It is no doubt that the extensive technological advancements in the recent decades have made it almost impossible for one to maintain a populist outlook on the world. This has rendered an appeal of populism approach in combating challenges associated with globalization almost irrelevant. Unlike the populist party of 1892-96 which united farmers to fight against globalization, it is not easy to have a common reason for populism now. Back then, the people’s party believed that globalization was meant to benefit the few while marginalizing many ordinary citizens, especially the workers. Globalization by then was perceived to be a threat to the employment opportunities. This paper discusses the reasons as to why the appeal of populism is an unrealistic and inadequate response to challenges of globalization.
It is not easy to find a common reason that will unite the ordinary people against globalization. Despite the fact that globalization has several setbacks such as unemployment, inequality in income, erosion of community values, and increased social evils it has benefitted many people in different ways. Currently, technology has been incorporated in different industries and manufacturing processes as well as in communication and transportation. The incorporation is benefitting many people, especially in transport and communication. With these benefits, it is hard to martial support from the public in an attempt to fight one negative aspect of globalization. Populism appeal uses different forms of approach. The most effective approach is attraction to common-sense solutions. The approach unites people suffering from the same problem and proposing the same solution. Using this approach to fight globalization will fail because not everyone is suffering the same problem caused by globalization. On top of that, some might be suffering from a particular disadvantage but benefitting from another advantage of globalization. What can be perceived as a common-sense solution to globalization by one group of ordinary citizens can be a non-solution to others. In a situation like that, it is very hard for populism to get the adequate support because it is not easy to find a common reason that will unite the ordinary people against globalization.
Currently, globalization has led to the increased diversification of economic and social activities unlike in the past. Before the technology rapidly increased and globalization escalated majority of the people worked on their farms or as laborers in factories. The number of social activities was also limited. However, over the past decades, technological advancements and increased globalization have increased the number of economic activities apart from reducing employment rate in some industries. For instance, the mobile phone industry has employed many people from the manufacturing to the distribution point. It has also employed many in the development of software applications and the provision of repair and maintenance services. Apart from communication, it has employed many people in the transport industry. Globalization is highly associated with social integration where people share and exchange cultural values. It has led to the acceptance of cultural values which were highly prohibited long before globalization. The appeal of populism was effective in the years when there were few economic activities thus people felt threatened by globalization. Majority feared that outside cultures would impact negatively on theirs. However, people no longer fear the community culture since they have learned to value other peoples’ cultural values. They do not fear unemployment since there are many economic activities. This makes it hard to convince people to fight against globalization using the populist approach.
To sum up, currently, the appeal of populism is an unrealistic or inadequate response to challenges of globalization. This is because of factors such as existing benefits of globalization that make it hard to convince the general public that globalization is meant to benefit just a few in our communities. There is also the diversification of culture and social activities that people have embraced in the current age.