T Nation

Nationalism and Globalism


#1

I thought this might be an interesting thread.

We could talk about the US, and from both historical and international perspectives.

Here’s a start. I thought this article was really interesting, and would be a good jumping off point. I’d appreciate your thoughts on where this is going, trends, and how we can look at Brexit, Trump, the Alt-right, etc…

@loppar - I’d love to hear you chime in about what’s going on in Europe. I’m trying to do better with understanding foreign affairs and history so I thought this was a good topic to talk around. Ha! I need to expand my knowledge of economics and monetary/fiscal policy, but that stuff is less interesting to me. Of course, it all beings to tie in, so maybe that will work itself into this.


#2

Very interesting topic. I will offer what perspective I can from an Anglo-Irish perspective once I have finished the article.


#3

Thanks, Legalsteel. That would be awesome. You slipped my mind when I tagged loppar. The article talks quite a lot about the UK.

I know it’s long, and a bit academic. I will come back in a day or two with a few questions, and some of my thoughts but I wanted to give people a chance to read it if they wish, and form some ideas before I jump in.


#4

[quote=“Powerpuff, post:1, topic:224858”]
@loppar - I’d love to hear you chime in about what’s going on in Europe. [/quote]

What’s happening. The same thing that’s happening in the US, only with slightly different protagonists and scenery. If you want to know about some specific aspect in more detail, let me know…

The article does a very good job of identifying the problem, but it gets muddled at the end when discussing possible “solutions”.

Angela Merkel’s decision to allow the equivalent of one percent of the German population into the country in a single year can be best described with the following analogy - a bored gated community teenager professes that he’s tired of his bland, sanitized existence and posts an open invitation to a party at his house on Facebook, hoping to attract inner city revelers to spice things up because he believes that he’ll like “living on the edge”. Belatedly he realizes with complete horror that the people that came to the party a) don’t want to leave and b) are much, much “edgier” that he believed is even possible.


#5

I think so too. I appreciated your thoughts, and the analogy.

Thanks. Just thinking out loud here.

I came across this quote from a December article in The New Yorker. Oddly enough, the article wasn’t overtly about politics From The Year of Hygge, the Danish Obsession with Getting Cozy . "Scandinavia has a reputation for tolerance, but all three countries are tense over immigration these days and have seen surging support for far-right groups. Bo Lidegaard, a Danish historian, told the Times in September that many Danes feel strongly that “we are a multiethnic society . . . but we are not and should never become a multicultural society.” " Emphasis mine.

I’m not sure what to think about that distinction. As you know, in the US we’re a nation of immigrants with many ethnic groups. I thought that was interesting to hear a Dane talking about how they do NOT want to be multicultural. It goes along with the article’s points about the goal of assimilation. However, the idea of a “melting pot” has become an insulting PC swear word here in the US. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

In the days after the election here I heard talk like, “the economically distressed white voters in Appalachia need to suck it up and move.” As if it was very easy for people who may make $12 per hour, are upside down on their homes, and are caring for elderly parents to “just move.” To what? And with what? I was a little surprised to hear zero sympathy for that from my neighbors. They seem blind to class issues, unless you are a member of a protected identity group. It’s hard to imagine any of them saying that the poor black single-mother in Chicago should “just move!”

This is the kind of thing I was hearing from some of the intellectuals here. A FB quote from a friend of mine. You get the idea of her politics since she was on her way to an Angela Davis lecture. This was the day after the election. Anyway…

“What an amazing evening I had hearing Angela Davis speak last night --there could have been no better voice against the tragedy of Tuesday than hers. She attributes the result not to any failed strategy of Clinton’s, but to racism and “the revenge of history.” And that a national electoral politics shouldn’t be the only defining characteristic of our personal and community politics. Change has to happen, and it will if we want it–complacency is over.”

I’m wondering if you see the racism and xenophobia accusations for anyone who is concerned about the refugees? Many people think of patriotism as a positive thing, but when you say “nationalism” we tend to think of little kids in brown shirts, or Japanese zeros.

Just a couple of thoughts for now. I see our situation as a bit different because we have the long standing issue of immigration across our border with Mexico, and of immigration policies that have been more open than much of Europe. Then we have the new situation of how many Syrian or other refugees from the Middle East to accept and how to vet them.


#6

To the topic. This is a short clip of a much longer interview with Milo Yiannopoulos talking with the BBC. This piece about immigration, culture and race.


#7

Oh Arturo, prince of irony. Just a few short years ago, the culture and practices of people with his sexual orientation were considered to be an existential threat to Western values. And just as others fought to marginalize gays and minimize their presence, he now endeavors to do the same to the latest existential threat–the Islamic ‘other.’

I don’t know if you’re posting him with approval or opprobrium, PP. But if it’s approval…Well, let’s just say that having a Mormon citing a gay man on the danger of The Other only doubles the irony.


#8

See how far we’ve come, and in such a short period of time? Who says progressive values and strategies don’t work. Next election cycle we’ll see “Trans for Trump” leading the charge for another term!

Seriously though, what did he say that was wrong?

I mean, technically, I’m a white nationalist. I’m white, and I want to put American interests at home first.

Why would someone take those two things and conflate them with no foundation in logic or any proof what so ever to mean racist?


#9

Neither. I’m not sure what to make of all of this. Thinking about some of this is new to me. I honestly hadn’t thought about what’s going on in terms of the tensions in the article, even a year ago.

In terms of gay people and Radical Islam, I can see why he would feel it’s a threat to him since some of these countries not only have no tolerance for him, but would stone him to death. It’s a bit more than seeing them as “the other” if you feel like they would kill you for being gay. I would sincerely like to know what you think his reaction should be? I’m genuinely confused at why the progressives in our country who genuinely support and have fought so hard for civil rights for the LGBT population and women seem to really get upset at any worry or concern about Islamic immigration. I think this confuses a lot of us.

edited to add -
Back to the more academic view, did you get a chance to read the article I put up? Did you like it?


#10

First of all deep racism. Their racism, because obviously they believe that one cannot hold “brown people” accountable on the same level when it comes to ethical, moral, cultural standards, overall human rights and gender equality.

Second, safety. Their personal safety. For example, joining a student union/organization fighting for rights of Palestinians is safe. You won’t get a bunch of marauding Jews burst into your lecture hall (or so I assume). Speaking about islam? We’ll, those guys may really appear at your doorstep.


#11

To @EyeDentist above - This is me talking to Raj in another thread, but I think it’s helpful to know more about our experience. To clarify, I can empathize with Milo saying Islam in that we don’t know what numbers are, or will become radicalized. I did see a Pew poll about attitudes on some of these social issues that scared me. I’ll try to find it.


#12

I suspect you would be more accurately described as a nationalist who happens to be white. But out of respect, I’m going to give you a chance to prove you’re a bigot via one simple question: Do you define “American interests” in terms of (for lack of a better term) white culture? Or is it more in terms of honoring and respecting the ‘American way:’ the primacy of the rule of law; the sanctity of personal rights, faith in the democratic process, etc?


#13

Maybe I missed it, but I didn’t get the feeling he was eschewing Muslims out of fear for the safety of gays–rather, it was to protect Western Civ writ large.

I did read it, and enjoyed it. As a former Cognitive Psych prof, the author had me at ‘Psychology research demonstrates…’


#14

Definitely the later.

I actually couldn’t give any better description of “white culture” than I could “black culture”. I’m of the school that social strata is a greater determining factor in the trajectory ones life takes than color.


#15

That’s what I thought. I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you’re not a white nationalist.


#16

No worries. I actually used to have some associations with real, dyed in the wool-initiated in prison white power types. I wouldn’t even call them nationalists. They’re really outliers of society, grouped up in small patches for themselves. Main problem there is that they can’t even do that without killing each other. They just don’t stand a chance in any way shape or form of living a free and decent life.

Huge difference. I don’t even have any tattoos.

What the nationalist vs. globalist thing comes down to for me is the idea that you must do for yourself before you are capable of doing for others, extended to a national level. It’s not, in my book racistsexistxenophobic to value the well being of my fellow countrymen over those who are not. The ASCE has rated our infrastructure as a nation to be somewhere between suck and complete crap for over a decade. That infrastructure is paid for by every working person in the US. Now to keep our poop from running into the neighbors house- http://www.wsj.com/articles/giant-sinkhole-forces-22-families-out-of-homes-near-detroit-1483037173 we need more people making those taxablle dollars- From CEOs to guys pushing brooms. Just Yelling “WE’RE GLOBAL” because boobs just isn’t cutting it anymore.

Eh, thats all for me tonight. This stuff is way too thinky.


#17

This might help. He came to Orlando after the night club shooting there.

“I’m here to give you a warning from Europe,” Yiannopoulos said. “I’m from London and I know what happens when governments and the media collude to pander to and to mollycoddle Islam. I know what happens to gay people, I know what happens to trans people, I know what happens to women.”

Yiannopoulos then cited a Gallup poll of Muslims in the U.K. that found that 100 percent of polled Muslims believed homosexuality was unacceptable.

He argued that Islam as a whole, not just radical Islam, has a problem when it comes to treatment of gays.

“This is Muslims in the west,” he said. “This is not radical Islam. This is Islam.”

I think as a gay man that would be my concern, and I’ve wondered why progressives aren’t more outspoken about the anti-gay rhetoric if it stems from Islam since we’re now trying to absorb so many refugees into western societies. Maybe they feel that they can’t do anything about it, or as @loppar said, they are afraid for their personal safety.[quote=“EyeDentist, post:13, topic:224858”]
I did read it, and enjoyed it. As a former Cognitive Psych prof, the author had me at ‘Psychology research demonstrates…’
[/quote]

I’m glad. I honestly hadn’t thought of some of these things in quite that way before, and it helped me connect the dots a bit. I don’t remember hearing the term alt-right before 2016. I think we’re all trying to figure out how these things are connected.


#18

From the WSJ, Nov 21, 2016. Bret Stephens, Trump’s Neo-Nationalists
‘America first’ is not a policy or a motto. It’s an implicit accusation of disloyalty.

“I’m an economic nationalist. I am an America first guy. And I have admired nationalist movements throughout the world, have said repeatedly strong nations make great neighbors. I’ve also said repeatedly that the ethno-nationalist movement, prominent in Europe, will change over time. I’ve never been a supporter of ethno-nationalism.”

So said Stephen K. Bannon,Donald Trump’s chief strategist, in a wide-ranging interview with my colleague Kimberley Strassel published in these pages on Saturday. Later in the interview Mr. Bannon inveighed against “the policies of globalism,” which, he said, had “severely hurt” the interests of America’s working and middle classes of every race.

Over the weekend, several friends told me they found the interview reassuring about Mr. Bannon. I found it chilling.

Start with economic nationalism, a shopworn idea commonly associated with Latin American governments such as Juan Perón’s Argentina. In its milder form, economic nationalism means state subsidies for national-champion companies, giant infrastructure projects, targeted tariff protections for politically favored industries, “Buy American” provisions in government contracting, federal interventions against foreign takeovers of “sensitive” companies.

The U.S. already does much of this on a bipartisan basis, so let’s assume that Mr. Bannon’s notion of “economic nationalism” doesn’t end by demanding that federal workers drive American cars. What else might it mean?

In France, it has meant bailouts for failing industrial giants like Alstom. In Japan, it has meant 800% tariffs on imported rice, decades of blowout spending on airports, roads and bridges, and chronic hostility to immigration. Russia passed more protectionist measures in 2013 than any other country, according to the Moscow Times.

What do these and other countries that practice variants of economic nationalism have in common? France, where the state accounts for 57% of the economy, hasn’t seen annual GDP growth top 3% since the turn of the millennium. Japan, which has the world’s oldest population along with the highest debt-to-GDP ratio, experienced no fewer than five recessions between 2008 and 2015. Russia’s GDP contracted by 40% between 2013 and 2015. Its economy is now half the size of Great Britain’s.

Economic nationalism, in other words, means economic ruin—along with all the political favoritism, crony capitalism and inefficiency that Americans usually associate with Solyndra, the Synfuels Corp., or the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Mr. Bannon wants to double down on this winning formula.

Mr. Bannon also says he’s “America first,” which—see if you can spot the difference—either is or isn’t “America First.” Either way, the animating impulse behind “America first” is that there are some Americans who put their country second, or last, presumably behind their ethnic loyalties, ideological affinities or economic interests. America first isn’t a policy program or a political motto so much as it is an accusation of disloyalty. What real American, after all, wouldn’t put “America first” in his political priorities?

Mr. Bannon’s answer, along with that of the alt-right movement he has proudly championed through his Breitbart website, is “the globalists.” The globalists are supposed to be the bankers at Goldman Sachs who paid Mrs. Clinton her handsome speaking fees. They are editorial writers at this newspaper, who champion the virtues of free trade and a liberal immigration policy. They are the “warmongers” demanding sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine.

But the truth is that Wall Street bankers, recently naturalized immigrants and even mainstream journalists have as much right to advocate a view of the American interest as Mr. Bannon and his fellow travelers. That’s the American way, which disavows traditional concepts of nationalism in favor of a broader ideal of citizenship—identity defined primarily by participation and aspiration, not ancestry. Nationalism may be a fine idea for Japan or Iceland. America is exceptional because it’s built on a different premise.

As for Mr. Bannon’s admiration for nationalist movements, that might explain the odd way in which Breitbart has deployed anti-Semitic tropes to denounce “globalist” Jewish writers such as the Washington Post’s Anne Applebaum while being stalwart in its support for Israel. Whatever the case, the distinction between nationalism and ethno-nationalism is a slippery one.

As my colleague Bari Weiss pointed out in a recent article in Tablet, the foremost figure of today’s alt-right, Richard Spencer, dreams of “a new society, an ethno-state that would be a gathering point for all Europeans. It would be a new society based on very different ideals than, say, the Declaration of Independence.” Mr. Spencer’s vision may not be Mr. Bannon’s. But the newfound political power of the latter will inevitably open channels for the former.

In “The Second Coming,” Yeats asked, “What rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” The answer, it may yet turn out, is the likes of Steve Bannon and his ugly litter of neo-nationalists.

Write bstephens@wsj.com.


#19

I am extremely dubious of a poll that purports 100% agreement on anything. But setting that aside and flipping the script: A poll of Mormons on homosexuality would likely yield results quite similar to those of Muslims, yes? Given this, does it follow that Mormonism is “a problem”?

Why would a gay man be concerned about a group with utterly no political power in this country? If I were a gay man, I would be far more concerned about the LDS.

(Needless to say I hope, I’m not trying to pick on or besmirch your faith-tradition, and mean no disrespect toward it. Further, I am in no way suggesting an equivalence between even ‘hard-line’ Mormons with jihadists.)


#20

I’ll try to answer your questions as best I can. Don’t worry about offending me by asking religious questions. I’ll try not to give you the gospel according to Puff, since I’m a sample of one.

This might help a bit for some background.
From our Articles of Faith - a list of basic tenets of our faith.
11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

And this statement issued by the LDS Newsroom on December 8, 2015. This was issued just one day after Trump’s “Muslim no fly” comments.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is neutral in regard to party politics and election campaigns. However, it is not neutral in relation to religious freedom. The following statements by Joseph Smith from 1841 and 1843 are consistent with the Church’s position today:

If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a “Mormon,” I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves. It is a love of liberty which inspires my soul — civil and religious liberty to the whole of the human race.

—Joseph Smith, 1843

Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, that the Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Latter-day Saints, Quakers, Episcopals, Universalists, Unitarians, Mohammedans [Muslims], and all other religious sects and denominations whatever, shall have free toleration, and equal privileges in this city …

—Ordinance in Relation to Religious Societies, City of Nauvoo, [Illinois] headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, March 1, 1841

Just guessing here, but Milo is from the UK. If we look at Europe, I’d guess that people are concerned about high rates of immigration along with relatively high birth rates among Muslims flipping this rather quickly. Since the Orlando shooter targeted gay people, I can see reason for that group to have some fear.

I mentioned a Pew Poll on Muslim beliefs earlier. This might be helpful if you’re looking to compare and contrast LDS views. I find much of these attitudes very concerning. Look at the numbers of people who support Sharia law for non-muslims, or who support execution for people who leave their faith tradition, or who support stoning for other offenses.

http://www.pewforum.org/2013/04/30/the-worlds-muslims-religion-politics-society-beliefs-about-sharia/

Me too, and I haven’t seen the poll he was referring to.

Please take a minute to read our official statement here, before reading my opinions about some of the politics of it.

Let me give you a little history regarding the politics of this, and my opinion. The church supported “Marriage between a man and a woman,” while supporting civil unions and all rights that would go along with that. That position would look more like what was going on in the UK where Milo is from, or what Elton John proposed at the time. The LDS church took issue with the word “marriage” specifically, but is opposed to any discrimination. Utah has been a leader among the states to pass LGBT anti-discrimination laws. When CA passed Prop 22 in 2000, 61.4% of the state supported it. A broad coalition of churches including the Catholics, and other evangelical and protestant groups supported traditional marriage. A majority of Black and Hispanic voters supported Prop 22. There was a similar situation with Prop 8, in 2008 but by that time support for gay marriage had begun to rise, so it only passed with 52.47% of the vote. Again, there was a broad coalition of different religious groups who supported Prop 8.

The LDS church was a target for the left on this issue, in part because we’re a young, centrally organized church that they view as predominantly White and Republican (That is shifting very rapidly on both fronts, but that’s another story.) AND We’re more organized than many other religions in terms of quickly bringing humanitarian aid to hurricane ravaged Baton Rouge, and we’re also more organized and effective in mobilizing on moral issues like state-sponsored gambling or the definition of marriage. Also, it’s far less risky to say, “Look, the Mormons hate gays.” What do Dems have to loose in that? It’s far more risky to say, “Look the Catholics and more religious Jews, and Evangelicals, and Black people, and Hispanics hate gays.” Nobody wants to alienate their voters, right? Also, remember what was going on in the Democratic party and statements both Obama and Clinton made about gay marriage back in the late 90s or early 2000s.

There’s a hypocrisy among progressives in terms of protecting some groups and not protecting others. I think you know I support free speech here, so don’t imagine that I think it’s a big problem if someone tells a Mormon, Catholic, Jew joke. BUT it’s a little weird for the secular left to think it’s perfectly fine to have a musical that mocks my beliefs, and award it a a bunch of Emmy awards. Zero LDS people opened fire in the theater, but we are to refrain from drawing a cartoon or saying anything that is offensive to Muslims. If you bring down the wrath of some jihadist, then you probably “had it coming.”