The Political Dynamics Between The Establishment And Anti-Establishment – OpEd


By White Mountain

Many closely follow the presidential election race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, and it is increasingly recognized that the impact of U.S. politics lies in what transpires after the election as this can reshape the world. Therefore, observing the election becomes crucial. Besides Europe’s pretension that prefers facing future self-embarrassment, as seen in the Ukraine-Russia conflict involving the use of oil as a weapon, the rest of the world appears to be aware of the importance of the election.

However, the question remains regarding how to interpret the situation. The key lies in the struggle between the establishment and anti-establishment factions, which has become a focal point. Many leftist movements in various countries advocate populism to an unabashed extent. What can traditional conservatives do in response? There are essentially two options: either embrace populism or adhere to principles. In reality, most conservatives dare not stick to principles, as exemplified by the leadership of the U.S. Republican Party under Mitch McConnell. They desire populism but are unable to compete with the Democratic Party. Consequently, the rise of the anti-establishment faction occurred, with Trump winning victories that even McConnell’s Republican Party had to align with him to secure the party’s own survival and to highlight its values.

In Europe, most right-wing anti-establishment factions still struggle to gain majority support, such as Reform UK which was previously known as the Brexit Party, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally in France, and staunch conservative parties in the Netherlands and Spain. Only the right-wing party in Italy has won election victories. Therefore, the road ahead for Europe is still long, but the direction is clear, which is on the success of the anti-establishment factions in overturning the status quo. However, things take a different turn in South America.

In South America, the concept of a moderate faction is virtually unknown, and political dynamics often resemble the fervor for football. Nevertheless, the developmental trajectory of South American countries remains a subject of keen interest to many. In Argentina, the anti-establishment candidate Javier Milei secured victory as the recent president-elect with a 55% to 45% margin over the leftist, sending a clear political signal tantamount to the trumpet call for South American nations marching toward conservatism. The newly elected president of Argentina, often touted as the “Argentinian Trump”, serves as inspiration for the anti-establishment factions in the United States. In the 2024 U.S. elections, Trump may also achieve a significant victory, potentially regaining control of the White House and even securing another eight-year presidential term, setting a historical precedent in American politics.

The world is rapidly moving towards conservatism. In my view, the rise of anti-establishment factions signifies the activation of a self-preservation mechanism within Western political economies. Failure to initiate such a response could potentially lead to social revolutions and the transformation of national identity, resulting in irreparable and substantial disruptions. While the operations of anti-establishment factions differ significantly from the establishment, they still operate within the societal framework, albeit with different personnel and principles. Their focus is on dismantling the established norms upheld by “professional politicians” and their employment domains, injecting vitality into society. This is not a revolutionary upheaval akin to Lenin’s overthrow and destruction of the Russian monarchy, so the nature of the state remains unchanged. However, there will still be transformations in the governance of the state.


Anbound Consulting (Anbound) is an independent Think Tank with the headquarter based in Beijing. Established in 1993, Anbound specializes in public policy research, and enjoys a professional reputation in the areas of strategic forecasting, policy solutions and risk analysis. Anbound's research findings are widely recognized and create a deep interest within public media, academics and experts who are also providing consulting service to the State Council of China.

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