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Posts Tagged ‘Liberalism’

Centrist liberals gained the most power in the EU Parliament

Posted by hkarner - 3. Juni 2019

Date: 30-05-2019
Source: The Economist

Eurosceptics gained a similar number of seats, but are less ideologically cohesive

Eurosceptics hoped that populist parties would sweep last week’s European Parliament elections. But voters delivered a murky verdict. Eurosceptics did make progress: parties in the top 15% of hostility towards the eu, as measured by a survey of political scientists run by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, gained 30 seats. Yet parties in the most pro-eu 15% won 32 extra seats. The losers were the main centre-left and centre-right parties.

For the first time in the parliament’s history, its two main blocs, the European People’s Party and the Socialists and Democrats, failed to achieve a majority between them. In theory, that could turn the Eurosceptics into kingmakers. In practice, the older parties back the eu and want nothing to do with the populists. That will force them to depend on the liberals instead. Moreover, the pro-eu parties are likely to form a more cohesive group than their adversaries will.
Almost every possible mix of policy positions is present among the parliament’s 177 different parties. However, the Chapel Hill survey shows that some combinations tend to go together. Its authors assess parties’ views on dozens of issues, and aggregate them into ideological scores. The study was last run in 2017, so its ratings do not count recent political shifts. Nonetheless, its scores track well with other surveys, and with parties’ own manifestos.

One pattern is the boomerang-shaped relationship between views on the eu on one hand, and older divides over economic redistribution and cultural openness on the other. Before the global financial crisis, Euroscepticism won few votes. But the eu’s bailouts of bankrupt member states and struggles to absorb refugees linked opposition to European integration with hostility towards bankers and foreigners. Sensing a chance to broaden their scope, far-right and far-left parties sharpened their criticism of the eu, and Eurosceptic parties became more radical on other issues. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Future of the Liberal Order Is Conservative

Posted by hkarner - 18. Februar 2019

Date: 16-02-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs By Jennifer Lind and William C. Wohlforth

A Strategy to Save the System

The liberal world order is in peril. Seventy-five years after the United States helped found it, this global system of alliances, institutions, and norms is under attack like never before. From within, the order is contending with growing populism, nationalism, and authoritarianism. Externally, it faces mounting pressure from a pugnacious Russia and a rising China. At stake is the survival of not just the order itself but also the unprecedented economic prosperity and peace it has nurtured.

The order is clearly worth saving, but the question is how. Keep calm and carry on, some of its defenders argue; today’s difficulties will pass, and the order is resilient enough to survive them. Others appreciate the gravity of the crisis but insist that the best response is to vigorously reaffirm the order’s virtues and confront its external challengers. Bold Churchillian moves—sending more American troops to Syria, offering Ukraine more help to kick out pro-Russian forces—would help make the liberal international order great again. Only by doubling down on the norms and institutions that made the liberal world order so successful, they say, can that order be saved. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Posted by hkarner - 16. Dezember 2018

Date: 15-12-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: Europe’s Populist Left and Right Share a Common Call: State Intervention

Italy’s new government shuns the EU’s long-held pro-market policies, instead opting to step in to prop up Alitalia

Italy’s new antiestablishment government engineered the state-owned railroad’s offer to buy a controlling stake in ailing Alitalia.

MILAN—Antiestablishment parties gained support across the continent in recent years by attacking the EU’s immigration and fiscal rules. Less noticed has been their growing pushback against an EU economic orthodoxy that favors markets and competition over state intervention.

In Italy, the new antiestablishment government engineered the state-owned railroad’s offer to buy a controlling stake in perennially stricken airline Alitalia. The railroad, Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane SpA, made its offer, the terms of which aren’t public, contingent on finding an airline as a co-investor. Should a deal be sealed, the Italian government would likely end up with a direct Alitalia stake of about 15% and would control the airline through that holding together with Ferrovie’s share.

The government in Rome, comprising the far-right League and the ideologically eclectic 5 Star Movement, also wants to nationalize water utilities, create a government-controlled bank to finance the economy, and has floated the idea of nationalizing the highway system.

Italy’s economic development minister, Luigi Di Maio, has led the government’s attempt to revive Alitalia.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Yuval Noah Harari: the myth of freedom

Posted by hkarner - 17. September 2018

Date: 16-09-2018
Source: The Guardian by Yuval Noah Harari

Governments and corporations will soon know you better than you know yourself.

Belief in the idea of ‘free will’ has become dangerous

Main image: Future proof … to survive, we must accept that humans are hackable animals.

Should scholars serve the truth, even at the cost of social harmony? Should you expose a fiction even if that fiction sustains the social order? In writing my latest book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, I had to struggle with this dilemma with regard to liberalism.

On the one hand, I believe that the liberal story is flawed, that it does not tell the truth about humanity, and that in order to survive and flourish in the 21st century we need to go beyond it. On the other hand, at present the liberal story is still fundamental to the functioning of the global order. What’s more, liberalism is now attacked by religious and nationalist fanatics who believe in nostalgic fantasies that are far more dangerous and harmful.

So should I speak my mind openly, risking that my words could be taken out of context and used by demagogues and autocrats to further attack the liberal order? Or should I censor myself? It is a mark of illiberal regimes that they make free speech more difficult even outside their borders. Due to the spread of such regimes, it is becoming increasingly dangerous to think critically about the future of our species. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Protectionism for Liberals

Posted by hkarner - 15. August 2018

Robert Skidelsky, Professor Emeritus of Political Economy at Warwick University and a fellow of the British Academy in history and economics, is a member of the British House of Lords. The author of a three-volume biography of John Maynard Keynes, he began his political career in the Labour party, became the Conservative Party’s spokesman for Treasury affairs in the House of Lords, and was eventually forced out of the Conservative Party for his opposition to NATO’s intervention in Kosovo in 1999.

The ability of companies to allocate jobs globally changes the nature of the discussion about the “gains from trade.” In fact, there are no longer guaranteed “gains,” even in the long run, to those countries that export technology and jobs.

LONDON – Liberal revulsion at US President Donald Trump’s mendacious and uncouth politics has spilled over into a rigid defense of market-led globalization. To the liberal, free trade in goods and services and free movement of capital and labor are integrally linked to liberal politics. Trump’s “America First” protectionism is inseparable from his diseased politics.

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Intolerance Threatens Liberalism

Posted by hkarner - 5. August 2018

Date: 04-08-2018
Source: YaleGlobal by Rudrangshu Mukherjee

Liberalism – and the values of liberty, equality, individual dignity, tolerance, and freedom from bigotry and extremism – are under siege around much of the world, including the world’s largest democracy. India inherited an appreciation for liberal values as a result of British colonialism, underscoring the paradox that a system aspiring for ideals cannot rest in assessing and accepting improvement. “Liberalism even today has not quite eradicated the stain of this contradiction,” writes Rudrangshu Mukherjee, author, chancellor and professor of History at Ashoka University. “People who differ in color of skin, culture, language, religion and so on are often not allowed to be beneficiaries of liberal virtues by political regimes that claim to be liberal and democratic.” India embraced liberal principles in its pursuit of independence, and Mukherjee briefly describes this history. Liberalism is under threat by the powerful who resist dissent, and he questions whether the political system can endure while tolerating incessant intolerance.

Liberal democracy is under siege in India and elsewhere – proponents must distinguish between the right to dissent and intolerance

Violent face of liberalism: Low-caste minorities in India in the aftermath of communal violence, and Indians mutinied against the illiberal British raj in 1857

NEW DELHI:  Liberalism is under siege in India. Violence against minority communities, repression of dissent and growing political intolerance raise questions about sustaining liberalism that was introduced in India by British colonialism wielding the gun. With liberalism on the dock in many places, it is time to raise a few issues concerning liberalism, its birthmarks and its dilemmas. While emergence of illiberalism in many liberal societies comes as a shock, history shows that from the start illiberalism was very much a part of liberal drive. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Nationalist movements have lost some recent battles, but it’s way too soon to think they are receding

Posted by hkarner - 24. Januar 2018

Date: 23-01-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: A Fractured World: Nationalism vs. the Global Liberal Order

The global liberal order is holding up better than many feared a year ago.

In Europe, right-wing populists lost elections to the establishment in the Netherlands, Austria and France. U.S. President Donald Trump has prioritized traditional conservative causes like tax cuts over protectionism.

But globalists should not breathe easy. The nationalist insurgency is both growing and metamorphosing. It is not just eating away at relations between countries on issues such as free trade; it is also eroding the institutions and norms that prevail within countries.

This is not a problem for the global economy yet, as a synchronized upswing drives growth and stock prices higher. But it’s a shadow over the future. Populists sustained by legitimate grievances at the cultural and economic upheaval caused by globalization often govern by authoritarian or divisive means, undermining the stable, rules-based environment that businesses crave. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Guardian of the Liberal World Order

Posted by hkarner - 20. August 2017

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A grim diagnosis for Western politics

Posted by hkarner - 24. Juni 2017

Date: 22-06-2017
Source: The Economist

Edward Luce believes that the liberal order cannot be fixed without a clear view of what has gone wrong

The Retreat of Western Liberalism. By Edward Luce. Grove Atlantic; 234 pages; $24. Little Brown; £16.99.

FEW doubt that something big happened in Western politics during the past 12 months but nobody is sure what. Turmoil in Washington and London contrasts with centrist stability in Paris and Berlin. Edward Luce, a commentator for the Financial Times in Washington, is well placed to observe the shifts and shocks. “The Retreat of Western Liberalism” offers a brisk, timely survey.

“Fusion”, the longest of just four chapters, describes the successes of economic globalisation, but also the costs borne by the less well-off in rich countries, notably Britain, America and France. Next, “Reaction” attributes the recent “degeneration” of Western politics to slowing economic growth and to the rich taking an undue share of what little growth there is. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Liberalism in the Trenches

Posted by hkarner - 25. April 2017

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