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The Collapse of Neo-Liberalism and Globalism

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  • #16
    Yep, good examples.

    Here in Canada Rachel Notley leader of the Alberta NDP (Social Democract/Socialist party) won a year or two ago, going frim the third or fourth party to become the Premier of a Province famed for its series of conservative dynasties, not just governments, but they actually last long enough that they call them Dynasties.

    Federally in 2011 the NDP went from fourth largest party to a large 2nd biggest party, then in 2015 the Liberal in third leap frogged them to become government.

    Changed is in the air and conventional political wisdom is becoming increasingly unrelible and useless.

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    • #17
      It seems weird to me. A lot of these anti-globalist positions seem predicated on the idea that it's somehow possible to return to the glory days of the post-WWII economic boom, when the wage gap between the wealthiest CEO and the average labourer was something like 5x instead of 100x and a single factory worker could provide for a middle-class household consisting of a stay-at-home parent and 2.5 kids. They come from an era when government investment was high, labour competition low, and automation scarce.

      Now, government investment is a shadow of its former self, labour competition is high and only getting higher, and automation is reaching its zenith. Does anyone genuinely think there will be a revival of the Rust Belt? That Britain will somehow resurrect an industrial sector that was choking to death even before the Milk Snatcher took office?

      The glory days are dead. If a great wall were suddenly erected to cut these countries off from the outside world and all nations were suddenly forced to devolve to autarky, they would not even come close to restoring the Old Days because automation is cheaper than human beings by orders of magnitude; a trend that is only going to increase. The jobs opened up by automation do not replace the lost ones because, if they did, automation would be more expensive, not less, by definition.

      Restrictive trade policies and economic isolation will, at best, stem some of the bleeding at the cost of essentially trying to starve the patient. Globalism has potential to at least allow the technologies markets to thrive, and allows governments to negotiate and set unified standards to fight the neo-liberal race to the bottom; preventing multinational companies from playing the game of "Who can give me the biggest bribe?" as we are now watching France, Austria, and a handful of other companies play with the British banking sector. As soon as countries are forced to play by a level standard, companies go where the best labour is, but once it's a war of all against all...

      Likewise, environmental reforms only really have a chance of succeeding when everyone agrees to mutually tie hands. Otherwise, the country that refuses to enact them gets an economic advantage others are loathe to give up in this persistent war of who can build the biggest pile of made-up numbers. This is why it's been so hard to get them done historically; because the moment you get your own country to enact the reforms, the business community wails that the reforms are destroying their competitiveness... And they're right. But if you enact protectionist tariffs, prepare for retaliatory tariffs. Only when all interests are united can you hope to get a universal reform.

      The news is grim and bleak. Hold onto your butts.

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      • #18
        IRC, there have been reverses in global trade in favour of local trade before, as real productive factors within countries and beneficial trade between regions within countries have grown faster than the ease of trade between them.

        I don't really see the conditions are great right now for that. Could happen. Ultimately it's about the economics, not an ideology. It's not like there's some historically inevitable future teleological drive towards globalisation.

        To my understanding, the last time globalisation reversed it was because global trade existed to a large extent as a state subsidised or managed affair between these fantastically unproductive and retrograde colonised nations in Africa and Asia (colonisations that really were ultimately just these net expensive affairs) and their Western colonisers, and then as industry flourished in the West, and anti-colonialism flourished in colonised countries and import substitution became much stronger, global trade really became much more ephemeral. Today it's a quite different case, with global trade growing because primarily many Asian nations (China, South Korea, India, ASEAN) have become much more genuinely economically competitive, particularly with the decline of Socialist economic policies across Asia and improving health and education among workers, combined with relatively low wage levels.

        I am very surprised that the modern day left wing has gone into such a defensive mode about globalisation, viewing it through an internationalist lens of "Isn't it it great that people are cooperating across borders and ethnic lines?" and through the lens of enrichment of the world's poorest. 10-15 years ago, Left voices seemed like the most articulate exponent (possibly the *only* exponent) of potential problems of globalisation with hollowing out a large global middle class, and thereby both political power vested in the masses and democracy (a comfortable affluent middle who could actually afford to say "No" to the rich, and who had the consciousness of themselves as a single people enough to do it). Shows the power of both tribalism and shallow rooted ideological identification to completely uproot and transplant ideas.

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        • #19
          I think that's because Third Way politics shattered the Left like brittle glass. Around the late 80s, early 90s, you see the formerly left-leaning parties (the Democrats, Labour in the UK, the Liberals here in Canada) all make this uncannily timed decision whereby they suddenly throw out the economic side of the Left. They keep the socially liberal stances, however tempered, but are more or less indistinguishable from the Right on economic ones.

          Blair's New Labour is pretty emblematic of it; outright villainizing the "Old Left" that basically got all of the policies passed that led to raising quality of life. In the US, you have the New Democrats. Truth was, though, that increasingly laissez-faire economics grew more popular, and government investment and involvement was increasingly seen as holding people back. Ever since then, because both the "Left" and the Right agreed that laissez-faire was the new normal, all deviations from it are increasingly seen as extreme and fringe.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Axelgear View Post
            I think that's because Third Way politics shattered the Left like brittle glass. Around the late 80s, early 90s, you see the formerly left-leaning parties (the Democrats, Labour in the UK, the Liberals here in Canada) all make this uncannily timed decision whereby they suddenly throw out the economic side of the Left. They keep the socially liberal stances, however tempered, but are more or less indistinguishable from the Right on economic ones.

            Blair's New Labour is pretty emblematic of it; outright villainizing the "Old Left" that basically got all of the policies passed that led to raising quality of life. In the US, you have the New Democrats. Truth was, though, that increasingly laissez-faire economics grew more popular, and government investment and involvement was increasingly seen as holding people back. Ever since then, because both the "Left" and the Right agreed that laissez-faire was the new normal, all deviations from it are increasingly seen as extreme and fringe.
            It really is a tragedy that the Left-leaning parties in those nations, including my beloved Canada, seem to think that identity politics alone will somehow fix inequality and that fundamental economic change is something that can be shelved. You'd think they'd be the first to appreciate the intersections between race and class, and that one can't be fixed without the other.

            Oh well. Hopefully the NDP can get its shit together.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Weirdboyz View Post

              It really is a tragedy that the Left-leaning parties in those nations, including my beloved Canada, seem to think that identity politics alone will somehow fix inequality and that fundamental economic change is something that can be shelved. You'd think they'd be the first to appreciate the intersections between race and class, and that one can't be fixed without the other.

              Oh well. Hopefully the NDP can get its shit together.
              I hope the NDP wakes up too.

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              • #22
                Being anti-globalist is like being anti-industrial revolution. It's not something you stop. It's something you adapt to. It's an inevitability, and I have yet to hear a sensible perspective on how it might be "stopped".

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
                  In Italy is looks like Beppe Grillo and has highly Euroskeptic movement will be taking over Italy. He's gone on the record saying he'd like to have something like the Brexit referendum for Italian voters.
                  Here in Italy (whatever Grillo says) we cannot make a referendum on international treaties.
                  In fact Constitution denies us this possibility.
                  So, unless an armed revolution starts (and it is unlikely) we cannot have an "Ital-exit".

                  But we got a recent referendum which demonstrated how most Italians start thinking.
                  Our (Ex-) premier Renzi wanted to change the constitution in order to humiliate the senate (transforming it in ways too complicated to explain it in English).
                  The change was nominally welcome by many European leaders, top-ranking International Banks and even by Obama who praised Renzi's efforts and invited us to vote "YES".

                  All of this was very ridicolous...and the Italians, last week, just said "NO"!

                  Now we are dealing with a very complicated discussion not just about why we reject the change.
                  People are arguing whether we said NO also to the Renzi government and, with him, to all the foreigners (Mr.Obama, European leaders, the banks) who told us to say YES.

                  Very complicated time, here in Italy.

                  The point is also that the leading party (the "Democratici"), which is supposedly a "leftish" party under Renzi just did all the policies which the right-wing Berlusconi did, and even at a greater scale.
                  People got very confused here with a "leftish" party cutting off workmen's rights, decreasing salaries, decreasing the control on cultural, archaeological and natural recources (to make more concrete to appear), humiliating the school and financing foolish projects which are bound to be exploited by Mafiosi (The Messina bridge to link Sicily to the paeninsula...).
                  All stuff which, until 10 years ago, was part of Berlusconi's interests.


                  So, really, we Italians are now very confused ....
                  Last edited by LucaCherstich; 12-14-2016, 08:32 AM.

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                  • #24
                    I'm from out in Trump country, and would like to throw my two cents in.

                    People there aren't so much protesting globalization as they are the current version of it. The current version is starting to look a lot like Morganization and union-busting, not "legitimate" international trade. Its very hard for a unionized factory, for example, to compete against a rival in some third world country, where the workers get paid slave labor wages, strikes are crushed brutally, and you can just throw toxic waste out in the street. And as long as the (perceived) elites (whether political/economic/cultural) get their cheap goods, and/or increased profits, they don't seem to care what happens to local industry (or their neighbors). In a way, globalization has become an international form of "scab" labor, mixed with NIMBY-ism, prettied up with a more sci-fi sounding label.

                    Cheap goods don't mean much when you don't have a job. Nor can you eat international good will and the spirit of brotherhood. And "heads we win, tails you lose"-type policies are awfully hard to defend at the ballot box.

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                    • #25
                      As a relatively non-established voice on these forums, let alone the OT component, I am a bit wary of treading on some toes, so at first I'll be brief.

                      Is there a sizeable chunk of the population in the globalized first world who have been net losers of globalization (loss of real wages)? Yes, absolutely.

                      However, what I find baffling is that this segment of the population vote for people who's actions and policies, if not words, go absolutely against their economic self-interest.

                      As an example, let's take Brexit. I am sure everyone is familiar with the many, many graphs showing the positive correlation (though, as always, not necessarily causation) between lower socio-economic status and Leave voting. But the results of leaving the EU will be a decrease in living standards and real wages most likely to hurt that bracket the most.

                      Same with Trump, where the anti-corporatist, pro-worker rhetoric is betrayed by the people he chose to be his cabinet, and well, by the man being a convicted tax fraud, cheater, and a host of other things.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Herbert_West View Post
                        As a relatively non-established voice on these forums, let alone the OT component, I am a bit wary of treading on some toes, so at first I'll be brief.

                        Is there a sizeable chunk of the population in the globalized first world who have been net losers of globalization (loss of real wages)? Yes, absolutely.

                        However, what I find baffling is that this segment of the population vote for people who's actions and policies, if not words, go absolutely against their economic self-interest.

                        As an example, let's take Brexit. I am sure everyone is familiar with the many, many graphs showing the positive correlation (though, as always, not necessarily causation) between lower socio-economic status and Leave voting. But the results of leaving the EU will be a decrease in living standards and real wages most likely to hurt that bracket the most.

                        Same with Trump, where the anti-corporatist, pro-worker rhetoric is betrayed by the people he chose to be his cabinet, and well, by the man being a convicted tax fraud, cheater, and a host of other things.
                        It's really not that hard to understand. People can be stupid, misinformed and stubborn which as a consequence results in them making choices that ultimately harm them. Never expect over 300 million human beings to all be perfectly rational.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by dxanders View Post
                          Being anti-globalist is like being anti-industrial revolution. It's not something you stop. It's something you adapt to. It's an inevitability, and I have yet to hear a sensible perspective on how it might be "stopped".
                          You don't stop, but elements of the system are collapsing, like support for corporatist free trade agreements, and support for open boarders/high immagration, distain for the EU as well as growing support for economic protectionism.

                          That doesn't mean all international trade stops, the internet disappears, ect...

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                          • #28
                            Yeah, I don't very many people want to stop globalism (even many who say they do probably don't really want it, they're just not sure what they want). I think most people just want globalism to work for them, not leave them behind and ultimately provide them more benefits than drawbacks.

                            Like with the industrial revolution, it brought a bunch of benefits yes, but it also caused a huge number of problems such as environmental destruction, worker's rights, loss of rural communities, loss of jobs to technology, etc - problems that we still haven't managed to fully resolve even several centuries later.

                            In the same way, while globalism can bring benefits, it has also clearly caused a number of problems and there's nothing wrong with going, "Wait, this isn't working. We need to rethink how we can better benefit from this coming system."

                            I think to a large degree the problem many people have with the current iteration of globalism is that governments have given up too much to the point where the primary beneficiaries globalism are massive corporations (who tend to be happy to funnel large amounts of money to politicians who continue to pass legislation to help them), while their own citizens are often left behind by globalism. This is coupled with other problems like open borders and such, in which immigrants (legal or otherwise) are viewed as "taking jobs" from the citizens of the country, etc.

                            This tends to make a number of people think that globalism as a whole is bad, simply because the only real experience they have with it is a system by which they find themselves on the losing end, even though there are other possible ways to implement globalism in ways that could help those sorts of people much more.

                            What we (at least in America) need is for politicians to agree on a better method of dealing with globalism, which puts the individuals of nations first rather than the interests of businesses, but unfortunately as mentioned, the primary beneficiaries of globalism are spending big bucks on lobbying to try and prevent that from happening.

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                            • #29
                              I guess what I mean by the collapse of Globalism is Globalism 1.0, in favour of a future Globalism 2.0.

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