I
t has been almost more than a week as Mr. Trump has stepped into the White House. These 7 days saw the fulfillment of few promises. The White House was ringing with Executive Orders. Repealing of Trans-Pacific Partnership, Sanctioning Keystone and Dakota pipelines and halting the flow of funds for organizations that support abortion. How can we forget The Mexican Wall?

That too to be built from the money of Mexicans as he propose to impose 20% tax on imports from their southern neighbor. Mr. Trump seems to be in a state of self-delusion. Suffering from hallucinations. Globalization for him is dangerous. Trade, harmful. He seems to start a new chapter in the history of world. While the world moves ahead he seems to cling to the ancient arte-facts of nationalism and protectionism-albeit, and thankfully, not in its extreme form.

In his famous essay The End of History, Mr. Fukuyama, heralded that history has ended and that liberal democracy has won. That this is the only path to success. And that religious extremism, fascism, nationalism and communism will be threat for the world in achieving this liberal democracy. But entering into a new era where nationalism is going international, we have to stop and stare, engage in a retrospective inspection and see whether Mr. Fukuyama was able to peep into the future and even if he did how clear did he see. We will see that the history didn’t ended. Riding on this tide of time our world is more dynamic than ever before. I do not see end of history rather beginning of a new one. The world is forging new ideas and new theories. It seems we have to work all our way back to the ‘end of history as Fukuyama proposed.

It comes down to liberals and conservatives and the trouble with the liberals is that they have considered it as a natural process. An idea configured as a default setting in the minds aiming for success and stability. There, what may be termed, nescience for their duty to defend and redefine liberalism is a cause that many are now turning their face away from it. European Union, which was considered a prototype moving towards the ideal future World System has started to move apart and there is a support for “illiberal democracy in Hungary, Poland and beyond”. As it happened the shock of Brexit sent waves across the world. The financial markets rattled. The political soul recoiled. Nobody saw it coming. Mr. David Cameron, erstwhile PM of the United Kingdom, in an interview with Bloomberg retorted rather light-heartedly when he was asked “what is the plan B is Brexit happens? He said “We don’t have a plan B”. This absence cements his or the Remain camps confidence that was to be shattered into pieces, hurting not only the image of EU but also the GBP and its economy.

This current resuscitated some of the dormant parties in other European countries who are now ready to use the fuming Xenophobia, refugee crisis and joblessness to peddle their rightist agendas and nationalist motives. French election in May and then later that year in Germany and Netherlands are in limelight now-a-days. Also, by the end of March, the awaited and complex process of triggering the Article 50 begins. Now a flight to Latin America. Disembark: turmoil, financial and political, greets you at the door. Venezuela is debt ridden and is about to see a referendum against the incumbent president. Brazil just impeached its Premier.

In the US there are claims to play with the tariff and immigration laws. In the chants and slogans of “Making America Great again” there is a suppressed echo of economic nationalism. The Chinese sacking a US drone, their claim of the South China Sea, now bolstered, albeit unofficially and illegal, with the creation of the artificial islands is now a cause of concern for the West---rise of a Communist country. The Russian annexation of Crimean peninsula brings nostalgia (however horrifying) of the World War eras. When the nations were inebriated with the expansionist agenda. The Saudi’s baulking as they refused to play the role of the swing producer and the lifting of sanctions from Iran. The fighting, the harrowing tales of the horrors in Syria, the rise of war crimes. A shift in the geo-political situation of the Middle-East is hence another concern. The failed coup in Turkey and then the “purge” that has followed is a blatant rebuke for the liberalist mind-set.

If liberal democracy is the only path and that any country that wants achieve sustainable growth has to resort to capitalism is an idea that does not seem to quite fit in today’s world. Instead of democracy, liberalism and free markets people, of –late, are more tilted towards nationalism (economic and political) and other forms of government. Inclusive and exclusive populism is on the rise. Europe is a home to both. Refugee crisis (exclusive) and Brexit (inclusive).

There is no end to history, it is and will be a continuous process. We will go back and reach ahead. In this game of past and future minds and ideas may feel nauseated. What needs to be done is to hone the human concepts of ‘freedom, liberty and dignity. We are moving towards a new epoch. Where Multinationals are in retreat and nationalism, xenophobia seems on its zenith. The people, technology, businesses, values and life as a whole is changing. There is a need to, once again, rummage the history and trace out the way which has led us here-Here, at the beginning of a new history.

Osama Rizvi

Independent Economic Analyst, Writer and Editor. Contributes columns to different newspapers. He is a columnist for Oilprice.com, where he analyzes Crude Oil and markets. Also a sub-editor of an online business magazine and a Guest Editor in Modern Diplomacy.

His interests range from Economic history to Classical literature.

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