Jeff Swensen/Stringer

Pour un populisme constructif

WASHINGTON, DC – Le vote en faveur du Brexit a suscité de nombreux commentaires sur les mouvements politiques anti-élites, sur l’échec des experts, l’abdication de la gauche, et sur bien d’autres choses encore. Conjugué à la campagne présidentielle aux États-Unis, il est considéré par beaucoup comme un avertissement.

En réponse, Larry Summers, ancien secrétaire au Trésor des États-Unis et ancien président d’Harvard, appelle de ses vœux un « nationalisme responsable » pour riposter au langage souvent chauvin, anti-immigrants et protectionniste de la droite populiste. Car on comprend qu’« un pays [soit] censé poursuivre le bien-être économique de sa population, mais [à condition] que sa capacité à léser les intérêts de la population d’un autre [soit] circonscrite. » On jugerait les accords internationaux « non pas à l’aune de [leur] pouvoir d’harmonisation ou du nombre de barrières douanières abattues, mais à celle des moyens offerts aux populations ».

Comme l’affirment Summers et d’autres, la mondialisation est une source globale de bienfaits, mais les gagnants n’y ont que rarement dédommagé les perdants, directement ou indirectement. Il semble en outre, ces derniers temps, que les gagnants, dans une zone géographique donnée ou parce que les marchés les favorisent (par un phénomène de prime au gagnant), sont souvent beaucoup moins nombreux que les perdants. En fin de compte, les politiques économiques souhaitées par les gagnants – et adoptées sous leur influence – sont généralement loin de profiter à tous. 

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