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Friday, 9 December 2016

Political correctness, anti-globalization and nationalism

On 2 December 2016, Dutch newspaper NRC referred to a 30 November Guardian long read article entitled: "Political correctness: how the right invented a phantom enemy". Its subtitle was also very clear: "For 25 years, invoking this vague and ever-shifting nemesis has been a favourite tactic of the right – and Donald Trump’s victory is its greatest triumph". Note: italic markings are mine.

My main years of school and study were in the 1970s. The political and social climate in the 60s and 70s was left-wing. It was better to shut-up rather than expressing your right-wing opinions. I felt sorry for my parents when they were verbally attacked for being small business owners. It's one of the reasons why I still don't like the principled and righteous left.

Despite living in a country of left-wing voters, a nationalist, populist and right-wing newspaper was (and still is) most popular. I still don't like this newspaper given its shallowness. However, in a nutshell, the success of this Dutch newspaper shows the discrepancy between the Elite and the People and - with hindsight - even between internationalism & globalism versus nationalism.

Today, left-wing people claim that the "populist right" are invading America and Europe. They fail to see that the Left - Right divide is gone. I have argued this in my blogs for several months. On 30 November 2016, George Friedman has joined me: Nationalism, Internationalism and New Politics. Its subtitle: "A new political dichotomy is replacing the old left vs. right divide".

The surge in nationalism is an overdue response to globalisation. Since the 1990's, extreme left radicals have argued against globalization (eg, anti-globalization movement). The global economic crisis since 2007 has caused many others to see the downsides of globalization (eg, export of jobs by outsourcing, import of immigrants, increase of house prices, welfare erosion) and the Technological Revolution of 1800-2100 (eg, replacing labour by: machinery, automation, and AI robots). 

The increase in nationalist movements is to a large extent also an increase in the anti-globalization movement. The new scapegoat is globalization and the people representing it: illegal economic migrants from North Africa, and also legal economic migrants (in UK) from countries like Poland. 

The early adopters of the nationalist movements are people who waived political correctness and blamed these representants of globalization. Releasing these suppressed nationalist tensions has created increasing political victories (eg, Brexit, Donald Trump). In Austria, a nationalist party achieved 46% against 53% for an ad hoc coalition of all other political parties (eg, BBC).

Today, nationalist opinions are slowly becoming the politically correct opinions. Soonish, left-wing (better: internationalist) opinions will become the politically incorrect opinions. In this context, it's ironic that the extreme left was behind the anti-globalization movement which ultimately led to the global nationalist - and alleged "extreme right" - movements. 

"Internationalism has been dramatically successful in enriching the world since World War II. Its problem is that nationalists charge that only part of the population has enjoyed this wealth, and there are things more fundamental than wealth such as cultural identity and differences. Internationalism is tone-deaf or hostile to cultural identity, which is its weakness." Quote by George Friedman.

Randy Newman - Short People (1978) - artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Short People got no reason
Short People got no reason
Short People got no reason
To live

They got little hands
Little eyes
They walk around
Tellin' great big lies
They got little noses
And tiny little teeth
They wear platform shoes
On their nasty little feet

Well, I don't want no Short People
Don't want no Short People
Don't want no Short People
`Round here

Short People are just the same
As you and I
(A Fool Such As I)
All men are brothers
Until the day they die
(It's A Wonderful World)

Short People got nobody
Short People got nobody
Short People got nobody
To love

They got little baby legs
That stand so low
You got to pick 'em up
Just to say hello
They got little cars
That go beep, beep, beep
They got little voices
Goin' peep, peep, peep
They got grubby little fingers
And dirty little minds
They're gonna get you every time
Well, I don't want no Short People
Don't want no Short People
Don't want no Short People
'Round here