7.28.2016

The Economist Stumbles Its Way to Reality

The Economist realized globalists have a problem: an inferior good.

The new political divide
Start by remembering what is at stake. The multilateral system of institutions, rules and alliances, led by America, has underpinned global prosperity for seven decades. It enabled the rebuilding of post-war Europe, saw off the closed world of Soviet communism and, by connecting China to the global economy, brought about the greatest poverty reduction in history.
Always push a globalist to make this type of argument. Most will destroy themselves rhetorically by admitting they don't care for their co-nationals and see borders as imaginary lines. The Economists recognizes the globalists are getting scorched rhetorically, but can't come up with anything of value:
Countering the wall-builders will require stronger rhetoric, bolder policies and smarter tactics. First, the rhetoric. Defenders of the open world order need to make their case more forthrightly. They must remind voters why NATO matters for America, why the EU matters for Europe, how free trade and openness to foreigners enrich societies, and why fighting terrorism effectively demands co-operation. Too many friends of globalisation are retreating, mumbling about “responsible nationalism”. Only a handful of politicians—Justin Trudeau in Canada, Emmanuel Macron in France—are brave enough to stand up for openness. Those who believe in it must fight for it.
You can make a case for NATO to a nationalist. What is noteworthy is The Economist admits globalists need to start defending NATO. Fighting terror demand co-operation, true. No nationalist has claimed it doesn't. Responsible nationalist is nationalism. As for the handful of politicians defending globalism, that's a pathetic handful.
They must also acknowledge, however, where globalisation needs work. Trade creates many losers, and rapid immigration can disrupt communities. But the best way to address these problems is not to throw up barriers. It is to devise bold policies that preserve the benefits of openness while alleviating its side-effects. Let goods and investment flow freely, but strengthen the social safety-net to offer support and new opportunities for those whose jobs are destroyed. To manage immigration flows better, invest in public infrastructure, ensure that immigrants work and allow for rules that limit surges of people (just as global trade rules allow countries to limit surges in imports). But don’t equate managing globalisation with abandoning it.
91% of Hispanic immigrants, legal and illegal, are on welfare. (See table A8) Even a relatively informed publication such as The Economist probably has no idea how bad the stats look. They realize the rhetoric is bad, but they don't realize that if we move them into dialectic, their argument takes a turn for the worse.
As for tactics, the question for pro-open types, who are found on both sides of the traditional left-right party divide, is how to win. The best approach will differ by country. In the Netherlands and Sweden, centrist parties have banded together to keep out nationalists. A similar alliance defeated the National Front’s Jean-Marie Le Pen in the run-off for France’s presidency in 2002, and may be needed again to beat his daughter in 2017. Britain may yet need a new party of the centre.

In America, where most is at stake, the answer must come from within the existing party structure. Republicans who are serious about resisting the anti-globalists should hold their noses and support Mrs Clinton. And Mrs Clinton herself, now that she has won the nomination, must champion openness clearly, rather than equivocating. Her choice of Tim Kaine, a Spanish-speaking globalist, as her running-mate is a good sign. But the polls are worryingly close. The future of the liberal world order depends on whether she succeeds.
I comment on stories from The Economist because a friend sends them to me and they are still relatively objective for globalists. Right now, however, the globalists are still trying to figure out what is happening, while nationalists have no competition or opposition. There is only one nationalist party in most countries, if you take up nationalism you are a monopolist. The opposition also hasn't even started to try to co-opt your rhetoric. The opposition doesn't try to debate, it tries to shut up and shut out the opposition. At some point real competition will begin. Nationalism will become more popular and other parties will adopt immigration restriction or protective trade policy. The Cathedral will adapt. Until then, nationalists are inside the Cathedral's OODA loop.

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