The Future of History
Can Liberal Democracy Survive the Decline of the Middle Class?
To the Editor:
Jagdish Bhagwati, in describing globalization's opponents, ignores another group oddly allied with the leftists: the right wing, as evident in part by Pat Buchanan's appearance in Seattle during protests against the World Trade Organization in 1999. It is untrue that the right is unpopular, unorganized, or unfunded, and thus unworthy of mention.
Please allow a few comments from an inmate in Texas who knows quite a bit about the right. Although the left protests the process of "globalization," the right condemns what it calls "globalism" -- that is, what it presumes to be the ideology underlying globalization. Moreover, whereas the left argues more from economic and sociological bases, the right points to the governmental and regulatory aspects of globalization as threats to national sovereignty. The left wants greater "democracy." The right wants to secure national independence, identity, and security. The left worries about the universal rights of man, whereas the right worries about preserving nationalistic tradition and culture.
Finally, both the right and the left seem to be willing to compromise on many issues to make a pact against globalization. For example, Bhagwati cites the influence of deconstructionism among the left, which has long been a favorite target of conservative analyses. The right seems to be willing to forgive such ideology among its antiglobalist partner for the immediate, pragmatic purpose of protesting globalization. For all these reasons, a more comprehensive review of antiglobalization that includes the right and related populist concerns is needed.
William Bryan Sorens