Nationalism vs. Globalism, not Globalization vs. Isolation

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Nationalism vs. Globalism, not Globalization vs. Isolation

Throughout the world, we see a confrontation of worldviews in 2016.  It’s represented by a wave of activism sweeping across the OECD and threatening to engulf the rest of the planet.

For the first time since World War II, the ascendancy of globalism is being seriously challenged by nationalism.  It is much less a debate about trade and much more a debate about immigration, national security, and autonomy than most people realize. 

By couching the debate in terms of economic globalization vs. economic isolation, pundits and politicians effectively obscure the enormous, multi dimensional gulf that has developed, particularly in the United States and Europe, between nationalists and globalists.

To understand this, consider their underlying values and assumptions:1

  • For multicultural globalists, national boundaries are increasingly perceived as being obsolete and perhaps even immoral. According to this emerging progressive orthodoxy, national identities are meaningless.  What counts are subnational identities like race, gender, and orientation, as well as supranational “citizenship of the world.”  Progressive pundits and journalists increasingly speak a dialect of globalism.  And they imply that it is unjust to discriminate in favor of one’s fellow nationals against citizens of foreign countries.
  • Nationalists, on the other hand, value patriotism, borders, language, and culture as defined by the nation-state. In Europe, the concept is ethnically specific; that is, it’s important whether you’re Dutch, Spanish, German, French, Swiss, or English.  In the United States, nationalism is more reflective of a desire to return to a mass consensus about what it means to be American, much as it existed in the 1950s. 

These differences in assumptions lead to stark differences in public policy choices. The globalist platform includes:2

  • Open borders
  • Unfettered consumerism
  • Feminism
  • Secularism
  • Global solutions for local problems
  • Ceding national sovereignty to multinational institutions
  • Centralization
  • Collectivization
  • An unarmed populace
  • Encouragement of multiculturalism, diversity, and egalitarianism

For globally-minded progressives, the mere well-being of American workers is not a good enough reason to oppose immigration or trade liberalization...

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