~ Arnab Chakraborty
We all have heard a great deal about the merits of the free market, and the global economy. We are also being made increasingly aware of the necessities of global security. While all this has been proven by some researchers with very solid academic foundations, with the help of impeccable data and statistical and other evidences (mostly statistical because we live in the age of capitalism and big data), they only show a partial picture. In real functional terms there are several functional and qualitative aspects which may not be so pleasing. Often, there are many quantitative aspects which get relatively insignificant coverage on the global media and intellectual scene.
Nevertheless, it is always good to look at such high degrees of positivism with a bit of suspicion, as many theorists as diverse as Habbermas and Foucault have suggested time and again. In order to do so, I suggest you to look at some of the less highlighted consequences of the free market and the integrated Global economy. For example, if we take up the case of farmers in India, we can clearly see how the free market has failed them; or to take another Indian example, how the Indian government’s refusal to abide by the WTO patent regulations regarding the pharmaceutical industry has saved so many lives in India and several poor countries has shown how free market can actually be detrimental to welfare. So always, a slight inward looking economic policy may not have such a bad consequence, as not everything can be standardized globally.
The trade wars and rising of interest rates may at the first glance seem like a very grave situation for the global economy, but if we take a look at the consequences of these on the ground we may not notice any signs of a global crises as it is made to be in the international media. We may see that there is a rapid fluctuation in the financial markets but on the other hand a majority of the population is left unaffected as a result of such fluctuations.
Welfare and socio-economic development are definitely very closely related and when Trump wants to cut down on the welfare spending it may seem like a very nasty step but at the end of the day the whole concept of welfare is a form of support for the corporatized Bulwark of the modern liberal economic and political systems which wants goes on perpetuating a lopsided developmental process. Therefore in the end such cuts may play a role of speeding up the process of a rebellion which is brewing among the 99%.
And this is the reason why I primarily like Trump and the European Right wingers. These political agents by their blatant disregard for the established insulations, created for the peaceful running of the plutocracies, act as a kind of catalyst for some significant change which is inevitable. Basically by aligning with the populist and conservative demands of their respective constituencies these extreme right wing agents are actually sowing the seeds of an actually open society devoid of unnecessary bureaucracies. And this ultimately is in the interest of the majority. People who are presently intimidated by the apparent flux created by these radical leaders, I suggest should put faith in the homeostatic nature of social processes, which will ultimately attain stability.
P.S. – However, it is important to make it clear that the rise of the European Right Wingers or Mr. Donald Trump (which originated very organically from the socio-economic circumstances) is much different from the South Asian Right Wingers. The rise of the Right Wing in South Asia is essentially a nasty phenomenon rooted in very artificial philosophies instilled in the collective psyche through propaganda of fear and prejudice and needs to be curbed.
Arnab Charaborty studies Sociology at Jamia Millia Islamia. The views expressed are personal.