Los canallas del patriotismo económico

Samuel Johnson llamó al patriotismo “el último refugio de un canalla”. Si eso es cierto, ¿qué pensar del creciente nacionalismo económico de hoy, algunas veces descrito eufemísticamente como “patriotismo económico”?

De hecho, en estos momentos el nacionalismo económico es excepcionalmente vigoroso. La potente oposición popular al plan de una compañía de Dubai de hacerse cargo de puertos de los Estados Unidos impresionó al gobierno de este país. Polonia es testigo de una reacción populista contra la propiedad extranjera de los bancos. Francia está bloqueando la adquisición de servicios públicos franceses por parte de la compañía italiana de electricidad Enel. Junto con los demás gobiernos europeos, Francia también está agitando contra la compra de Arcelor, la compañía siderúrgica basada en Luxemburgo, por una compañía holandesa controlada en gran parte por un magnate indio del acero.

A los defensores de estas fallidas adquisiciones trasnacionales les preocupa que haya en el aire el siniestro vaho de los peores momentos del siglo veinte. Un indignado ministro italiano advirtió sobre una nueva movilización de populismo nacionalista en un escenario de “agosto de 1914”. La mejor analogía es de la década de los 30: en 1933, el año en que Hitler accedió al poder, el economista más famoso del mundo, John Maynard Keynes, hizo un llamado a la “autosuficiencia nacional”.

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