August 01, 2016

Why are global elite so afraid of nationalism?

David MacKenzieRebel Columnist

A strange state of nations exists presently. The globe, more integrated than ever, communicates and trades in ways that would make our ancestors marvel and even provoke them to economic jealousy. On various scales of interpretation, many nations have never had it better.

At the same time, Western society is still philosophically reeling from the fears of our immediate forebears — the ones who fought the hyper-nationalism of the first half of the 20th century. If Angela Merkel is any indication, the shadow of Germany’s past is still an unbearable umbra, a political spectre more debilitating, by far, than France’s distant and even whitewashed memory of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Like Merkel, Westerners who value the “safety” of greater political homogeneity are likely shocked by the recent Brexit. Yet, the stunned stupor and political hand-wringing tends to come from people with two basic biases — globalists who welcome a more economically integrated world, and political internationalists who mistrust the nation-state in general.

This latter category is truly a curiosity to social conservatives. We openly and justifiably wonder, not why people could be disappointed in nations and nationalism, but instead how pan-nationalism, or internationalism could be glibly offered up as the political solution. What makes the best safeguard of rogue nation-states larger super-States? Why would the answer to trouble be bigger trouble? 

Attached to this demonstrable political naivety is the palpable embarrassment that cosmopolitan liberals now exhibit toward all nation-states. Such cosmopolitans cringe at the idea of tighter security along the Rio Grande, or erected walls in Israel — the very idea of either seemingly insulting to unspoken global hospitality standards. Can’t we play nice? Meanwhile, the rugged exclusivist nationalists are deemed psychologically xenophobic for even mentioning that protection of one’s territorial sovereignty is the most obvious role of any government.

Historically, the closer the political Left came to Marxism, the more internationalist it became. The battle cry, after all, was never “workers of northwestern San Marino unite!” Rather it was “workers of the world.” 

And this ideological inheritance, when combined with the philosophical “inclusivism” commonplace within academia, seems to only add to the embarrassment that the Left now feels for all things parochial or politically petite. 

Sadly one can even hear our own prime minister exhibit the same kind of embarrassment for his own nation’s skill set — Canadians who are among the world’s leaders in literacy and average levels of education. When asked why the Canadian government would not make a determination as to whether genocide was being committed by ISIS against Christians and other minorities in the Middle East, Trudeau said:

“We have formally requested of the United Nations Security Council to make a determination on this; we don’t feel that politicians should be weighing in on this first and foremost. Determinations of genocide need to be made in an objective, responsible way.”

One could easily argue that, whether calculated or not, the Prime Minister of Canada insulted his own cabinet, office, parliament and people. Are there so few experts in a nation of 36 million? Is Canada so intellectually meagre from the lofty vantage point of Parliament Hill?

Disregarding Trudeau’s mistrust of his own, why must Canada defer to a distant and unaccountable UN Security Council that is housed with such human rights stalwarts as China, Russia, and Egypt — all of which are utterly guilty of either bulldozing Christian churches, forbidding all evangelism, or hounding their own Christian minorities with violence and systemic abuse? Even without venting such utterly justifiable Christian spleen, why are failed socialist regimes like Venezuela so eminently objective as members of the Security Council, while parochial Canada is not? 

The Book of Proverbs says that, “in a multitude of people is the glory of a King.” Our current prime minister has over three times the citizens at MacKenzie-King’s disposal, yet King confronted genocide all while Trudeau defers on definitions. To today’s flagrant internationalists, apparently, no amount of local yokels can produce “objectivity,” when nothing less than the world and all its tempting cosmopolitan splendour will suffice.      

Immediately following Brexit, the Telegraph of London had a moment of editorial clarity when author Tim Stanley admitted:

“It’s possible that voters grasped the essential point about this referendum better than we the commentators did. It was a vote of confidence in Britain.”

Commentators aren’t the only members of society who routinely suffer from a lack of confidence in their own nation, or an inability to relate to ordinary citizens. Progressive elites are rife with this tendency.  Whenever our prime minister proudly uses words like “post-national”, he is reflecting the same kind of sentiment and ideological penchant for globalism.  

“All politics is local,” the old expression goes. One corollary to this cliché might be that “all politics is parochial.” If true, one can sense why populist personalities — like a Donald Trump or a Nigel Farage — tend to reappear like the morning dew. One can also sense why they tend to unsettle cosmopolitan elitists — the true heirs of hierarchy for whom ordinary citizens are just the means to a much grander vision.

Not surprisingly, then, ours have become days of renewed political alienation. Social conservatives certainly know it. The good news is that when average citizens of a nation-state begin to feel the same, the combination of conservatism and populism can become a rather formidable parochial trend. Look for such alliances to continue. Look for the exits, likewise.    

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commented 2016-09-14 00:57:59 -0400
Because they can’t have their Global NWO when there are countries like Russia and now it looks like the USA holding out that believe in sovereignty , borders , freedom and deciding themselves how they are going to live their lives .
commented 2016-09-01 23:10:45 -0400
Hi Joe. Thanks for the feedback. I shall try to improve. My comment about King was meant in a fairly generic sense— not to excuse the St. Louis affair— but to at least acknowledge that King ultimately made the difficult decision to confront Nazism by entering into the war, all while present leadership looks elsewhere for “definitions”. Sad really.
commented 2016-08-16 11:45:24 -0400
A good column in a lot of ways, David, once I got my head around the sometimes heavy academia of the narration. However, I believe you committed a huge blooper in the middle of all of this. At one point you say “yet King confronted genocide all while Trudeau defers on definitions.” Really? Mackenzie King fighting against genocide? While the death camps were being prepared in Europe in WW2, it was King, the Liberal mystic, who didn’t lift a finger to allow the Jews on board the St Louis in 1939 to disembark in Canada. Most of those refugees died in concentration camps because King couldn’t be bothered to press the issue. It took British and American troops for the most part to liberate those camps. Will the current Trudeau dismiss victims the same way? I think he is already doing that.
commented 2016-08-11 15:53:13 -0400
Jay Kelly has finally committed intellectual suicide – invoking old testament Talmudic mysticism to post modern relativist politics. No connection, No relevance.
commented 2016-08-08 09:43:25 -0400
Justin’s attitude of being embarrassed by his own and deferring to the UN is fed to him by his advisers. Justin himself does not have the wherewithal to have formed his own opinions. He is a puppet.
commented 2016-08-07 21:15:02 -0400
The issue, Jay, is not whether a “king” is able to welcome others from foreign lands, but why a “king” would evidently become embarrassed of his own?
commented 2016-08-04 00:10:04 -0400
David MacKenzie quotes The Book of Proverbs: “in a multitude of people is the glory of a King.”

The ancient King is glorified in the text by the variety and diversity of the population under him.

It sounds, here, like a promotional ad for Justin Trudeau who seems so popular in the east, among women, among northerners, among aboriginals, among homosexuals, among Calgarians, etc. .

Such a King, that MacKenzie points toward, would naturally even welcome people from foreign lands.

What is your point?
commented 2016-08-02 17:44:20 -0400
Without an understanding and rooting of history, I can see how economic globalists (free traders) could be sucked into internationalism. One millennial I was arguing with was shocked by a post and responded “That is isolationist!”; as though the idea of isolationism is somehow barbaric, or backwards, or even evil. I am unsure about Canada’s forefathers, but the American forefathers were suspicious of other countries, wanting to never get “entangled” in their affairs.
commented 2016-08-02 14:03:07 -0400
In a press conference today Obama said that the TPP will “narrow the inequality among workers” thereby confirming what Trump has been saying all along. The inequality narrows as the pay cheques of workers in the richer countries get smaller and the pay cheques of the workers in the poorer countries get bigger. Obama was raised by a Marxist and sees this social equality as a good thing – not good for Americans, but good for everyone else.
commented 2016-08-02 10:25:09 -0400
Bill Elder,

You deserve to be a paid columnist for the rebel. Well written and insightful commentary.
Thanks for your input as always.
commented 2016-08-02 05:01:51 -0400
If brains were dynamite Baby Doc Trudeau couldn’t blow his nose.

There is a movement toward a one world government, with the UN as its arbiter and decision maker. The EU is a failed version of such a philosophy and should serve as a warning that such an enterprise on a world wide level is beyond folly.

There is something called Plan 21 by the UN. It should be considered something for all free people to fear.
commented 2016-08-02 02:20:49 -0400
It has to be massively anti-globalist to the point of wanting controls, import tariffs and they are normally vocal.

The Brexit issue had mostly to do with anti-immigration, but I saw no change in direction on tariffs or full employment what I listed about the Canadian Action party.
commented 2016-08-02 02:18:53 -0400
Nationalism by the tradition sense means this: is a body of policies that emphasize domestic control of the economy, labor, and capital formation, even if this requires the imposition of tariffs and other restrictions on the movement of labor, goods and capital. In many cases, economic nationalists oppose globalization or at least question the benefits of unrestricted free trade. Economic nationalism may include such doctrines as protectionism and import substitution.

I do not see right wing nationalists supporting this.

I am a centre to centre-left nationalist and part of the Canadian Action party.

This is the Canadian Action party’s ideology:

Canadian nationalism
Civic nationalism
Social liberalism
Monetary reform
commented 2016-08-02 02:12:49 -0400
I’m curious John Siciliano how you came to the conclusion that the Brits who voted for BREXIT “are anti-nationalist on economic issues”?… The pro BREXIT voters clearly stated that they were tired of unelected bureaucrats in Brussels deciding that, for example, Brits couldn’t fish in some of their own waters but the Dutch could??… Sounds like an “economic” issue to me and pretty damn “nationalistic” to boot…
commented 2016-08-02 01:36:29 -0400
This is UKIP’s ideology Drew from Wikipedia:
Hard Euroscepticism
Right-wing populism
British nationalism
Economic liberalism

That means they are anti-nationalist on economic issues.
commented 2016-08-02 01:34:41 -0400
Maybe they want free trade and globalization without Britain being in the EU. That could be their choice, but one has to wonder what their endgame truly is. They certainly support free trade and economic liberalism.
commented 2016-08-02 01:33:02 -0400
But its ideology shows on Wikipedia as conservatism, right wing populism and economic liberalism.

Economic liberalism means globalization, privatization, free trade and austerity and they oppose full-on protectionism as I do.
commented 2016-08-02 01:28:05 -0400
John S UKIP just broke away from globalization halfwit. Do you really comprehend anything?
commented 2016-08-02 00:00:23 -0400
Also, change through the mainstream, meaning mainstream parties, does not give civic nationalism which unites and creates the conditions of bringing people together, ending wars, ending poverty, uniting around peace, and ending imperialism.

“Civic nationalism, also known as liberal nationalism, is a kind of nationalism identified by political philosophers who believe in a non-xenophobic form of nationalism compatible with values of freedom, tolerance, equality, and individual rights. Civic nationalists often defend the value of national identity by saying that individuals need a national identity in order to lead meaningful, autonomous lives and that democratic politics need national identity in order to function properly”.

The Canadian Action party is that party in Canada, but ethnic nationalists like Trump with economic liberal policies are conflating and going against what true nationalism is supposed to be.
commented 2016-08-01 23:58:02 -0400
Trump is getting more and more ridiculous and is basically going downhill fast. I am not a Clinton supporter by any stretch, but his “devil” comment is even ridiculous and strange even for Trump.

No wonder the latest poll between Trump and Clinton today is showing 43% for Trump and 52% for Clinton. I do not believe polls too often, but Trump is falling fast with no coherent and strong message, if he hopes to rebound.
commented 2016-08-01 23:57:47 -0400
“Far-right politics – The term far-right has been used to describe right-wing populist ideologies known for opposition to mass immigration and nationalism, in addition to being applied to neo-fascists and Neo-Nazis”.

Sounds very similar to the movements rising in Europe, and their version of nationalism is coupled with in most cases in Europe now economic liberalism which seems topsy-turvy, and kind of the opposite of true nationalist movements of the past which challenged globalism.

“Neoliberalism or economic liberalism refers primarily to the 20th century resurgence of 19th century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism. These include extensive economic liberalization policies such as privatization, fiscal austerity, deregulation, free trade, and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy. The implementation of neoliberal policies and the acceptance of neoliberal economic theories in the 1970s are seen by some academics as the root of financialization, with the financial crisis of 2007–08 as one of the ultimate results”.

That means these right wing to far-right movements have no solutions to problematic capitalism which has been a Ponzi scheme for quite a while. The elites no doubt are controlling those movements as well!

And yes UKIP and the Republican party call themselves economic liberal parties meaning they want to continue globalization, free trade, deregulation, and yet people refer to them as nationalists, when nationalists oppose imperialism, war, free trade and are avid protectionists and in some cases for a mixed and 70’s style economy.
commented 2016-08-01 23:43:56 -0400
NDP sucks —5 hrs ago. I agree that small things Harper did should not be considered Treason, However what Merkel is doing to Germany is definitely treason as she didn’t have a mandate to kill the Country. I would be comfortable if some day soon she goes on trial and if found guilty, they execute her. This might stop other Dictators close by from doing the same.
commented 2016-08-01 23:28:04 -0400
Almost everything in David Mackenzie’s article here can be explained with one simple simile. " The losers want to come and join the winners in order to share the assets. The winners only get the bill." This is Globalization.
David also mentioned “Populist people like Trump and Nigel Forage tend to reappear like the morning dew.” If this is true, where is Canada’s Savior? We have nothing near the above.
commented 2016-08-01 19:50:34 -0400
NDP sucks, yeah I know. Just having another little sarcastic pipe dream.
commented 2016-08-01 18:52:16 -0400
Elton, bring back treason? Can you see the leftards lining up to hang Harper because he betrayed the majority of citizens who didn’t want to send troops to Afghanistan or send the debt up another 150 billion. What are the parameters? Who would want to go into government knowing they could leave with their head removed? I think treason is more individual such as Major Hassan who murdered 13 comrades but would be a very hard fit for the government. Recall legislation to me seems more realistic.
commented 2016-08-01 18:01:53 -0400
“On various scales of interpretation, many nations have never had it better.”

David – this is a false prosperity acheived primarily by inflated money supplies, national credit extension and debt-financing. This false debt-financed prosperity drives trade, it is not the result of trade.

This post gold standard bonfire of credit and debt instruent trading floats on a market bubble represented by derivatives – a market trade i debt that currently has a value 4 times the amount of all tangible wealth on earth. This is a product of globalism and the unscrutinized unaccountable business practices of the “too big to fail” alliance between crony capital and government (AKA globalists)
commented 2016-08-01 17:47:06 -0400
Great article and great comments. Thanks for that Bill Elder. NDP SUCKS, why don’t we just bring back the crime of treason? Politicians need to be seen to be working for the economical growth of the province/country as opposed to squandering taxpayers dollars on fantasy utopian ideologies.
commented 2016-08-01 17:44:31 -0400
“Whenever our prime minister proudly uses words like “post-national”, he is reflecting the same kind of sentiment and ideological penchant for globalism. "

This is from the UK story but could as easily be about Canada, as PM Junior has used this term a number of times in speeches to Liberal echo chambers on his election dog and pony show.

If you realize “post national” globalism is the antithesis of an economically secure culturally cohesive nation-state, then you need to look no further than the PMO for a collaborator who will sell out your birthright to transnational globalist racketeers.
commented 2016-08-01 17:29:14 -0400
It seems there are a growing number of people who want to:

separate from their country (Trudeau and his loons)
separate from Ontario (Wynne and her loony tunes)
separate from Alberta (Notley crew)

I am seeing it more and more on facebook whereby people come to the realization that their country and/or province is in real trouble and it is time to take action. One common theme is you can’t easily remove elected people from government so the second option is separation. Another common theme is that this entire situation is very frustrating. I read comments from people and they are saying the same things I was saying and feeling one or two years ago.

Isn’t it ironic that people want to separate from their own government in order to remove the government. People are trying to come up with a solution of MP or MPP recall without making it too easy whereby the elected government is under imminent threat of removal at all times from the opposition. The leftards would gleefully line up for this type of mechanism as they are a bunch of slackers whereas the right wingers are busy as usual working their ass off. Some folks in my neck of the woods are aware of this problem and presumably are developing a strategy to make government more accountable to the majority and their campaign platform. One solution was an internet based web site where the people voted referendum style on various issues. Again, this could backfire as the leftards are all sitting in the weeds and there is always corruption to deal with. The effort continues …