Philippe Legrain says Donald Trump’s election as US president endangers the liberal international order of his wiser, broader-minded predecessors

Philippe Legrain says Donald Trump’s election as US president endangers the liberal international order of his wiser, broader-minded predecessors

By Philippe Legrain*

So much for the end of history.

Twenty-seven years to the day after the fall of the Berlin Wall heralded the collapse of communism in Europe, Donald Trump’s election as US president endangers the liberal international order that his wiser, broader-minded predecessors crafted.

Trump’s “America First,” anti-“globalist” agenda threatens protectionist trade wars, a worldwide “clash of civilizations,” the peace in Europe and East Asia, and further violence in the Middle East. His nativist and authoritarian views also undermine the shared values, faith in liberal democracy, and assumption of benign American hegemony on which the rules-based international system depends. Already in relative decline, the United States is now poised for an angry retreat from the world.

Optimists hope that Trump didn’t mean what he said during the election campaign; that he will surround himself with seasoned internationalist advisers; and that his wilder instincts will be tempered by the checks and balances of the US political system. Let’s hope so. But nothing in his temperament suggests as much. And with Republicans retaining control over both the Senate and the House of Representatives, Trump will have a freer rein than most presidents. That is especially true in trade and foreign policy, where US presidents enjoy much greater discretion – and where the damage he could do is potentially huge and enduring.

Start with trade. Globalisation had already stalled in recent years. Now Trump threatens to throw it into reverse. At the very least, his victory kills off the faint hopes of concluding the two jumbo trade deals that Barack Obama’s administration had been negotiating: the completed but unratified Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with 11 Pacific countries, and the stalled Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union.

Trump has also pledged to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico. Worse, he wants to slap tariffs on Chinese imports, which would doubtless provoke a trade war. He has even spoken of pulling out of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the multilateral rules-based trading system.

Such an agenda would not only threaten a global recession. It would also tempt regions to split into rival trading blocs – a worrying prospect for a post-Brexit Britain seemingly intent on tearing itself away from the European Union to go it alone. In Asia, the collapse of the TPP, from which the Obama administration unwisely excluded China, paves the way for the Chinese to build their own trading bloc.

Trump’s victory threatens East Asia’s security as well as its economy. By retreating from free trade and casting doubt on US security guarantees for its allies, he could prompt Japan, South Korea, and others to race to acquire nuclear weapons to protect themselves against a rising China. The Philippines is unlikely to be the last country in the region to conclude that cozying up to China is a better bet than relying on an increasingly isolationist America.

Trump’s victory also undermines Europe’s security. His admiration for Vladimir Putin, Russia’s authoritarian leader, is alarming. Putin laments the break-up of the Soviet Union, wants to recreate a Russian sphere of influence in the country’s neighborhood and has already invaded Georgia and Ukraine. Trump’s suggestion that his commitment to defending NATO allies is conditional invites Putin to go further.

The Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, NATO members that were once part of the Soviet empire and have substantial Russian minorities, are most at risk. While a common external threat ought to drive the EU to increase defense spending and deepen its security cooperation, EU-skeptic, austerity-hit European voters may have little appetite for this. Indeed, many European governments seem tempted to seek to appease Putin, rather than stand up to him.

Trump’s outright racism, hostility to Hispanic immigrants, and Islamophobic rhetoric threatens a culture clash – and even violence – within America. It could also set the stage for the “clash of civilizations” of which the late Samuel Huntington warned. Bullying Mexico to try to force it to pay for the huge border wall that Trump wants to erect would be an act of hostility against all Latinos. Casting Muslims as enemies – and denying them entry to America, as he vowed during his campaign – would be a powerful recruiting sergeant for the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, as is suggesting that the US ought to seize Iraq’s oilfields for itself.

Perhaps the most enduring damage will be to America’s soft power and the appeal of its liberal democracy. The election of a racist president with fascist tendencies is an indictment of America’s political system. Trump himself has shown himself to be contemptuous of democracy, saying he would not accept the election result if he lost and threatening to jail his opponent. Chinese officials will not be alone in thinking that a system where lies, hatred, and ignorance trump sober deliberation is defective. America is no longer the “shining city upon the hill” that successive presidents have proclaimed it to be.

Anti-establishment insurgents now have the wind in their sails. In the wake of the financial crisis and wrenching economic change, many voters have understandably lost faith in Western elites, who seem incompetent, corrupt, and out of touch. They also, wrongly, blame immigrants for their problems and feel threatened by social liberalism. In the absence of positive alternatives to a deeply flawed status quo, the risk of an even greater backlash is high. Unlikely as polls now suggest it is, Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front may well win France’s presidential election next May. That would deal a hammer blow to the euro, the EU, and the West.

Liberal internationalists cannot afford to be complacent.

Trump’s victory is a disaster – and it can get much worse than this.

We need to defend our open, liberal societies and offer positive changes to win back anxious voters.

Philippe Legrain, a former economic adviser to the president of the European Commission, is a visiting senior fellow at the London School of Economics’ European Institute and the author of European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics are in a Mess – and How to Put Them Right. Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2016, published here with permission.

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Give up already, It's over, in case you missed it not everyone shares your views or insists that things be done your way. Grab yourself an "END IS NIGH" sandwich board and go have your tantrum elsewhere so those with purpose can progress without your unhelpful handwringing.

Trump's son as potential cabinet pick?

Donald Trump's children have been floated for possible roles within his administration, with Donald Trump Jnr mooted as a possible Cabinet Secretary.

Apparently his 10 year old is really good with computers. Should be a shoe in for director of the NSA

Not much different from Bush's son becoming president.

The sun rose OK.

Iraq was invaded, Afghanistan, the Middle East destabilised, millions dead, US debt and unemployment took off.
Yeah, the sun still rose, but set on a lot of bodies.
Wonder if Trump's offspring will be Senators/Presidents come to think of of it

Ha ! I like the cut of yer gib there Spinach.......To the Clintons I would only say ....This is what happens when the apathetic come out to play........and the presumptuous watch in disbelief....If it was a sitcom ,you couldn't sell it to the networks..ha ha ha


Cannot agree with much of this. The "liberal wise international order" that he refers to here is wishful thinking. It led to poverty and high unemployment in Europe, the rust belt in the US and Britain and increasing poverty in many other countries including good old NZ. I suspect that the "wiser broader minded" (elite) he refers to may have to live with out their padded easy lives - better learn to live without the cheap meals and house help and the cheap overseas holidays and toys. All strength to Trump. Well done.

They can stick their left-wing socialist " liberal international order " right up their ....................


Maybe it's time to sit back and contemplate the reasons for Trump's win instead of throwing a hissy fit? Failure to compromise and an absolute faith in wrong ideas resulted in Hillary's humiliating defeat.


Obviously so many 'silent' voters were tired of the status quo. It will be interesting to see whether he can do what he says or whether the oligarchs are really in control. There was Brexit in England. Will it be Marie Le Pen next in France? Italy? Hungary votes soon on the Immigrant issue - I think. The people are speaking. Perhaps this is a world revolution. There is hope, only a hope, for Syria now. It will be interesting next year here too. Maybe there are enough people who are sick of our snake oil salesman leader!! Winston Peters will benefit. We may see our first real MMP parliament. Ooh such interesting times


What a load of garbage. Somebody was obviously listening to the media a bit too much.


Are the days of the information manipulators ie Politians and Media changing substantially? Now the man on the ground has access to as much information as the "manipulators" so the wool over the eyes doesn't work.
May be Donald Trump is smarter than many gave him credit. After all he has just beaten the greatest political machine in the world.

A very smart cookie, knew which buttons to push to get the votes of the average very patriotic very gullible American of very low IQ, and correctly estimated that enough had that visceral hatred of Clinton.
Was after the Presidency and power, knew how to get it, and is interested in one thing only: Donald J Trump.
Now we will see what he will actually do , next year.

No one with an above average IQ voted for Trump... Care to cite your source?

Wild assertions about voter IQ there ...............

Not really, the voting base for Trump was mainly non graduate rustbelt so called working class heroes, while Dem voters had more education..
?99% of yanks think they have above average IQ, how bout you??

Graduate does not equal intelligent.

But there is a correlation.Duh.

Agreed......not if you are a Trump university graduate....

Kiwichas is simply wrong on this, but it does serve as a reminder of the snide attitude that helped bring Americans to the polls in order to give the liberal establishment a good kick in the teeth.

But the media are all telling me Trump voters are largely less educated(dumb) and white.Could they be wrong??


It's people like this writer that make you realise just how important democracy is. Even after the election, people are saying "no you're wrong, you should have voted the way I did".
If anything, this is a huge win for democracy, regardless of who you wanted to win. A man who wasn't a politician, and who had different ideas than both major parties, put his hat in the ring and people voted for him.

Gullible well meaning nice people need to be careful who they vote for; reminds me of the fable about the boy and the snake.
Which Trump cynically used in his election campaign, the snake being a metaphor for Syrian immigrants

The boy(voter) replied to the snake(Trump) "Hey! You bit me, you said that if I'd help you out(vote), that you wouldn't bite me!"

The snake replied "But you knew what I was when you (voted) picked me up!"


What an incredibly arrogant twisted piece of dribble....

I agree


Who is this crack pot still peddling the globalist agenda.
It is in fact the globalist's agenda that threatens a "world wide clash of civilisations, the peace of Europe & East Asia & further violence in the Middle East".
America's 'Pivot to Asia' is an attempt to contain China by militarising the pacific region with Australia buying submarines etc and being advised by American military strategists that it must ultimately choose between America or China. Japan has recently changed its laws to allow expansion of its military with American support.
Confrontation with China by USA military over the South China Sea with fly over's and naval patrols all in an effort to contain China.
The same for Russia with America recently placing missiles on Russia's border, substantially increasing NATO forces and equipment as we speak, again placed directly on Russia's border, organising a coup in Ukraine etc.
What peace in the Middle East is this man talking about. Despite Obamas constant 'no boots on the ground 'policy in Syria we now see American forces being used. ISIS exposed as being supported by Saudi Arabia in the wiki leaks emails and yet America is supporting it's allie in bombing Yemen, supplying the hardware and intelligence ignoring the UN describing it as a war crime. America's efforts at regime change in Syria continue so that it together with Qatar, Saudi Arabia can control the energy supply to Europe rather than Iran, Syria and Russia.
The Middle East is a war zone and will continue to be until America changes it's foreign policy. It truly is the empire of chaos with its global hegemony. It has never been the worlds policeman but rather it's dictator. Wars in Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria etc for what.
"Benign American hegemony". What a joke.


This comment contains more facts than the whole hack article. "Philippe Legrain, a former economic adviser to the president of the European Commission" what a shill.

So you are quite comfortable with Iran, Russia and Syria controlling the oil supply?
And a full on invasion of the Ukraine, and smaller states.Quite happy giving a KGB thug the green light (As April Glaspie did to Saddam??)
Ecstatic over China building military islands??
Praying for Communist China to expand?(remember they are still Communist, and idolise Chairman Mao still, probably the greatest mass killer ever)
Checked your little red book today???

They've been there done that 'line' already;

Hills tried to run it again - it didn't work.

"Isms" are one thing, facts are another, perceived risks can be real; a matter of getting the right balance.
Georgia, Crimea, East Ukraine, Syria are real; why not make the USSR great again??
I would not think HRC would able to project nuances without alienating anybody, anywhere in the world; as you say it didn't work well for her(although I see she still has a slim majority) to say the least.
We'll see what Trump&Co actually do, hopefully something better as far as peace goes.

So you are quite comfortable with Iran, Russia and Syria controlling the oil supply?

Haven't you heard!? Oil is not important as we live in a 'digital economy'. Just put some 0's & 1's in your car and you'll be right.

Wow. I mean, how dare Syria control what's going in their own back yard. Moreover, Iran is fighting an existential threat in the form of isis and sunni hostility. But here's kiwichas to cast aspersions and belittle the issue with comments on little red books.

"Iran is fighting an existential threat in the form of isis and sunni hostility."
And American and Israeli hostility you might add.
You will recall your idol, Trump, wants to get tough on Iran.(inviting war with Russia)
Or says he does.
No one(except Putin) condones what Assad has been up to, he has to kill a whole lot of others, as well as Isis for his personal survival. But his demise, as wrongly predicted by Obama, would/could cause instability also. Knocking off Middle East dictators seems a cure that is quite a lot worse than than the(fairly severe) disease.
Bear in mind that Russia has long strived for influence in Iran, cold war and all that.
Very glad I am here and not there!!

no kiwichas, trump is not inviting war through iran hostility. read iranian press and commentary too, (i have a translator) iranians favour trump to hawk hillary

Syria control it's own back yard? The Syrians were doing just that and had almost got rid of their ruling dynasty, until russia swept in and propped up Assad.

yes, syria in control of their territory. what do you not understand about that.

Well don't actually see floods of American or UK citizens wanting to immigrate to Syria or Yemen.
So the West must be doing something right.

Yes the West does do things right and the struggle is now on to keep it that way. I think that is what Brexit and Trump is all about essentially.

Real money.....thoughtful ,easy to understand comment on what would have taken Kissenger a manuscript to deliver. Diplomacy has always been,... and will continue to be..... The Art of saying nice doggy until you can pick up a f*%#ing big stick.......... nothing benign about it.....stripped back to English that even undergrads can digest.
That is where he hit them....that is where he hurt them...hilariously the apathetic voted, while the presumptuous watched in shock and confounded awe.

Traditional conservatives are now Anti-establishment insurgents.
Why not call us "enemies of the people" or "counter revolutionaries" ?


How many lemons were consumed in the writing of this?


Those so called wiser and broad minded predecessors are partly responsible for the US being in the turd now.


Trump had to take on
His own party - the Republicans
The Democrats
The Media
The Tech giants such as Google and facebook
Soros and his mates
The complete establishment


And you still don't get it. I can only feel sympathy for you

You forgot the pharamceutical industry.

Trump is awesome,
Love it!

You say
In Asia, the collapse of the TPP, from which the Obama administration unwisely excluded China, paves the way for the Chinese to build their own trading bloc.

Psss, i will let you into a secret.

China has already built its own trading block and that was under Obama. It is called "The new silk road"

Pss i will let you into another secret

China also set up their own new world bank and they have the BRICS

Can i suggest you do some reading to catch up.with what is happening in the world


I would share a few thoughts. but firstly to say that I am not white male, I am migrant and been through Uni , so I am not the so called typical Trump supporter . I personally dislike his personality style and am well aware of his past . I am not his supporter .
I believe that we have to separate his personality from his proclaimed agenda.Trump has just tapped in to voters a anger and frustration and it reflects deep systemic problems that no one wants to address. The status quo has to change and no one in main parties had tempted to do anything about it so unfortunately voters had no choice but Trump.

From somoeone on the ground who just messaged me. "The KKK are wondering around open;ly in their garb dress kinda celebrating. they have hung banners form motorway bridges. Any minority group around here, be it gays, mexicans etc are actaully damn scarred" He messaged from texas. We are only seeing what msm want us to see (as usual). But make no mistake, Trump has opened a sore and has potentially given the right wing red necks open license to hate and persecute. I hope this does not spread, but he has stimulated and authenticated evil.

Pics or It Didn’t Happen.

..I may have to wthdraw and apologise Zachary! I know understand the KK hting is being disputed. My kiwi friend has lived there 6 years plus and he has always struggled with the open level of hate towards minority and liberals. It has risen to a new level, fanned by Trump over the last few months. Makes him sick, to the point he will be leaving the country shortly.

Although that may be the result of trumps election it would be wrong, I think, to push it as a reason for the vote. Infact these type of festering sores are a direct result of the "wiser, broaderminded".


Globalism is only working for the rich, powerful and the multinationals. In case you haven't noticed, the fair share of the benefits has not "trickled down" to the man on the street.
The greedies have gone too far and if they get crucified in the process, serve them right.
Having said all that it will be interesting to see if he actually changes the economy in the ways that his voters expect. Everything in his past behaviour indicates that he will further increase disparity. One thing is however clear and that is that the present system is working against the average person and the voters are as mad as hell, so if Trump does not deliver, then the voters will continue on a path of politically smashing things up until the system changes.

Under Trump it is likely that there will be a trickle up, remember Ronald Raygun??

Life expectancy for the masses has increased over the last 50 years, as has access to electricity, drinking water, telecommunications, internet, travel & healthcare.

Please elaborate on trickle down "not working". As far as I'm aware under trickle down everyone gets richer in absolute terms even if the "equality" reduces because the hardworking and/or intelligent get richer more quickly.

The middle class of 50 years ago would have been lucky to have more than 1 TV & telephone, these days even the poor have multiple TVs and cellphones. 50 years ago mothers made ballgowns for their kids, these days even the unemployed buy ballgowns instead of making them. 50 years ago eating out was a rarity, these days even the poor are frequent customers of restaurants such as KFC.


While we are at it...50 years ago, you could:
- buy a house on 1 salary and pay it off in 15 years
- have the wife stay home and raise the kids
- have job security
- have a decent pension

I'd trade that for an extra TV


Yep, you got it.

Don't spoil his rant!

You need to compare areas of equivilant population density when looking at affordability across time. There are still places in NZ where the dole is enough to afford a mortgage! An average wage earner in the regions (let's say a teacher) can easily make over 80,000 a year which is enough to raise a family on in the regions.

The cost of housing in particular has been inflated by over regulation. There was a time when you could get the mates round for a beer and put up a house over the weekend then move into it the following day!

The teacher's pay scale doesn't even go up to $80,000.

$76,000 + $4,000 per unit + $8,000 for a specialist + $1,000 for each level of management duties.

A teacher who takes even just 1 after school activity should easily get to $80,000.

If you want some real data on the effects of trickling in America - you can't get better that this;

In summary the current generation spends more on higher spec homes, health insurance, more cars per family, daycare (where mom works instead of staying home) & Taxes.

Kate: As always - brilliant links - Elizabeth Warren

Fundamentally, and I can this in the deplorable age, we want to keep our privileges, we want to keep our 'unearned' wealth and 'unearned' status. Throughout the ages this has been the most important thing. Much blood has been spilled over this which, incidentally, has been the price traditionally paid for such things. It is still a 'Game of Thrones' world despite what intellectuals would have you believe.

Kate's link below answers your question pretty well. But for another perspective, try this
It shows how since the 60's the very wealthy have captured most of the USA'S increase in wealth.

Yes, just another propaganda piece of the like that were thankfully ignored in the American election.
I dare say the establishment will try the same in our coming elections however I suspect we are a better informed as a people than in the past.


The writer of this article is a committed totally open borders advocate.
He has written a book called Open World. Immigrants:Your Country Needs Them
Here is an article where he advocates that Europe completely opens its borders:
Open Up, Europe! Let Migrants In

Surprise surprise, another rootless technocrat preaching about their wonderful international world order. These people have some real chutzpah.

Excellent article.
Well excellent in that it brought forth so many brilliant comments 95% of which I agree with therefore making them right.
Utter arrogance of the establishment thinking the "uneducated" non thinkers etc would either not vote (cause they're all lazy anyway) or vote their way because they are right. I might despise Trump but I'm starting to depose these wise and educated persons even more.

Some introspection is needed here .................... all you idiots who have lost the plot need to ask yourself why so many rational educated Americans voted for Trump ?

America is in decline .

Trump offers change , a break from this neo-liberal nonsense , a chance to restore the shine to America , the opportunity to feel confident about the future.

Yes, the Trump movement will get it done. They have absolute power now. House, Senate, Exec.
The average American voter is a lot smarter and informed than the 'mainstream media' realised.
They will undo 8 years of Obama nonsense within days of taking office.
God bless the USA.

Correct , its time to stop the rot of the decline of that beautiful country into a socialist swamp run by left-wing do-gooders.

Trump is the only hope .

Clinton would have been just more of the same , presiding over the spectacular decline

Boatman - the decline will happen regardless. Because ...
-The United States cannot “produce”—ie have full employment—while everyone else “consumes”–because the USA is a high wage economy. China could do it because their wage dynamic was the other way round. Now they are bust too.
Trump is promising to produce high wage goods, and sell them to low wage people.
-There is little or no awareness that America, and by definition the rest of the developed world, does not have a crisis of politics and politicians, it has a crisis of energy depletion
-The American Dream , insofar as it ever existed, was a construct of cheap hydrocarbon fuel. Nothing else. From that derived all the products that kept millions of people employed. It was a fuelburn that continued after WW2, until 1970 when the USA went into oil deficit.
Employment and wage increases in any real sense is impossible without fuelburning and heat dissipation. (hence global warming).
Unfortunately all the cheap fuel has gone, but Trump is promising to kickstart the economy (job creation) by using expensive fuel, of which he has convinced himself there is literally unlimited amounts—there isn’t.
So over the next 4 years, when the steel mills of America do not reopen, and the jobs do not materialize, the American people will realize they’ve been had—and get very annoyed. Especially as more and more of them get poorer and poorer.
So by 2020, when things have got infinetly worse, and the economic system is in a tailspin, (or maybe well before then) civil disorder is highly likely as it becomes obvious that things are worsening."

Well said H&E.
America voted for change, and good for them.
However, they voted without understanding the consequences. Watch for massive QE when the poorly thought out populist policies prove to be unworkable.

If you think trumps policies will lead to prosperity you are mistaken. Protectionism will not work, why does America want to be making simple every day things while their value added items can't be exported due to retaliation tariffs. The rest of the world will be trading away while the states become less and less relevant.

This election shows that journalism is a broken pursuit , and has become disconnected from its readers and viewers ............... Just how could the big American News and Media outlets get the mood of so many people so wrong ?

The attacks on Trump were unsurpassed , every media outlet went hell for leather to portray him as an ogre

Even Interest was not balanced in its reporting , the anti-Trump vitriol and tone was everywhere on this site , quick to discredit Trump , quick to regurgitate the lies and made up stories about Trump comIng out of the US, quick to predict financial disaster , quick to predict that Trump would NEVER win , you guys got so caught up in this , you could not see the wood for the trees

If nothing else , it show the media believes its own bull$#!t , and we should definitely not just accept or believe the rubbish they sprout without questioning and probing

I think it just proves that people are more stupid than you expect

Trump won, get over it.

It seems the liberals cannot/do not value this “freedom of choice thing”, and are often found disrespecting their fellow countrymen (and each other) who have a different world view. I notice that Ms Clinton did not even turn up to thank her many supporters who worked tirelessly for her during the campaign. Class act. Not the actions of a good leader. Bullet dodged!

Give her a break, she was crying and trying to compose herself.
She was in no state to address the nation.

Plus, she was probably trying to figure out which country to flee too.
She will be prosecuted and put in jail if she stays in the USA.

Crooked Hillary , thank God she did not win . She is just awful

Trump is "The stuff off legends".

As I said many, any times before, it is time to wake up to reality.

Why should America allow China to cheat in international trade the way it does , sweeping up all the US$ from exports and giving its people useless non-tradebale Yuan in exchange ?

Why should Trump give a toss about Chinese workers when American workers are unemployed ?

The Chinese themselves dont care about Chinese workers , so why should Trump care?

I think the tradeabale yawn were shipped to NZ in droves, containers and put into houses, but I could be wrongg.

My spelling is atrocioush, but my eyesight, purrfect.

The tradeabull swaps, were also used for buying up ourfarmmes and lifestock, but I culd bey mistook.

I am not going to comment.(For once).

But this is a must read. Over and over again..Gives one a perspective.

Legrain ignores the obvious. Which is that Russia / Putin have been demonising the United States, because the United States always needs to have an enemy. Hillary Clinton, for example wanted to declare a no fly zone over Syria, and shoot at Russian planes that did not obey. Why ? Start a shooting war ! Why ? Doh ! Describing Russia as invading Crimea is at best misleading. It was just another ugly ethnic dispute which is largely unsolvable.
Trump explicitly has declared he is not into the warmongering and stirring Russia up. Lots smarter, and lots safer for us.
Legrain gets it back to front. For many years the USA has stomped uselessly into places, leaving them worse off as they left. Trump says clearly he can't see the reasoning for this.
There is actually a small chance that with a change of attitude that Trump suggests, the hatred of the USA that they have fostered for fifty years might settle down a bit.
D.C. Next time this Legrain offers you an article - I suggest you give him a miss.

Another article missing the point.

They didn't learn from Brexit, and now it seems they haven't learned from Trump either. The same old lines are still trotted out, it not our pollies, or our policies. It is the voters, they are all stupid, sexist, racist, homophobic pigs, and should not be able to vote as they always get it wrong.

Will they ever understand?

Italy is next in early December. So it wont take long to see.

But I'm not holding my breath.

Mr Chaston, why bother publishing this alarmist, liberal elitist drivel???

Hopefully Winston will do a Trump:
- cut immigration
- stamp duty on foreign property buyers
Winnie, do a Trump, stand up for kiwis not the elite and foreign interest!

"......endangers the liberal international order that his wiser, broader-minded predecessors crafted."

Wiser! Really! If they were that wise we would not have ended up with the mess we have had for the last 8 years, and continue to face. In fact we would have not gotten into the mess.
Only one of the Liberal Elites, Academics or Political Ruling Classes would have the arrogance to assume that they are right and the majority of voters is wrong.

As a conspiracy theorist, I believe Donald and Hillary and even Putin and a few others got together got together and worked out a plan.

I wish I had thought of it first.

(It has only just occurred to me, as it has only just occurred to them in the past year.)

Let us call it "The Great American Dream, Nightmare".

A world dominated by the New USA World Order. No sweat equity, let the other bastards around the the sweating.

Rig the elections, so that Trump wins, the market drops like a stone and then those in the know, buy up at pennies on the dollar.

The exact opposite of what they have been doing for the past few years.

No longer pump and dump, then pump and dump again...cos...that no longer seemed to working. The markets have been going nowhere for a while. Drift up, slow down.
Pump Oil, don't pump oil. etc.

No...they needed an even bigger ploy...rig the Markets up large and down.

So the Don and the Clingons tried for a year to diminish the one and promote the other...pretending to hate one, then the other....Either way, someone was gonna lose.

Putin joined in....sending in the fleet etc.

It did not really matter who, the rigging was easy as the ship sailed backwards and forwards, on troubled waters.

And it was all the rest of the Worlds investors who cut and ran, when Donald was called to account.

Investors then turned to Gold, like they were meant and suckered to do...and boosted the Gold up large and mighty.

Then those in the know, hauled back into the Markets with even more make believe dollars, thereby boosting the markets in their favour.

And when Gold slumped again as the tide turned, they then counterfeited some more dollars and slipped back into pure Gold, ready for the next hype and dump, thereby coming up Trumps, all around.

You saw it here first folks...Know when to hold em,know when to fold em......the American Dream, come true.....but a nightmare for Trumped up charges, as never before. Then Hillary doubles down on Trump.

Marginally possible....Trillions in the market, free dollars, free as a bird, no court charges, no names, no pack drill.....and all mates, winning and working together... FBI, clinched the deal.

Putin now in love with The DON.

Except who would have thunk it....Now they are best of friends....kissing up and making out like .....Bandits.

I am gonna sell this story to the papers....Any offers Mr Fox...or CNN, I do not care who pays me.....but the Advertising........fees, could be stupendous.

The Movie rights...even more so.

Works for me.....Maybe worked for them.??????

And in support of the above...Icahn see who is one of the main henchmen.

Or is he just an opportunist, spending wisely, before the crash.?? Maybe he saw the writing on the Wall. Now streets ahead.

V telling comment stream. Many very sympathetic to the Trump way.
The article is a well thought out piece of the dangers of populism and the avoidance of the real issues.

Seems compensation for the jobs lost to automation, cheap overseas labour / plants was considered by JFK in 1962, but not implimented.
Clearly advances of globalization punished the low skilled jobs disproportionately.
This is the real task. Electing populist petty leaders will not do the job. In the case of trump his lack of attention span, and reliance of his gut, mean he struggles with complexity.

If Trump didn't cultivate being a populist and petty leader he wouldn't have got as far as he did. Think about that. That was really smart. Let's give Trump a chance to get on with it eh?
The demographic that voted for Trump could see clearly where open borders was heading and that was more wealth for the 1%, more domestic strife and the steady destruction of their privileges, infrastructure and ultimately their security, even their viability.
The writer of the above article, from the perspective of the demographic that voted for Trump, is either insane or an enemy.

Trump struggling with complexity is a good thing..!! That means he has to keep things simple.
AND.... maybe wisdom can come with old age..???
AND... maybe he knows how to hire people smarter than himself, where it matters..??
(I'm guessing these things.... after all, he has lived the ups and downs of being a property developer/businessman )

There nothing more dangerous than an intellectual who thinks they understand the complexity of things.
Academic Economists is a good example.

People with skin in the game tend to simplify things down to first principles, make their decisions and accept they have limited knowledge and wont get it right some of the time.... even alot of the time.
Thats why they respect mkt forces....

I have no idea about trumps attn. span..??

Not sure how u label Trump as Populist..???
For me... Tony Blair kinda invented populist Govt.... ( All about creating policy that generates votes )
Trump tends to polarize people...

Pureant... just in case u have not seen his policies...

I'm waiting for trump to choose his team...... AND... I dont like the idea of Jamie Dimon as treasury secretary.... that would suggest , just a continuation of things..

Good point about being a populist. You have revealed that here it is just being used as a smear word. Hillary sought to be popular with certain groups as did Obama. What politician would not want to be popular? Populist here just means trying to appeal to the middle/lower class whites and implying that's a really bad thing to do but all other groups, that's okay.

My meaning of Populist would be: using light weight points that can,t stand scrutiny, but appeal to the gut and fear. Points that if acted on would likely lead to unintended out consequences.

good explanation from Roelof. "People with skin in the game tend to simplify things down to first principles, make their decisions and accept they have limited knowledge and wont get it right some of the time.... even alot of the time."
That's why we need people with ownership. Instead in New Zealand we have a bunch of 'civil' servants who keep their foot on the throat of any productive advance.

Born in the USA...I was born in the USA.

OK...I concede...I will make a good host too....


For several years now I have rejected the notions of left and right on a political spectrum. I found that they no longer served any useful purpose and were increasingly counter productive to voicing the actual issues that people are polarised on. I recently came across an article that I found articulated my opinion on the matter very well but I can summarise for those who don't have the time to read.

The spectrum of left v's right served us very well during industrialisation. Those polarised positions ultimately gave voice to what needed to be heard and ultimately negotiated and compromised on, during that socio-economic period. But that period is over. The issues facing our current socio-economic period is globalisation and our political spectrum should be polarised on that issue. That is the main issue facing us all. This would facilitate the various issues of globalisation along the spectrum to be negotiated and compromised on, so that those effected (and that's pretty much everyone) have a legitimate voice and their experiences and interests represented;

While the political elite continue to try and stay wedded to the left/right spectrum, the world is already changing the discourse. Globalisation is what Brexit and Trump are speaking to. It's not about left or right anymore.

It's Anti-establishment insurgents vs Liberal internationalists! Choose your side.

I read the article in that link gingerninja and I wasn't very impressed. It talked about "identity politics" rearing its "ugly head" and about how it was a "virus". What rubbish, all politics is identity politics. How come these descriptions weren't used when 93% of African-Americans voted for Obama?

Anti-establishment insurgents vs Liberal internationalists? That would certainly also fit the same parameters as anti-globalisation v's globalisation as two end of the spectrum. I would say globalisation and corporate hegemony have caused the anti-establishment insurgency though, rather than say one and not the other.

I guess we can say that even Islamism, which I would identify as in part a reaction to globalisation, is also anti-establishment insurgency on that spectrum.

As for the use of the term Identity Politics... the dictionary definition is very explicit "a tendency for people of a particular religion, race, social background, etc., to form exclusive political alliances, moving away from traditional broad-based party politics". So I would argue that by that definition, not all politics is identity politics, in fact it's explicitly not. And I'm pretty sure that plenty of people did find it irksome that 93% of African-Americans voted for Obama but they just weren't represented in the mainstream media. I guess the difference might also be because Obama didn't say he was going to build a wall to keep out Mexican's or demand to see the birth certificate of a well vetted politician just because he had brown skin...or indeed anything remotely racially contentious.

But semantic pedantry aside surely the important question is.... what do the anti-establishment insurgency want to achieve? What will they replace the liberal internationalists with?

It transpired that Brexiteers had no actual plan for Brexit. Trump however, has at least put out a very explicit and detailed plan for his first 100 days. At this time, people don't seem to believe that he will act on this plan, or that he is even able to enact it. But time will soon tell. I'd put my money on Trump action before the Brexit team have even decided whose on their negotiation team.

If you read that article above you will see that it is Philippe Legrain that refers to Anti-establishment insurgents and Liberal internationalists.
I still maintain that all politics is identity politics. People vote for what they identify with. Knowing this fact the establishment has deliberately sought to manipulate how people view their identity. Cultivating the nonsense idea that "we are all immigrants" for example.

Well, if you reinterpret the phrase identity politics, to suit your own purpose then sure you can make "identity politics" mean whatever you want. However, for the sake of discussing it's use here, the author did clearly not mean it by your interpretation, but by the standard one.

And you haven't otherwise added anything to the discussion.

I see you writing all over Stating your opinion very strongly. Sometimes in a somewhat antagonistic way. You obviously feel very strongly on the matter, especially on this topic. So I would be genuinely interested. What do you want to achieve? What do you hope will happen politically?

What I am suggesting is that the establishment has sought to reshape the identity of the population into no-identity in order to retain political power. If a voter has no identity his vote is easily manipulated. Maybe no need to vote at all.

Fundamentally I am a radical conservative so I want NZ to remain the bastion of freedom it is and what I like to call "the best of all possible worlds". Loss of Kiwi identity and cultural Marxism threaten this. The Alt-Right needs to be acceptable politically in order to balance out the Far-Left.
Conserving our values can only be achieved through the threat of radical intervention.

Yes i'm inclined to agree with that. And that is what i've tried to articulate. The identity issue *IS* the issue that the political spectrum needs to use, not left v's right. We have moved so far past the left/right issues of industrialisation that both ends of the spectrum have completely blurred and therefore the actual issues of our current society have insufficient agency.

I'd be interested to hear what "radical conservative" means to you. Because it could be considered a somewhat oxymoromic term in some respects. Conservatism is by nature, *not* radical.

But if we assume that conservatism means the classic ideology of preserving existing systems, or reverting back to historical social institutions and systems... does that mean you are radically against the equal rights movement? Do you believe women should have no legal or political rights to equality? Or that LGBT people should have no equal rights? Do you wish to revert back to a feudal system where landed gentry own all the land and factories and workers have no rights? I mean how radical are we talking?

Anyone who honestly thinks that a country can prosper with tarrifs, lower taxes for the rich combined with higher govt spending, and a government controlled central bank, is nuts.
And anyone who thinks a country can be safer by encouraging guns, racism, and inciting wars is also nuts.
Good luck America.

Trump won, get over it.


Why not?

And, what makes you think he has won?

Whose face do you see when you click on this link?

President-elect of the United States

Trump has won the Presidency, the House and the Senate for the Republicans. I'd wager he has won the popular vote too if you discount all the illegals that voted for Hillary.

You imply that I care who the US president is, which I don't.
But if people believe that the US economy will be better in the long term from these kind of policies they are wrong.