Summary: Lost amidst his bombast and folly, Trump has challenged key bipartisan policies of US elites. That is why they hate and fear him. That’s why attacks on him seldom mention issues, focusing instead on his character and language. Better to spin fantasy (he’s a Hitler) then remind the public that Trump dislikes globalization and mass immigration — as so many of them do. Criticism of globalization is Trump’s most dangerous theme; here anthropologist Marximilian Forte reminds us that some top economists agree with him (see the links at the end for other examples).
By Maximilian C. Forte.
From Zero Anthropology.
Reposted with his generous permission.
Review of Globalization and Its
Discontents by Joseph E. Stiglitz (2003).
“Today, globalization is being challenged around the world….for millions of people globalization has not worked. Many have actually been made worse off, as they have seen their jobs destroyed and their lives become more insecure. They have felt increasingly powerless against forces beyond their control. They have seen their democracies undermined, their cultures eroded”. (Page 248.)
There are at least two main reasons that past reformist approaches to IMF-imposed austerity measures, market deregulation, trade liberalization, and privatization — some of the core tenets of neoliberal globalization — have largely fizzled out. One is that institutions such as the IMF are thoroughly undemocratic, unrepresentative and accountable, just as they are maniacally ideological, unresponsive and thus resistant to change.
Another is that some of the proposed reforms are almost worse than what is to be reformed — or they can seem that way with the passage of time. One example would be the proposition that if “free trade” has been unfair to the developing world (because it is not free when developed nations maintain subsidies, tariffs, and other domestic protections), then the best way to have fair trade is to make it free absolutely everywhere. What this now looks like is a generalization of misery — but it’s “fair” if it’s evenly spread. As massive job losses have swept the “developed world” in a rising tide of de-industrialization with the advent of a battery of free trade agreements, few remain who would call this a positive step forward.
Re-reading Joseph E. Stiglitz’s 2003 book Globalization and Its Discontents in the present context, might provoke the realization that whatever chance there was for reforming neoliberal globalization, that time has passed. What Stiglitz calls globalization (what others call neoliberalism) was something that he saw as worth salvaging, even if acknowledging how vastly unfair, unequal, and ideologically-driven it has been.