Left and right populism
Populism becomes more effective in Turkey and the world like “bad money firing good money.”
What I mean by “bad money” is the exaggerated demagogy, polarization, the passion for power, anger and partisanship, which we see in all populist currents.
The fired “good money” is legal, political and economic rationality, moderation, a culture of reconciliation and the principle of merit.
Well-respected conservative writers like Mustafa Karaalioğlu, Kemal Öztürk, Mehmet Ocaktan as well as Prof. Ömer Dinçer, who is a former education minister, have also been talking about it.
Far-right populist currents on the rise in the West continuously serve the nationalist feelings and the economic concerns of the public. They fuel Islamophobia.
The fact that cities are becoming more cosmopolite with migration, the threat of terror and the discrepancy on income distributions support these currents.
Is the problem limited to the far right?
An important book by Jan-Werner Müller called “What is populism?” names the characteristics of populist currents, while mentioning the words of Hugo Chavez, the deceased communist leader of Venezuela, in his power struggle: “This is not a struggle between opponents and supporters of Chavez. This is the struggle between patriots and the enemies of the nation.”
Venezuela and Tunisia
Chavez created a terrible polarization with his populist discourse in Venezuela where democratic institutions were not strong enough for arbitration.
He spent oil incomes on “social aid” populism and not for investments. Some 20 million citizens were receiving social aid from the Chavez government in Venezuela, which has a population of 32 million.
But this could not continue forever.
They are unable to write a constitution because of the extreme polarization they are in.
Venezuela is being dragged into civil war under Nicolas Maduro, the successor of Chavez.
There is also the Tunisia example.
Islamists and secularists sat, agreed and wrote a constitution also with the help of strong non-governmental organizations.
The globalization fact
The share of “developing countries” in the world economy is increasing thanks to globalization, which is why China, India and Mexico are supporting globalization.
Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump and the French extreme right Marine Le Pen are against globalization.
The other side of globalization is degeneration of income distribution within countries.
The classical economy and classical democratic institutions cannot solve these problems; the need for economic efficiency and the need for income justice are in conflict.
The start of the global economic recovery can create a relative relief.
But isn’t the “world economic recovery,” which is increasing economic relations between countries, globalization?
The only way to stay strong amid the global fluctuations and populist slipping process is to endorse more than ever the institutions of classic democratic institutions, like the separation of powers, independent judiciary and so on.
Don’t you see how institutions in the U.S. are monitoring Trump?