This article studies the issue of democratization of countries within globalization context, it points to the unreasonably high economic and social costs of a rapid transition to democracy as a result of revolutions or of similar large-scale events for the countries unprepared for it. The authors believe that in a number of cases the authoritarian regimes turn out to be more effective in economic and social terms in comparison with emerging democracies especially of the revolutionary type, which are often incapable to insure social order and may have a swing to authoritarianism. Effective authoritarian regimes can also be a suitable form of a transition to efficient and stable democracy. The article investigates various correlations between revolutionary events and possibilities of establishing democracy in a society on the basis of the historical and contemporary examples as well as the recent events in Egypt. The authors demonstrate that one should take into account a country's degree of sociopolitical and cultural preparedness for democratic institutions. In case of favorable background, revolutions can proceed smoothly (‘velvet revolutions’) with efficient outcomes. On the contrary, democracy is established with much difficulty, throwbacks, return to totalitarianism, and with outbreaks of violence and military takeovers in the countries with high illiteracy rate and rural population share, with low female status, with widespread religious fundamental ideology, where a substantial part of the population hardly ever hears of democracy while the liberal intellectuals idealize this form, where the opposing parties are not willing to respect the rules of democratic game when defeated at elections.
This study used basic personal values to elucidate the motivational meanings of “left” and “right” political orientations in 20 representative national samples from the European Social Survey (2002–2003). It also compared the importance of personal values and sociodemographic variables as determinants of political orientation. Hypotheses drew on the different histories, prevailing culture, and socioeconomic level of three sets of countries—liberal, traditional, and postcommunist. As hypothesized, universalism and benevolence values explained a left orientation in both liberal and traditional countries and conformity and tradition values explained a right orientation; values had little explanatory power in postcommunist countries. Values predicted political orientation more strongly than sociodemographic variables in liberal countries, more weakly in postcommunist countries, and about equally in traditional countries.
Since 2008 the neoliberal mainstream, which seemed to be steadfast, has been suffering both economic and political crisis. This makes people seek an alternative of right or left kind. In such circumstances, alternative political forces attempt to satisfy civil society’s needs suggesting new ideas that challenge the neoliberalism. Therefore, both leftist and rightist revolts have been a search for new growth drivers and new balance within societies that takes all the classes and their interests into consideration.
This process is closely tied to several major shifts. The privatization of state’s functions has been doubted and put the return of public capital on the agenda. The voice of people demanding a more equal access to public goods, for example, education gets louder.
There are new politicians able to get this message and obtain a broad popular support. They are, for instance, Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Jean-Luc Melenchon in France. However, what is behind the leftist revolt? Does it have any chance to succeed?
The events of 2016–2017 sharply changed the political balance in the West and across the world. The Brexit success, sensational victory of Donald Trump, the atmosphere of ‘the last battle’ ‘on the brink of a precipice’ during the presidential elections in France, a dramatic turn to right wing nationalism in Poland, Hungary and some other countries of Central Europe – the whole of it brought the rightist revolt against the neoliberal mainstream (and response to it) into the global focus.
‘We are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People’ — the Trump’s sharp rebuff of traditional mainstream rhetoric and turn to white-wing nationalism brought the new term of ‘Trumpism’ into being. Nevertheless, the Trump’s rise to power was the result of a broader demand for transformation of the American political system.
The Trumpism is deeply rooted in the American political history and has a certain value system in its core. It amalgamates leftist and rightist elements, forming the bloc of interests, although contradictory. The Trumpism is a new approach to the settlement of old issues, especially economic ones. Trump’s policy is based on the interests of middle capital and aimed at weakening big capital in favour of the middle capital. Thus, this makes the value of protecting the domestic market or sound protectionism a matter of key importance.
What is the future of the Trumpism? Will Europe follow the example of the US? What should be Russia’s attitude towards the ‘rightist revolt’?