The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewJohn Derbyshire Archive
Cosmopolitans vs. Communitarians—What the Battle Over Brexit Means
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

The big news this week was Brexit—one manifestation of a trend now visible all over the Western world including the U.S.: cosmopolitans vs. communitarians.

The story so far:

Three years and two months ago the British people voted in a referendum to leave the European Union, the EU. The vote was 52 percent Leave to 48 percent Remain. The government and the media, however, had been propagandizing and scaremongering for all they were worth in favor of Remain, so the vote probably underestimated support for Leave. The Prime Minister himself, David Cameron, was a strong Remainer.

Cameron did the decent thing and resigned. His party, the Tories, got a new leader, and Britain a new Prime Minister, Theresa May. Strange to say, Mrs. May was also a Remainer. She swore, however, that she would faithfully execute the people’s will.

Mrs. May then dickered ineffectually with the EU bureaucracy for two years, trying to get a favorable withdrawal deal. You could see her heart wasn’t in it, though, and when a deal was finally reached last November, it was awful—basically a document of surrender to the EU suits.

The House of Commons had to vote to ratify the agreement. Instead of ratifying, they voted it down—three times! That was in spite of Mrs. May’s party—still the Tories—controlling the House.

This July Mrs. May also did the decent thing and resigned. The Tory Party and the British government got a new leader, Boris Johnson. He promised Britain would leave the EU on October 31st, come hell or high water, deal or no deal, and packed his cabinet with people who agreed with him.

His Members of Parliament were still split, though. A lot of them were Remainers of various strengths, a British equivalent of Never Trumpers. A big bloc assumed a sort of Saint Augustine position: “Yes, of course we want to carry out the will of the people … but not yet. Let’s go back to the EU, get an extended deadline, see if we can get a deal …”

Britain’s Deep State was of course solidly Remain.

To further complicate matters a new single-issue party, the Brexit Party, has come up on Johnson’ flank and is polling well.

Now read on:

What happened this week was, Johnson tried to get a parliamentary vote to approve a no-deal exit on October 31st. Twenty-one rebel Tories joined the opposition and voted against their government. Furious, Johnson expelled the twenty-one rebels from the parliamentary party.

Johnson’s next idea, to restore his authority, was to call a general election. That needs a two-thirds vote in the House of Commons, though, and he didn’t get it.

Johnson’s not totally out of options [Boris Johnson can STILL get Britain out of the EU on Oct 31 – by forcing EU to KICK us out, by Katie Harris, Express, September 6, 2019] Polling shows healthy majorities for a no-deal Brexit on October 31st—especially if you include the new Brexit Party. As a Third Party, they would of course split the Leave vote in an election. However, if the Brexit Party were formally to ally with the Tories in a coalition party, putting forward single candidates on a joint ticket, they’d win easily.

That’s where we are at week end.

Wider, Deeper Implications

While this battle is being fought out in Britain’s House of Commons, the underlying political and constitutional issues are wide and deep.

Take for example the issue of kritarchy that has been giving VDARE.com so much trouble recently. “Kritarchy” is, as we’ve been at pains to point out, a perfectly good and respectable word meaning “rule by judges.”

As I noted the other day when advertising Christopher Caldwell’s brilliant Brexit piece at Claremont Review of Books, Caldwell says correctly that Britain was never a kritarchy. Heck, Britain didn’t even have a written constitution before she joined the EU. Now, implicitly, she has one. Since 2009, in fact, Britain even has a Supreme Court, may the filthy thing rot in hell.

Quote from Caldwell:

The transfer of competences from legislatures to courts is a superb thing for the rich, because of the way the constitution interacts with occupational sociology. Where the judiciary is drawn from the legal profession, and where the legal profession is credentialed by expensive and elite professional schools, judicialization always means a transfer of power from the country at large to the richest sliver of it. This is true no matter what glorious-sounding pretext is found to justify the shift—racial harmony, European peace, a fair shake for women. In a global age, judicial review is a tool that powerful people expect to find in a constitution, in the same way one might expect to find a hair dryer in a hotel room.

[Why Hasn’t Brexit Happened?, CRB, Summer 2019]

I really can’t recommend Caldwell’s essay strongly enough.

It hasn’t gone un-answered, though. At the Alt-Lite blog UnHerd.com, commentator Ed West pooh-poohed the case for a no-deal Leave and argued that the 21 Tory rebels who’d joined the opposition to defeat Boris Johnson last week are “the true conservatives”[September 4, 2016].

That’s not some mealy-mouthed cuck speaking, either. I’ve been reading Ed West for years and find him generally simpatico. He’s written some excellent popular books about British history that I recommend to your attention.

Ed points out a thing I myself noted on August 9th: Boris Johnson has, throughout his career, been simply terrible on the National Question, pretty much an Open-Borders guy.

Sir Nicholas Soames, on the other hand, who was one of the 21 rebel Tories voting against Johnson this week (and incidentally is a grandson of Sir Winston Churchill) had been co-chair of an immigration-restrictionist group of MPs.

Quote from Ed West:

Mass migration is an obviously un-conservative policy, bringing about radical change with uncertain outcomes—the same argument, in fact, that some Conservatives made against leaving the EU.

Ouch.

Further quote from Ed West—sorry, but he’s very quotable:

Likewise, as the battle went on we began to hear more talk of “the people.” As a conservative, I’d say that pretty much everything in history with “the people” in its title has been complete excrement, from the People’s Crusade of the 11th century to the various People’s Republics of the 20th century. Invoking “The People” is generally the sort of rhetoric associated with charlatans and fanatics like Jean-Paul Marat, idealists who inevitably leave a pile of bodies when their unachievable goals fail to materialise.

That’s not the language of conservatism.

Americans can of course hear the voice of Alexander Hamilton behind the scenes there, muttering: “Your people, Sir, is a great beast.”

Ed West’s piece in its turn drew a riposte from Peter Franklin, also at UnHerd.com. Franklin closed with this, quote:

Socialism failed a long time ago. Liberalism is in the process of failing. Among the democratic philosophies, that just leaves conservatism. Quite what shape it takes in our fractured political landscape remains to be seen—but it certainly won’t be Tory.

[Toryism is not conservatism, by Peter Franklin, September 5, 2019]

And the debate rumbles on.

It is a debate, though, about really momentous issues that apply far beyond the windy shores of Britain.

Cosmopolitanism vs. Communitarianism

We have fallen into the habit, since the French Revolution, of thinking about politics in terms of Left and Right: labor versus capital, progress versus stasis, the proletariat versus the bourgeoisie, cloth caps versus top hats, and so on.

But in recent years a different division has been shaping politics Not only is this new divide not aligned with the old Left-Right one, it is perpendicular to it. It doesn’t separate the old established political parties one from the other, it cuts down the middle of both of them.

That is why, in 2016, the Republican Party split between Trumpers and Never Trumpers. It was also a factor that year, although less of one, in Mrs. Clinton’s struggle against Bernie Sanders.

Because this realignment is quite new, we don’t yet have a well-established way to talk about it, a vocabulary for discussing it. Academic political scientists are getting to work on that, though:

In this book, we label those who advocate open borders, universal norms and supranational authority as “cosmopolitans”; and those who defend border closure, cultural particularism and national sovereignty as “communitarians.”

I took that from The Struggle Over Borders: Cosmopolitanism and Communitarianism, a collection of essays by European political scientists—Swiss, German, and Scandinavian—on the title theme.

The book is academic, not polemical; they’re not taking sides, they’re trying to figure out what’s going on. In fact the book is quite drily academic; I’m finding it hard going.

But that’s the split I’m talking about: cosmopolitans versus communitarians. Hence the opening words of a blog post I put up on Wednesday, which I confess I’m rather pleased with: “A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of communitarianism.”

If you don’t get the joke, I refer you to the opening words of Karl Marx and Fred Engels’ little 1848 pamphlet The Communist Manifesto.

These scholars aren’t the first to notice the new divide, of course. We lay commentators have been writing about it for years. We’ve come up with our own vocabulary: the split is usually described as “populist” versus “globalist.” I myself have tried to float “provincial” versus “metropolitan.” Sir Roger Scruton has adopted David Goodhart’s taxonomy of “somewhere people” versus “anywherepeople.” I’m sure there are others I’ve missed.

The old cut of Left versus Right isn’t totally obsolete, mind. Class still matters: In the Brexit referendum, those who voted Leave averaged poorer and less well-educated than Remainers. [Who voted for Brexit? A comprehensive district-level analysis, by Sascha O Becker, Thiemo Fetzer, Dennis Novy, Economic Policy, October 2017] Race and origin still matter, too: whites voted 53 percent for Leave, Muslims 30 percent, blacks 25 percent.[EU Referendum result: 7 graphs that explain how Brexit won, by Harry Lambert, Independent, June 24 2016 ]

The fact remains that the communitarian-cosmopolitan split cuts Right through established party orthodoxies and traditional Left-Right alignments.

At some deep level this has always been the case. As often when reasoning things through, it helps to consider the extremes. Both communitarianism and cosmopolitanism have pathological varieties.

For pathological communitarianism you could look at the blood-and-soil fascist movements of the early 20th century, generally tagged as being on the Right because of their fierce opposition to communism.

Or, on the other hand, who was more communitarian than the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia—fiercely patriotic, and so anti-metropolitan they drove their population out of the cities into the countryside? Yet the Khmer Rouge were communists!

Contrariwise, pathological cosmopolitanism is, in one variety, the old utopian-millenarian dream of One World, the universal City of the Sun, the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, with no more differences of nation, caste, class, or religion. It found its 19th-century expression in Marxism.

Yet in the 21st century, cosmopolitanism is a rich folks’ club: think of the sleek, fat bureaucrats who staff the EU and the UN, or the Davos crowd, or the upper-middle-class socialites and Hollywood bubble-heads swooning in horror at Donald Trump’s communitarianism.

So yes, in the pathological extremes, both communitarianism andcosmopolitanism can express themselves equally well as either a Marxist utopia of perfect equality or a jet-setting plutocrats’ paradise.

I must say I find this present moment exciting. It’s like being a particle physicist in the 1920s, when quantum mechanics was being worked out.

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Boris Johnson, Brexit, Britain 
Hide 54 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. M Krauthammar [AKA "PK Subban"] says:

    BREXIT will make Britain more diverse.
    HAHAHAHA,What racists don’t know is that BREXIT will mean more immigration from South Asia and Africa.
    Snug white people who have always considered Britain as their private preserve are an endangered species. The demographic trends cannot be denied. In a few years white folks will become a minority in this country. So enjoy it while you can, Bubba, your days of driving the bus are numbered.
    Jared Taylor has been banned from Europe. That is great. White people deserve to go extinct. Our planet’s future depends on it
    A black person from Angola can go and visit his White Baby Mama in Germany but this so called Huwhite Nationalist can’t even enter Britain.
    Most white people are old and dying off
    White birth rates are low
    White girls are increasingly having Children of Color with Men of Color
    Open borders immigration is about to be a reality
    Darn it feels good to be a progressive.
    A UNITED KINGDOM is gonna be a reality.

  2. I strongly recommend David Lebedoff’s books, The New Elite and The Uncivil War, published 23 years apart. (The latter is essentially an update, as Steven Goldberg’s Why Men Rule was a fresher edition of his Inevitability of Patriarchy.)

    One original observation Lebedoff makes is that membership is this New Elite is open to anyone of any background. The only requirement is that one must betray that background.

    The new elite: The death of democracy

    The Uncivil War
    How a New Elite is Destroying Our Democracy

    • Replies: @Gordo
  3. Revolting filthy SUBHUMAN ROOTLESS COSMOPOLITAN ELITE…..

    THE GREEDY CHEATING WHITE LIBERAL ELITES

    THE REVOLTING ELITES……PUN INTENDED…..

  4. Tom Verso says:

    Has anyone heard from Nigel Farage in this week’s profound Brexit Parliament moment?

    It was only last May when we were inundated with media coverage about his ‘profound’ Leave victory in the EU elections. I should think he would have much to say about this week’s Brexit Parliament goings on.

    But, then again his Leave Brexit party only polled 30% of the vote (i.e. 70 % did not vote to Leave) and his party only got 28 of the 73 seats voted on (i.e. 45 seats did not go for Leave)

    Maybe the relentless media meme that “the People” want to Leave is just that … media meme.

    Maybe the great Parliamentary divide is not about conspiratorial oligarchs, and it reflects the real divide in the opinion of the, if you will pardon the expression, “Populous.”

    But then again it’s hard to tell what exactly is motivating the respective Leave / not Leave debate; because the majority of the ‘reporting’ and ‘commentary’ is in abstract philosophical terms like “communitarian-cosmopolitan”, “Left-Right alignments”, and “conspiracies” .

    One is hard press to find detailed discussions of precisely why, for example, people who do not what Leave, want to Stay. Why for example did the majorities in N. Ireleand and Scotland, for example, vote to Stay in the EU? Why did over 16 million Brits vote to Stay? They must have had some reason to feel that their interest would be best served by Staying.

    But, instead of specifics about the Why people voted the way they did, we are swapped with philosophical discussion such as the present article.

    • Replies: @MarkU
  5. The problem we communitarians have is that there are very few sincere communitarian leaders. Almost without exception the prominent leaders who take up the “populist” mantle against cosmopolitans seem to be some combination of a) married to foreign wives (Trump, Farrage) b) very wealthy individuals who hold much of their wealth overseas and benefit directly from globalism (Trump, Putin, Rees-Mogg) or simply elitist cosmopolitans themselves nakedly trying to game the system to gain power (Boris Johnson).

    It may just be that the amount of financial backing and influenced required to take and hold power in a modern industrial nation makes it impossible to do so without compromising yourself with various international and cosmopolitan forces who simply see you as a way to bash their rivals (e.g. Israeli/Saudi backing for Trump)

  6. MarkU says:
    @Tom Verso

    Maybe the relentless media meme that “the People” want to Leave is just that … media meme.

    If the remain propaganda is correct, that the population have changed their minds, then why are they resisting a general election?

    If a general election was called now, Brexit would undoubtedly be the only significant issue. Given the ceaseless demands for a second referendum and/or a general election made by the opposition until very recently, one wonders how they can justify opposing a general election now.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  7. dfordoom says: • Website
    @MarkU

    If the remain propaganda is correct, that the population have changed their minds, then why are they resisting a general election?

    Because of Britain’s bizarre undemocratic electoral system. Plus an election would probably produce a hung parliament and political chaos.

    The only way to find out what Britons actually want to do about Brexit is to have a second referendum.

    • Replies: @Michael888
  8. Emslander says:

    If I could drill down a little further on this theme, which you so appealingly recognize as an emerging realization of our social and political divisions, I’d like to go back to the fourth century struggles over the nature of Christ and, by extension, his mother, the Virgin Mary.

    That might seem a little bit of a stretch, but not when you understand that the battle over these theological issues had as much of a direct effect on the common person of that time as whether some immigrant from a foreign culture is going to be able to take away your children’s livelihoods in this time. Those early Christians fought to the death over the idea that Christ was fully man and fully God and that his mother was, therefore, the Mother of God, because that concept brought every human being, no matter how lowly, to the status of a Child of God.

    The cosmopolitan churchmen and their powerful supporters blanched at the concept and did everything in their power, which was considerable, to make Christ something other than he was. Fortunately for Christianity and for all of us today, brave holy men and women saw the threat for what it was and stood up, at the risk of their lives, to defend what, to us today, seem like dry and irrelevant theological principles. They defended Christ’s nature because it lifted man’s nature.

    In various camouflaged forms, actually, the struggle goes on within the Christian community to this day. I’d select as an example the current Pope’s shocking elevation of Amazon environmentalism to the same level as threats on human life. I’d suspect that his Jesuitical education gives him license to make his elitist fantasies without giving consideration to the broader implications. Also, he’s just not very deep. Like our secular academic thinkers, he doesn’t give consideration to that vast store of knowledge that he’s dismissed without ever looking into it, because he’s vaguely aware that it has roots in racist Greek and German philosophies. Conservatism, after all, challenges the essence of banal liberalism.

    Cosmopolitan attitudes toward the people who live outside of filthy cities and overly sanitized suburbs are approaching dehumanization. Urban culture threatens humanity, for instance, because, in its ignorance, it assumes that the unbearably crowded conditions they experience therein are universal. An uncritical drive along the backroads of France, Spain or the mid-United States reveals the abundant possibilities of healthy human living among people the urban dweller won’t recognize as their natural equal.

    • Agree: Rosie
    • Replies: @Barryroe
  9. Cristopher Caldwell’ two essays you recommended are great indeed – as is yours – thanks a lot!

    What’s new in Caldwell’s essay is, that h gets major continental voices of the actual debate. Thilo Sarrazin for sure an important one, because he synthesizes three aspects of the debate, and all clear and thorough: The actual EU-kritarchy; the economic dynamic (west loses it’s leading role and gradually deindustrializes); currency-problems (Germany does not need the Euro); religion (he wrote a splendid book about Islam!) and migration.

    There is an equilibrium between gains by making internationalism possible and losses by the social stress and the deindustrialization, which are being caused by the very communication and mass transport, which enables free trade. Free trade might have hit peak usefulness. This is most likely the beast behind the curtain. Scruton, Goodhart and Douglas Murray seem to get this too.

    This is the new divide: Those who get this basic fact and its implications versus the others.

  10. Derbyshire, since you’re in China – communitarian – with your “cosmopolitan” Chinese family, you should focus on helping China and Hong Kong solve their problems.

    The English don’t need and want you. Neither does America.

    • Disagree: Chrisnonymous
    • Troll: Charon
  11. George says:

    “No Deal Brexit”

    My personal worry would not be tariffs. What I am wondering is if 10,000 migrants show up in Calais and form a second ‘Jungle’ encampment. When France and UK were part of the same community or confederation or whatever the EU is France had incentives to behave and not allow them to cross into the UK. After Brexit if the French could just tell the UK they are going to ship them to the UK?

  12. Patriot says:

    Democracy does not really exist in the West.

    The people can want or vote anyway they want, but any results contrary to what the Elites want will be ignored, delayed, or overturned by judges. Democracy is a sham to fool the masses.

  13. @M Krauthammar

    If the New World Order succeeds (and many progressives hope it does), they are still going to be the ones calling all the shots and running the world, and those people are hardly progressive, in any real sense. John Lennon (a progressives fav white man) sang “imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do…” Well, without countries, you don’t have cultures either — except maybe an Islamic culture which will arise as more muslims settle remaining territory.

    Many seem to forget that while politics is downstream from culture, culture is downstream from religion… History shows that. So, when religion returns, you might not like it.

    In the end it remains true: freedom OR equality — you can’t have both.

  14. Recent events reaffirm that the basic social political tension is not between left and right, or cosmopolitan and communitarian, but between the individual and the collective. The cosmopolitan and the communitarian differ merely in the collective to which they owe allegiance: the nation or the international world order. Both cosmopolitanism and communitarianism as you call them act to further the vested interests of some group that can be called an elite, an establishment, or whatever you wish to call the powers that be of a system in which power is still divided on a geographical basis but in which certain of those interests seek to extend their power more universally, and are resisted by parochial forces.

    All collectivism is inimical to the interests of the individual, who would enriched and empowered by the removal of coercive factors in the economy and the polity.

    What is good for the individual counts for so little that people like our author here can pretty much ignore him and focus on the fight to control and exploit him by the competing groups that would be his master.

    You cannot really call our author controlled opposition. It is worse than that.

  15. unit472 says:

    Compared to ‘globalism’ , feudalism seems benign. Absent a foreign conquest the Lord of the Manor was not going to expel his serfs or replace them with immigrants. The serf ( or American slave ) may have had little upward mobility but he also didn’t have to worry about downward mobility. He was tied to the land and the land was secure. No wonder it lasted for centuries.

    Industrialization was ‘disruptive’ to that kind of stability. Workers could prosper but they could also become ‘surplus’ to the economy. Even then they still had a ‘nation’ to which were a citizen of and, to various degrees, the nation had an obligation to ensure the ‘citizens’ surivival.

    The global economy doesn’t even afford the ‘citizen’ that basic obligation because it can be cheaper to move jobs or import labor than use local manpower, at least to those who receive the profits. Still I note when the SHTF, and it always does, you can’t just move jobs or import people to fight a war. You need loyal citizens however stupid you may think they are. In 1940 military pilots were about as common as race car drivers are today. 5 years later there were hundreds of thousands of them. “Learn to Fly” was the 1940 version of “Learn To Code” and H-1b pilots weren’t a solution since getting killed was not much of a recruiting tool. You had to use your own “deplorables”. Do George Soros and Jeff Bezos understand this?

    • Replies: @Digital Samizdat
  16. Hard Brexit would just hand over Britain to another gang of cosmopolitans, and frankly a more brutal one consisting of pro American corporatists and Koch-loving types (like Farage and Rees-Mogg). More non-European immigration and American ‘investment’ and crappy food would follow. (it’s not the chlorination of the chicken that matters, it’s that American chicken tastes like dessicated fish).

    Cosmopolitans will rule, of whatever stripe, which is why the Brexit saga is such a waste of energy. You’d have to change the underlying structures which benefit cosmopolitans: global network effects, digitization of information, ever finer divisions of labor favoring high IQ at the top, cartelization as a result of the first three items. No idea how you do that realistically, short of hoping for a massive depression or environmental crisis that would re-invigorate local economies and destroy global trade.

  17. Greg S. says:

    It’s an interesting question: what do we call people who are against the globalists?

    I would define a globalists as those who are in favour of open borders, mass migration of people, unlimited and unfettered “free trade” deals between nations, the enshrinement of corporate rights into law, the shuttering of free speech (as that may hinder or impinge on the previous items), the advancement of feminism (making men and women interchangeable, thus destroying the genders and making people easy to control), and promotion of a consumerist culture (among other things). Globalism is essential a roundabout way to get back to the good old days of kings and serfs, what any megalomaniac and sociopathic human has ever wanted.

    I like the word globalist to describe this ideology because it envisions a world without borders, a global world consisting of elites, corporations, and the “rest” (aka, serfs or slaves). The rest are interchangeable – a singular mass where it makes no difference at all to swap an African for a Swede. A serf is a serf.

    I am against these things. I am not a globalist, but what am I? Communitarianism does not roll off the tongue and seems ambiguous and sightly menacing. I don’t like it.

    I think I prefer the old fashioned term “nationalist.” I believe in the power of a group of similar, like-minded people who share a common culture and common goals. And the emphasis is on culture. You can have any skin colour you want, but you need to share the common culture, to its core. That, to me, is the pinnacle of humanity. And the best achievements of humanity have ALWAYS come from such a culture. A man was not put onto the moon by a rabble of people from all walks of life, all races, and including women and transgenders. A man was put onto the moon by a singular culture of white American men.

    And I think that having different “nations” of people who have their own unique cultures is a true diversity. Mixing everyone up into one global culture is not diversity, it’s enslavement.

    • Replies: @baythoven
  18. With Boris Johnson seemingly ready to overturn the tables to get Brexit, he is becoming praised as ‘more Chad than Trump’, & on the verge of becoming a populist hero

    Whilst UK establishment figures peevishly talk about trying to get a judge to ‘send BoJo to jail’ if he doesn’t go along with Brexit obstruction

    Boris Johnson seems to have some magical powers – Here’s a hilarious 4 second video gif of Boris Johnson waving his hand towards a man near him, who then immediately falls over backwards

  19. Altai says:

    I think the Derb is himself stuck in the past. In truth all implementations of Marxism have effectively been about closed controlled borders and movement of labour. They have also been quite historically patriotic and suspicious of ‘degeneracy’. (China is currently doing a censorship purge of programming depicting gay relationships and has banned the showing of celebrities with tattoos, forcing them to cover them up or not be seen, even on streaming platforms) The PRC still has restrictions on internal economic migration, even if the allures of the cities are enough to attract many despite them.

    It was only after the fall of the Soviet Union that Russia became inundated with central Asians as oligarch demands for cheap labour went unchallenged. The social pollution of so many foreigners, which may have been a concern for Soviet authorities, was absent in the new Russia. The will of the sword could not achieve as great a demographic expansion for the Hun into Europe as the logic of capitalism.

    A better way to say it might be a war between collectivism and individualism. The freedom of those with wealth to do as they please without caring for the social consequences for short-term gain at the expense of the groups long-term wellbeing. One could call this the principal aspect of capitalism, it’s ignoring long-term and communal, collective costs.

    • Replies: @Digital Samizdat
  20. @unit472

    That’ll remain true until the drones, robots and AI hit. Then they won’t need us for anything at all, including fighting.

  21. Miro23 says:

    Thanks JD for the link to Christopher Caldwell’s article in the Claremont Review of Books. Anyone who seriously wants to understand Brexit needs to read it.

    http://claremont.org/crb/article/why-hasnt-brexit-happened-yet/?fbclid=IwAR0Yt-KFihIsEWgweC31zacmpOitRSd3hBBarzJ6qHOnu1VJ77rV9c7zP-whttp://claremont.org/crb/article/why-hasnt-brexit-happened-yet/?fbclid=IwAR0Yt-KFihIsEWgweC31zacmpOitRSd3hBBarzJ6qHOnu1VJ77rV9c7zP-w

    Quotes:

    But discontent spread, especially after the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 transformed the European Community into the E.U. setting its member countries on a path towards an “ever closer union”.

    It was probably at about this time that the European project was hijacked by Globalists – (basically global corporations) looking to protect their Asian outsourcing (substituting corporate interests for the interests of European citizens).

    Brexit would be a bureaucratic sideshow to the real business of her premiership, which May laid out when she devoted her first major speech to “Seven Burning Injustices”, most of them involving race, class and gender.

    As in the US, the SJW diversion from the real Cosmopolitan vs. Communitarian issue.

    The House of Commons legislates, and so (to a lesser extent) does the House of Lord; the cabinet exercises executive prerogatives in the name of the Queen. Courts can’t “overturn” anything, though traditionally there was a role for the Lords as legal interpreters of last resort. Important parts of this arrangement have been scuppered, and if you favour that scuppering, you’re probably a Remainer.

    The process of transferring power into the hands of non-accountable elites.

    E.U. law has become “entrenched”, to use a British legal term. As Brexit began dis-entrenching that law, it threatened to dis-entrench along with it the privileges of a whole class of people at the top of society. In response, that class coalesced with a mighty solidarity.

    These shifts in Britain’s constitutional culture have become obvious during the rolling European migration crisis of recent decades. The more courts took control of immigration policy, the harder immigration was to stop. ….. Once the judiciary rules politics, all politicians are just talkers.Understanding that, you are most of the way to understanding Brexit.

    Then the main reason why the EU is digging in on Brexit:

    The E.U.’s leaders, however, have an incentive to inflict maximum hardship on Britain. In most member countries the E.U. was being blamed for stagnating economies, dizzying inequality, and out of control immigration. If Britain were granted a pain-free exit, others would follow suit.

    In other words it’s an existential crises for the E.U. elite. If Brexit succeeds, it could threaten the foundations of their whole Cosmopolitan globalist NWO.

    The E.U. pursues the goal of transcending (a fancy way to say “getting rid of”) the nation states that make it up. As the Union grows ever closer, there must eventually come a moment when the loyalty of subjects is transferred from the institutions of the nation to those of federal Europe. Brexit showed that for elites to whom the E.U. offers a grand role, that moment has come already. The E.U., not Britain, is their country.

    The prime minister’s cabinet secretary, a powerful member of the career civil service, now wrote a 14-page memo warning that no-deal would lead to higher food prices and more crime. Someone in May’s office helpfully forwarded it to the Daily Mail.

    That didn’t work out too well. Daily Mail commenters hate Remainers, and its gone beyond hypothetical effects on food prices and crime.

    But it is Brexit that has hit bedrock. If Brexit happens, our future will look one way. If not, it will look another.

    This is true, but if it happens, it’s no guarantee of sweetness and light. The mainspring of Neoliberal globalization is the US (working through its own massively powerful elite). If Boris Johnson is anything, he’s an opportunist, and he’s already looking to secure his post-Brexit future through an alliance with this very elite. Of course, they’re happy to oblige – as long as he does what they want.

    In other words, for Britain, it could be a case of – Out of the E.U. frying pan and Into the U.S. fire.

    • Replies: @Miro23
  22. @Altai

    In truth all implementations of Marxism have effectively been about closed controlled borders and movement of labour. They have also been quite historically patriotic and suspicious of ‘degeneracy’. (China is currently doing a censorship purge of programming depicting gay relationships and has banned the showing of celebrities with tattoos, forcing them to cover them up or not be seen, even on streaming platforms)

    And what does all that tell you? It tells me that, in practice, the non-Jewish communists (e.g., Stalin, Mao, Castro) are more based than any capitalist ever was. We were tricked into hating these people, and when we finally ‘beat’ them, our reward was to lose our homelands completely.

  23. What happened this week was, Johnson tried to get a parliamentary vote to approve a no-deal exit on October 31st. Twenty-one rebel Tories joined the opposition and voted against their government. Furious, Johnson expelled the twenty-one rebels from the parliamentary party.

    I’m confused. My understanding was that once Article 50 had been invoked, no one but Brussels could suspend it. Isn’t that why Theresa May had to ask the EU to delay Brexit until Oct. 31st? And if that is true, then doesn’t Brexit simply occur by default on that date, even if parliament does nothing?

    Since 2009, in fact, Britain even has a Supreme Court, may the filthy thing rot in hell.

    Yes, I know. Sorry to hear that. Our own SCOTUS has been nothing but trouble ever since Marbury vs. Madison. My John Marshall rot in hell.

    But in recent years a different division has been shaping politics Not only is this new divide not aligned with the old Left-Right one, it is perpendicular to it.

    That’s correct. The new division isn’t really left vs. right, but rather top vs. bottom.

    The old cut of Left versus Right isn’t totally obsolete, mind. Class still matters: In the Brexit referendum, those who voted Leave averaged poorer and less well-educated than Remainers.

    Well, that raises a good (if historic) point. Back in the day, the old right-vs-left axis did co-ordinate somewhat more closely with top vs. bottom. That was back when we still had economic Marxism around. But Cultural Marxism has pretty entirely now replaced it, and so the ‘left’ has been retooled to enforce the will of the Big Banks and multinats. The only element of the old economic Marxism that they have borrowed is the idea of mobilizing a Lumpemproletariat — in this case, racial minorities, immigrants and sexual deviants — against the main wing of the proletariat (i.e., us). But under the original economic Marxism, it was the capitalists who did this mobilizing anyway, so I guess that doesn’t represent anything new.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  24. Miro23 says:
    @Miro23

    British Brexiteers have some dangerous nostalgia for the (Anglo) US of 1945. Many of them haven’t realized that the US in 2019 is a completely different thing.

    • Agree: Gordo
  25. Gordo says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    I strongly recommend David Lebedoff’s books, The New Elite and The Uncivil War, published 23 years apart. (The latter is essentially an update, as Steven Goldberg’s Why Men Rule was a fresher edition of his Inevitability of Patriarchy.)

    One original observation Lebedoff makes is that membership is this New Elite is open to anyone of any background. The only requirement is that one must betray that background.

    I think Orwell made that observation in 1984.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  26. @Miro23

    British Brexiteers have some dangerous nostalgia for the (Anglo) US of 1945. Many of them haven’t realized that the US in 2019 is a completely different thing.

    Most Brits aren’t very astute as regards American politics especially the JQ. WWII actually feeds into hostility towards Anglos and by extension Brits (English).

    While El Trumpo is pro-British because of his Scottish mother, Nonna Pelosi is already talking about blocking any trade deal over the Irish border. Dare we forget Hussein Obama whose grandfather was once imprisoned by the British in Kenya over the Mau Mau Insurgency.

    • Replies: @Miro23
  27. JoannF says:

    Of course I don’t trust Boris Johnson with anything but Brexit. He was a better London Mayor than the current affirmative action dwarf – but that doesn’t tell us much, does it.
    For me, Brexit is an essential way to hurt the EUSSR, which deserves to be destroyed.

  28. @Gordo

    Orwell was mocking the Soviets in fiction, while Lebedoff was closely observing the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party from the inside, particularly the Humphrey-McCarthy rivalry. No surprise they’d come up with it independently.

    I read 1984 twice in my youth, but didn’t make the connection.

  29. @Miro23

    British Brexiteers have some dangerous nostalgia for the (Anglo) US of 1945.

    British Labourites have long had a dangerous nostalgia for the UK of 1945. One of their leaders (someone help me here) in the ’80s told an interviewer that his ideal came closest during the war. Everyone was in the same boat.

    But yes, Brexiteers longing for the monstrous FDR is like “Catholics for Cromwell”.

  30. Miro23 says:
    @Amerimutt Golems

    While El Trumpo is pro-British because of his Scottish mother…

    If his mother was alive today she could well ask him why he’s sending all those $ Billions to Israel rather than Scotland. They have about the same population (Scotland 5.4 million, Israel 5.7 million). The Scots are friendly, speak the same language, don’t interfere in US politics and made a big contribution to founding the US.

  31. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Digital Samizdat

    I share your confusion:

    “I’m confused. My understanding was that once Article 50 had been invoked, no one but Brussels could suspend it. Isn’t that why Theresa May had to ask the EU to delay Brexit until Oct. 31st? And if that is true, then doesn’t Brexit simply occur by default on that date, even if parliament does nothing?”

    Can someone please clear this up?

    • Replies: @DrKildare
  32. baythoven says:
    @Greg S.

    “Community” is one of the first English words I developed an aversion to due to its being a darling word in leftist speech. (There have been many others since.) Adding “-arian” or “-arianism” sounds even worse.
    “Cosmopolitan” sounds pleasant by comparison, with its connotations of art and travel.

    So I don’t like that terminology at all, and I’m with you: What’s the matter with “globalist/nationalist”?

    • Replies: @Art
  33. bro3886 says:

    “Remain” is part of the half-century revolt against democracy by the university trained segment of the population and those who are self-defined intellectuals. It blossomed when that class became numerous enough to be a political force in the main. They are in a constant state of fury that a mechanic’s vote technically counts the same as theirs, particularly when the mechanic doesn’t vote the way they think he should. It is driven by hatred of their fellow citizens and a desire to see their fellow citizens subjugated, a hatred that decades ago degenerated beyond mere class bigotry into genocidal racism. The real charge against Brexiteers and immigration restrictionists is racism, not economic sabotage. Anti-Brexit is primarily seen as an assault of mass non-white migration. The modern definition of racism is seeming, no matter how far-fetched, in any way to support the continued existence of white people. Silence is suspect, open denunciations and action are required.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  34. SafeNow says:

    When the UK diggers of the Channel tunnel met their French counterparts, they first symbolically handed-over a Paddington bear. Paddington, suitcase in hand, translated into numerous languages, the perfect globalist.

  35. peterAUS says:
    @bro3886

    …They are in a constant state of fury that a mechanic’s vote technically counts the same as theirs, particularly when the mechanic doesn’t vote the way they think he should. It is driven by hatred of their fellow citizens and a desire to see their fellow citizens subjugated, a hatred that decades ago degenerated beyond mere class bigotry into genocidal racism….

    ….Silence is suspect, open denunciations and action are required….

    Yep.

  36. DrKildare says:
    @anonymous

    I’m confused as well. According to Article 50 (from Wikipedia): “The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.”

    Furthermore, “This is through the fact that a state would decide to withdraw ‘in accordance with its own constitutional requirements’ and that the end of the treaties’ application in a member state that intends to withdraw is not dependent on any agreement being reached (it would occur after two years regardless)”

    I take that to mean that once Article 50 is invoked, the state is out of the EU after 2 years, with or without an agreement being reached, unless the EU agrees to an extension of the negotiation period.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  37. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @DrKildare

    Thanks. Seems pretty clear, so why would this go unmentioned by the public officials?

    I’m calling Kabuki until convinced otherwise.

  38. Philip Neal says: • Website

    It is very true that there are two sorts of people, Anywheres and Somewheres, but Brexit has brought out other sorts of people of which there are two. For instance:

    * Follow the process or plan back from the goal? Remainers generally process, Leavers generally goal.

    * Britain’s greatest man? Remainers generally Shakespeare, Leavers generally Newton.

    * Britain’s greatest achievement? Remainers generally the Empire, Leavers generally the Industrial Revolution.

    * Remainers: Without Epsilons to lead, we Alphas wouldn’t be Alphas. Leavers: Without Epsilons dragging us down, we Alphas would be Alphaplusplusses.

  39. In the USA, and many other places, the middle class is no longer a majority. So we are headed to another French Revolution or a lot of Hitlers, Stalins and Maos soon. The hypergreedy top 10% won’t share and would rather be murdered before they give up a dime. The poor can only take so much for so long and then they have nothing left to lose and will start to riot.

  40. @M Krauthammar

    (The following is a reprint from some other commenter on some other blog; my bad, I didn’t save the source):

    Why don’t you just come out and say it?: ‘I despise Western civilization and its people and want to see both of them dead and in their graves’.

    Because that is the issue at the core of the so-called “racism” debate.
    If you want to condemn Western civilization, if you hate whites, why not just come out and say so?

    Why the veiled and oblique smears about some vague ‘white supremacy’ boogey man? You do yourself a disservice by insisting on the use of such nebulous concepts. You could just as easily replace ‘white supremacy’ with ‘voodoo’ historically associated with superstitious, genetically low-IQ blacks, as it floats over the landscape attacking random innocent darkies.

    It’d be much more honest and dignified if you’d just say ‘I hate your white guts, I hate your white culture, and I’d like to see your women raped, your men castrated, and your children aborted or enslaved’.

    I suspect that if the progressive left and their thug armies of diversity could muster the cojones to say those words out loud, they’d find the experience extremely liberating. Haters all, they live their entire lives obsessed with that raging bile in their souls, and never really allow themselves to articulate it.

  41. buckwheat says:

    Votes only count when the people running the country (jews and sell outs) get the results they want.

  42. Art says:

    Communitarianism vs. Cosmopolitanism

    This could not be more simple – it is about geography – it is local control vs. national power. It is about local identity vs. national identity. Community is king. Communitarianism is anti empire – it is about local regional borders and identity.

    Communitarianism is land ownership by local people – versus national government and national corporation ownership. Communitarianism does not give up power over its local environment and culture to the big national state.

    The poster child for Communitarianism is Switzerland where power is maintained locally.

    Communitarianism is the future. History acknowledges that as the nation state matures it becomes dysfunctional, curtailing the freedom and prosperity of local folks.

    Brexit is all about local English life and identity, taking back power from the EU.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  43. Art says:
    @baythoven

    What’s the matter with “globalist/nationalist”?

    There are three choices – “globalist/nationalist/localist”

    The most harmless, safest, benign, and stable is localist.

    Community is not a dirty word.

  44. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Art

    Brexit is all about local English life and identity, taking back power from the EU.

    That might well be what the ordinary people who voted Leave think Brexit is all about.

    It’s not what Boris Johnson has in mind. Johnson is a rabid globalist.

    It’s not what Brexit will mean in practice.

    • Agree: Peter Akuleyev
  45. The problem with Britain is that the upper middle and upper classes regard the native working class English in particular as lowest of the low. They actively want the native English working class replaced by immigrants from anywhere else at all.

    The class system is ingrained in Britain, there are many “well to do” types who believe that the native English working classes shouldn’t be entitled to a vote, they basically regard them as untermensch. In many ways Brexit is a big flare up of something that has been simmering for centuries fundamentally. Britain is socially a very dysfunctional country, there is really nothing else like it in the Western world at least, it’s hard to explain to foreigners what it is really like unless they have experienced it themselves.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  46. dfordoom says: • Website
    @England patriot

    The class system is ingrained in Britain, there are many “well to do” types who believe that the native English working classes shouldn’t be entitled to a vote, they basically regard them as untermensch.

    That’s true but what we’ve seen since WW2 is a program to replace the old rigid class system with a new rigid class system. The new ruling class comprises capitalists and the managerial classes (bureaucrats, politicians, academics, media people). It’s a rootless cosmopolitan aristocracy of wealth and academic credentialism (and Wokeness). In fact it’s the American class system transplanted to Britain.

    Both the American and the new British ruling class elite share the same view of the non-elites, that they are indeed untermensch.

  47. Brexit is simply a plan to turn London into an offshore financial hub untethered from onerous EU banking regulations and oversight. It is going to be fantastic for wealthy Russians, Saudis, and Chinese. Not so exciting for farmers in Lincolnshire I suspect or factory workers in Sunderland.

    • Agree: dfordoom
  48. I don’t know if this divide is equally applicable in all countries, just the Western ones. In Taiwan, the main debate is around relations with China. In Latin America it’s pro-business oligarchs vs. the populists, though the latter align more closely with the Democrats in the U.S.

  49. @dfordoom

    “The only way to find out what Britons actually want to do about Brexit is to have a second referendum.” Or a third or fourth until the People finally get it right? British Democracy– slow walk the results until they collapse…

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  50. neutral says:

    The problem is not seeing what the REAL problem is, people like Derbyshire will talk about the liberals/globalists/cosmopolitans/etc but never have the courage to say that is really is. The international jew that is the problem, until this is acknowledged the problem can never be fixed.

  51. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Michael888

    “The only way to find out what Britons actually want to do about Brexit is to have a second referendum.” Or a third or fourth until the People finally get it right? British Democracy– slow walk the results until they collapse…

    In general I would agree with your point about holding multiple referendums until people give the right answer.

    But you’re overlooking a fundamental weakness of referendums. They reduce complex issues to a simplistic yes/no choice. But it’s now obvious that Brexit is not a simple yes/no choice. There are many different options. Brexit means different things to different people. The most likely outcome is going to be a sort-of partial Brexit. People were not given the chance to express their views on such an ambiguous outcome.

    Would Britons prefer any kind of Brexit at all rather than no Brexit? Or would they prefer staying in rather than accept a bad deal? Are they prepared to accept a Brexit deal that means keeping freedom of movement of people? Is it the economic aspects or the sovereignty issues that matter most to most people?

    And even more important is the question – was the original Brexit vote driven mostly by hostility to immigration? Did people understand that Brexit might well mean more immigration rather than less? And did they understand that Brexit might mean more globalism rather than less?

    This really is a complex issue that can’t be determined by a single yes/no vote.

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All John Derbyshire Comments via RSS