One of the things that has been evident throughout the year 2016, if one follows current events, is what seems like a sudden backlash against globalization. The anti-elite/anti-globalist position is not new, but the sentiment has largely continued to be contained. Those coming forth with an anti-globalism message have always been treated as something of a fringe group of extremists.
This isn’t entirely unfounded, to be perfectly honest. The most ardent anti-globalists are found on both ends of the left/right spectrum. The reasons are often completely different, so it’s not that both sides are envisioning the same utopian solution to the problem, but there is an alignment on sentiment.
For 60 years or so, the progressive elites managed to plod consistently along in their efforts to open borders, open trade, and incorporate a migration of progressive social norms and beliefs across regions of the world. Many promises were made on all fronts about how wonderful it all would be. Wars would cease, there would be a chicken in every pot, but no one person would have more than a few, and no one person would be without. We could all have everything.
But eventually, the mask on these things falls away. Underlying the very tenets of all of this was an anti-capitalism masked as a new kind of better capitalism. Unknown to many was the subtle fascism that was taking place. I don’t mean jack-booted thug reactionary fascism (which is more an eventual result of trying to maintain the status quo than an actual element of fascism itself) but the coordination and even co-ownership of government and corporations. This includes more and more governmental aspects of the business world, over-regulation, over-taxation, partnership between government and the private sector and all that comes with it. When this becomes predominant, the government can control and dictate all aspects of economic life, and in many ways our daily life. Even when not directly controlling ownership interests, the quid pro quo aspect of allowing company mergers to create monopolies while relentlessly punishing independent small businesses has staggering implications.
The promise of free trade has strong capitalistic sentiments around it, but this too comes with major issues. It requires all actors to cooperate on an equivalent level. It also requires our government to not foolishly export the dollar and risk an inflationary backlash. This care has not taken place, as the country’s debt skyrockets and the trade deficit looms. We continue to export the dollar, hoping and praying it doesn’t suddenly get sent back to us in droves.
At the same time, progressives escalated all sorts of changes to social norms. If the elites are not openly anti-Catholic or anti-Christian, they consider those who hold fast to certain beliefs as unworthy of any serious consideration. The escalation in normalization of abortion, gay marriage, transgenderism comes with it the establishment of human rights tribunals that are now openly challenging traditional moral beliefs as thought crimes or hate crimes. The message has been that such beliefs are hateful and not to be tolerated. It’s OK to think those things to yourself in the privacy of your bathtub, but leave it there or face prosecution.
It seemed that until 2015 people were either ignorant, apathetic, or too frightened to push back on these continued developments. During 2016, we have seen an amazing upheaval of the emboldened who have had enough. More surprisingly is that this upheaval now counts among its ranks not just the marginally disaffected or the extremist wings of left and right, but an ever-growing element of the population that realizes that they are not extreme and are now being labeled as such because they don’t want to just continually move along with the ever-changing lines of what is considered appropriate decorum. They have had it with political correctness. They are sick of being labeled as racist or hateful because they have some sense of standard or principle. They are tired of a good capitalistic system being completely perverted, and then the failings of the perversions being blamed on capitalism itself. They are tired of government/corporate partnerships gaining monopolistic power and shutting down competition (crony capitalism). People are tired of failed promises around free trade while there is no attempt to secure national borders. People are tired of elitist, immoral, self-righteous, philosophical thinkers who have never worked a day in their lives telling us how to live, what to think, and what to say.
And so, Brexit happened. And in many places in Europe there is discontent. And populism arises. And Donald Trump happens.
Don’t misunderstand me – not all of these developments are necessarily good. Some may be good, some may be dangerous. We are in a time where people have had enough and are now reacting. Mini-political revolutions could eventually lead to real revolutions. Nobody wants violence and bloodshed. Nobody wants dicatatorships. All these things are possible.
But why is it possible? Because the elitists thought they had it all figured out and they pushed, and they pushed, and they pushed. In many cases, they waited until they shaped the opinions of the majority so that they could maneuver with the tide. But progressives are never happy, and they are not good at being patient. When things don’t go their way, they do not always take it real well. That’s because they know what’s good for us. They are also emboldened by some success, which can lead to overreaching their mandate.
An overreach beyond where the public is at, along with evidence of actual failures now impacting the daily lives of the people, is what has happened in the last decade or so. And now, people are pushing back.
And the elites don’t like that one bit.
Whenever someone starts to lose the grip of power, they seldom just let it happen. There are scapegoats, they will lie, they will double-down, and they will fight. We are in a perilous time. The elites are coordinated, they are in all the highest levels of numerous governments, they control the central banks and the courts (I am not speaking of “control” in the conspiratorial sense, just in the sense of the reality of who is in what positions around the globe – these are almost all globalists and proudly and publicly so).
So, who is their scapegoat?
Perhaps there will be a number of scapegoats, but it really is quite simple. Barack Obama considers those clinging to God and guns to be an enemy of progressivism. This is a glib and simple summary of who can be expected to be the targets of elitist ire.
The unrest is out of the bag. It will not be quelled naturally. Not just in the United States, but globally, drastic measures will need to be taken by the elites or they will risk losing all they have worked to accomplish. God only knows what those drastic measures will be. But if you are not falling in line with their Credos because you actually have a moral base, and if you believe in your First and Second Amendment rights, then it’s highly likely that you will be a target.
It remains to be seen how that will happen, and how dramatically. But keep your eyes open.