“Liberalism in Retreat” Haroon Riaz, The Nation, 31 January 2017

“Let it be refugees, immigrants, jobs, or political and economic unions. The world seems to be going downhill and fast. The election of Donald Trump in the US, the exit of Britain from the European Union and right wing nationalist pro-exit movements all around the Europe are the signs of the rising unpopularity of liberal ideas around the world.”

Although the reason for the election of the rivals of center left parties is perceived to be economic, the truth is that this is primarily due to liberal leaders failure to convince the voters why their ideas could lead to a prosperous world. Liberals need to resist terrible ideas from both progressive leftists and right wing populists in order to move toward an actually open and free market economy on a global scale. However, they must first exhibit confidence in them. They must first believe these notions and put them into practice. People who put the problem of the loss of manufacturing jobs, as for instance Donald Trump is doing in the US, ahead of a more progressive, freer trade environment would not grow to be as competent, not to mention the loss access to the best quality of goods the market could offer them. The vast advantages of globalized, free trade have been overlooked by too many when governments themselves contribute to the conditions leading to businesses fleeing. But what is far worse is that people do not believe that free trade is eventually going to be of benefit to them. While not every business in every market is able to compete with the global competition, free trade eventually favors the consumer. But such liberal ideas such as reaching markets beyond borders and uniting politically are in retreat. Despite the world’s economic and scientific prosperity being a direct result of them. But they won’t be for long. Because it’s often liberalism that cleans up the mess made by nationalism, fascism, populism, and trade protectionism. It would again.

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“Liberalism in Retreat” Haroon Riaz, The Nation, 31 January 2017


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