In my March 2 blog, the “Arrogance of Left and Ignorance of Right”, I mentioned that the great political divide of the previous 2 centuries, between Left (Labour) and Right (Conservatives & Liberals), has been replaced by a new great divide in the 21st century: between Nationalism and Globalism (a.k.a. Internationalism). The arrogance and ignorance labels also changed.
The situation in the U.K. shows a troubling reality: both Labour and Conservatives largely opt for Nationalism and leave a political vacuum at the side of Globalism / Internationalism. This might just be the UK’s island mentality. In my country, the Netherlands, I notice a similar move however.
The post-WW2 global wealth increase resulted from Internationalism / Globalism. The allocation rather than the existence of that wealth increase caused widespread negative sentiments. That wealth allocation also resulted in labour migration from (i) Africa to Europe, and (ii) from mid America to North America. This then boosted the anti-immigrant attitude of Nationalism.
The 21st century political retreat from Globalism / Internationalism towards Nationalism is bound to cause a negative global wealth impact. Essentially, it’s the reversal of the post-WW2 global wealth increase. Hence, my new label: the ignorance of Nationalism.
The arrogance of Globalism is mostly invisible to the public eye. I regret that. The ignorance of Nationalism would be much easier to see for everyone (i.e., the voters) when we would be able to compare it to the (currently lacking) arrogance of Globalism. Why is it lacking??
I suppose it’s about shame. Shame for the flaws of post-WW2 Globalism (e.g., Great Recession, surge in labour migrants, misallocation of wealth). Perhaps Globalism is even blamed for Islam terrorism and the surge in genuine and fake refugees. Globalism may no longer believe in itself.
My mother’s father used to say: “People who talk, don’t fight”. A paraphrase to my grandfather’s saying would be: Countries that talk and trade do not fight with each other. Nationalism is already creating tensions between countries (eg, USA vs Mexico). These regional tensions are bound to become global tensions (eg, USA vs China).
The 1951 Treaty of Paris founded the ECSC. The 1957 Treaty of Rome created the EEC/EU and was rooted in the firm belief that countries that talk and trade don’t fight with each other. The post-Brexit 2017 Juncker whitepaper on 5 future EU scenarios (ie, same, trade-only, multi-speed, less is more, more is better) is supposed to be the basis for a new 2017 Treaty of Rome.
The arguments of Nationalism are all anti and negative and rooted in ignorance about causes and also about solutions (e.g., EU, Globalism, immigrants, Islam, NATO, refugees). In the absence of Globalism (e.g., pro global trade, pro religious tolerance, pro international & military cooperation), Nationalism has no opposition. Negativity is rooted in anger and fear and provides a road to nowhere and possibly even a path towards destruction. I prefer arrogance over ignorance.