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对于全球民粹主义浪潮的三大预测

Geoff Colvin 2016年12月08日

即使是在这个充满不确定性的世界上,你也可以肯定这三件事情。

商业领袖是时候回顾这一波全球的民粹主义浪潮了。尽管这听起来像个奇怪的建议,因为这股浪潮似乎才刚刚开始。虽然奥地利的民族主义候选人诺伯特•霍费尔在昨天的总统大选中失败,但意大利总理伦齐在修宪公投中的惨败更加引人瞩目。主要的受益者是“五星运动”(Five Star Movement)这个在七年前由电视喜剧演员贝佩•格里洛建立的反体制、反欧元的民粹主义政党。在英国脱欧和唐纳德•特朗普的当选之后,民粹主义这次引人瞩目的胜利,让法国、德国和荷兰的民粹主义者势头更进一步,这些国家都将在明年举行大选。

那么为什么要在民粹主义高歌猛进之时回顾它呢?因为即使是在这个充满不确定性的世界上,我们也有把握预测一些事情。

民粹主义者无法兑现他们的诺言

民粹主义者期冀的许多政策都无法颁布,因为得不到立法机构的通过。他们还可能感受到权力的负担,不得不考虑想做的事情可能给现实世界带来的后果。在美国我们已经看到,面对竞选时在贸易、放松管制和移民问题上的承诺,特朗普退缩了,而他的任期甚至还未开始。

采用的政策会失败

在民粹主义者的政策实施的领域,不会起到什么效果,也就是说,它们无法给支持者带来承诺的利益。对进口商品征收沉重的关税,不会像特朗普承诺的那样让传统的重工业岗位回归宾夕法尼亚、俄亥俄、密歇根或威斯康辛。抛弃欧元不会让任何欧洲国家变得更加繁荣。禁止或严格限制移民也不会给国内公民带来更多更好的工作。

叛变将会出现

我们可以合理地推断,随着未能实现的承诺越来越多,民粹主义支持者的叛变就会像他们的涌现一样突然。在这个充满大量网民的高度连接的世界,主流的意见可能会突然彻底地倾斜。就在两年前,意大利人还认为伦齐是打破旧习、反正统的救世主,而如今选民已经受够了他。2012年,法国人放弃了右倾的尼古拉斯•萨科齐,投入了极端社会主义者弗朗索瓦•奥朗德的怀抱,而如今后者饱受斥责,将成为二战以来法国第一位不寻求连任的总统,民族主义者玛丽娜•勒庞则成为了该国最炙手可热的候选人。

商业领袖应该做好准备,依据历史标准,民粹主义的浪潮可能会昙花一现,在几年内就自行消散。没有人可以精确预言接下来的走向,而战争等大规模破坏性事件,总是会改写剧本。尽管如此,对领袖而言,去准备民粹主义之后的计划方案还为时尚早。(财富中文网)

译者:严匡正

It’s time for business leaders to start looking past the global populism surge, which sounds like decidedly odd advice considering that the surge seems just to be getting started. Though Austrian nationalist candidate Norbert Hofer lost yesterday’s presidential election, the more significant result was the drubbing that Italian voters inflicted on Prime Minister MatteoRenzi in a constitutional referendum. The main beneficiary is the populist, anti-establishment, anti-euro Five Star Movement, a party founded just seven years ago by TV comedian BeppeGrillo. This new high-profile populist victory, coming after Brexit and Donald Trump’s win, gives momentum to already strong populists in France, Germany, and the Netherlands, all of which hold national elections next year.

So why look past populism, which is still gaining strength? Because even in this incredibly uncertain world, we can predict a couple of things with moderate confidence.

Populists won’t be able to deliver on their promises

Many of their favored policies won’t be enacted because legislatures won’t approve them or because the populists, on assuming the burden of power, will have to face the real-world consequences of what they propose to do. In the U.S. we’ve already seen Trump back away from major campaign promises on trade, deregulation, and immigration, even before his inauguration.

Adopted policies will fail

To the extent the populists’ policies are enacted, they won’t work; that is, they won’t deliver the promised benefits to supporters. Slapping heavy tariffs on imports won’t bring the old heavy manufacturing jobs back to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, or Wisconsin, as Trump promised. Abandoning the euro won’t make any European nation more prosperous. Prohibiting or severely restricting immigrants won’t bring more and better jobs to a country’s citizens.

There will be a revolt

We can also be reasonably confident that as failed promises stack up, the revolt of the populists’ supporters will be just as sudden as the populists’ rise was. In a hyper-connected world filled with constantly connected people, prevailing opinion can lurch radically. Italy voted for Renzi as an iconoclastic, anti-establishment savior just two years ago; now voters are fed up with him. In 2012 France swung from center-right President Nicolas Sarkozy to extreme socialist Francois Hollande, who is now so reviled that he will be the first French president since World War II not to run for re-election, and nationalist Marine Le Pen is the country’s fastest rising candidate.

Business leaders should prepare for the possibility that the populist surge may be, by historical standards, a brief phenomenon, burning itself out within maybe a few years. No one can say precisely how that scenario might unfold, and major disruptive events such as war could always rewrite the script. Nonetheless, even now, it isn’t too early for leaders to prepare a scenario plan on what’s past populism.

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