the rise of the Alt-Right can be best understood as a reaction against the technocracy of Neoliberalism that promotes cross border trade, market fundamentalism, austerity, global institutions etc.

So how is it that Donald Trump who is a devout enemy of the neoliberal elitism of Bush, Clinton, Obama etc. an employer of Arthur Laffer ? When Laffer was a Reagan advisor and an architect of the neoliberal Global World Order that Trump opposes ? How is it the populists oppose the globalism aspect but love the domestic policies of lower taxes on corporations, un progressive taxation etc.

  • the rise of the Alt-Right can be best understood as a reaction against the technocracy of Neoliberalism that promotes cross border trade, market fundamentalism, austerity, global institutions etc Maybe use less loaded language next time? Your first paragraph isn't really necessary to ask a question based on the contents of the 2nd. Apr 23, 2022 at 19:50

1 Answer 1


The premise of the question is not entirely correct. The rise of the far right is a reaction to an aspect of globalization, but it is not "cross border trade, market fundamentalism, austerity, global institutions" that are fundamentally major problems for the far-right, but rather immigration.

For instance, Brexit was largely tied to fear of immigration. The U.S. ex-president Donald Trump launched his campaign by claiming that Mexican immigrants were bringing drugs and crime and promising to build a wall. French candidate Marine Le Pen promised to dramatically cut immigration and disparaged Muslims, a strategy that caused French president Emmanuel Macron to adopt certain elements of her position. Even outside of the United States and Europe, politicians such as Jair Bolsonaro have taken actions suggesting that they see immigration as a threat.

This is because the far right is founded on notions of a pure national and cultural identity, with undertones or overtones of explicit racism. The far-right generally rejects international institutions because it holds that they are promoting immigration and values that will lead to the destruction of the traditionalist ethnostates that it promotes, not because it fundamentally opposes international partnerships. Witness Donald Trump scrapping NAFTA and replacing it with his own, similar free trade agreement.

Remember, neoliberalism, like most political philosophies, is not necessarily the most natural or only natural constellation of beliefs, so it should not be surprising that the far right overlaps with it in some respects but not in others. Similarly, many classical Marxist socialists want universal healthcare along with nationalization of all industry, while many social democrats want universal healthcare without much industrial nationalization; monarchists often want religion in government in conjunction with a single hereditary ruler, whereas evangelical conservatives generally want religion in government without a hereditary ruler.

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    Hmmm, that's true but also not the entire story. Hard left populists don't tap into the immigration angle near as much but they still appeal to disenchanted workers in rust belt areas. And there is a bit of a crossover between both sides of that populism. Witness France's Melenchon for example. Apr 23, 2022 at 19:55
  • @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica - The question was not about why far-left populists appeal to people, though. It was asking how the far-right can be opposed to most of neoliberalism and still support its domestic policies, to which I responded that it is all an outgrowth of their essential racism and xenophobia and that in reality they only oppose globalization insofar as it undermines their desire to have a nation that embodies those ideas.
    – Obie 2.0
    Apr 23, 2022 at 20:07
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    True but my point is that immigration is not the only thing that irks voters who vote Trump. Lack of economic opportunities also counts. I didn't really like the OP's phrasing but there is some validity in asking why blue collar voters don't notice that Trump is using a trickle down proponent. Or why they didn't notice who benefited from Trump's tax cuts. Apr 23, 2022 at 20:11
  • Sure. Lack of economic opportunities—real or perceived—makes people vulnerable to politicians who present an Other to blame (pardon my Continental philosophy). But usually, people already were suspicious of that Other before, they just needed a little push.
    – Obie 2.0
    Apr 23, 2022 at 20:14

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