Great Britain is going to exit the European Union. Good for them. Britain is lucky it still has its own currency. Otherwise Brexit would be very difficult. Megan McArdle argues that the transnationalists need to make peace with their nationalist neighbors who have their own interests and preferences. But I do not see that happening.
Even simple self-interest suggests that it may be time for the elites in Britain and beyond to sue for peace, rather than letting their newborn transnational identity drive them into a war they can’t win -- as happened with so many new states in the 19th and 20th centuries. Try to reforge common identities with the neighbors they have to live with, and look for treaty rules that will let them live in peace. Unfortunately, it’s not clear that transnationalism is any more capable of tempering its own excesses than the nationalism that preceded it.
I do not think the global elites are capable of tempering their excesses. I've made a related argument in here. The elites want what they want and aren't going to give up wanting it and trying to get it.
What's needed: a reshuffling of a slice of the world's population so that many transnationalists can all live in the same city-states without nationalists (think of several Singapores). These places would be Transnationalistan or perhaps Global Land. Global Land can be a set of cities with little countryside around them. A sort of Hanseatic League perhaps. The people living in them could be lawyers, bankers, marketing executives, and other symbol manipulators. People from New York City, London, Paris, Brussels, and Frankfurt could move to them or their existing cities could be carved out into separate countries.
I expect the reshuffling to happen eventually. It won't happen yet because it requires a much higher level of automation to allow knowledge workers to break their commercial bonds with everyone else. Once the globalist symbol manipulators have very little need for service from human manual laborers the globalists aren't going to need to live near a servant class. Many of them won't want to support the lower classes with taxes on their higher class incomes.
The highly robotic and automated future isn't necessarily going to bring all the symbol manipulators together in a few city states. Rather, knowledge workers with different kinds of moral, social, and esthetic preferences could cluster in different city states. We could witness the emergence of rival city states that compete to most efficiently create congenial living and working environments for the knowledge workers with low taxes.
Another factor needed to make the city states viable: even greater mutual revulsion between the nationalists and transnationalists. I think the transnationalists aren't going to trim their sails. So rising revulsion seems at least plausible. Consider Streetwise Professor's views:
This is a global phenomenon: the Trump insurgency in the US is another example. What is most disturbing–and most revealing–about the reaction of the elites to these outbursts of popular opposition to their direction and instruction is their lack of self-examination and humility, and their immediate resort to scorn and insult directed at those who had the temerity to defy them. Immediately after the results were clear, those voting leave were tarred as old/white/stupid/poor/uneducated/racist.
Totally lacking was the question: “If argument and evidence are so clearly on our side, why did we fail so miserably in convincing people of the obvious?” To these self-perceived elites, their superiority is self-evident and any opposition can only be attributed to mental defect or bad faith.
It is natural to not want to be ruled by people who see you as mentally defective. So a break-up of assorted polities makes sense as a way to separate the condescending elites and the proles.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2016 June 26 01:17 PM|