Why People Around the World are Rooting for Bernie Sanders [View all]
What Sanders means to the world
Apart from the economic and political influence that it exercises globally, the US has a strong ideological impact on the world too. American soft power has been especially devastating in terms of its export of neoliberal ideology, wherein corporates are the preferred vehicle for economic activity, even in the social sector, with the role of governments relegated to smaller and smaller niches.
If Bernie Sanders becomes the next president of the United States, free health, education, and a decent minimum wage and a clear message to big business to rein in its economic greed and political aspirations can be expected to become strong elements of US national policy. This will hit at the very heart of the neoliberal global establishment. It could significantly weaken this establishments ideological strength, which it currently packages so well that it has been able to sell it successfully to a very big part of the global population, especially the middle and aspirational classes.
Now, if a font of such an alternative discourse, as anchored by Sanderss campaign, erupts from the very epicentre of the global neoliberal order, it could have a strong cascading effect. What Sanders demands may already be standard fare in many European countries but social services there are wilting under the pressure of austerity. For developing countries, making free health and education and decent minimum wages for all the responsibility of the state can become the cornerstone of a new politics.