ArpitGarg's Weblog

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Posts Tagged ‘right wing

The Era of Right Wing Populists

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trump_modi.jpgSometime back I called the current decade as the decade of right wing, across the globe. From Japan to India to US. But I would like to add a bit to my stance. It’s the era of right wing populists. Normally right wing politicians are known for fiscal control and anti-populism. The current crop of leaders from Abe to Modi to Trump are from right wing parties but the leaders themselves are populists. This mix of right wing and populism has lefts and liberals in a lurch.

What is to come in future is something to be seen, but I see some good at present. They are beyond the classical mold of right or left. Their parties are right but they themselves have no clear ideologies. They all like claps from the audience, hence populists. They shed the hardline approach of their parties and tread a middle path.

What this has done is broken the barriers. For long politicians in democracies has reaped benefits of a divided electorate. Liberals and Conservatives in US, Nationalists and Seculars in India. Political class likes to keep the people divided in these artificial silos. This fight helps them get elected over and ove. Due to this the Gandhi dynasty in India has prospered and so did Bush/Clinton dynasties in the West.

Modi and Trump, controversial figures in themselves have made people realize this division and how political class has benefitted from it. Don’t get me wrong, in destroying these old barriers, they have created their own. Hindus/Muslims in India to Black/Whites in US. We will have to wait and watch how it evolves.

Next question is, how does the right wing populism pan out. These leaders, since hard liners are able to take decisions which liberal/secular Govt. would never have taken. Currency ban in India to potential poll promises of Trump. In a sense right wing populists are able to take tough decisions. And it’s the decisiveness that people cherishes in them. In itself these leaders are tainted. But in toto they do what none dares.

As with other things, the effects of this right wing populist wave will be evident 10-15 years down the line. Maybe good, maybe bad. Currently we are in a transition era which comes once in a lifetime.

Written by arpitgarg

November 25, 2016 at 5:24 pm

Posted in Political

Tagged with , , , , ,

How do Right Wing win when their policies are unpopular?

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left_right.jpgFirst of all, to the uninitiated, what is right wing and left wing? Right wing parties are for open economy, no Govt control, no subsidy, no freebies, all private. They believe competition is better for economy. Work hard and get reward. Left wing parties are for equal distribution of wealth. They believe Govt should take control and provide help to the poor. Basic human right to food and shelter. Top 1% should not get all.

If you see Left speaks for the lower strata of economy, which makes the majority as wealth lies in the hands of top 1%. This makes Right wing beliefs unpopular, correct? Only prosperous people should be supporting them. By this logic Right wing parties should never be able to win any democratic election. But as you will see over the years, they do win. How are they able to get popular vote with their unpopular policies?

This question has confounded me too. But as always, there has to be an answer. Below is what I think. Right wing parties can never win a democratic election with their governance and economic policies. So they downplay these policies during elections. All Right (or center-Right), have a secondary poll plank, which they use to win election. It is either Security or God or Morality. Let me give you an example.

In United States, Republicans are the Right wing. Their secondary plank is Fear of Terrorism. They promise to keep the country secure with heavy hand. They stand for anti-abortion and anti-gay (they say it is anti-God). They have been able to drum up support on these issues over the years and have carried out their economic policies easily.

Even in India if you see, BJP, the Right wing, plays Hindutva card (their secondary poll plank), without which it will not be possible for them to win an election. Widespread corruption has also helped them as of now, to drum up support for their economic policies. However it will be tough in the long run.

I am not questioning either Right or Left economic policies here. What my intention is to understand how the Right has withstood the democracy. This has been the case historically. With time the anti-gay and anti-abortion rhetoric will subside. But playing on fear and immigrants will remain.

In last 200 years or so, with the advent of democracy, Right and Left both has started to move towards center. In my opinion they will become identical in due time. BJP’s decision to continue MNREGA and Food Security points to that. Advent of Liberal Donald Trump as frontrunner Republican in US is another classical example.

Written by arpitgarg

February 15, 2016 at 3:18 pm

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