There is no doubt that many people are angry with the current state of politics and globalization. There was a time not that long ago when working people in Western nations were on the rise; union membership was high, economic equality was better than it had ever been, the tax system was relatively fair (targeting the rich and corporations at least to some degree), and, perhaps most importantly, people depended on the fact that their children would be better off than they had been. For the West, that dream began to unravel some time around 1970 with the end of the long, post-war boom and the rise of 'globalization.'
Whole libraries of books have been written on what happened. The rise of globalization was surely, in part, a inevitable result of technology. Within a capitalist context, technological advances meant that money and production became more mobile. The predictable result of this mobility was that capitalists were able to play to the lowest common denominator in terms of labour and environmental standards. Capitalists made a concerted effort to undermine working-class power everywhere by opening borders for the corporate search for profits.
The result of this globalizing effort was the impoverishment of people everywhere, not just those in the West nations. There is a perception among some (a perception intentionally fed by capitalists) that globalization has been a zero sum game, and that what is lost, say, in the industrial heartland of the US is gained in other countries like Mexico. This is largely false. Developing countries have gained surprisingly little from globalization. Work in so called maquiladoras creates a limited number of jobs, often very poor ones, and pays little to the home nation. Furthermore, globalization has had a concomitant process of urbanization. People have been taken off their land by various processes and those that had some degree of sovereignty and independence (as meager as that might have been) in rural work, have become part of a sea of urban workers with no measurable industrial skills and little to do but work at the behest of anyone that will employ them.
However one sees the process of globalization in relation to the so-called developing nations, one thing is certain, the power of the worker is disappearing, their incomes have stagnated, they have little pensionable income, they work in an increasingly precarious context and they see a very dark future. Meanwhile their politicians (both conservative and liberal) have done very little to improve the conditions of their populations. Instead, they keep selling the very agenda that brought us here in the first place: more corporate trade deals, more tax cuts for corporations and the rich, etc.
It is easy to see how presidential candidates like Sanders and Trump are making waves in a political structure that has atrophied and has become essentially a mouthpiece for the rich. The problem is, of course, that while Sanders promotes cooperation, unity, and an economy that serves everyone, people like Trump are preaching hate, division, and scapegoating. Meanwhile, in Britain, there were some people who voted to leave the EU because of its neo-liberal economic agenda, but it seems that their were many more who voted to leave because they blame outsiders for the decline in relative prosperity and the decline in economic equality.
Many people are angry with what the rich and powerful have done with globalization. This is understandable. The tragedy is that most people don't even blame the rich and seem to be painfully unaware that the fault of their stagnating wages and grim futures lies with conscious and concerted efforts of people like Trump and Boris Johnson, people who have no interest in making things better for average workers, but only seek to enrich themselves.
Good Morning America ....
3 months ago