Politics on both sides of the pond seems to be becoming increasingly focused on globalism versus nationalism. In the USA, John Kerry has been telling graduates that they’re going to be living in a borderless world:
Kerry slams Trump’s wall, tells grads to prepare for ‘borderless world’
Secretary of State John Kerry took a shot at Donald Trump during his Friday commencement speech at Northeastern University, by saying no wall is big enough to keep dangerous terrorists out of the United States.
“Many of you were in elementary school when you learned the toughest lesson of all on 9/11,” he said. “There are no walls big enough to stop people from anywhere, tens of thousands of miles away, who are determined to take their own lives while they target others.”
In Europe, open borders within the EU have led to an influx of migrants much like in the USA. And the argument between the Europhiles and the Europhobes has become effectively an argument between globalists and nationalists. Are we all going to live in a globalised, borderless world in which nation states have been abolished, or continue with a world that remains partitioned into separate states?
It seems to me that a globalised, borderless world (presumably with some sort of world government) is in the first place an ideal world of the sort to which idealists always aspire. It’s an ideal world much in the same way as a “smoke-free” world is another ideal world.
For most of the rich, jet-setting, elite globalists – like John Kerry – a globalised world (and a smoke-free world) is probably already a personal reality. They already live the life of global citizens, and they naturally think in global terms (and find in Global Warming a cause which matches their globalist view of life). And they’d like everyone to share their globalised utopia.
But most people aren’t rich globe-trotters. Most people live all their lives in one country, and very often in one town in that country. And they are generally surrounded by friends and families who live in the same place, speak the same language, eat the same food, wear the same clothes, and share the same cultural values. And they are also people who will be prepared to fight to defend their country and their friends and their families and their culture. They are patriots or nationalists or (as Barack Obama called them) “nativists.” And this has been universally true everywhere throughout the whole of human history. Do the globalists really believe that this is going to stop happening any time soon? Really??
The globalists rub out the differences between places, erasing borders to create their borderless ideal world. And progressivism everywhere seems to work by denying or erasing all kinds of differences. The differences between heterosexual and homosexual relationships are erased in gay marriage. And between black and white and brown and red for racial harmonisation. And between men and women (they can now all use the same toilets). At the same time private spaces (e.g. privately owned pubs and restaurants) are deemed to be public spaces. Next they’ll be saying that private homes are public spaces too (so that smoking can be banned there too).
There is a profound collision emerging between rich, elite, globalist progressives and not-so-rich nationalist conservatives. It’s a collision between ideals and realities. It’s a collision as profound as the collision in the past century between utopian socialism and capitalism. If it is not yet a war, it sure looks set to become one soon.
Today our globalist PM David Cameron has been telling us that Brexit would lead to war and genocide. He sees the EU as preserving the peace. That’s not how I see it. My own view is more like that of historian Thierry Baudet:
Partisans of the European project invariably argue that nationalism leads to war and while the development of Europe will safeguard peace – a noble objective that is more than sufficient compensation for any loss in democracy, sovereignty and transparency caused by Brussels. However, this theory is fundamentally flawed.
Nationalism does not lead to war. Attempts to build European empires lead to war. The urge to impose a straitjacket on the will of peoples will lead to war. In short, the European project will lead to war…
Far from being a source of conflict, nationalism is the force that makes democracy possible.