What if the World was always Right-Leaning?

Henri Kouam
5 min readJul 21, 2022


This week, I wondered what the legacy of COVID-19 is? This was triggered by a podcast I watched by Jordan Peterson, who radically defended a status quo of phallic idealism and economic realism as he sees it. As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, countries became scared and restricted the trade of food and then vaccines. After the WTO — headed by the Nigerian Economist Ngozi Okojo-Iwaela — told countries to find solutions to the pandemic and urged solidarity, the economic and socio-economic legacy of the pandemic is one where liberals will continue to advocate free trade, without considering the impact of inflation, stagnant and declining wage growth or house prices that are becoming increasingly inaccessible.

Photo by Nitish Meena on Unsplash

The COVID-19 pandemic slowed immigration, at least illegal immigration, as closed borders and rising deaths across Europe caused ill-fated travelers to stray. But an empirical inquiry alone does not suffice. As of 8 March 2022, emigrants from the 20 countries with the highest number of COVID-19 cases accounted for 32% of the total international migrant stock and they had sent an estimated 38% of all remittances globally to their countries of origin in 2021 (GMDAC analysis based on UN DESA, 2020; World Bank 2021a; WHO, 2022)1. Immigrants accounted for at least 3.7% of the population in 12 of the 20 countries with the highest number of COVID-19 cases, and this share is more than 8% in 9 of these countries (GMDAC analysis based on UN DESA, 2020; WHO, 2022). Compared to the global share of international migrants making up 3.6 percent of the total population, international migrants are overrepresented in these countries.

The question isn’t what form of migration should be encouraged, nor how migrants should be treated once they arrive at a safe location. It is the much more nuanced subject of assimilation. This is, perhaps, more contentious, but European politics is lurching to the right or towards the greens, depending on how you see it.

It is commonly asserted that globalization has caused Europeans to lose their continental sensibility in exchange for brut, decadent, and morally indignant nationalism — be it economic, racial, or political. The juxtaposition of “claimed moral superiority” and economic disenfranchisement has caused right-leaning parties to rise. The…

Henri Kouam

I am an economist and contributor to Nkafu policy, a think tank. I cover global economic, fiscal and monetary policy with policy and asset price implications.