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Context: LeftAndRight, AntiGlobalization, GlobalTrumpism

Quora Answer : Why is it that in some areas, such as Latin America, the backlash against globalisation has been left wing, but in the West, it has more often been right wing (Trump, Brexit, etc.)?

Aug 27, 2017

Latin America has a history as a colonized region.

It's typically been on the losing end of global trade.

Other countries extract commodities from it. Occasionally there's a burst of wealth when those world commodity prices have a bit of a boom. Then, when the world-price collapses again, the bubble bursts, leaving Latin Americans feeling they've been taken advantage of. The ones who did well during the boom feel the sudden loss of the wealth keenly. (Especially as they increased their borrowing and spending in line with the new wealth) While the ones who missed out on it feel cheated.

Latin Americans know they are being screwed by more powerful elites. And a left-wing anti-colonialist discourse speaks to that.

The West has traditionally been on the winning end of these deals. But its own economic dynamic is different.

After getting on for 40 years of neoliberal dominance, the wealth gap between the hyper-rich and the ordinary working / lower-middle class is enormous.

Although, overall, the economies in the US, UK and parts of Europe are doing as well as can be expected in a global recession, most of the economic recovery is being sucked upwards to a tiny fraction of the elite.

The working / lower-middle class in the West feel poor because they are objectively poor. Or objectively poorer. Much of the reason for that is that they've lost out to the rich. Real wages have diminished. Government provided services they relied on have been cut in the name of austerity.

When wages in the factory go down, the media don't say to people "your wages went down because 10 years ago you lost your union representation and activist shareholders started demanding that the share-price was kept high through year on year cost-cutting". They media say "your wages went down because Chinese are making cheap stuff and Polish immigrants are undercutting you at home."

That means that in South America, they blame rich foreigners. In the West, even the poor are encouraged to side with the local rich and blame poor foreigners.

To some level of approximation ... blaming rich people is the habit and discourse of the left. Blaming poor people is the habit and discourse of the right.

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