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Rise of modern nationalism: Superpowers’ struggle over identity

Overrun by Globalization – Willingness to challenge democracy

untitledIn the morning of the 9th November Trump’s supporters burst into applause meeting the new president of the United States, giving the way to the candidate openly avowed as a racist, sexist and xenophobic to become a leader of The Free World. Trump phenomenon stirred endless debates about the possible reasons of his popularity.

American people had a lot to remember from his extraordinary and unusual election campaign, especially his promise to build a wall along Mexican border and deport around 11 million illegal immigrants to their home countries. Can we assess Trump’s rhetoric to be serving the best interests of America and making “America great again”? Probably no, but at least we can declare it as an essential cause making immigrants tremble from fear in the cradle of liberal democracy.

Riot of citizens deeply inspired with rightist ideas and mottos has been contagious both in Europe and the United States

2016 has been an extraordinary year in the world politics with Brexit being one of the most remarkable episodes alongside the US Presidential Elections, disquieting international society about an evident inception of a New Era. On the day of the historic vote, the British nation decided to leave the European Union. However, Google suggests that British citizens began digesting this information when Britain was already out of the union. So why did British nation come to the rash decision to cast a leave vote, despite prime minister David Cameroon’s attempts to convince citizens that Brexit could harm British trade industry? The answer is rather clear and it is the British identity crisis caused by nationalistic rhetoric that has been accusing immigrants in the transformation of the country image.

While bemoaning their economic or social problems, citizens tend to look for the scapegoats to blame their misfortune on. Riots of citizens deeply inspired by rightist ideas and mottos have proved contagious both in Europe and the United States.

Migrant crisis and a more general disappointment with the political status quo played a decisive role in shaping nationalistic ruling elites of the world’s biggest powers. Citizens’ willingness to challenge existing democratic practice stems from the socio-economic ramifications and the identity crisis brought by the process of globalization.

It is more than apparent that rightist, nationalistic rhetoric has deeply touched the hearts of those voters, who blame foreign nationals and their governments in their hardship.

In his book, the “Clash of Civilizations and Remaking the World Order” Samuel Huntington stresses that the picture of a world, divided into -“Us” and “Them” in some measure corresponds with the reality as “people are always tempted to divide people into us and them, our civilization and those barbarians”. If we look closer this division is more than relevant to current political swings, revealing the attitude of citizens even in the world’s most developed and advanced democracies reluctant to life with relatively different “others” as they associate foreign nationals with “those barbarians” humiliating their national identity and fundamental values.

Huntington predicted that global politics would be dominated by the clash of civilizations, identifying cultural distinction as a fundamental source of conflict in the modern world. While analyzing current political events we can notice that “cultural conflicts” have actually reached its latest phase of evolution in advanced democracies, where citizens take the field against “Others” and their political establishments mainly trying to find solutions though democratic means (elections, referendums, and popular votes) and as a trend elect evidently nationalistic powers, those who give the promise to bring the glory of the nation and rescue it from inevitable extinction.

Catch the wave, contagious nationalism

While White House has become home for Donald Trump, first-tour presidential election polls in France have revealed that Marine Le Pen’s Front National is convincingly walking on the path of occupying the Élysée Palace. Marine Le Pen was one of the first European leaders who welcomed the results of the US elections, congratulating free American people. Since immigration and identity crisis, together with rising terrorism there are rather caustic issues in today’s France: fear is growing for FrExit referendum in case of Le Pen’s presidency, that together with BrExit will apparently be the “end of the EU”. While Trump is real, nonetheless what mainstream politicians say in France contagious wave of nationalism is rising high above in France and perhaps is endorsing another political earthquake in Europe.

Can a historic new era be declared as officially open without Germans? Not at all, Germany which also holds elections next year could also be analyzed as the member of a Nationalists’ Club. Frauke Petry, the leader of the rightwing populist Alternative für Deutschland also found US election result initially “encouraging” that could lead to real political changes in Europe. While superpowers’ struggle over identity hoping to make Europe Great Again the new wave of the modern nationalism is likely to succeed over Liberal Democracy.