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The current global landscape is undergoing an exceptional, unprecedented, and transformative period. In the West, there seems to be a cautious attempt to downplay this significant change. However, even ordinary citizens within Western democratic nations can perceive a notable shift in internal politics, whether with the ascent of the left or the right, be it Trump or Biden, leaving much to be desired.
The question arises: What is the root cause of these issues? Many find it challenging to provide a definitive answer, leading to frustration and apocalyptic views of the imminent collapse of the United States, China, or the rest of the world. These views often revolve around notions of an impending world war.
However, the fundamental issue lies in the emergence of a “global ideological movement”. This is a phrase that I coined, and I believe that it will become a buzzword quite soon.
The term “global ideological movement” encompasses various ideologies, ranging from the left to the right, from the past to the future, from progressive to conservative and traditional. The convergence and clashes of these ideologies create a widespread societal surge of ideological social movement. It is crucial to emphasize that the current world, especially in Western nations, is undergoing a period of worldwide societal movement akin to the extreme expansion of left-wing forces in pre-World War II Europe. All in all, the current situations, problems, and challenges are exceptional.
Within Western nations or political systems, one wave of ideological social movement has surpassed another. In the United States, with the rise of Trump, the right denies the left, sidelining the establishment. Then there is Biden’s ascent, and Trump is ousted. With this, the left dismisses the right, even contemplating the imprisonment of Trump, while the establishment regains its prominence.
In Europe, right-wing political parties have achieved victories in Italy and the Netherlands. The political landscape in other European countries remains uncertain, with figures like Le Pen gaining prominence in France. The growing influence of the right in Europe is partially attributed to the actions of the left. The influx of large numbers of immigrants into European countries, with instances of protestors, many of whom are Muslims, surrounding Downing Street in support of Hamas, has generated divisions. Many British citizens support these incoming immigrants, considering such actions cool and just. This is what is commonly referred to as “political correctness”.
Where there is oppression, there is resistance. The alternating pattern of oppression and resistance is escalating, both in amplitude and expanding into new areas. This phenomenon is an outcome of the distinctive state of today’s global political arena. Including the political alternations between the left and right. All these occurrences are part of the ongoing ideological movements within many nations worldwide. Therefore, the current situation in the West is not simply a political problem; it cannot be determined through the lens of traditional political struggles within established systems. It has, indeed, already departed from the equilibrium of political order and evolved into a social movement. When it comes to governance, what happens now is not conventional governance; even the confirmation of Supreme Court justices involves extensive left-wing and right-wing political maneuvering. Government budget crises leading to shutdowns are recurrent, which indicates that the governance is put under the conditions of such social movement. This is certainly not the normative governance found in textbooks.
In the face of such a transformative period, the conventional, well-educated, and well-dressed political elites within the establishment who care only about votes, are essentially professional “office workers” in politics. They are incapable of dealing with this situation like the current one. Hence, they adopt a populist stance, pretend to align with public opinion, and follow the tide of public sentiment. This further exacerbates the overflow of “political correctness”. This does not eradicate real-world problems though, and societal discontent is on the rise.
During the profound transformation and amidst such great social movements, the shortcomings of the establishment fraction become evident. This is not accidental; it echoes a historical parallel seen in pre-World War II Europe and the United States. In that era, relying on bureaucratic figures strictly bound by norms and regulations proved inadequate for resolving complex issues. What proved reliable were emerging political figures shaped by the demands of their times. The present juncture appears to mirror such a critical moment. 78 years after World War II, the meticulously constructed stability is now fragmenting, starting from the breakdown of globalization. This marks the commencement of an ideological social movement, and such occurrence will become even more intensified in the foreseeable future.