Center-right leaders in Britain, Spain and the United States have put the interests of their parties ahead of the good of their countries. Both their parties and their countries have suffered as a result. Read more
Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party is trying to rewrite history — and it’s hurting Polish relations with the rest of Europe. Read more
Nationalism may be down, but it’s not out, reports The Wall Street Journal.
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.
With economies growing on both sides of the Atlantic, populists now draw on cultural grievances to undermine the stable, rules-based environment businesses crave. Read more
Dalibor Rohac of the American Enterprise Institute argues in The American Interest that two intolerant communities have emerged in Western democracies:
- A nationalist right, whose overarching ambition is to return ethnic homogeneity and reverse the decline of status enjoyed by whites.
- An identitarian left, whose goal is to rectify the injustices caused by the historic domination of white heterosexual men.
We don’t have to accept a moral equivalence between the two to see that they have things in common.
Nor does either side need to be in the majority (neither is) to pose a danger to our democracy. Read more
The votes for Brexit, European populism and Donald Trump weren’t working-class revolts.
Ta-Nehisi Coates and Adam Serwer have argued that mostly-white elites are drawn to the “economic anxiety” thesis because it absolves them of responsibility for more intractable problems, like racism, xenophobia and self-delusions about both.
If nativists are motivated by stagnating wages, then there are policy solutions for bringing them back into the mainstream.
But what if their grievances aren’t so concrete? Read more
Remi Adekoya explains in Foreign Affairs how Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party has been able to remain popular despite truncating democratic norms and institutions and antagonizing the EU:
- It has raised social spending, specifically for poor rural families with children.
- It portrays its domestic opponents as corrupt elites fighting to preserve their influence.
- It portrays its European critics as fanatical multiculturalists and militant secularists who are so obsessed with political correctness they have lost all sense of self-preservation. Read more