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By Robert A. Vella

Up until the 2008 financial crash which drove the world’s economies into the Great Recession, a technocratic global hierarchy was profoundly changing our socioeconomic systems without much notice from the general population.  After the political ascendancy of Ronald Reagan in the U.S. and Margaret Thatcher in the U.K., the world was systematically shifted away from progressivism (i.e. Keynesian economics) and democracy (i.e. the sovereignty of popularly-elected  nation-states) towards a more concentrated globalized administrative structure based on neoliberal policies (i.e. supply-side economics, free trade) and a close association between government and industry (i.e. corporatism).

This historic socioeconomic transformation was neither incidental nor was it likely the product of some vast nefarious conspiracy.  Those responsible, mostly centrists and moderates, were simply responding to the practical realities before them so far as their geopolitical perspectives would allow.  One such response was their realization, which could never be publicly acknowledged, that the world had become too populous and too complex to be governed through democratic practices alone.  Therefore, democracy was considered as obsolete.  One other crucial response from these global technocrats was their realization that capitalism, while also seen as becoming obsolete, must be maintained at all costs.  These differing responses illuminate the technocratic mindset;  whereas democracy could be surreptitiously superseded by corporatism, capitalism was determined to be imperative for human prosperity and for supporting the existing geopolitical order.

And, it worked rather spectacularly for over a quarter of a century.  From 1981 to 2007, industry consolidation and international business operations brought the Third World into the global community.  Living conditions among the world’s impoverished masses began to improve.  The Cold War contest between capitalism and communism was handily won.  Democracy and national sovereignty were eroded while few even raised an eyebrow in protest.  All was going so well for this new global technocracy;  but then, came the crash of 2008.

We all know what happened.  The greed and lust for power which impels the force of capitalism ran amok and dealt a staggering blow to the technocracy.  It continues to struggle in trying to pick up the pieces of that disaster.  Meanwhile, populist discontent was building on the political left and right.  First came the Occupy protests of 2011, next came the anti-austerity demonstrations which swept across Europe, then came the rise of ultra-nationalist right-wing movements also in Europe, and now comes an incredibly dangerous fascist wave in America embodied in the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump.  Now, the technocracy is getting really nervous.

From ReutersGerman minister calls Trump a threat, Merkel lauds Clinton:

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has branded leading U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump a threat to peace and prosperity while Chancellor Angela Merkel said it had always been a pleasure to work with Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The comments by Gabriel, Germany’s vice chancellor and leader of the Social Democrats, are the clearest sign yet that ruling politicians in Europe are increasingly worried about the outcome of the U.S. presidential elections.

“Whether Donald Trump, Marine le Pen or Geert Wilders – all these right-wing populists are not only a threat to peace and social cohesion, but also to economic development,” Gabriel told Welt am Sonntag newspaper in an interview published on Sunday.

Gabriel said that Trump and French National Front leader Le Pen were promising voters “a way back into a fairytale world” in which economic activity only happened within national borders but that history had shown such isolated economies had no prospect.

“We have to make the effort to explain how we want to shape globalization in a fair way,” Gabriel said.

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4 thoughts on “Rising Populism around the world is unnerving the Global Elites

  1. Pingback: Presidential Campaigns shift to the Rust Belt, the problem of Free Trade, and the Fortunes of Populism | The Secular Jurist

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