What are we going to do with all those bothersome excess people?

          Now feed climate change and 9 billion people by 2050 into the equations.

          I'm glad I'm an old man.

          I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

          by Just Bob on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 08:57:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yes it does, so then what hope is there for cit... (2+ / 0-)

        Yes it does, so then what hope is there for citizens besides resurgent nationalism?

        •  lol... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thanatokephaloides

          You are correct, the screaming and shouting does feel good. Even if it is misguided at times. I am not opposed to robust nationalism. I even blog regularly in support of Scottish succession which among other reasons I believe is needed to prevent some corrosive economic and political practices that are beginning to take off in the UK. In Scotland we find a great case for stronger nationalism, while at the same time embracing globalization and institutional integration. Should Scotland declare independence, and I hope they do, you can bet that they will look to align themselves much more closely with Europe than the UK ever has.

          “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.” -Albert Einstein

          by Dr Christopher Boerl on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 02:21:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  hope for citizens (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jbsoul, jlb1972, Just Bob
          Yes it does, so then what hope is there for citizens besides resurgent nationalism?
          I don't think there is any. In fact, even the nation-state, much less the international state, is rapidly showing itself to be both obsolete and ineffective.

          The only remedy I see for that is to eliminate (or at least gravely curtail) the corporatist structure, i.e., make it so that one or more natural biological persons are personally responsible for every economic action ever taken on Earth.

          "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

          by thanatokephaloides on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 03:26:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Neither are going to work (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jlb1972

          The nation state is what we have, which means it is what would be used to create the world government.

          Unless someone has some super secret plan for world revolution.

          No War but Class War

          by AoT on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:38:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Unequal Categorization (7+ / 0-)

        We're seeing the result of how capital and labor are treated respectively by the nations around the globe.  Capital is not given a tag and can move around the globe in the twinkling of an eye, based on the desires of its owner.  Labor is required to hold passports and must get permission to move from one compartment (nation) to another, once it has decided to abandon all of its previous impediments like family and friends.  How did anyone believe that we could see equal outcomes for the two engines of wealth?  The game has been rigged against labor for a very long time.  The plutocrats just don't want anyone in that dis-favored group to learn about it and they've done a fine job of keeping a lid on that story.

        "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

        by PrahaPartizan on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 02:33:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Globalization did that... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides

      While there are unquestionably many dark-sides of globalization, or at least crimes made easier by globalization (international human trafficking, global cyber-crimes, money laundering...), globalization has also produced many positive social responses (Joseph Kony, #Bringbackourgirls, #Yeseverywoman, global civil society).  In fact, when we look many transnational grassroots movements (products of globalization), we see many good and decent things happening. To simply rake globalization as you have is bit Seattle circa 1999. Sure the shouting and name calling feels good, but it's a bit simplistic, don't you think?

      “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.” -Albert Einstein

      by Dr Christopher Boerl on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 02:02:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What shouting or name-calling? I'm looking at t... (5+ / 0-)

        What shouting or name-calling? I'm looking at the TPP and wondering how globalization could manage to produce anything other and better than that. The things you mention are nice but pale in comparison to the loss of democratic citizenship and a national imperative to promote the general welfare. Are you arguing for a kinder, gentler neo-liberalism? If not, what exactly does your vision of globalization offer to those who are desperately returning to nationalism?

    •  Also, a just world government... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides, Kingsmeg, DRocks

      has never been what globalization is about. This isn't some Illuminati/George H.W. Bush conspiracy.  Globalization is a natural process which has been occurring for hundreds, if not thousands of years (depends on the author you are reading).  It is about bringing far-flung cultures and ideas into closer proximity.    

      “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.” -Albert Einstein

      by Dr Christopher Boerl on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 02:15:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  nation-states are as much a product (3+ / 0-)

      of the 1% as globalization is.

      Nation-states are the playthings of the 1%, who are global. They pit one nation against another in order to squeeze what they want out of both. They carve nations into pieces to suit their convenience.

      This is why any merely nationalist response to the depredations of the 1% is doomed to failure. The 1% are global. If you want to rein them in, you have to move on the global level. This was the genius of #Occupy--it was not merely nationalist, although its manifestations in each nation differed according to culture and place, its focus was global--the 1% and the 99%. It was the epitome of the maxim, "Act local, think global."

      The nation-state is just another stage in the history of government; there's nothing sacred about it. First tribes, then kingdoms, then nation-states. We've now arrived at the global era--the idea of a totally sovereign nation-state has lost its validity, even as a rough approximation of reality. No nation can act totally without regard to global concerns.

      We have to develop new ideas now of what constitutes governance.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 03:01:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. (0+ / 0-)

        And such has been conceived and debated for over a century, and the Global Village concept that this diary seems to be about is over a half-century old at least. But what else but nationalism is there for ordinary citizens for whom no provision was made, not to speak of a race to the top rather than the other way? Can one blame them if they cling to citizenship and the platitudes of their constitutions for dear life? (This last is rhetorical because I know where you stand on these things.) The logical consequence of this is that they are simply losers and the Enlightenment ideal is dead forever. I'm not saying that nationalism is the answer or that it was good, just that nothing was ever conceived to replace the good it did offer that neolliberalism is destroying. And I cannot see any airspace between globalization and noeloberalism except in relatively trivial matters.

        Then let us learn our range: we are something but we are not everything - Pascal

        by jlb1972 on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 04:29:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  In your last sentence, you refute your argument. (6+ / 0-)

    "Globalization is merely the vehicle through which neoliberal capitalists further enrich themselves at the expense of the rest of the globe."

    Remove the belittling term "merely" and you have my counterargument in a nutshell.

  •  Naww, as a Mfr and Exporter, I'll Vote For "Both" (6+ / 0-)

    Nothing within a light year of a just scheme has ever been proposed for globalization.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 02:04:52 PM PDT

  •  This is very telling (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbsoul

    Be the change that you want to see in the world

    by New Minas on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 02:12:16 PM PDT

  •  I agree, (4+ / 0-)

    and am troubled by the attitudes of some on the left, mostly from an older generation who want to return to the postwar boom, who reflexively insist on trying to go back to the policies of the past. This is not to say that things like capital controls aren't useful, only that we cannot merely repeat the past.

    Climate change is a global issue. Disease control is a global issue. Arms control is a global issue. The economy is global, whether we like it or not. It actually was always global--witness the Silk Road, etc. but we were able to ignore this to a certain extent. Only in America, sheltered behind two oceans and with a superabundance of land and natural resources (stolen from the natives), could people actually believe that autarky worked--and it didn't, even then.

    It is inevitable that global institutions of governance will be developed to handle these global issues. These institutions must provide a sufficiently just outcome for people everywhere in the world and be sufficiently democratic to be sustainable. There is no other way that makes any sense.

    If you want to de-globalize the world, then you'll have to destroy the whole system and kill a lot of people in the process. This is the teabaggers' vision, BTW--to return to a vision of the 19th century that existed only in dreams, where we could just sit tight and pretend the rest of the world didn't exist. The idea of isolated nations that interact minimally is a pipe dream, but that's what they want.

    NAFTA, the EU, and the Kyoto Protocols are part of the first wave of globalization. They're heavily flawed, but they were a necessary step forward in seeing what must be done. They must be completely fixed, and a new group of global institutions created.

    There is no Third Way here. Some people say "I'm not a teabagger--far from it, I'm liberal--but I want to go back to an era of self-sufficient nation-states." You can't--you either go forward or you go back. If you want to go back, you'll end up marching with the teabaggers whether you're conscious of it or not.

    To go forward, you must undertake the Herculean task of creating just and democratic global institutions. Small wonder people are tempted to go back, it's so much easier.

    I voted "it's not that easy" in your poll, by the way. So far I'm the only one.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 02:33:32 PM PDT

    •  You Sir/Madam are fantastic :) (0+ / 0-)

      “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.” -Albert Einstein

      by Dr Christopher Boerl on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 02:35:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  World More Global in 1913 Than Now (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides, jlb1972

      The problem is that the world was more global in 1913 than now.  In 1913, people could move around the planet to seek out opportunities much more readily than they can now.  Few countries had restrictions on immigration and the imperial regimes allowed their imperial subjects to move anywhere within the empires as they saw fit.  That meant labor could abandon locales where it was being abused and seek out locations which offered better prospects.  Those privileges had always existed for capital, as one might imagine.

      Now, capital can flow as it wishes and the regulations associated with capital are being sucked along, like intellectual property restrictions.  Labor still struggles with the limitations imposed after WW1 when the world blew up.  Labor cannot move readily from one nation to another without extensive permissions from national governments.  Some nations have seen their governments bought by capital to favor immigration while emigration still remains difficult for those same nationals to the locations providing the imported labor in a counter-flow.  We'd have to see global government established to regulate all of this movement equitably, but it would mean capital would start to come under a unitary control, which many controllers of capital would find uncomfortable.  

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 02:46:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Notice How Rarely Electric Power Plants and (5+ / 0-)

      home desk lamps explode?

      That's because large geographic systems for trading electricity have been carefully designed from the ground up to ensure that the needs of interests that are thousands of times different in scale are protected for the nurturing of all parties.

      And that's possible because electrical distribution is a completely new activity in human history, one for which we have no instincts, drives and most especially social customs that need to be honored before anyone can report the first objective physical fact.

      The problem is that if we attempt to port that model over to economic trade, we collide with an array of our most precious rights, habits and assumptions. The bulk of them we developed before agriculture; some important ones among them function exactly oppositely in an advanced economy from our hunter-gatherer expectations. To an increasingly dangerous extent, the free speech with which we debate our policy works this way, as around the world we're finding wealth and power are the operative measures of
      freedom in complex markets in contrast to evolutionary community.

      A trivial example is shunning. Evolutionarily, it is a death sentence from the community; but in large developed economies, it is liberation, empowering the guilty party to go build networks, gather strength and possibly establish a new rule. Trouble is, we still feel the need to shun for the same basic reason: the subject is behaving sociopathically and needs to be stopped. And so we shun, and in so doing we empower sociopathy.

      And so back to the present and trade, the only steps we are permitted to take are those that increase the power and acquisition of the rich. Policies like NAFTA cannot be fixed, not because they have no solutions, but because their initial flaws caused top private power to acquire a bigger share of wealth and power than it had when it designed the initial policy, and private power was already too powerful for us to fix its flaws.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 03:07:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Globalization is a tool (5+ / 0-)

    by which the wealthy import the benefits of abused labor, and export the costs of degradation and pollution.

    In practice, and at least to a degree, it has failed and is continuing to fail, to bring greater good to a greater number of people.

  •  An important distinction (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ImpactAv

    IT could be said that with 6000 ocean going sailing ships, the Dutch had organized a global economy prior to 1400, the Burgundy Period.

    They used wind power as a work multiplier, wind was used to cut and turn wood on lathes, wind was used to power looms for weaving.

    .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 04:25:08 PM PDT

  •  Great painting above! (0+ / 0-)

    Where did you find it, and who is the artist?

    The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

    by amyzex on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 08:39:08 AM PDT

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