2016 June 26 Sunday
Brexit, Transnationalists, Nationalists

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 

jb said at June 27, 2016 11:20 AM:

Sailer has a post up that perfectly illustrates the juxtaposition between the elite and masses on multiculturalism, about a chicken processing plant in Nebraska that the locals rejected. For the elite it's business profits and taxes, for the masses it's getting your 400 person community and schools overrun with 1,100 Somalians and Central Americans. No thanks. Of course the elite and the masses agree that having your community overrun by Somalians and Central Americans will turn it into a stinking third-world hell, but the elite just don't care. No, it's worse than that, they get off on punishing the white masses. The history of civilization is the history of the wolves at the top feeding on those below as long as there is no external danger. When external danger arises why, then, we're all in this together. Of course it's worse, more vicious, when a significant percentage of the wolves at the top are (((foreigners))).

Dan said at July 16, 2016 7:01 AM:

There is a non-selfish case for strong borders, which is the argument from ecology. I have never heard this argument made, but consider ocean ecology.

The open ocean is, relatively speaking, uniform, bland and mostly barren. If you take a square km of open ocean, there will be some life but it will not be very pretty or diverse.

Contrast this with a reef (whether natural or man-made). It is teeming with colorful life of all kinds, with incredible variety and beauty. One square km of reef contains orders of magnitude more life and much more diversity than the open ocean ever could. This is naturally achieved with coral but you can achieve the same effect by sinking a ship or even dropping a rusty city bus in the ocean.

What achieves this? Simply, borders, walls, barriers. If you suddenly made all the walls vanish in a reef ecosystem, surely 99% of all its life would be dead within a week, even though the climate would be the same in all other respects.

Barriers are the stuff that ecosystems are made of, and this is just as true of humans as it is of marine life. Globalists who seek a borderless 'open ocean' are dissolving cultures and reducing human thriving (for most) and actually reducing diversity, quite the opposite of what the globalists claim is their objective.

BBA Project Help said at December 22, 2016 9:54 PM:

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