Rise of Alternative Right in West: A Historical Perspective
The victory of Trump in USA’s presidential election clearly vindicated the fact resentment lies inside western society against the ongoing neo-liberal globalisation order. This article points out that Alternative Right Movement is a direct result of demographic crisis and debt crisis that West is facing. We also tried to point out how West sank into twin crisis of demographic crisis and debt crisis why Silk Road 2.0 must be supported by alternative right.
Rise of West
Western civilization began its journey after Germanic tribes conquered the declining Western Roman Empire. By 500 AD Western people gradually transformed themselves into Christian feudal agrarian society from Pagan tribal hunting society. Arabian domination in Mediterranean-Iberia regions and Viking forays into Europe made Westerners inward looking with little interest in trade and commerce.
By middle of 11th century Arabs became weaker and Vikings were Christianised. Then Westerners began to show interest in international trade and expansion beyond West. The first expansion drive was Crusade Wars.
Though defeated, Westerners got the knowledge of non-West world during Crusades and worked on them. Westerners finally made breakthrough in 1490s when they were able to find sea routes skipping Muslim dominated Silk Road and reached American continent on one hand and Asian producers on the other.
By mid-16th century, Western domination of seas and international trade was complete with the aid of supreme ship-building-naval technology. This era was called mercantile capitalism. By 19th century, Westerners were dominating global production as well with the help of automated machines. We call this industrial capitalism. Capitalism brought with it demand for market, raw materials, labour and hence West created colonies across the non-West world.
Famous political scientist Angus Maddison noted that between 1000 and 1820, population grew 5-fold in the West, but less than 4-fold in the Rest. Between 1770 and 1937, Western population grew from 150 million to 750 million and 30 million Westerners migrated to Americas.
Impact of Industrial Capitalism
The continuous profit seeking nature of industrial capitalism led to three results:
Impact of Lack of Effective Demand Crisis
Demand is of two types: demand for consumer goods called consumption and demand for capital goods called investment. Now as demand crisis plagued the West, its capital started to be invested in both comparatively lesser developed Western countries and also non West colonies. Thus more West countries and even non-West Japan started getting developed.
Thus fight for market of consumer goods, capital goods and raw materials further intensified among already developed and newly developed industrialised nations. This finally led to two World Wars and a Great Depression in Western economy.
Industrial capitalism was discredited and anti-capitalist concepts like anti-colonialism, socialism and communism gained momentum throughout the world after Russian Revolution. Finally, after World-War-II, the West gradually stripped most of its colonial possessions in non-West. Socialism gained huge popularity both in the West and non-West.
Age of Socialism
Post-World-War-II years often seen as the most prosperous and optimist age in the entire world. The basis of socialism is effective demand crisis of capitalism. And so socialism advocates resource allocation not for profit maximization but for some pre-determined social goals.
West started to use state expenditure as a way to create extra demand by which lack of demand in the market will be neutralised. Non-West viewed socialism as an effective tool by which state will be used to allocate resources to modernise and industrialise its economy and society.
Working class emerged as the most important advocate of socialism and working class rights were looked after by nationalising key industries, health and education.
Women Emancipation and Sex Revolution
Another important factor during this period was “emancipation” of women. By late-19th century, Western families were already having lower birth rates. Hence, Western women got chance to go for outdoor jobs. By late-1960s, women were a formidable part of Western working class and so desires of women can no longer go unheeded. Western women use the contraceptive revolution of 1960s to reduce birth rate and spend more time in outdoor jobs. This was associated with gay rights movement. Hence 1960s saw sex revolution throughout the West.
Age of Financial Capitalism
The elite bankers and big capitalists were struggling against socialist advocacy for more state role in resource allocation. By 1970s, the Western elite class came up with financial capitalism to counter effective demand crisis. In this system, asset price will be inflated through debt channelization in asset market and profit will be sought by trading in assets. These financial profits became main source of demand and state was no longer needed to create demand.
Gradually, the West began to specialize in finance and exported its production base to the non-Western world where more profits can be made by using non-Western cheap labor. This process was termed as neo-liberal globalization.
Moreover, women’s desire for more outdoor activities was used by the Western elites to increase labor pool and destroy working class bargaining power considerably. Feminism was used as a tool by the elites to make look worker husbands as the exploiter of their home maker wives and employment giver capitalists-bankers as the liberator. But Feminism resulted in breakdown of families and less than replacement rate fertility rate among the Westerners. Consumerism became the new religion of the society.
Fall of West
Slowly non-West countries esp. China start becoming industrialized at the cost of deindustrialization of most advanced Western country USA who specializes in finance with debt provided by non-West industrializing producers. Other Western countries who fail to develop financial base face economic stagnation. In 2007-09, global financial crisis devastated the Western financial base as well. All on a sudden the West finds itself indebted to non West and its financial base is in disarray.
This economic disaster is accompanied by four decades of less than replacement rate birth rate among white Westerners. Hence West relies on migration flow from non-West world to tackle this demographic crisis among Western whites.
Rise of Alternative Right
So by 2010s, the West is plagued with economic stagnation, indebtedness, lack of desirable jobs and demographic crisis. Moreover, immigration from non-West to West and relatively higher fertility rate among non-West immigrant women compared to Western women were threatening the core of the social fabric of the Western society.
As a result of this economic agony and demographic threat, a huge section of white West finds salvation in ultra nationalism, white racism, etc. which is designated as alternative right movement. Hence, alternative right movement accuses globalization for the West’s economic woes and non-West migrants for destroying the Western society.
Point is to counter globalization their economic policies are anti profit maximization and to counter demographic threat their social values are racist, anti-feminist, anti-consumerist and pro-family. As a result, alternative rightists are coming into contradiction with banker-capitalist neo-liberal elites.
We like to conclude our article by pointing out that Alternative Right Movement is clearly anti Neo liberal elites. Profit motivation and love for consumerist culture led to specialization in finance which resulted in deindustrialisation and debt crisis especially in USA, Latin Europe and Greece. Demographic crisis has hit West mainly due to feminism which preached motherhood and family activities as exploitation of women. Now the West is aged society which is causing influx of immigrants. Now if Alternative Right movement attacks only immigrant policies leaving feminism-consumerism not attacked, then their movement is bound to fail. This is because feminism-consumerism is the cause of falling birth rate while immigration is the result. Attacking result without attacking the cause will never succeed. So our suggestion to our Alternative Right friends is that feminism-consumerism must be the main focus. If they are dealt with successfully, immigrant influx can be avoided as well. Moreover, their position must be pro Silk Road 2.0 which is Chinese proposal of infrastructural investments. Silk Road 2.0 of China and Eurasian Union of Russia are in fact opposition to the neo liberal order. So Alternative Right friends must cooperate with China-Russia in their fight against Neo-Liberalism.