The changes of the decade used to be a good excuse to make looks long on the near future. In this case, there is an additional incentive. For the first time in 60 years, the start of a decade of western coincides with a new 12-year cycle of the chinese calendar, represented by the rat. Given the role played by China and its model of social progress in this decade, this match is a powerful incentive to make forecasts. I welcome this excuse to pose a question that I think will dominate this decade in western societies: What type of political economic system will be imposed to cope with the enormous challenges of the next 10 years? How will liberal democracies or progressive authoritarian political systems cut-fascist or protofascista?
some people may seem tremendista that talk of fascism. But, as it happened in the twenties of the last century, today there are social circumstances that are a breeding ground very favorable for appear solutions of this kind, if the liberal democracies are not able to give an answer progressive to social unrest.
The middle classes and the popular capitalist societies, westerners are demanding protection against the deterioration that has suffered the level of well-being and their future opportunities in the last four decades, coinciding with the deindustrialization and the abandonment in which were many people and communities. They also demand that protection, many domestic business sectors that have to compete in conditions of inequality with companies and products of other countries.
in Addition to this welfare loss, the demand of protection also comes from the fear of the consequences to those social groups and business can become great challenges of the new decade, especially technological change, the climate and the population. In many cases, will increase inequality and will bring new forms of poverty.
The western democratic Governments have failed to give that protection. As if that were not enough, the wrong economic policy response to the financial crisis of 2008 and the economic recession of 2009-2013 added insult to the pain that produced the crisis itself. Is culpabilizó and was made to pay the victims the consequences of the excesses of financial capitalism, and multinational corporate, and the effects of bad decisions of the EU and the national Governments with the so-called austerity policy. The decade that is now ending will be remembered as ominous. This failure of democratic Governments is the fact that now is fueling the success of authoritarian leaders. Know smell the pain and listen to the demand of protection of the society. The problem with them, as with fascism in general, is that they offer that protection in exchange for restricting individual freedoms and fundamental policies.
But it would be a mistake dramatic fall in the myth of cosmopolitan sees in this demand of protection a conspiracy of collectivist against the market economy and liberal democracy. As it happened with the protectionism of the late NINETEENTH century, the demand for social answers to objective causes. No society can accept to sacrifice their ways of life and their values on the altar of a utopian free-market, self-regulated, as has been attempted to impose on the past four decades.
The american writer of the NINETEENTH century, Mark Twain noted on one occasion that “history does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme”. Today, there are many circumstances, in perfect harmony with those of the twenties of the last century. At that stage there were two types of answers to the demand of protection of the company against the attempt to impose the utopia of the free market. The progressive democrats, represented by the policy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the new deal (social contract), and the protofascista, starring the austerity policy of the German chancellor Heinrich Brüning. The first saved the american democracy. The second was an invitation to the arrival of fascism in the whole Europe. There are many books that help you understand these similarities and to focus on solutions to political and economic challenges of these next twenty. But if I have to make a single recommendation, it would be the reading of the great work of Karl Polanyi The great transformation. The political origins and economic of our time, published in 1944.
The next twenty need to carry out a new “great transformation”. A new social contract that would make it possible to other capitalism, as I talked about in my previous column (22-12-2019). Only in this way the democracies progressives will be imposed fascism.Updated Date: 12 January 2020, 05:00