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Will 2024 Ever Shifting Politics Grasp People's Needs?

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Ralph Benko By Wednesday, 10 July 2024 03:12 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Sixty-four nations plus the EU are holding national elections this year. America's, while not least, will be close to last.

Great year for political junkies.

The political mood of the world tends to synchronize. Call it “synchronicity.”

When the Red Guard was prosecuting the horrid Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in the People's Republic of China (1966-76), students were rioting in Paris (May 1968) and in Chicago during the Democratic National Convention (August 1968).

In this century the world unexpectedly shifted, geopolitically, toward reactionary (Turkey, India, Hungary, Poland, Greece, Spain) or revanchist (the Russian Federation, North Korea, and Iran). Now it's shifting back.

From fanaticism toward pragmatism. Pragmatism means producing practical benefits — such as equitable prosperity — for "we the people" rather than politicos such as those in the House Freedom Caucus, who live and die politically by ideological litmus tests.

Yeah, MAGA. I'm talking at you.

In the United States, the Republicans, led by Donald Trump, at least rhetorically now lean revanchist: "seeking to retaliate, especially to recover lost territory."

Revanchist is contrary to conservative. Jan. 6, 2021, was a revanchist convulsion, no conservative uprising.

Those who mistake Donald Trump for a conservative need a remedial vocabulary lesson. And now, in this epic world election year, "the times they are a-changin'."

Welcome pragmatism's return.

I'm no revanchist. Nor centrist.

I, an archconservative, recoil from "moderate" and "centrist" as Dracula flinches at a garland of garlic.

"Moderate" and "centrist" carry a whiff of "unprincipled" and "unmoored."

I'm a pragmatist, which conveys the ability to improve the voters' quality of life and standard of living.

A good thing.

Now, to paraphrase Shakespeare, the times are getting back into joint. Rory Stewart, my favorite British anti-politician (the political equivalent of the cinematic anti-hero), astutely observes in The New York Times:

"For a decade at least, the world has seemed to be tilting from democracy to strongmen, free trade to protectionism, intervention to isolation. The liberal global order is in retreat. ...

"There have been recent examples in Poland, Greece and Spain (and to a lesser extent, Turkey and India) of voters turning away from populism. But it has made significant advances elsewhere: Far-right populists won the most votes in the most recent Italian and Dutch elections,pulled ahead of the governing party in Germany and are on track for a resounding victory in France ...

"The governing classes in the West have been discredited by ... a perception that they are unable to manage immigration or improve ordinary people’s living standards ..."

Before France voted, trends made me skeptical about his characterization of National Rally's prospects for "a resounding victory." Also (whether due to a change of heart or as a cynical ploy) National Rally has pulled back from its extremes.

Party leader Marine Le Pen expelled her own father, Jean-Marie, the party's original leader, for antisemitic remarks.

Still, Stewart hit the bullseye in indicting the failure of the establishment parties to "improve ordinary people's living standards." So will the resurgent neopragmatists in the U.K., France, Poland, Greece, Spain, Italy, India, Turkey, and now even Iran deliver the goods?

Or will the new regimes get stuck on the same futile hamster wheel as their reactionary and revanchist predecessors? It may come down to whether they believe that the Earth goes around the sun.

Or not.

Copernicus, who sent the Earth spinning around the sun, was a great economist as well as mathematician. In his "On the Minting of Money" (on the definitive modern translation of which I served as lead editor), he wrote:

"Although there are countless maladies that are forever causing the decline of kingdoms, princedoms, and republics, the following four (in my judgment) are the most serious: civil discord, a high death rate, sterility of the soil, and the debasement of coinage. The first three are so obvious that everybody recognizes the damage they cause; but the fourth one, which has to do with money, is noticed by only a few very thoughtful people, since it does not operate all at once and at a single blow, but gradually overthrows governments, and in a hidden, insidious way."

Making good money — hello, U.K. Finance Minister Rachel Reeves! — would be a great way of not being overthrown. But how?

Embrace economic "round Earthism."

Flat Earthism — "ZIRP," that seductively weird zero interest rate policy (the right's modern monetary theory folly) — is over. Let's find a new policy guidestar.

Perhaps the most attractive way forward might be my old boss Sean Fieler's counsel at The Hill, pushing us from "ZIRP" to "ZIP," zero inflation policy. How?

Copernicus prescribed gold. Hey, I'm an O.G. heliocentrist (and Lewis Lehrman acolyte). So bravo, Father Nicholas.

That said, as geopolitics moves from fanaticism to pragmatism, Fieler's pragmatic ZIP is the better place to begin a conversation about ushering in a golden age. Hello, 2024.

Ralph Benko, co-author of "The Capitalist Manifesto" and chairman and co-founder of the 200,000+ follower "The Capitalist League," is the founder of The Prosperity Caucus and is an original Kemp-era member of the Supply-Side revolution that propelled the Dow from 814 to its current heights and world GDP from $11T to $104T. Read Ralph Benko's reports — More Here.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Sixty-four nations plus the EU are holding national elections this year. America's, while not least, will be close to last. Great year for political junkies.
elections, eu, uk, us, france
Wednesday, 10 July 2024 03:12 PM
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