Some Thoughts on Nationalist Populism

Steve Turley:

“All over the world there’s been a massive blowback against the anti-cultural processes of globalisation”

His latest video has someone smoking a cigarette:

Steve Turley (and others) also often refers to the blowback as “nationalist populism.” Why should there be a global surge of nationalist populism right now? What triggered it?

I see the world from the point of view of a smoker, and so I’d like to try to explain nationalist populism from a smoker’s point of view.

And I’d like to point out that over the past 10 – 15 years, almost everywhere in the world, hundreds of millions of smokers have been exiled to the outdoors, expelled from society. And it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone if there are social and political consequences that have followed on from this global event. In fact, I would suggest that it would be astonishing if there were not major consequences to this major event.

Furthermore, what has happened to hundreds of millions of smokers has been pretty much the same everywhere. They’ve been expelled from the bars and cafes and restaurants they once inhabited. They’ve become exiles in their own countries. They have the same, shared experience as smokers everywhere else in the world. And they are responding in the same way.

The smoking bans that have multiplied across the world are a tiny part of an elite globalist project which extends well beyond mere smoking bans, and effectively amounts to a global revolution in which the whole world is re-made according to a carefully-worked-out plan which includes any number of forced cultural and economic changes, ranging from diet to light bulbs and carbon dioxide all the way up to the abolition of the nation state. It’s a revolution from the top down, rather than from the bottom up. It’s a revolution in which the cultural elites impose their beliefs on the people beneath them. And it’s a revolution they have undertaken because they happen to be in control of the world, as elites usually everywhere are.

And this is where the backlash starts. For the backlash is that of the people against the imperious elites. It’s a “populist” revolt against an arrogant, bullying, imperious elite trying to impose its vision on ordinary people who do not share that vision.

That’s the “populist” bit. Now for the “nationalist” bit. And this is a backlash against the global character of the elite vision. For the elite regard the world as one single, undifferentiated place, while the peoples of the world, nearly all of whom live in one place on the surface of planet Earth, regard the world as being highly differentiated into different countries (China, India, etc.), and even with different regions within those countries. Ordinary people everywhere identify with the places and cultures into which they were born. They don’t regard themselves as “citizens of the world.” It’s really only the elites, forever jetting around the world to meet at Davos, who can gaze down on the world beneath them from an altitude of 10 km, and see it as a single undifferentiated planet.

So the “nationalism” that accompanies the “populism” is a re-assertion of particular geographic identity over global, planetary identity. I’m not a Citizen of the World: I’m English.

Furthermore, in the case of smokers who have become exiles in their own countries, there must always be a powerful desire to be re-united with their homelands, and to take back the countries that have been taken from them. And smokers want to return to the indoor tables they occupied before they were so rudely evicted.

So this new “nationalism” isn’t like the nationalism of a century ago, which saw rivalries between nations, leading to wars between nations. The new “nationalism” is simply the re-assertion of real local identity in the face of an false, imaginary, “global identity”. Nor is it quite “patriotism” which is love of country. It is instead the longing of the exile to return to a native land (which might be either Eden or Israel) from which he has been expelled.

And smokers are just one of many different social groups which have found themselves alienated and exiled, in one way or other. And they are “conservatives” only in the sense that they preferred things the way they were before they were uprooted and exiled.

So “nationalist populism” or “localist populism” must be  contrasted with “globalist elitism.” And the populists far outnumber the elites. And the elites are losing control: the European Union is another elite project, and Brexit is a nationalist-populist revolt against this globalist elite project. If the elites launched a new kind of revolution from above,  the peoples of Europe are in process of conducting a counter-revolution from below, the result of which will be the defeat and destruction of the elites (and therefore the destruction of the global elite projects of Tobacco Control and Climate Control ).

There’s probably much more that can be said about all this. The elites began ceasing to be true elites when they ceased to speak and act on behalf of the people, but instead started to speak and act against them. Once the elites broke faith with the people, it was inevitable that the people would lose faith in the elites, and cease to listen to them, and start looking for people who would properly represent them.


About Frank Davis

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4 Responses to Some Thoughts on Nationalist Populism

  1. Clicky says:

  2. Clicky says:

  3. Furtive Ferret says:

    Interesting piece on George Siri’s from the BBC a couple of days ago that I thought may be relevant here:

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