Political Economy of Right Wing Populismus November 8/9th 2017

Political economy of „right wing populism“ –  working on strategies for to dealing with it

While the political and scholarly mainstream, when referring to Brexit and to Trump and Orban and Co., is discussing about a possible “end of globalisation” or about an “anti-modern backlash against globalisation”, a new kind of blackmail is brought to bear upon working people, upon poor people, upon people in precarious living conditions, as well as upon the political left wing and upon the ecologists (again, especially upon the ecological left wing).

They are asked to accept new neoliberal “reforms” – i.e. (further) social cuts, repressions, the reduction of democratic rights, the on-going ignorance opposed to ecological demands and reinforced “security measures” – because they were an unavoidable alternative to the politics of “right wing populism”. In so doing, the ruling forces in the EU fight hard against any kind of critique of neoliberalism and of its austerity policy, especially against a critique which can show that their ideology, culture and policy are to be understood as being based upon a specific type of the capitalist mode of production.

This situation constitutes, in actual fact, a harsh practical criticism of the left wing forces. At the same time, it constitutes a new challenge for them, a challenge to work on even more serious and pertinent analyses, as well as on political initiatives and strategies for effectively changing the very structure of society, and to push through at least first steps for starting a deep socio-economic and ecological transformation. While working on such alternatives for the present moment we shall, at the same time, continue to ask the simple, but pertinent question of “how and why has it been possible that the complex of deregulation/liberalisation/privatisation/financialisation/free trade policy and “investment protection”/”security”policies has emerged, developed and become dominant in our societies, constituting a major block to all attempts of a deeper transformation? Which are the social forces behind this and who are their agents? Why should we especially focus on the capitalist oligarchies? Who are the so called “right wing populists” in terms of contemporary capitalist societies – and why and how are they searching for possibilities to improve their positions within the present system of competition? Why are they successful, what is their economic policy and how they do influence the development of societal relations, especially in the sphere of the comprehensive material  reproduction of our societies? What does all this mean for the emerging and future political working conditions of the left wing forces in Europe, within the EU, and on a world-wide scale?

Published by

Judith Dellheim

Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Referentin Solidarische Ökonomie