Παρασκευή, 21 Σεπτεμβρίου 2018


THE POPULIST POLITICAL PARTIES AND THEIR OVERTHROW IN THE PREVALENT ORDER***
  By Maria Negrepont-Delivanis, Targoviste, 11/2018


Introduction

Over the last few years, the West has been gradually entering into uncharted waters. The familiar, the safe and the traditional retreats at a dizzying speed, and is been substituted by the unknown, the subversive and the threatening. Already, globalization, which has been with us for almost fifty years, is forced to give up its sovereignty not only to protectionism but also to an intensifying trade war. It could be argued that this shift, between the freedom of trade and the enforcement of trade controls, is part of the
fundamental changes, which are to be expected approximately every 40 to 50 years[1], so that it does not justify particular concern. However, this is not the case with other kinds of upheavals that have recently invaded our lives, which can be clearly distinguished from what used to be in the past. It is precisely these characteristics that make the new international order unsearchable, while at the same time seeming to abolish very strong traditional distinctions, such as that between the right and left economic policies. These upheavals adopt choices of anti-globalization, such as the revival of nationalism, which was particularly hateful during the period of globalization, and was almost equated with fascist attitudes.
Nationalism is now rapidly gaining ground, and in conjunction with some additional significant changes, it seems to be the harbinger of the endangered end of all Western civilization. As our own culture has dominated the West for many decades, the idea that it alone represents the ideal and unique world order has been consolidated. Prevalent is the belief that the liberal democracy which after World War II is represented and guarded by the United States, is eternal, unchangeable and irreplaceable. Unfortunately, however, in recent years, the advanced centers of this western culture have projected an irrefutable picture of general decline in all aspects of social, economic and cultural life. According to all evidence, we are witnessing the end of the era of Western civilization, as happened in the past with all the previous ones, following the same prescribed route. That is, civilizations emerge, reign and die[2]. As nothing in our world is everlasting, civilizations prevail over circles of 200-250 years, then giving their place to others[3] that emerge through their ashes. The end of Western civilization seems to coincide with the end of growth or the entry of advanced economies into the stage of perpetual stagnation, reviving Alvin Hansen's old theory[4], thanks to its update by Lawrence Summers and his team[5].
In this article I will deal with only some of the transversal developments that shook the Western world, focusing on the economic and regulatory field, which have as their point of reference the emergence, empowerment and generalization of new political parties, clearly distinct from the traditional. These are called "populist" by the panicking traditional politicians.
In Part I of this paper, I will try to outline the basic characteristics of these newly established political parties as well as the main causes of their appearance, while in Part II I will try to highlight the economic form and status of the new world, which is expected to emerge from the prevalence of "populist parties".

 
Part I. Populist political parties

Populism dates back to 1980, and since then has grown steadily, reinforced by globalization, the 2008 crisis, unprecedented large inequalities, rising corruption in political life, mass immigration, and terrorism. Based on a recent Tony Blair Institute survey
[6], populist votes in 2000 were, on average, 8.5% in each US state, and in 2017 they climbed to 24.1% respectively[7].
What definition would you give to populism? Jan-Werner
Müller[8] attempts to answer as follows: It addresses "a morally pure and fully united people, betrayed by select, deeply corrupt, and somewhat morally inferior people."

A.     The causes of populism:
aa) The effects of globalization
A recent study[9]  attributes populism to low growth rates on a global scale. Naturally, this can be seen as a general but not fully satisfactory explanation. Because, although there was an anemic growth after 1985, if its distribution had followed regular and not unacceptable forms of inequality, it would probably not have evolved into populism.
Several years before the recent and rapid spread of populism, a series of indications warns of the end of globalization and of entering a new international economic order with features such as "protectionism", "nationalism", "controlled borders", "respect for traditions", "interventionism", "anti-globalization" and so on.
Anti-globalization, which nourished populism, is the result of the wrath of the losers and the marginalized because of the consequences of globalization. All of the suffering that has affected most of humanity, with the predominant problem of uncontrolled inequality of distribution, income and wealth that haunts the world, has been attributed to globalization. Thus, when the public realized that globalization did not keep its initial promise to "ensure the prosperity of all the inhabitants of Earth", but instead proved to be the system that caused few winners and piles of losers, it turned directly against it, as evidenced by the following selected points:
Based on estimates, around 65% of Europeans are in favor of restricting freedom of trade, or in other words, in favor of de-globalization. However, the highest rates dissatisfied with the effects of globalization are to be found in the United States, where 71% of citizens are worried about job losses due to trade with China, while 78% consider America's financial dependence on China to be a very serious issue[10]. By contrast, only 15% of America's big entrepreneurs declare that they are against globalization, a result that obviously strengthens the conclusion of "few winners and numerous losers". Moreover, a recent study by the European Commission[11], which expresses the anxiety about the reduction and the future of globalization, also highlights a number of poll results, about how Europeans see globalization, and through it, the EU which represents a smaller globalization within it. With obvious perplexity, the European Commission aknowledges these results, according to which 53% of Europeans are deeply concerned, and consider the EU as a threat to their identity. Only 41% of Europeans trust the EU, although this percentage is higher than the corresponding one showing their confidence in individual national governments[12]. 52% of the votes in Great Britain, in favor of Brexit, is certainly the biggest proof of this shift in public opinion, against globalization, in Europe. This shift is explained, to a significant extent, by the fact that "the working class in advanced economies (which largely represented the Brexit voters) witnessed a very low income increase during the entire long-term period of globalization[13]". The level of wages, in advanced economies, which had their trade frontiers open to emerging economies, was almost reduced to that prevailing in the latter. The effect of globalization on the USA (and, of course, not only) was the increase in the trade deficit and the loss of five million jobs over the past twenty years[14].


bb) The rise of nationalism

The general criticism against populist parties, which, however, does not correspond to reality is their collective ranking to the far-right in political terms. Although this criticism, is justified by a small proportion of these parties, it represents however, the easy reaction of all those whose interests are affected by the decline of globalization. The core of this criticism seems to relate to the fact that all these emerging parties raise to the surface the concept of nationalism which had been forgotten, for years, receding under the covert preparations for the advent of a global government
[15]. Nationalism is now attempted wrongly, in an arbitrary and unjustifiable way, to be equated with far-right political choices. However, if nationalism is not extreme, in the sense that it encourages hatred for other nations or different races, it is entirely acceptable. Because it is unthinkable to comfortably brand someone belonging to the far-right, who loves his country and is proud of it as a nationalist. The widespread tendency today to collectively dismiss all nationalists as far right and fascists, is suspicious, dangerous and problematic because it obviously conceals unspoken goals. Obviously and unfortunately there is the problem of rising fascism with its abominable and dark activity, especially in Europe. Against the serpent's eggs, urgent action is needed, but the solution does not lie in condemning the new political parties, within which the fascist tendencies are, fortunately, not the norm.
Already, an attempt is made to demote the content of nationalism as it evolves into a central feature of the new international economic order, as confirmed by the following statements:
* Lawrence Summers
[16]  "The political challenge in many countries is the development of a responsible nationalism that rests on a policy that favors local interests and indigenous more and above cosmopolitan aspirations."
* Michael Barone[17]: "Trump and his nationalism with "First America" are not necessarily bad. Also:" It is good to prefer one's country to another." "Nationalism can to be a positive force". "Being proud of one’s homeland and all that is relevant to it is not selfish and certainly not racist. It is patriotism and a natural reaction for a normal citizen."
 * And social psychologist Jonathan Haidt Haidt[18]: "Nationalists feel tied to their homeland and are proud to be part of it. Globalizers want to wipe out the borders of each country and get rid of democracy."

cc) The search for greater security

Moreover, the rise of nationalism is due to the widespread desire, in advanced and emerging economies, for more security and less risk, compared to the globalization regime. Satisfying these trends requires a restriction on absolute freedom of trade and a return to market regulation, which has been abolished in the globalization era. It also requires removal from the obsessions of the "invisible hands" of classics, supposedly regulating the market, and, at the same time, reconciliation with the need for state intervention in the economy. The borders, which have been virtually abolished by globalization, are again desirable, as they guarantee greater security. In these choices of the new international economic order, the contribution of the migratory stream, accompanied by many and unresolved aspects, was extremely important.


B.     The dominant features of populist parties:

a) Right and left-hand politics
Populist political parties belong to both the right and the left, and are distinguished by numerous differences in their choices. However, their basic characteristics meet in almost all the so-called "populist parties" and explain why their appearance in the world has virtually deactivated the distinction between left and right politics.
At the moment, and although the relevant scene is constantly changing, as new populist parties are added to the existing ones, the left wing includes the National Party of Scotland, Podemos in Spain, Die Linke in Germany, and before being completely subservient to the demands of lenders, Syriza in Greece. The right side of populism comprises in turn the second largest political party in Finland, the third most important political party in Sweden, the party of Viktor Orban, re-elected for the fourth time in Hungary, the party of the National Front of Marine Le Pen in France and the Alternative party in Germany, which is expected to be second in the upcoming next elections. Moreover, the results of the elections of 4 March 2018 in Italy turn directly against the "system" and should be expected to mark the beginning of the end of the EU and, of course, the euro. The demoralizingly low 18.1% of Matteo Renzi's pro-European party is overwhelmingly eloquent about the wrath of voters against the European course and its choices.
 The above-mentioned populist governments obviously belong to the United States and China, both of which present additional features in comparison to the general ones, are at the top of the global pyramid, and the United States is fighting to preserve world sovereignty, and China for its acquisition. But, Russia, in spite of the quirks of its governance also belongs to the general category of countries with populist government. Furthermore, it is possible to add governments that were helped to come to power by populist parties such as the case of Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Latvia.
Despite the differences between right-wing and left-wing populist parties as well as hybrids, all of them coincide with several common choices, such as anti-globalization, nationalism, state interventionism, an attempt to achieve prosperity for all, opposition to elitism and the established order, opposition to long-term austerity policies, and opposition to the extreme forms of the stock market economy.
The emerging populism of our days is directed generally against elitism, traditional politics and dominant institutions, national and international, in a word against the established order. Populism represents the ordinary citizen, who thinks that he was forgotten and betrayed by his politicians. Populism proclaims that it expresses genuine patriotism. Its proponents are angry at the behavior of politicians and the general breach of their promises. The vote for Donald Trump is interpreted as a voter's desire to leave behind the bad political past of globalization.
Apart from the convergence of the two populist political movements on most important goals, it is interesting to note that, in particular, the right-wing populist side has broken its relations with traditional assumptions of its faction, such as the opposition towards state intervention in the economy, as well as the belief in continued austerity. The choice of Donald Trump, as well as of several other European politicians close to power, is based precisely on their promises to abandon globalization, in favor of protectionism, as well as the abandonment of dogmatic neo-liberalism.
bb) The differences in the preferences between right-wing and left-wing populist parties

The pair of choices of the new international economic order, as proclaimed at least, appears under a seemingly new label: open and closed borders. This is certainly not  a new distinction, but merely a verbal evolution of the ever-existing divide between the status of freedom of international trade and that of protectionism, or even more recently, between globalization and border nationalism. Although the continuation of the traditional distinction between deregulation and regulation of international trade, even under different titles, seems to face no problems, these do emerge however, since attempts are made to classify their individual choices into the two traditional political parties, right and left. Indeed, there is a prevalent  view that the traditional right is attached to economic liberalism and to all the individual terms that follow it, such as the liberalization of international trade, the free movement of capital and labor, the non-intervention of the state in the economy, minimizing the tax burden, as well as the abolition of the welfare state. And there is the additional hostility to mass immigration. On the contrary, the main features of the traditional left have so far been the acceptance of the role and importance of state interventionism, extending to the regulation of international trade conditions, the recognition of the advantages of cooperation and complementarity between the public and private sectors, considered to be of equal importance , paying special attention to the welfare state services, the establishment of labor rights, recognized as the weakest factor of production, in relation to capital, as well as the imposition of progressive taxation, which aims at a fairer distribution of income. Supplementary but less secure discrimination between the left and the right concerns the area of ​​economic policy choices. The right, which is recognized as the most conservative, generally seeks to achieve balance everywhere. Its relations with microeconomic policy, which regulates and encourages private initiative, is more visible and narrower, while being less clear with macroeconomic policy. This explains the attachment of the right to austerity policies, but also the preference for monetary policy, with the exclusion of fiscal policy.
However, the above-mentioned indicative distinctions and economic policy preferences have recently been overturned. Apart from the clear opposition to the continuation of globalization, this new hybrid form of political parties, some of which are close to power, is an unsafe and unstable amalgam of piecemeal traditional economic policy preferences, both left and right. Hence the difficulty of classifying them as left or right wing. This is why the argument, put forward by various sides, is reinforced that the distinction between right and  left no longer exists, at least in its traditional form.
Despite these obvious difficulties of ranking the populist parties to the right or to the left, their decisive common element is their intense hostility to open borders. It is precisely this hostility, which has proved to be a powerful weapon for attracting supporters, from the newly established political parties in Europe, and not only. The increasingly rising number of voters from these parties, characterized by their political opponents as pro-conservative and anachronistic, is opposed to the continuation of the liberalization of international trade or the reception of refugees / immigrants on their territory, or as a rule against both of these policies belonging to the policy of open borders. The followers of these political parties are convinced, not always for the same reasons, that the opening of borders, either to products or to people, is detrimental to the national economy and its inhabitants, and that is why they are also seen as nationalist parties .

cc) Concerns about the rise of "populist parties"

The rise of populist political parties can be explained by the "diversity" of the positions they express and support, compared to the positions of those who have been in power for the past fifty years and which are generally rejected by an increasing proportion of the world’s inhabitants.
That is why these new political parties also pose a clear risk to traditional politicians, who view them with surprise, discomfort and panic, as they threaten their multifaceted and strongly vested interests.
The criticism of traditional politicians against the populist parties, focuses mainly on the fundamental issue of the current government, which is likely to be overthrown and less on the individual economic policy measures. Indeed, a significant part of the European population, and not only, already states with no hesitation that it does not perceive the regime of "liberal democracy" as a unique or undisputedly optimum form of governance of the contemporary world economies. It is a reality for Europe that the traditional right-wing and left-wing political parties are rapidly shrinking significantly, gradually giving their place to new political parties, which are anti-European and favor the re-establishment of the nation-state. This has also happened in France and Germany, although the EU expressed its relief because these so-called populist parties did not come into power. However, any EU triumph over the recent election results of its members is totally unfounded, as the power of non-traditional parties is steadily expanding. In France for example and in spite of Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the last elections, traditional left and right parties ranked third and fifth, respectively, while in Germany, and in spite of Angela Merkel's dominance, the two traditional political parties shrinked from 67% in 2013 to no more than 53% in October 2017. These new European parties, which are targeting the EU and the euro are obviously panicking Europe and causing her to look for ways of survival which, for the time being cannot be considered as successful. These European citizens, collectively and contemptuously called "populists," have separated their choices from those recognized as orthodox within the EU and falling within the broad area of ​​ "Liberal Democracy".
The European "populists" are seemingly convinced that the EU is deeply confused when applying policies that are sure to destroy it, such as the admission to its territories of mass immigration and the abandonment of national sovereignty and patriotism, history and national traditions. The abandonment in other words, of the national identity of the individual nation-states. The EU monitors with resentment and also growing concern the rapid spread of populists on its territory, but has not yet been self-critical about how and why its basic guidelines are being abandoned by an increasing number of its citizens. At this point it is very important to note that the European "populists" are not alone in their actual refusal of being wiped out and accepting a global governance at a later date, as everything seems to point in that direction within the EU. This is obviously how we should interpret this wave of reclaiming and rescuing the national identity which, with many variations in its details, has invaded not only Europe but the world as a whole. This refers to Donald Trump’s America, Putin's Russia, Xi Jinping’s China, and also Latin American and African governments.
Ending Part I of this paper, the general conclusion that emerges from the above analysis is the stormy change of regimes in Europe and the world that jeopardizes the maintenance of  Liberal Democracy but at the same time also comprises the innovations in economic, political and social life which modern societies are in vital need of, in order to be able to give new solutions to their numerous and thorny problems.

Part II. The new face of advanced economies

The content of this Part II refers to the future economic and political conditions that will be incorporated into future societies. Dealing with future predictions necessarily involves a high risk of discrediting them. However, this content of Part II, I believe, for the most part, has a high probability for realization, precisely because the twists and turns it refers to have already begun and are progressing without being hampered in their course.
 Although, for the moment, there is dense smoke around the form, which will eventually be taken by individual national economies, as the elements comprising the international scene are still in progress, one thing is certain: globalization is limiting its scope and nothing will ever be the same again.
The expected changes will be summarized, first of all, in their economic dimension, paragraph A, and secondly in their political status, paragraph B.

A.     In the economic sphere:

 (aa) National economies

The end of globalization and the establishment of protectionism currently seem to be accelerating due to the choices of the new US president. Donald Trump's clear preference for closed borders, which he has announced,  passed and partly implemented, is a trigger for a parallel course in the rest of the world. In other words, it consists of opposing and refusing to compromise with what has generally been the policy of traditional governments. Developing new guidelines everywhere. In particular, the opposition towards any form of restriction of national sovereignty, the re-establishment of the nation-state with increased intervention in the economy, the viewing of international organizations with suspicion, the diminishing of the importance of the stock market in favor of the real economy, the reluctance to welcome immigrants / refugees , and naturally the condemnation of all thoughts of creation of a global government, are the preferences of the American planetary master.
Already every national economy suffers the consequences of its return to reality, its possibilities and its weaknesses. It is guarded by the application of protective measures on its trade, but it also suffers from the consequences of a raging commercial war, which however has not yet acquired its final form.
Anti-globalization is the product of the reaction of the weakest of the planet, especially those who have been deprived of jobs because of the liberalization of international trade, or have suffered a deterioration in their standard of living due to wage competition by immigrants / refugees. That is why there is hope, thanks to the new international economic order, to reverse the unfavorable effect of globalization, which consisted of few winners and numerous losers. It is also hoped that the positive consequences of this overthrow will counteract the negative effects of the commercial war. Thus, anti-globalization, does not attempt to be imposed as a one-way solution or as a paradise like its predecessor, but merely appears on the international scene as a need to reduce the widespread and multidimensional calamities of globalization.

B.     Statutory change / governance

a) The Liberal Republic is retreating towards "illiberal" Democracy

 Postwar America has emerged as the richest, most powerful and most successful country in the world. Her marvelous achievements in all areas have been aligned with her liberal democratic constitution, which has been gradually adopted by most of the globally advanced world. Countries without Democracy and under authoritarian regimes were marginalized, with lower per capita income and slower economic growth.
  Liberal Democracy has prevailed in the past decades as the political regime which would ultimately have to be adopted by all countries in the world, as soon as they managed to secure a satisfactory annual per capita income, estimated at around $ 14,000. Liberal Democracy countries have thus become a "model to be imitated," and democracy has been recognized as the ideal government, meant to eternally prevail on earth and gradually absorb all non-democratic and authoritarian regimes.
In addition to the high standard of living characterizing post-war economies with liberal Democracy, the latter also presented three enviable conditions[19]:
* relative equity
* fast - growing income for all citizens, and
* the fact that countries with non-democratic status were generally less prosperous.
Until the recent election of Donald Trump, western civilization did not recognize any other regime apart from that of liberal democracy which it tried to impose on the whole planet, even resorting to war. Indeed, one of the basic excuses put forward by Bush jr. for the unjustified wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., was the need to "democratize" them. The notion that liberal Democracy with capitalism is the only system that produces wealth and power was reinforced by the collapse of existing socialism, since there was no longer an opponent.
All these foundations and advantages for the perpetuation and imitation of democracy by non-democratic countries however, have been eroded. And the most important thing is that, it turns out beyond any doubt, that the regimes considered as authoritarian achieve faster growth rates than democracies. Indeed, out of the 15 economies world economies now showing the fastest growth rates, 2/3 do not have liberal democratic regimes[20].  In addition, out of the 250 best universities in the world, 16 belong to non-liberal democratic countries[21].  
The change brought on by Donald Trump's new international financial order is very important, although it has so far gone unnoticed. The new president, according to all indications, seems to have forsaken the right or more correctly the obligation of the US to impose democracy on the rest of the world, as the only regime that can be reconciled with capitalism and which was imposed immediately after the end of the Second World War. The abandonment of this fundamental goal of American liberal hegemony changes  America's self-imposed regime towards the outside world, from "liberal democracy" to "illiberal hegemony"
[22] or even "illiberal democracy"[23, or even "Democracy without Rights". This change was deemed necessary because America had a lot of failures in this area and, moreover, with the rise of the so-called populist parties all over the world, even more failures are to be expected in the future. Beyond these failures, given that China, Russia, Poland, Hungary, Turkey, etc. do not have liberal democratic regimes, the US's insistence on continuing to impose it (even if is recognized as the best regime) often in non-democratic ways in the past, even including armed conflicts, would be irrelevant.

b) The new regime under populist political parties

 The impossibility of imposing democracy on countries that do not want it has been fully understood with the economic rise of China, which has embraced capitalism, but combined with the imposition of an authoritarian regime that has become more prominent with  the lifelong reign of its president in power. The same development is witnessed in Russia, and not only, since similar widespread trends concerning populist and hybrid political parties have been recently prevailing in Europe, as already mentioned in this Paper. It turns out that capitalism can coexist not only with democracy but also with different regimes. There is also proof that democracy, at least under western standards, is gradually shrinking, since it is the system governing an increasingly smaller population of the world, but also the system that has ceased to meet its original specifications, namely those of the ancient Greeks. So, it becomes  quite frightening to answer the question: "What part of the world is still the home of liberal democracy?"

c) The decline of Liberal Democracy

Sadly, the liberal democratic regime of the West is in great decline. And the simple invocation of democracy, when it coexists with completely incompatible consequences, is not enough to satisfy relevant concerns. I have the increasingly strong feeling that references to democracy are being used as
a form of diversion for a series of daily crimes performed in her name. And I ultimately believe that the guarantees given through the simple reference to Democracy only serve as a form of reassurance and resignation from trying to find solutions to difficult problems. Thus, they often end up in unacceptable situations. Situations, which ultimately do not differ from those corresponding to authoritarian regimes, which do not invoke democracy. Let me emphasize, on this point, that even the citizens of countries with democratic regimes do not have enough confidence in them. Relevant research in America, which is probably the country where the advantages of democracy are mostly being proclaimed, as opposed to all the unpleasantness prevailing in countries without democracy, reveals that 45% of the respondents have doubts about the positive aspects of the democratic government and have little or no confidence in it[24]. Undoubtedly, democracy has taken a resounding slap from globalization and the uncontrolled inequalities it has led to.
The question here is whether this coexistence of capitalism with an illiberal democracy is viable and therefore sustainable on a long-term basis, or whether the conflicts inherent in this combination will lead to its dissolution, reverting to capitalism with liberal Democracy or socialism. Opinions differ on this very crucial point for the future of the West and the world. Those whom I would describe as optimistic argue that authoritarian regimes can only survive in poor economies, such as China, Russia or even Turkey, while on the other hand, when per capita income increases and the middle class dominates, citizens will demand political liberalism. Although according to this view capitalism, in the long run, eliminates totalitarianism, it is not possible to determine in advance the exact timing of such a development. However, it is certain that political liberalism will ultimately prevail, due to contradictions and dysfunctions of totalitarian capitalism, such as corruption, inequality of distribution, inadequate information, lack of individual freedoms, or the exploitation of  governmental power to ensure that politicians enjoy a privileged existence. This category of optimists is nevertheless forced to admit, that these disadvantages and dysfunctions are also present in capitalism with liberal democracy, but they convince themselves that what makes the difference in favor of liberalism is that, according to them, these negative effects are present on a smaller scale. Unfortunately, serious drawbacks and dysfunctions, are encountered on an increasing scale and intensity in the economies of the West. And it is difficult, if not impossible, to decide in which of these two regimes the dysfunctions and negative features are more intense. But it is equally difficult to answer whether or not there will continue to be differences between these two regimes, and if so, which of them will prevail.
Austria and Finland are moving in the same direction. “Populist” governments are also dominating the Balkans, with the ultimate goal of permanently weakening the EU's status. What exactly do the formerly dominant EU and the strong euro have left? A utopia, which is soon in danger of revealing the ruins of an initially exceptional effort. The new international economic order, lacking the prominence and strong propaganda from the media, which was and still is enjoyed by globalization, does not attempt to impose itself as a one-way solution or paradise like its predecessor but simply appears on the international stage as a necessity, to limit the widespread and multidimensional ailments of globalization.
One of the key arguments of the West in relation to its conviction that it will be able to maintain its political status after China's international dominance, is that in the world of the twenty-first century power is passed through globalization and international organizations, controlled by the West itself[25]. This argument, however, has been greatly weakened by the severe blows that globalization is taking with the introduction of protectionism and the accusations Donald Trump has launched against international organizations and the established economic order as a whole. This argument has also lost much of its original glamor due to the rise of populism, which expresses the change of public opinion and which turns directly against globalization and the system prevailing in the West, in general. Now, concerning the influence and scope of the "populist governments" in Europe which has been invaded by them, regardless of the fact that it still seems to be ignoring them, and pretends to still reign on the foundation of liberal democracy. This is now clearly utopian, given that Britain has left the European group and Italy has acquired a "populist", albeit rather weak and unstable government.

Conclusion

The question which needs to be answered is whether Liberal Democracy or regimes regarded as authoritarina will prevail[26]. Nowadays with the constant threat of perpetual stagnation, the answer to the above question should above all investigate which of the two systems is most effective:
·        In achieving rapid growth.
·        in fighting corruption
·        in achieving the most equitable distribution of income and wealth
·        in ensuring full employment
·        in relation to the quality of public health and public education services
·        in  the protection of dietary risks
·        in imposing meritocracy.

            Although the answers to these concerns are neither easy nor obvious at least for the moment, the inevitable reflection around them uncovers a reality that the “non-populists” of the West refuse to accept: that the issue is not so simple, nor its solutions so obvious as they misleadingly appear but that, on the contrary, constant critical and objective monitoring of the relevant developments is required. And that furthermore, researchers who focus on this huge problem are neither traitors, nor right-wingers, nor nostalgic of dictatorial regimes, nor communists.
In any case, account should be taken of the fact that populists appear to be the product of a radical change in voter preferences, especially among young people. Indeed, while among the older Americans, 2/3 declare their preference for Democracy, less than 1/3 of the young people care about it, while they are favorable to the idea of a totalitarian regime and strongly critical of democracy[27].  Let me add that two decades before today, 25% of the British were favorable to the idea of ​​an authoritarian government, and they have now reached 50%. In countries like Germany, England and the United States, the percentage of young people who favor a right or left extreme has doubled in the last two decades, while in Sweden it has tripled. Similar rates prevail in countries such as Hungary, Austria, Greece and Finland[28]. The dangerous, and seemingly generalized, transformations of the preferences of Western voters appeared neither automatically nor in an incomprehensible way. Unfortunately, these are the sad consequences of the totally unsuccessful governance of traditional politicians who did not fulfill their pre-election promises, who fermented or even participated in corruption, who cultivated conditions of low growth and high unemployment, who did not aim to limit the high inequalities in income and wealth distribution, who destroyed the middle class through a series of unfortunate policy measures and more. These are the main culprits for the retreat of democracy, the rise of extremes, the generalization of populism. The ideals of democracy are imposed on the citizens of a country where its principles are respected and its offenses punished. Unfortunately, these are not the conditions prevailing today in most of the modern Western states.
                 
*** For a more extensive analysis of this topic, Maria Negreponti-Delivanis, The end of the economic dominance of the West, under publication: a) in Greek, IANOS and b) in French
L'Harmattan 


Selected References
* Briefing European Populism (2018), The Economist, 03/02
*  Deudney, Daniel and  G. John Ikenberry (2009) "The myth of the autocratic Revival", Foreign Affairs, January/February
 *Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή - Frans Timmermans and Jyrki Katainen (2017)    " Paper on reducing globalization" COM(2017) 240,  10/05
  *"European populism-Threat and opportunity" (2018), The Economist, 03/02
*  Hansen, Alvin(1939)"Economic Progress and Declining Population Growth" , American Economic Review 29 (1):1-15
 *  Lenglet, Francois,  (2014), La fin de mondialisation, Librairie Arhème Fayard/Pluriel, Chapitre 5-L’éternel  retour
    * Mattews, Jessica Tuchman, Andrew Kohut and Stapleton Roy (2012) “US Public, Experts Differ  on China Policies”  Pew Research Center-septembre
    *Mounk Yasha (2018), "How populist uprisings could bring down liberal democracy", The Guardian, Sun 4 Mars 07/05 GMT
   *  Mounk, Yascha (2018) "The people vs democracy", Harvard University Press
   * Mounk, Yasha and Roberto Stefan Foa (2018), "The End of the democratic Century", Foreign Affairs, May-June, pp 29-36
  *   Muller, Jan-Werner (2018), "The trouble with illiberal democracy", International New York Times, 06/04

   *Negreponti-Delivani Maria (2014), The Cold Blooded Murder of Greece, Maria and Dimitri Delivanis Foundation and Ianos Publications (also in French, L'Harmatan, Paris)
 *Spengler, Oswald, (1918) The decline of the West, Editor Alfred. A. Knopf, N.Y. Vol. 1
 *Summers, Lawrence (2013) "Why Stagnation Might Prove to be the  New Normal", Financial Times, 15/12
   *  Scott, Robert (2017), "Brexit:The end of globalization as we know it?" ΅Working Economics Blog-posted June 28 2016 at 12:26 pm
*Survey Monkey






[1] François  Lenglet (2014), La fin de mondialisation, Librairie Arhème Fayard/Pluriel, Chapitre 5-L’éternel  retour
[2] Oswald Spengler[2](1918) The decline of the West, Editor Alfred. A. Knopf, N.Y. Vol. 1,

[3] The western civilization was born from the ashes of the ancient Greek civilization, with the emergence after 1860, of the economic centres of Australia, G. Britain and USA
[4]  "Economic Progress and Declining Population Growth"(1939),American Economic Review 29 (1):1-15
        

[5]      "Why Stagnation Might Prove to be the  New Normal"(2013), Financial Times, 15/12

[6] Yasha Mounk (2018), "How populist uprisings could bring down liberal democracy", The Guardian, Sun 4 Mars 07/05 GMT

[7] Briefing European Populism (2018), The Economist, 03/02
[8] Princeton University
[9]  Yascha Mounk, (2018) "The people vs democracy", Harvard University Press
[10]Jessica Tuchman Mattews, Andrew Kohut and Stapleton Roy (2012) “US Public, Experts Differ  on China Policies”  Pew Research Center-septembre
[11] European Commission Paper - Frans Timmermans and Jyrki Katainen (2017)     COM(2017) 240,  10/05
[12] "European populism-Threat and opportunity" (2018), The Economist, 03/02
[13] Robert  Scott (2017), "Brexit:The end of globalization as we know it?" ΅Working Economics Blog-posted June 28 2016 at 12:26 pm
[14] Ibidem
[15] Negreponti-Delivani Maria (2014), The Cold Blooded Murder of Greece, Maria and Dimitri Delivanis Foundation and Ianos Publications (also in French, L'Harmatan, Paris)
[16] Robert  Scott (2017 op.cit
[18] Ibidem
[19] Yasha Mounk and Roberto Stefan Foa (2018), "The End of the democratic Century", Foreign Affairs, Μάιος/ Ιούνιος, σσ 29-36
[20] Ibidem.

[21] Ibidem.

[22] Ibidem
[23] According to the definition by Fareed Zakaria,  Jan-Werner Muller (2018), "The trouble with illiberal democracy", International New York Times, 06/04
[24] Survey Monkey
[25] Ibidem
[26] Daniel Deudney and  G. John Ikenberry (2009) "The myth of the autocratic Revival", Foreign Affairs, Ιανουάριος/ Φεβρουάριος
[27] Yasha Mounk,
[28] Ibidem


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