Right Wing Anti-Globalism
Business nationalists favor protectionist trade policies
and oppose international cooperation in foreign policy. Locked
in a power struggle with corporate international interests, business
nationalists are using populist rhetoric and anti-elite scapegoating
to build a broader base of support in the middle class and working
We must be careful to draw a distinction between critiques that promote
economic and social justice, and those that claim economic privilege for
middle class consumers at the expense of social justice.
In the past, business nationalism has also been the main sector in the
US from which union–busting campaigns have emerged. Sectors of business nationalism
also have promoted White supremacist segregationism, the Red Scares, anti–immigrant
xenophobia, and allegations of Jewish banking conspiracies.
According to progressive scholar Mark Rupert, the right wing antiglobalist
worldview (the worldview of business nationalists) “envisions a world in
which Americans are uniquely privileged, inheritors of a divinely inspired
socio–political order which must at all costs be defended against external
intrusions and internal subversion.” Rupert argues that this reactionary
analysis seeks to challenge corporate power without comprehending the nature
of “capital concentration and the transnational socialization of production.” The
reactionary analysis absent this understanding breeds alienation and intensifies “scapegoating
and hostility toward those seen as outside of, different or dissenting
from its vision of national identity."
As alienation builds, more overtly fascistic forces will attempt to
pull some of these angry people into an ideological framework that further
demonization of the chosen "Other."
When populist consumer groups, such as those led by Ralph Nader, forge
uncritical alliances with business nationalists to rally against GATT
and NAFTA, an opportunity
emerges for the anti–elite rhetoric of right wing populism to piggy-back
onto a legitimate progressive critique.
Why is this a problem? Business nationalism carries with it its right-wing
baggage. Pat Buchanan’s rhetoric is an example of this baggage. His racist,
antisemitic and zenophobic inclinations reflect business nationalism’s
right-wing national chauvinism.
At the core of right wing populism is the "producerist narrative" where
the main scapegoats are people of color, especially Blacks. This narrative
diverts attention from the White supremacist subtext. It uses coded language
to mobilize resentment against people of color through attacks on issues
immediately relevant to them, such as welfare, immigration, tax, or education
policies. Women, gay men and lesbians, abortion providers, youth, students,
and environmentalists are also frequently scapegoated in this manner.
Global Export of Ideology
The US exports a national security model that argues that it is necessary
to trade civil liberties and privacy for protection against crime and
This US model of national security is rooted in the theory of countersubversion—the
idea that dissent is caused by outside agitators and a lunatic fringe of
extremists rather than social and economic grievances. Periodic waves of
are justified through fabricated claims that networks of subversives are
poised to undermine the government.
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the US has been exporting its media–centered
election model, which favors style over substance, argument over debate,
slogans over issues. This election model facilitates the success of not
only those politicians that can raise the greatest funds, but also those
willing to use scapegoating as an ideological weapon.
While scapegoating in the US is primarily the territory of the political
right, including Republicans, some Democratic Party politicians pander to
the tendency and even a few on the left adopt scapegoating out of ignorance,
desperation, or an appalling absence of morality.