Neo-nationalism, left and right

Marco Antonsich has an interesting short piece on new forms of nationalism at the Society & Space website, fundamentally in relation to emerging right-wing configurations thereof (link below). I feel the picture would be much more complicated if earlier or alternative waves of nationalist discourse were considered, such as those coming from Latin America in the wake of IMF’s structural adjustment programs and the ‘lost decade’, or our own Podemos in Spain, which has frequently antagonized EU austerity with an agenda to take back national sovereignty, using Latin American populism and Gramsci’s national-popular hypothesis as referents—just remember Iglesias’ first campaign kick-off in Berlin, stating that Spain is not a German colony.

At all events, in relation to the trends Antonsich comments, these days I find myself going back to Arrighi’s analysis of political economic cycles in The Long Twentieth Century, where he traces the regularities and developmental patterns of successive systemic cycles of accumulation (trade expansion > financialization > crisis > nationalist entrenchment > war > emergence of a new international hegemon). I remember discussing this with colleagues when the crisis broke in 2007-8. Back then most people were skeptic about the development of new protectionist schemes, frequently charging Arrighi with oversimplification. At this point, after Trump’s first days in office, I do wish Arrighi was oversimplifying the whole problem, especially considering the prospect of subsequent steps in his diagram: he foresaw a global clash triggered by the US and China as the transition to a fifth cycle of accumulation.

Here’s the link to Antonsich’s piece:

“Before they start telling us what to do, they jolly well ought to sort their own house out.” This was Theresa May on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016, during a question time at Westminster. No, she was not referring to the honorable gentleman of the opposition, as she often does. Neither to the European Union, from…

via The Return of the Nation: When Neo-nationalism Becomes Mainstream — Society & Space

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