American Affairs: National Developmentalism: From Forgotten Tradition to New Consensus

Robert D. Atkinson and Michael Lind:

“In response to the rise of “populism,” members of the Washington establishment have adopted a reassuring way to frame the ques­tion of America’s proper relationship to the world.1 As they see it, Americans are divided into two camps—open or closed, globalist or nationalist, interventionist or protectionist. In this framing, the closed, nationalist, and protectionist camp voted for Trump, and the open, globalist, and interventionist group for Clinton. From this basic dichotomy about America’s role in the world, views about America’s role in the global economy can be deduced.

If only it were that simple. In reality, five distinct schools with different views of how America should fit into the world economy and govern its own can be identified: global libertarianism, progressive localism, national protectionism, global neoliberalism, and na­tional developmentalism. Each of these contemporary schools of American political economy has its own vision of the good society, expressed in its own preferred combination of policies toward firms, trade, and immigration.

Of the five schools of American political economy, three of them—global libertarianism, progressive localism, and national pro­tectionism—are so extreme in their rejection of existing arrangements that they are unlikely to attain the level of dominance that global neoliberalism has enjoyed since the end of the Cold War. Each of these schools has influenced policy, however, as libertarianism did beginning in the late 1970s with the emergence of the flawed model of supply-side economics, and as progressive localism appears to be influencing the Democratic presidential race today. …”

It’s exciting to think about where this is going.

Quite honestly, I see Andrew Yang and his message of $1,000 a month or mainstream conservatism as a solution to the Blompf and Conservatism, Inc. problems. He is a bulldozer that allows us to clear away all the dead weight that has accumulated on the Right since the 1980s.

What comes after Donald Trump and the Charlie Kirks of the world are gone? I see a lot of people are already having that conversation whether it is at American Affairs or American Mind or The National Interest. Nothing that is being said here will matter though unless we can first get beyond a world where Sheldon Adelson or the Koch Brothers are buying our policies.

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  1. Getting those grotesque barnacles, the Koch brothers, and Sheldon Adelson off the leaky boat of state ain’t gonna be easy. They are stuck fast. Somebody is going to do it eventually. I want to be here to see it.

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