(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
False Dichotomies
Globalists Don’t Exist

I would know, because I am one.

Published on: January 24, 2018
Peter Pomerantsev is a director of the Arena Program at the London School of Economics. He is the author of Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia, which won the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize.
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  • AnonymoussSoldier

    Did you know that there’s only one country in the G20 that’s run by a communist party? Of course we’re talking China. There aren’t very many countries in the world run by a communist party. Laos, Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea, that’s pretty much the rest of them, and none of them are in the G20. Just 30 years ago Beijing itself looks more like Havana. What happened ?

    It’s not that China is capitalist, and it’s not that the party struck some lost veins of gold or invented some new gadgets. My wife’s iPhone backside makes clear “Designed by Apple in California, assembled in China”. Western corporations happened. There are certain places that you hide your money, and there are certain places that you outsource labor to. It was of no particular interest for say, the American Interest, to prop a communist authoritarian state up to such a degree, but corporations influencing Western governments green-lit those corporations to outsource labor and send massive amounts of wealth to strategic competitors like China. Those are the globalists. The people who tell me it’s capitalism to outsource decent jobs to a communist authoritarian state. A place with few freedoms of speech, massive SOEs, significant tariffs on most things, oh and expansionist plans for their neighborhood in the global commons.

    • KremlinKryptonite

      Interesting angle to make your case. Your point is very well taken. Do you know what this year is? Of course 2018, right? Well, this year happens to mark 69 years since 1949. The Chinese Communist Party has been in control of the mainland for 69 years this year. There was another communist party that lasted only 69 years. Of course that was the Russian Communist party and the various forms that it took, 1922-1991.
      The fact that the Chinese Communist Party is likely to not only last through this year but into its 70th is indeed thanks to western business interests and little else, other than the Party’s willingness to gun down thousands of Chinese students if they need to, but that much was true of the late counterpart from Russia, too, regarding Russian students, Latvians, Hungarians, and so on.

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    • Micah718

      Chinese have been ruled by the Mandarin class and an Emperor for a really long time. So now it’s called Communist Party and Party Chairman. Same circus, different clowns.
      BTW, agree 100%hat long term strategic objectives rarely align with maximizing profit in the here and the now. But people love money. We can bemoan that fact all we want, but it is true nevertheless.
      “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars
      But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

      • AnonymoussSoldier

        Well the Han people have only controlled the show for what, half, of the last millennium? There was the Mongol invasion and take over for a while, and then there was the “Qing Dynasty” 1640-1911 or so. Those were the Manchu invaders. Anywho, the wheels have fallen off the Chinese car many many times, of course, and due to internal strife and outside invasions alike.

        My point is, what would’ve been inconceivable for the Western governments to allow corporations to do in Russia or some Soviet satellite is not only allowed, but even called capitalism in China. Of course that’s not true. 100% lie and corporate talking point. Not capitalism at all. Sad stuff.

      • Jim__L

        Absolutely. This era in China’s history may well end up known as the “Communist Dynasty”.

    • Jim__L

      Authoritarian Oligarchy might be a better term for China. Regular Chinese frequently look at their system, expecting a great deal more equality, and conclude that it certainly isn’t Communist anymore (if it ever was.)

      • AnonymoussSoldier

        Authoritarian oligarchy is pretty broad. It’s most definitely communist. Not only does the regime claim to be and still have Mao on their money – a guy who killed more Chinese than Tojo, but what do you call having massive SOEs, currency devaluations, and no private land ownership?

        Till this day Chinese have to lease their dwelling from the government. I believe it’s a 71 year lease for a primary home, and 50 something years for business activity. No private land ownership, not even for farmers. Whatever that really means. The line is so blurred between what’s private and what ultimately is controlled by some State organ that there really is no “private.”

        • Jim__L

          Having Mao on their money may just be a particularly Chinese form of irony.

          One of my co-workers (Ukrainian by birth) made a really illuminating point to me a few months back… navigating a Communist system is oh so very much like navigating American corporate politics.

          Think about it. Unless you’re a small business owner yourself, there’s no private ownership. You don’t own your desk chair, your desk, your laptop; any resources you have, are gained by a combination of impersonal (and often obtuse, irrelevant, poorly-thought-out, and obsolete) bureaucratic policy, and personal ties with higher-ups and go-to guys of various flavors. If you actually do any of the work, people attempt to enforce as severe social stratification between yourself and the C-level types as there is between factory workers and Politburo members, who end up enjoying most of the resources at the end of the day.

          In either case, personal connections unrelated to business (or competence) are the keys to access and advancement. Those higher on the ladder are to be obeyed, and the best you can often hope for is an easygoing higher-up who has self-awareness in place of competence, who will stay out of your way while you make him look good…. and woe betide you if you don’t.

          When I listen to other Former USSR types now working here in Silicon Valley, and they talk social satire from their home countries, what I hear could have come straight out of Dilbert. Dogbert, Catbert, and the Pointy-Haired Boss are all different flavors of Commissar.

          I am contrasting this with the “Egalite, Fraternite” ideals of Communism / Socialism, which many of these former USSR types (and many Chinese I’ve met) still admire. Perhaps an ardent anti-Communist (justifiably) takes those as shallow lies and ignores them in discussion. Honestly though, I think a more effective approach to anti-Communism involves emphasizing the inherent contradictions between Communist ideals, and the results of Communism due to the realities of human nature.

          I’m not sure if I’m disagreeing with you or not, to be honest. The drama of the Great Leap Forward and the Holodomor are appalling, it’s true. But even when those don’t occur, the promised Workers’ Paradise simply never materializes, with Authoritarian state, run by Oligarchs, is what happens instead.

          • AnonymoussSoldier

            You’re right, I do see them as shallow lies and ignore them in discussion due to lack of evidence, of course. And I don’t think I disagree with you so much as I feel you’re being over broad. The old “it’s not what you know, but who you know!” exists everywhere. But that’s not the same as having absolutely gargantuan SOEs and no private land ownership. That’s pretty unique to communist regimes.

          • KremlinKryptonite

            The closest they ever came to that utopia was very briefly in 1953, and it wasn’t all that close. By 1953, the so called land reforms were complete. The majority of Chinese were living a rural life, and the land reforms abolished the millennia-old landed gentry. Ironically, the new communist state made each peasant was a petty capitalist, “owner-cultivator”. Finally, for the first time in history, virtually all Chinese peasants held a titled deed to a piece of property. They briefly lived on their tiny plots free from feudal lords, usury, mortgages, etc., and they fully expected to live a fairly prosperous life.

            Then what happened? The situation in rural China was conducive neither to rural peoples’ prosperity nor to turning China into an industrial and modern state. Tiny plots, fragmented supply chains, high state taxes, forced selling of grain to government stores at fixed, artificially low cost. Perhaps worst of all, and as if the abuses by the state weren’t enough, the “peasant owner-cultivators” took advantage of each other. For example, a somewhat better farmer who was more successful with his tiny plot (or perhaps simply didn’t endure a flood or mudslide) would take advantage of those less apt and less fortunate. It was not unheard of for the somewhat richer “peasant” to loan money to the poorer peasant, and he could even take possession of the poor man’s land if he failed to pay!

            Meanwhile, the Communist Party was more interested in the cities than in the countryside. In fact, 1954 saw less than 15% state-led investment end up in the countryside. Food shortages were the norm. Tiny, fragmented plots aren’t conducive to great growing and modern methods. Long story short, we all know what happened later in the 50s, and it wasn’t pretty.

  • Fat_Man

    “La plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu’il n’existe pas.”
    (“The devil’s finest trick is to persuade you that he does not exist.”)”

    Charles Baudelaire

  • QET

    Not sure what to make of this. Certainly I cannot empathize with the writer, not having lived the same experiences. I can sympathize with him, but that word tends to connote feelings of distress or pity, which I don’t feel. Being strongly rooted in a place and culture presents some problems but prevents others. Being weakly rooted or unrooted presents some problems but prevents others.

    But I don’t think it is correct or true to describe social roles or the experience of social or cultural belonging as being random (or absurd). One’s birth as who/where/when one is appears so, but unless everything that follows from a random event must necessarily be said to be random as well, then I think the word inapposite. “Random” as used in the casual sense it is here suggests insignificance, indifference, triviality. Certainly that is how people who are dissatisfied with themselves or their circumstances would argue.

    Also, “Globalist” as presently used signifies, I believe, someone who intentionally subordinates, and often rejects, all “local” identities. In a world of social constructions it is the most evidently and purposefully constructed identity. In other words, it is a posture, a mask deliberately worn, a specific kind of symbol meant to communicate a specific political position. A national or ethnic identity can also be said to be a mask but for most it is not something intentionally worn or constructed.

    The thought that there might be a human essence stripped of all accidental qualities like nationality, sex and occupation (“How to be all and none at the same time—and thus true to themselves“) is an old one, and there are philosophers on both sides. For my part, I am content to have each person reflect on and decide the matter for himself. It is when such a person insists that I conform my own reflection and decision to his that I object, militantly (not saying Pomerantsev is so insisting).

    • Absolutely agree that it’s an old one. It’s important to point out in times like these, though. Peter’s thoughtful essay does just that.

      • QET

        Yes, and it is equally important to point out that Pomerantsev’s conclusion–Ultimately however, the trick is to embrace them in order to then outstrip them, to be in a permanent process of inhabiting and then moving beyond an identity, with no final resting place–is a bare assertion, with no support behind it other than his personal experience of multiple social roles, settings and cultures augmented by a fictional account he feels to be compelling.

        Why should that be the “trick”? Why can’t a person continue to inhabit an identity he finds satisfying or compelling? I note that all of the discussions, in TAI and elsewhere, that I have seen on the topic of “globalism,” never does a writer insist, urge or even suggest that, say, a Chinese “move beyond” his national identity, or an Indian his, or an African his. This “moving beyond” has been a project only of Western thought, or at least Western political thought.

        • Anthony

          Reading your reply brings to mind this thought: Racecraft encompasses the fact that the race that is pictured by the subjects as real in fact is not; it’s made to be real and envisioned collectively as something real. People begin to think, I have an identity (racial perhaps), I have a race – I have certain characteristics. Are these things based on an ostensible heritage – giving place for him/her perhaps? Or are they actions formed by a first action, perhaps? Caveat, I have not read essay and I am cautiously injecting commentary.

          • StudentZ

            Do you read Jacobin? They published an interview with Barbara and Karen Fields not too long ago.

          • Anthony

            Yes, I do and I’m familiar with their work (Racecraft, as you respectfully imply). By the way, I enjoy your TAI contributions, thanks.

          • StudentZ

            Thanks! I enjoy yours, too. I meant to reply earlier, but I think I was momentarily incapacitated by the overwhelming urge to respond to every new comment posted here. I’m trying to resist the urge because I’m supposed to be doing work.

          • Anthony

            Moderate, space your time, reply where needed, and you’re welcome.

          • QET

            The problem is that we all cannot agree on what is “real” and what isn’t. “Real” is usually set up in opposition to something that is socially constructed, but since we can find someone to argue to us that any particular aspect of our selves or our identities is socially constructed, there seems to be no place left for the “person in himself” (to plagiarize Kant). Basically, if our entire social existence is necessarily (ay, there’s the rub) built on constructions, then constructions, race included, must necessarily be real.

            Racecraft is a term I am not familiar with, but I am passingly familiar with critical race theory, whose practitioners insist that classic critical theory is defective because it fails to center race in its analysis. So race certainly seems to be real to them. (And in fact I believe that blacks, in America anyway, are quite sincere in this: for a black person in America, race is the real par excellence). And the nonsense known as “intersectionality” was, in my view, invented by black writers, or at least most insistently promoted by them, in order to make certain that race remained primus inter pares among all of the various “marginalized identities” that have proliferated like weeds in this era.

          • Anthony

            You over dramatize (which is both your inclination and style – not a critique but an observation) and sans critical race theory, consider “conjuring” – the trick to make something appear real (racecraft). Not black or white, qet, but a catechism that includes the inherent distinctions of different people corresponding to the names that “human beings” invented for them. Finally, I agree about primus inter pares clouding clarity of subject (Homo erectus [and woman]). Keep on helping….

          • QET

            Woman = Homo erecta? Femina erectus? 🙂

            I know that some people conceive of the true “subject” as a being whose essence is species (that is how I interpret your reference to Homo erectus (re my play on words, query whether really radical feminism does not in fact presuppose that women are a different species altogether from men)), but I can’t concur. The argument seems to be that a simply “human” identity is the ideal to be striven for even if it can’t ever be reached (a Platonic Form). The more “constructs” or accidents that we can discard along the way–race, gender, e.g.–the more “progress” we make.

            But while it may be true that our being is essentially only human, like Karl Popper I say that what we want is not truth, but interesting truth. A squirrel cannot be said to be an individual; only a human being can. But what makes one an individual is one’s difference from others, not one’s sameness. I don’t see how one can be a meaningful subject, a subject worthy of interest, except as an individual, and if one’s individuality consists in difference and if difference is a matter of constructs and not essence, then reality must be a matter of constructs. That constructs come and go over time does not make them unreal. The problem for people seems to be less the matter of constructs per se and more the question of rank-ordering them.

            So I guess I am a quasi-Realist: the entities Race and Gender, constructs though they may be, are real. “Humanness,” the essence of being human, I consider to be an unreal entity at the present time. I can only see that quality becoming real if and when intelligent, or at least sentient, life is discovered on another planet. Only when all of us humans share the same “Other” will it then be possible for us to live and relate to one another as “humans” and not as Africans, Europeans, etc.

          • Anthony

            Yeah, thanks for the homo erecta (but I didn’t want to exaggerate[ nor exclude] – leave it to the dramatist). What is real, qet, is life. If you need distinctions (categories) for psychic comfort by all means.

          • Jim__L

            The solution is to stop insisting Race is real.

            Colorblindness will solve this problem, and nothing else will.

          • D4x

            Ten thousand years to get from black to blonde

          • D4x

            TY for drawing me back to read these comments, well, the ones that do not veer off into philosophy.
            Mostly, TY for the upvote on my ‘Which painting should FLOTUS borrow from the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art’s Mellon Collection NOT on view, for the WH residence, instead of reacting to the Guggenheim’s childish behavior over the best van Gogh ever but not worthy of public display?” contest.
            It was so much fun going through the National Gallery online archives. In addition to funding much of the building, Paul Mellon donated more than 1,000 works of art, including an incredible collection of George Catlin’s paintings of the native peoples of North, Central, and South America. For the Globalist vs Localist debate, “Assinneboine Chief Wi-Jun-Jon before and after Civilization1861/1869” oil on card mounted on paperboard https://www.nga.gov/Collection/art-object-page.50341.html was first done as a lithograph with painted detail in 1844: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9e9bb2b61a741853f68b62153f0bbfabd17ca13b42d2fe914fa0ffe875b2b6d6.jpg http://www.cartermuseum.org/picturing-america/wi-jun-jon-the-pigeons-egg-head

            Catlin was an early champion of indigenous identity. The Assinneboine murdered Chief Wi-Jun-Jon upon his return from DC, either for a bad treaty, or for going Yanqui in the Swamp. Or, not, because wiki disputes the Amon Carter Museum murder story, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-j%C3%BAn-jon , but the Smithsonian entry is most likely accurate: “[…] Wi-jún-jon returned home to the northern Plains eighteen months later a decidedly different man—dressed apparently in a “general’s” uniform and sharing what to his fellow tribesmen were astonishing accounts of the white man’s cities. They eventually rejected his stories as “ingenious fabrication of novelty and wonder,” and his persistence in telling such “lies” eventually led to his murder.”
            POTUS must have this Catlin already hanging in the residence. Too cool to stay in storage.

          • Jim__L

            Thank you for picking some great paintings out of that gallery! Your posts are one great reason to read Disqus. 🙂

            I have to say your posts on the ME are a bit over my head… I don’t feel informed enough to weigh in on them one way or another, which is the only reason I hesitate to upvote them all.

          • D4x

            Thank you so much. After that comment, I visited the WH museum site, and noticed the Catlin paintings on a full wall in the Obama residence: Treaty Room. better than the bad modern art elsewhere. http://www.whitehousemuseum.org/floor2/treaty-room.htm
            The tradition is that no photographs of the WH residence until the final year of the term, which is so frustrating! Really want to see what FLOTUS has done, especially the art. The other dilemma is that honor always went to Conde Nast’s Architectural Digest, which is the heart of this venal ‘resistance’.

            Have waited years to comment online again on US foreign policy, especially the ME. The comments on philosophy and political theory are over my head. Personally, would rather be commenting about art, but the postmodernist politically correct destroyed art criticism. They trashed POTUS’ choice for the Andrew Jackson portrait in the Oval Office, because of Jackson. The artist was such a close friend of Jackson – well, another story America will never hear. And, now FL Melania has almost disappeared because of more slander. It is awful what the culture media is doing, and worse that conservative media only reacts, never changes the story – which is what I tried to do with the paintings.
            Will we ever know what happens? Will the Macrons stay in the Queen’s bedroom, or Blair House?

            See you again!

        • StudentZ

          Pomerantsev is more reflective than forceful here,and I consider his rejection of the “globalist” identity less of a declaration about what does not exist than rumination on the inherent complexities of what does. I can relate to his perspective, not as someone with comparable life experience, but as a kindred spirit who finds the human condition ironic and paradoxical, as well. Also, fiction can sometimes capture certain ineffable qualities of isolation and social existence better than nonfiction, so I don’t think his essay is diminished by his references to Gazdanov.

          In general, national identity is tackled in complex ways around the globe, so I cannot agree with your second-to-last sentence. Certainly, Tibetans and Uyghurs may contest certain notions of Chinese national identity, and both India and China would likely reject nationalist arguments in disputes over Doklam. Taiwan, South Korea, and much of Asia would also reject Chinese nationalism to the extent that it justifies imperialism or subjugation. As for Africa, I am not sure if you are referring to Pan-Africanism or nationalism within African states, where European colonialism has created an entirely different set of contradictions. For example, nationalism probably means something different depending on whom you ask in Zimbabwe, since some may prefer to identify as Shona, Ndebele, Rhodesian, or part of a broader regional or continental movement. People in Harare or Bulawayo may even embrace a more worldly cosmopolitan persona to distance themselves from the rural majority. My point is that countries around the world struggle with national and ethnic identities, too, particularly in the wake of war, genocide, or colonialism, and there are many examples of this in fiction, from Alejo Carpentier’s The Kingdom of This World to Wole Soyinka’s The Interpreters.

          • QET

            I should have been more specific. It is Western writers who routinely nowadays insist that nationalism and nation-centered identities be stuffed into the dustbin of history, but their critique only ever seems to extend to Western nationalities. And I don’t believe that Tibetans et al. are calling for a non-national globalist identity in their opposition to China but rather a specific recognition of Tibetan, e.g., identity. In other words, nationalism. Much of the world is only recently getting the opportunity to inhabit its own nationalism politically, and the last thing such people want is to be told they must merge their identities with everyone else’s in a giant globalist totality.

          • Diws

            The attitude seems to be one of cultural relativism for other cultures, and progressivism for the West. What I mean is the inevitable march of History which in a very real sense makes today’s Progressive adherents superior to any traditionalist, or really anyone else who lived in a past age. That is why we get non-judgement on historical depredations against past purveyors of atrocity should they have a darker skin or hail from a different culture – it is not our place to judge the mutineers at the Cawnpore well, the Haitian revolution, the ethnic cleansers in Rhodesia. A kind of post-Christianity in which salvation is attained not by trust in a deity or good works, but by simply holding the correct opinions (and has some serious Manichean and even Albigensian traits). Joseph Bottum has done some really good work on the subject. Of course in this paradigm it is necessary to exaggerate any western malfeasance and minimize anything positive, so we get endless self flagellation over dubiously sourced atrocities (such as the smallpox blankets), misinterpretation of historical events (The American Civil War was a righteous crusade .. err. .march against the evils of slavery), and recently the revival of the concept of ancestral guilt. The aims of progressivism can never be obtained because mankind is not infinitely preferable, and it never seems to turn that moral relativism onto its own assumptions..

          • Jim__L

            A quibble – “As He died to make men holy, let us fight to make men free … Glory Glory Hallelujah, His truth is marching on” wasn’t a Southern battle-hymn, after all.

            I’m largely in agreement with your sentiments, with maybe some. Cortez was a conquistador, unapologetically using his sword to carve out an empire in ways we enthusiastically opposed when the Japanese did it in the 40s. However, as bad as Cortez was… the Aztecs were worse. (Which is the only reason Cortez succeeded, really — local support.)

            Any belief system that gives the Aztecs (or Imperial Japanese) a pass, is one that certainly can’t be trusted.

          • Diws

            I think that we are usually on the same page, Jim. I see indignation about slavery as not so much a cause for the Civil War and more of a motivation for some of the population including the troops to prosecute the war. Democracies, indeed representative governments, tend to undergo mass brainwashings when going to war, and the more sacrifices such war demands the more pervasive the conformity. Were some of the troops avid abolitionists? Sure. But most were not. Anyway, this is still a massive can of worms.

            I am all for reserving or at least attempting to suppress moral judgement in the reading of history – at the very least until such history is understood. That is one of my most fundamental disagreements (really need a stronger word here) with the left, as it tends to see history as a morality play exclusively oriented towards our contemporary issues, as the left defines them.

          • QET

            Agreed. Francis Jennings insisted on describing the European settlement of North America as an “invasion.” And the smallpox blanket is an excellent example of the agenda-motivation of progressive historical revisionists.

            I have no issue with presenting the bad effects of Western colonization and hegemony along with the good. There is both bad and good. But what progressives insist we believe is that the bad refutes the good and negates it, which it doesn’t, not logically and not historically.

          • Jim__L

            So, does the (collective) West get to steal from the (collective) Mongols because their ancestors catapulted animals infected with the plague into the besieged Black Sea port of Jaffa in 1348, because the fleeing merchants carried the Black Death to the rest of Europe? These are people who really had been deliberately and violently invading everyone else for the previous 150 years or so.

            It’s absurd. It’s ancient history.

          • Dale Fayda

            I think you mean Kaffa, not Jaffa: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feodosia.

            Jaffa is on the Mediterranean sea, in modern Israel.

          • Diws

            edit: replied to wrong post

        • Jim__L

          Why the h**l do people see these “identities” as meaningful, anyway? You are the sum of your actions, not any label. Insofar as those actions are taken to deliberately fit into a label, they’re a mask, but most actions aren’t like that.

          Most actions are taken as a response (rational, principled, emotional, etc) to the situation you find yourself in. Analyzing these actions is so incredibly much more useful than any “identity” wankery that anyone who professes to hold an intellectual approach to life should be ashamed to admit “identity” into discussion.

          “He just does that because he’s a [label]”. That’s evidence of such appalling intellectual laziness — either on the part of the actor, or on the part of the observer. It’s stereotyping. Why should we tolerate it?

    • Jim__L

      It’s the old intellectual problem of not being happy to deal with the world as it is — so arbitrary-seeming — instead of (as the intellectuals would prefer) beautifully symmetric and equitable for whatever narrow slice of ideology the intellectual wishes to support.

      Globalists really are narrow, no matter how expansive they try to be. It’s possible that human beings are incapable of resolving more than a certain amount of information. If you’re zoomed in to the cellular level, you have to generalize the organelles and environmental factors. If you’re working at a human level, the cells are certainly generalized, as are mysterious “societal forces”. If you’re working on the global level, individual humans disappear too, as do any but the biggest of big businesses.

      The human mind itself narrows its subject matter, squelching detail until it becomes manageable, but in doing so it becomes hopelessly inaccurate. When the generalized mass of humanity organizes itself such that an individual can stand at a turning point of history (the influence of a “great man”, a person using his 15 minutes of fame, or even a single “one-hit-wonder”-like decision that happens to echo in eternity) and uses his own will to change things, it throws everything into turmoil.

      Globalism tries to transcend all the massive detail of human life. It is doomed to fail.

  • It seems that everything is a matter of semantics these days.

    I do not think globalism in and of itself, integrating international trade and commerce and exchanging different goods and ideas, is evil, but it is something that can easily be hijacked or manipulated by elite interests, something that is very costly to the common people. Some people believe that globalism is analogous to “multiculturalism”, but it is not exactly the same.

    • Jim__L

      Globalism can be done right, or it can be done wrong. Right now it’s being done wrong, to the advantage of the internationalist upper classes and to the detriment of the (largely Western) lower classes. If I can be forgiven for using Marxist terminology, it’s about finding global labor pools to exploit. This is fairly good for the global labor pools (see the 100s of millions coming out of poverty), but VERY bad for Western labor pools (see Trump).

      Is the global Capitalist revolution that has raised a huge chunk of humanity out of poverty really a bad thing overall? No. As a first-order effect it should be protected. But the social unrest caused by the fall of Western workers into poverty / meaninglessness is a critical problem to be solved as well.

      A better solution? Put a throttle on the rate of job loss from the 1st world to the 3rd world (including the rate of jobs lost in the 1st world itself, to 3rd world immigrants). The 3rd world should benefit from the rising tide, it’s practically immoral to forbid this. But if that rate is slower because of 1st world policies, that’s a lesser evil than the unrest caused by falling standards for 1st worlders.

    • Jim__L

      Cultural / political globalism on the other hand, is a blunder start to finish.

      Many of the most effective battle cries in history have fallen under the category, “We will not be ruled by those whose ways are strange to us.”

      Trying to force everyone into the same polity cannot succeed. The different experiences of life in various regions of the world — for historical reasons, for geographical reasons, and just simply for reasons of chaotic fashion — will never be similar enough to prevent the standard of rebellion from being raised.

      No matter how much globalists hate walls, good walls make good neighbors.

  • Martha Bayles

    Nice to see you flexing those literary muscles, Peter. The same question is explored, with a similarly light touch, in the American context, in Ralph Ellison’s long-winded but wonderful essay, “The Little Man at Chehaw Station.”

  • Martha Bayles

    P.S. “Martha Bayles” is a pseudonym. My real name is Martha Bayles.

  • Curious Mayhem

    Whatever discomfort Peter felt in London recently, Brexit really has nothing to do with him and others like him. Britain has hosted fleeing refugees and dissidents of various types throughout modern times.

    What is new is the loss of democratic sovereignty, either real or perceived, as the EU and the EC take over more and more aspects of life in the EU — when it’s not just Germany bullying other countries with the EU as the vehicle.

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