16 July, 2016

Nationalists and Globalists

Jonathan Haidt (and the researchers he cites) get it: the critical split, especially in the Western democracies under threat of massive immigration is not primarily about social classes, or races, but about visions of the future. It's about Globalists versus Nationalists. Globalists tend to assume Nationalists are racist homophobes who want a world of white privilege, and some are. Nationalists tend to assume Globalists are naive elitists who want to erase borders, and some are. In my field, the traditional distinction between Realists and Liberals reflects this split somewhat. It was easier to manage when people had much less direct contact with one another (and is reflected in the long-standing American mistrust of the Foreign Service). Now we are in one another's faces. We withdraw to Fox News and MSNBC to recharge, and then go back to the fight. For example: Rob Gannon, I think you are more of a Nationalist, but one who recognizes the Globalists make a few good points. As for me, my Heart is with the Globalists, but my Head has accepted that for today and the near future, the World is Nationalist. Not everyone accepts the idea of universal human rights, and quite probably never will. Our "common humanity" is more like a matter of degree. And there's a big advantage on the Nationalist side: many more people are willing to kill and die for their nation than are ever willing to carry a gun for free speech and multiculturalism.
And how moral psychology can help explain and reduce tensions between the two.

1 comment:

Daniel McIntosh said...

It may look like I'm falling into the dichotomy trap I mentioned in my last post. I'm not. There are very few perfect examples of either type. Most of us try to be both, to some degree, and that creates some cognitive dissonance. It is especially true for committed Liberals, and Liberalism was the intellectual basis of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. If EVERYONE has rights, shouldn't we be doing something about it? Everywhere? And what about rights in conflict? Does my culture, based on a thousand years of tradition, have the rights to female slavery and genital mutilation? Liberalism, taken to its logical conclusion, can be self-contradictory. Our founding fathers squared that circle by assuming that everyone, given sufficient time and the shining example of our "city on a hill" would eventually join Jefferson's "Empire of Liberty." Today, two centuries later, it's harder to stick to that line. It's more like, as the isolationists warned, falling into the trap of being a world empire has corrupted us.