Sir, I was surprised to learn from your editorial “Why the globalisers still retain the upper hand” (December 31) that you agree with Marine Le Pen in portraying the current world as a struggle of nationalists against globalists. This portrayal is false, or at least incomplete inasmuch as it ignores the intensifying resistance of social movements, non-governmental organisations, political parties and people around the world who are not against globalisation as such but against the neoliberal form globalisation has taken in the past decades.
Neoliberal globalisation is about the unrestrained extension and deepening of markets in ways that have concentrated both wealth and political power in the hands of the 1 per cent and of corporate capital; that have undermined democracy; that have destabilised our financial system; that have wrought havoc in the real economy; and have made maintaining a democratic, socially and ecologically sustainable capitalism increasingly look like a pipe dream.
The sense of growing powerlessness in the face of these forces has indeed provoked a nationalist and often xenophobic backlash among those who are losing out in the new globalised game of economic competition. But there are also many who equally reject both neoliberal globalisation and the ugly nationalism it has spawned: for instance those who rally against austerity in defence of social justice or who are part of the growing movement against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. These and other movements have nothing to do with nationalism but everything with a growing opposition against a form of globalisation that restricts, rather than widens, the democratic choice of citizens.
Bastiaan van Apeldoorn
Associate professor of International Relations, Member of the Dutch Senate for the Socialist Party
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