Accepting a Multi-State Solution to the Culture War
Parts of it are arguable, but Greg Ip’s Wall Street Journal essay, “We Are Not the World” is worth reading as an aid in framing discussion of global political philosophy:
Globalists were blind to the nationalist backlash in part because their world—entrepreneurial, university-educated, ethnically diverse, urban and coastal—has thrived as whiter, less-educated hinterlands have stagnated. Similar splits separate London from the rest of England and the EU’s capital cities from the countryside of continental Europe. …
In fact, much of the backlash against immigration (and globalism) is not economic but cultural: Many people still care about their own versions of national identity and mistrust global institutions such as the EU. A 2016 study by Ronald Inglehart of the University of Michigan and Pippa Norris of Harvard University analyzed party manifestos in 13 Western democracies and found that in the 1980s, economic issues such as taxes and welfare became less important than noneconomic issues such as immigration, terrorism, abortion and gay rights.
In July 2016, two scholars at the London School of Economics found that rising unemployment didn’t make British regions more likely to vote to leave the EU, but a growing migrant population did. These voters were bothered less by competition from immigrants than by their perceived effect on the country’s linguistic, religious and cultural norms.
Those on the Left will insist on seeing this as evidence of racism (or some other form of bigotry), but that accusation is a blatant cudgel with which to beat opponents of a different culture. (Whether that’s irony or hypocrisy, the reader can decide.)
The desire of those opponents — we can call them the “alts,” if that helps — is space on the planet to practice and perpetuate their values even when they do not meet the approval of the globalists who have deemed them bigots. Unfortunately, the globalists (or progressives, if we look more closely than the entire planet) aren’t satisfied with that arrangement. They will not entertain a “two state solution,” so to speak. They want to know that wherever they go on the planet, their core values are dominant.
Of course, they like a bit of superficial variety for flavor, which contributes to their inconsistency. If a cultural marker is mainly aesthetic, the Left proclaims cultural identities are an exclusive birthright, and even adopting aspects of it can be shunned as “cultural appropriation.” However, if a cultural marker is too deep and conflicting with globalist materialism, then it is strictly taboo.