Some US families and communities have been hard hit by globalisation but not because it's inherently bad. Rather globalisation's gains must be redistributed more evenly

Some US families and communities have been hard hit by globalisation but not because it's inherently bad. Rather globalisation's gains must be redistributed more evenly

By Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy*

The narratives of Donald Trump’s surprising US presidential victory are taking form. 

One of those narratives focuses on globalisation. By promising to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and banging on about punishing China for stealing American jobs, Trump was able to resonate with a voter base that has been left behind.  

(There is another narrative that says that he tapped into a lot of latent bigotry, and that narrative should not be ignored. Trump’s rhetoric has clearly enabled some altogether barbaric behaviour that cannot and should not be tolerated. But I digress.) 

On the face of things, it does appear that other countries gain more than the US from free trade. The Congressional Budget Office reckons that while NAFTA increased both US and Mexican gross domestic product (GDP), the percentage increase in Mexican GDP was between sixteen to twenty-one times the percentage increase in US GDP. 

With the US getting such a small proportion of the overall benefits, who could blame the self-styled deal maker for thinking that these trade agreements are a rip-off?  

Countries such as Mexico are, however, much poorer than the US, so such lopsided outcomes could be justified on social justice grounds alone. But it is understandably difficult to convince those left behind in the rust belt of America that their woes should be overlooked in favour of people in other countries.

But even if such redistributive arguments fall on deaf ears, we should not judge trade agreements solely in such narrow economic terms. The US gains a lot more from NAFTA than what is captured in those numbers, because the geopolitical benefits of trade agreements stretch beyond the simple maths of gross domestic product or employment. 

The long-term security of the US depends on it having a strong partner south of the border.

Mexico faces significant problems – many of which are fuelled by the consumers of narcotics in the US. While it is far from being a failed state, parts of the country are in chaos, and renegotiating NAFTA on less favourable terms for Mexico would be a big blow to its economy. Should the unthinkable happen and Mexico spiral down into anarchy, the US will be faced with a significant threat sitting on its border. And that would be a huge cost to American taxpayers – wall or no wall. 

In other words, it is in the interests of both Mexico and the US to raise living standards south of the border. Higher incomes mean more money in the public purse to plough back into law enforcement, education, health and infrastructure, creating a virtuous circle to pull Mexico further away from the lawlessness and misery created by its drug cartels. And a strong Mexico is less likely to need or accept assistance from other foreign powers – whose interests may not align with those of the US.  

What is more important is to realise that this does not have to be a choice between Mexico or the rust belt.  

Globalisation has indeed been tough for many families and communities in America, but this is not because globalisation is inherently bad; it is because the gains from globalisation have not been shared evenly. Put simply, there needs to be more redistribution. But that is no easy task in a country where the term ‘socialist’ is used as a pejorative.

The peso tanked on election night, vividly illustrating how Trump’s campaign rhetoric alone is already affecting the Mexican economy – and by extension America’s relationship with Mexico. That needs to be repaired – for the sake of both countries. Let’s hope that that President Trump is an altogether different prospect than Candidate Trump.

*Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy is a senior lecturer in economics at the University of Auckland. Prior to that he was a research economist in the Office of the Chief Statistician at the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) in Washington DC.

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There is alot in this article that I'm unsure about...

Maybe, Globalization as some kind of Social experiment, as a way to redistribute wealth, is part of the reason for both Brexit and Trump getting elected.

Maybe people perceive the whole "Globalization" thing as being driven by Multinationals and the 'bureaucratic mind"..

I'm not arguing for or against..... BUT.... If USA has a chronic Trade deficit with China, for example, and pays for that with "borrowed Money"..... HOW ON EARTH does that enhance the wealth of anybody in the USA...?? ( Sure, for a time, consumers can buy cheap trinkets)..

One of the unintended consequences of this might well be Global destabilization as a result of "China" becoming a Global Military superpower... Is China our friend..??.. and the USA becoming poorer.. ( it has massive debt )

I only say this in response to the above articles unusual comments about Mexico as if Globalization creates stability.???

The above article , in my view, is part of what the people of America might be reacting too...
Maybe they feel they have been sold a lie... in regards to the principles and benefits of so called free trade and Globalization...

Is it a healthy thing for a Nation to be relatively self sufficient..??
Should a Nation only export surplus production??
Should a Nation basically have "open borders".
Is the whole idea of "Nationhood" a very good thing.... ( and to what degree.??? )

There are plenty of intelligent questions to be asked and answered in regards to the long term value of Globalization..
Trouble is..... Joe Blogs...the public.... has never been asked a single question.... and maybe at some point Joe Bogs reacts in what the Author labels as a contempt for socialism..???

As a metaphor.. The family home is nice, and enshrines family values... but the idea of the "family unit" is old fashioned and we are really a 'global family".. From now on we have to allow others into our family homes...( and we have to support those who come into our home and have "needs" )..
If we accept that we have to have others in our own home.... should it be anyone..or should it be others that share our values??? etc...etc...

We have not voted on this...We have not debated this...had dialogue... it has simply happened.
Don't you think this is a big deal..??

What are the long term effects of this..?? what are the unintended consequences..?? etc.
( This is an off the cuff metaphor, so it might not be the best.... )

I dont really have a position on this as I have not given it much attention....and what I've written is just a response to this article....
BUT... there are plenty of questions that can be asked...

PS... Is it possible that some of Mexico's problems may be of their own making..???

"Is it a healthy thing for a Nation to be relatively self sufficient..??" Absolutely
"Should a Nation only export surplus production??" Not necessarily, but where the necessities go, perhaps
"Should a Nation basically have "open borders"." In a perfect world, yes, we aren't perfect, so no, but keep working toward it
"Is the whole idea of "Nationhood" a very good thing.... ( and to what degree.??? )" Without some degree of nationhood we couldn't have something like the All Blacks, but that is roundabout where it needs to stop.
And you are spot on to compare it all to the family home, because the reality is, it is all the same, just on a bigger scale, isn't it?
Are you old enough to remember the days when people could enter your home with little more than a "yoohoo, you got the billy on?" your doors weren't locked, no-one was a threat. Now we keep everything double locked at the front even though we are just out the back. I know which I preferred.

Good points and Questions ; just who is your government working for?

Some excellent analysis from Der Spiegel on this very subject:

"Now, in 2016, many people in Western, industrialized countries are worried about losing their jobs, their prosperity and that of their children. They see themselves as the losers of a development that has only helped the elite.
The belief that politics doesn't serve the body politic and that the economy doesn't serve the people has taken firm hold. That only corporations and the rich profit. And that globalization, with its open borders and freedom of movement for both goods and people, is to blame for it all. "Globalists" is the word Trump derogatorily uses for people who promote these values"

Also from that article:

Today, though, we once again find ourselves with a need for strong global institutions and global rules.

Sounds pretty scary to me.

never visited them before but der spiegel says it better than I ever could and without insulting anybody.

[ insults of anyone not acceptable here. Comment on the issues raised please. Ed]

Too early open borders of 'western' societies surely help influxes of populations that do not yet have the education, training and social conditioning or other factors that permit integration. In an overpopulated world little is being done to control such a problem. Permitting free influxes from societies that do not understand the urgent need for birth controls defeats our more forward thinking populations.

Open borders will mean the end of social welfare. Libertarians are okay with that apparently. Certain populations have very high birth defect rates as well.

Countries such as Mexico are, however, much poorer than the US, so such lopsided outcomes could be justified on social justice grounds alone.

I see, a social justice warrior.

Cherry picking at it's finest..

Not at all nymad. Actually the most significant two words in the article. See my explanation below.

I agree with your comment below.
However, mentioning 'social justice' <> "Social Justice Warrior"
That was the objection I had.

Fair enough. I was trying to condense my claim into as few words as possible however in accordance with the commenting policy I will, in future, endeavour to present more detailed and reasoned arguments.

how could we have open borders? If we opened our borders today what would our population be in 12 months time? 20 million?

It can't really be done unless we are all singing off the same songsheet, and by that I mean, we all share the same ideals where civil rights, education, the environment, secularity of society etc while retaining the freedom to follow religions - within reason. It will only be that way if no one country is more desirable than another other than for the climate, perhaps. Looks like pie in the sky, at the moment, it is pie in the sky, that is no reason not to work toward it, I'd like to be able to freely travel through other countries without hassle or danger.
It is inevitable if you look back and realise that once upon a time, villages fought with each other.

Where would you put them?

They would have to bring their own tents and blow-up matresses

Government and local councils would have to create tent cities

Mexico also has a southern border problem with hundreds of thousands fleeing places like Honduras and Guatemala and beyond. It looks like it will be necessary to provide "social justice" to all the countries south of the Mexican border also.
Honduran migrants: 'We left because we had to'

Well here's some social justice: Trump settles Trump University lawsuits for $25m
From BBC article:

The businessman faced three fraud lawsuits in California and New York.
During the election campaign, Mr Trump was criticised for saying that the California judge hearing the case could not be impartial because he is of Mexican heritage.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement: "Today's $25 million [£20m] settlement agreement is a stunning reversal by Donald Trump and a major victory for the over 6,000 victims of his fraudulent university.
"The victims of Trump University have waited years for today's result and I am pleased that their patience - and persistence - will be rewarded by this $25 million settlement."

How "Presidential" of Trump to fulfill his obligations, at long ...................last.
His "Victims" must be so proud of the Electoral System.
Now Mr Trump can miraculously change his ways????????????????.

(Or perhaps get impeached).

Good grief, could it be there will be a President Shapeshifter

CNN have some interesting points about how Trump policies could bolster China's regional clout. Worth having a look at:

And there's another relevant and eye opening article on the so called tax cuts for everyone in the US. How Donald Trump has promised tax cuts for everyone, but a study published by the Tax Policy Center suggests Trump's plan could actually raise taxes for millions of families.
Christine Romans breaks down the math:

Thks for the spiegal link ( in kiwidaves comment )
"As imperfect as they are," he said, they are the guarantee for prosperity. Isolation and attempts to defeat globalization, he said, were self-defeating. "Today, a nation ringed by walls would only imprison itself."

Somewhere in the middle is the commonsense approach.... The argument is not one vs the other... ie.. Globalization vs isolation..

For example,..too me, it seems like commonsense that Vancover City introduced a foreign buyers tax..... (sometimes there may be good reason to.... "put up walls"...)..

If we have environmental compliance laws in NZ, should we impose a tariff on imported products that are produced in a way that damages the environment ( even thou it is not our environment )...??? After all... competing NZ companies have these compliance costs to bear..??


Greenaway-McGrevy actually uses the slogan 'social justice' in this article. Strictly speaking people in other countries are not part of society so there are no grounds to pursue social justice with them. Social justice implies a social contract with citizens concerning distribution of a society's resources.

The idea of universal or international social justice is relatively new and was introduced by the Soviet Union!

Check this out:
The United Nations’ 2006 document Social Justice in an Open World: The Role of the United Nations, states that "Social justice may be broadly understood as the fair and compassionate distribution of the fruits of economic growth..."

The term "social justice" was seen by the U.N. "as a substitute for the protection of human rights [and] first appeared in United Nations texts during the second half of the 1960s. At the initiative of the Soviet Union, and with the support of developing countries, the term was used in the Declaration on Social Progress and Development, adopted in 1969."

The same document reports, "From the comprehensive global perspective shaped by the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, neglect of the pursuit of social justice in all its dimensions translates into de facto acceptance of a future marred by violence, repression and chaos." The report concludes, "Social justice is not possible without strong and coherent redistributive policies conceived and implemented by public agencies."

The same UN document offers a concise history: "[T]he notion of social justice is relatively new. None of history’s great philosophers—not Plato or Aristotle, or Confucius or Averroes, or even Rousseau or Kant—saw the need to consider justice or the redress of injustices from a social perspective. The concept first surfaced in Western thought and political language in the wake of the industrial revolution and the parallel development of the socialist doctrine. It emerged as an expression of protest against what was perceived as the capitalist exploitation of labour and as a focal point for the development of measures to improve the human condition. It was born as a revolutionary slogan embodying the ideals of progress and fraternity. Following the revolutions that shook Europe in the mid-1800s, social justice became a rallying cry for progressive thinkers and political activists.... By the mid-twentieth century, the concept of social justice had become central to the ideologies and programmes of virtually all the leftist and centrist political parties around the world...." LINK
Emphasis mine.

So even the UN agrees with me that it is a Leftist Revolutionary Slogan.

This is really the crux of the argument I think and it will lead to conflict. Nationalists believe social justice, in the sense of the distribution of wealth, only applies to citizens while globalists believe it should apply to everyone. Social justice ultimately means redistributing your wealth to foreigners. We are the global petite bourgeoisie when you think about it. The slogan is deliberately designed to sound kind of nice and appealing.

> This is really the crux of the argument

Nope. You missed the crux of the argument altogether, which was this:

> The long-term security of the US depends on it having a strong partner south of the border.

Do you disagree?

Yes I disagree. That just sounds like paying protection money to the Mob. The South, in a sense, is stronger than the North and has invaded the US. California used to be a paradise on Earth and now it is not. It is practically bankrupt due to social welfare payments.
I'd rather have chaos south of the border behind a strong and heavily defended wall than the Brazilification of the US.

The anti-open borders folk respect other peoples and understand that in many respects they can be stronger than us.

> Yes I disagree. That just sounds like paying protection money to the Mob.

So trading with Mexico is paying protection money to the mob? Both countries benefit. Trade is not a zero-sum game.

> I'd rather have chaos south of the border behind a strong and heavily defended wall than the Brazilification of the US.

How exactly does trade with Mexico lead to the Brazilifiation of the US?

It seems you would rather the US rip up its trade deal with Mexico, and thereby shrink its own economy by a small amount, and then start spending more public money on this massive wall as the Mexican economy and country falls apart. Having a hostile state right on your border is a massive problem, regardless of how big the wall is. Ask Israel. Or Russia.

I'm not opposed to trade with Mexico, it is the lop-sided trade deals that I oppose especially if it means your own disadvantaged folk suffer. Your own poor and jobless will end up in shanty towns like in Brazil.

The last thing Israel wants is strong neighbours. It's their hostility that is the problem. What would you rather have strong and hostile neighbours or weak and hostile neighbours? Some observers claim that Israel tries to keep its neighbours in a constant state of war and chaos to keep them weak and disunited.

And what Israel would give for friendly and strong neighbours. Which is what the U.S. has now with Mexico. Do you think that the U.S. should forgoe having strong and friendly neighbour on its border, rather than just do more to directly look after its own poor and jobless at home?

Those manufacturing jobs are never coming back, regardless of trade deals. Automation will ensure that. the only way Trump can employ those people is through a big government style employment program.

I don't think the US should meddle in the affairs of other countries. I don't think US culture will necessarily be good for Mexicans. Lop-sided trade deals should be avoided. It is currently lop-sided in favour of Mexico regarding labour rates anyway.

Not sure how having a trade deal with another country is "meddling" in its affairs. "Meddling" implies that you are doing something against its will.

Trade deals with poorer nations will always be lopsided. If you want each country to gain equally, you are asking for unfair trade. It's a moot point anyway: The idea that each person in each country could gain equally from a trade deal severely overestimates the power of government. Even the most steadfast communist would blush.

"Social Justice" is a Leftist Revolutionary slogan?

Nope. Not unless you consider the social democratic parties of the world to be leftist revolutionaries. That seems a stretch - it is not 1900 any more. Social justice is pretty mainstream these days.

Zac wants to peel it back so he and other white males can once again reign supreme, take all the cream, and declare that order has been restored. Equality simply means to him that he has to be disadvantaged to the point where other people might actually have a shot at things. We all should probably ignore

If we agree that "Social Justice" is a mainstream concept we should define exactly what it means. People may at first glance assume that it is about a fair hearing in a court of law or something like that. Technically it appears to mean that a society's wealth should be reasonably fairly distributed. In a globalsit world where borders have been broken down it starts to get very problematic. Should we apply our own social justice rules to the citizens of other countries? Especially when other countries currently have radically different levels of inequality. If you have two fairly equal societies with similar rules and a common border then it should work quite well. Canada and the US for example or NZ and Australia. All Western countries really and we see this being applied with no visas required when crossing between countries that have a similar economy and modern justice/welfare systems. But what if another country has huge wealth disparities and a large population living at subsistence level? I think social justice has to reach an acceptable level within partner countries before the social capital of a country can be shared. This incentive could be a way of encouraging the people of a foreign country to seek to improve their own lot before an open border is considered. What so often happens these days is that we seek to help the people of another country only to see the money line the pockets of their corrupt elites exacerbating the situation. poor people then seek to leave their own country in search of another place where social justice is better.

Zac I think you're dancing around the point without truly nailing it, and most others you're debating it with just don't get it.

Firstly NAFTA, with Mexico was really intended to provide a base for some economic growth in Mexico to slow or stop the tide of illegal immigrants into the US. This in itself demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of what would happen and brings me to my second point.

Globalisation and thus any free trade deal is not really about creating or preserving jobs. Look at the car factories that set up in Mexico. It didn't make the cars cheaper to buy, it just increased the profit margins for the shareholders. This is the nub of it. The major corporations have just used the free market principles to find places where they can make their good cheaper, increasing profits, at the expense of jobs. In most countries (if not all) they have focused on driving down labour costs, creating a newer form of slavery. Politicians of course think they are great and are oblivious to the real effects.

Thus Trump was seen as a good option as he identified the two things that were important to most voters - he told them he understood their plight and knew how to fix it (his comment about putting tarriffs on all cars made in Mexico), and because people in desperate plight need someone to blame - he blamed the political establishment, people of colour, women and anyone who disagreed with him. In other words he enabled peoples prejudices. Basically he broke all the rules.

NAFTA would never have created the results they wanted anyway as Mexico's ruling classes are too corrupt to allow it to happen, and the big corporations paid them off to allow them to do business the way they wanted to do it.

I don't think globalisation, in itself is a problem, it is how we have approached globalisation that has been the problem.
Of course, if you open borders, as has been done in the EU, people from the poorer nations would flood into the richer nations. And if we look at the history of mankind, or even just basic human psychology, we should have been able to predict, that at some point, enough would be enough for the native populations. Even without the suppression on wages that may or may not be a factor, just the very nature of having lots and lots of new people, strangers effectively, speaking a different language, behaving slightly differently, possibly having very different social and religious foundations etc of course that was eventually going to freach a critical mass and upset people.
Human beings are very capable of comfortably sharing cultures and language. Of exchanging ideas and even religions, but the way globalisation has occured has not been at a moderate pace. The advent of mass communication and globalisation have happened at the same time, fuelling the pace. Adding to the exposure of different and often clashing cultures.
And when cultures meet, it is not inevitable that they will simply blend in a nice fair mix. It is more likely, as history has demonstrated, that one will dominate the other.
Let's be honest here? When would that not cause dissatisfaction, fear and resentment? Who likes to see their culture disappearing in favour of a new dominating one. Of course that undermines peoples sense of idenity. That doesn't make every body racist, xenophobes, it makes them normal human beings. We evolved with fear reactions. We evolved to feel threatened in this way. And it is not always possible to rationalise it away.

Add to that, the fact that globalisation has also gone hand in hand with the advent of international corporations that even sovereign states can barely keep a handle on. That the capacity to abuse global wealth inequality, by manufacturing where the labour is at the absolute cheapest, where you can exploit to the very greatest extent to maximise profit. Where you can manufacture in one area, free from often basic human rights obligations or work safety legislation, and then sell to supposedly "rich" nation citizens, who an actuality aren't rich in capital, but saddled with debt. Which is also sending even more profit, into the multinational corporations and undermining peoples sense of security.

Lets be real here. Globalisation is the biggest issues facing us, ecologically, economically and psychologically.

Indeed, we need to stop it in its tracks right now. Even normal immigrants do not want open borders. This is why people are putting so much hope in Trump and why even Hispanics voted for him.
I see that things are progressing nicely with the Trump team. Trump has been very savvy with using the Internet. The Nerds and the Nationalists have teamed up! Now he has got Peter Thiel on the case using his computer skills to vet all potential team members:

We're vetting people and making sure they've been committed Trump supporters throughout the election,' said the source. 'Loyalty is very important to Trump, and there's been kind of a civil war within the party.

'So we want to make sure that the people who go into the administration are aligned with his vision and goals.'

The vetting process includes a heavy focus on social media. Insiders say they will be looking closely at prospective staffers' online postings – even ones they may have deleted. -LINK

Well, I'm not personally suggesting that Brexit or Trump are the best solution to the problem. They may just be extremely canny manipulators who saw an opportunity for a power bid and exploited it. I have no idea what Trump will do, but I certainly don't agree with much of what he has said, or the company he keeps.

That doesn't, however, mean that I am unsympathetic to the losers of globalisation (which at this point, is pretty much everyone, except the multinational corporation executives and share holders). I think that if you silence people for long enough, then discontent brews under the surface. And that we are past the point of just being able to slow down globalisation a bit and take time to consolidate the changes and adapt to what has already been a rapid, rapid change. Not to mention the rapid expansion of population also adding pressure to the system.

Sadly, I think that globalisation is going to go through a very, very ugly reshuffle, where all the previously dominant narratives will be challenged. As is also predictable. That a lot of values and beliefs will be reexamined and thrashed out again. And the dice will fall, where they fall. I won't put bets on what the outcome will be, apart from to say there seems to be a radical split between generations. So that will be a huge factor as time progresses too.

Brexit and Trump were the only solutions that could plausibly succeed. I don't even think people are that opposed to globalisation in the sense of an interconnected world, travel and sensible legal migration. What people are opposed to is a monstrous and stupid bureaucracy ruling the entire World, which to all intents and purposes is ruling the entire human Universe. Globalisation and open borders would require something like that. We can see on a smaller scale with the EU how problematic it is. Does no one read Orwell or Huxley anymore?

I think thats the most tragic thing for those who voted Trump / Brexit, that they have no solutions , only pretty slogans. I hope they are not the biggest losers out of this mess. Only time will tell.

You defend what you have or you lose it.

@Zachary: Perhaps you should read George Orwell's Animal Farm which is fitting for the current political climate and does reflect on how Trump is trying to manipulate the masses in to believing that he's 'A man for the people'; when he's certainly the most elitist of all and only on centre stage for his own ego.

Under Trump: Everything changes, everything remains the same!

I see it more as the C.S.Lewis fantasy novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Trump (Aslan) battles and defeats the White Witch (A hideous combination of Hillary and Miley Cyrus) who has ruled for 100 years of deep winter (Political Correctness).

Melania, Eric and Ivanka are Susan, Peter and Lucy of course.

Edmund represents the RINO (Republicans in name only) who eventually return to fight with Aslan.
Peter Thiel is Tumnus the faun.

A new and glorious age is ushered in and light and nobility is restored to the land.

Yep. Thort it would be something like that.

Fantasy being the operative word there

Not sure if Trump will have time to fight any time to fight political battles, since he's so regularly in court being sued for one reason or another. Do you know he and his companies have been sued or been involved in legal disputed at least 1,300 times since 2000.

You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.

And you can't make hard boiled eggs if you do

All Americans are equal, but racist white baby boomers are more equal than ...others
Of course Americans are more equal than any other nation.

You probably don't see the irony in your comment.

I'm definitely more equal!!

Maybe Heidegger predicted Trump:

HEIDEGGER: … Philosophy will not be able to bring about a direct change of the present state of the world. This is true not only of philosophy but of all merely human meditations and endeavors. Only a god can still save us. I think the only possibility of salvation left to us is to prepare readiness, through thinking and poetry, for the appearance of the god or for the absence of the god during the decline; so that we do not, simply put, die meaningless deaths, but that when we decline, we decline in the face of the absent god.

SPIEGEL: Is there a connection between your thinking and the emergence of this god? Is there, as you see it, a causal connection? Do you think we can get this god to come by thinking?

HEIDEGGER: We cannot get him to come by thinking. At best we can prepare the readiness of expectation.

From our human experience and history, at least as far as I am informed, I know that everything essential and great has only emerged when human beings had a home and were rooted in a tradition.
Or is Trump a Nietzchean Superman?
Watch this and it will all make sense:

NIETZSCHE ON: The Superman

Quiet around here tonight....

Yes I love Monty Python. Don't you see that they are agreeing with Heidegger? Philosophy is useless and a bit of a joke. Real change can only come from strong men rooted in a place they call home that has a traditional foundation.

The world has moved on from your last sentence.

It seems unlikely that thousands of years of human behaviour has changed overnight.

When Trump won the Presidency one commenter noted:
Well there goes Fukuyama's theory about The End of History and the Last Man

Heidegger was a member of the Nazi Party, and Nietzche's concept of the superman is what got the Nazis all excited.

If your point is that people with an authoritarian leaning are attracted to Trump - I think we knew that already.

By the way: Nietzchse was disgusted by nationalism and all reverence for 'the state'. I think he would have thrown-up at the sight of a 'Make America Great Again' placard.

According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Heidegger is "widely acknowledged to be one of the most original and important philosophers of the 20th century."

Yes Nietzsche was a madman and he is now widely regarded as a bit of a plonker only revered by adolescents. Although I suspect Nietzsche would be fired as a professor if he existed today - which should raise alarms about our education system.
He did advocate pan-Europeanism though....
For better ideas I recommend Spengler.

However, did you watch the video? It described Trump to a tee.

> According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Heidegger is "widely acknowledged to be one of the most original and important philosophers of the 20th century."

Not sure what your point is. Brilliant people do bad things all the time

> However, did you watch the video? It described Trump to a tee.

No I did not. I imagine that the qualities of the Superman include being so sensitive and precious in response to the slightest of barbs. Trump reminds me of that kid that always got picked on at school because he reacted to every affront. So weak.

Trump went to a military school where they sometimes smacked you in the head if you got things wrong. All his classmates have glowing reports of him. Great picture of him when he was young too:

Donald Trump's classmates share their memories about his 'Lord of the Flies' days in military school

You should watch the video as it may not be what you expect. It doesn't mention Trump. I always endeavour to follow commenters links - just to let everyone know.

Not sure what your point is. I thought you were implying we can discount all of Heidegger's work because of his background. Glad we can agree he was brilliant.

I was implying that the opinions of a Nazi should not be used in the context of leadership, governance or geopolitics. If we were talking metaphysics, fine. But we aren't.

By the way, its more than just his 'background' we are talking about here. He actively chose to join the Party, and he carried out some of its anti Semitic policies. We aren't talking about the neighbourhood he came from, who his parents were, etc. We are talking about the choices he made.

Metaphysics includes concepts such as being, knowing, identity, time, and space. These things are not divorced from the real world. The election of Trump is as much a spiritual thing as it is anything else.

Anyway we probably cannot take this any further. It was just that I am kind of amused by Heidegger's claim that, only a god can save us now. I sometimes use that quote when I have an intractable problem at work.

Trump - spiritual? Sheesh

Trump tapped into something more than the entirely practical in the minds of the voters, a return to the true spirit of America -
Manifest Destiny
and all that possibly.

Meta Physics is divorced from the natural world. It really means not physics or beyond.
I guess you are invoking the gods to save us?

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things.

Meta physics is abstract theory with no basis in physical reality.
It deals with spirits,Gods, the supernatural. Questions of why. It is a branch of philosophy not science.

Well let's just say that Trump is larger than life.

Hey, I have a new and original idea for you, do your own thinking

As I have explained before I boost my intellect massively by tapping into the interwebs. It's like you are asking me to fight with both hands tied behind my back. Feel free to come back at me with quotes from Marx or Lenin or whoever.

I don't bother with any of them. Might read Das Kapital one day, as I suspect Marx might have spoken somewhat to what I think. I base what I think on what I know about human nature, having spent many years in hospitality dealing with people from all over the world, I learnt how very herd like we are in many things. It is easy to work things out by being able to apply "night follows day" to just about anything.

AJ... thks for the link..
Only just part way thru it.... AND... it seems to be really good..!! Intelligent and important.

Equality where human/civil rights go should always trump (there's that blasted word again) cultural practices. I am, of course speaking more the rights of women than much else, there is no place in this world for some cultural practices. We must insist they go, no matter how much resistance is met. Without that, we get nowhere.

I did enjoy reading that and the comments. One commenter posted a link to a video done by a young Englishman travelling through Iran on a C90. I highly recommend watching it. Iran looks like a great place to visit. Different countries should be different with different people and this video highlights that:

Riding a c90 through Iran

Zach.. I agree .... great video...

"Globalisation is the biggest issues facing us, ecologically, economically and psychologically."
I think global co-operation is the only possible way forward. Prof Brian Cox et al. is suggesting we will destroy ourselves as technology outpaces ethics and the ability of politicians to comprehend the science e.g Trump on Climate.
If we do not co-operate we retreat, then we defend our stuff or pursue others resources e.g water . At our present rate we will be lucky to survive.
Focus must remain on Global co-operation with an eye on those disadvantaged by this.

I don't think many people are opposed to "global-cooperation, it's turning every Western country into a type of Brazil that we are opposed to. However we shouldn't totally discount the benefits of competition between nations either. Countries should be coaxed into improving their own conditions and controlling their own fertility. We are not the orphanage for the World.

Brian Cox is spot-on, and yes, global co-operation is the only way forward when faced with global problems.

Trump, nationalists and those that think of the world in zero-sum terms are a threat to global cooperation.

Open borders advocates are the greater threat to global cooperation. Without them the Nationalists would lose a lot of popularity.

Even the World Bank has finally admitted that the growth in global trade has not been a success for all,with,in their estimation,some 20% of the jobs lost in advanced economies linked directly to trade.
Until now,anyone suggesting that there are downsides to globalisation has been howled down on the grounds that this has helped bring millions out of poverty-which is of course true-and has turned these people into potential consumers.Little attention has been paid to those left behind-until now.