Cosmopolitanism vs. nationalism

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column.  It is hard to excerpt, but here is the closing bit:

The best way for that to happen is to let practical nationalism reign, while at the margin seeking to soften it with moral cosmopolitanism. Both perspectives are valuable, and neither can be allowed to dominate. Each perspective, standing on its own, is intellectually vulnerable, yet the two outlooks together are not quite fully harmonious. It is this dynamic clash, however, that helps to account for the strength of each.

Try explaining all that, and its required background knowledge, in a 280-word tweet. Yet much of the world manages a pretty fruitful balance between moral cosmopolitanism and practical nationalism. There is a wisdom embodied in this lived experience which neither pundits nor philosophers can convey.

A tempered and centrist cosmopolitanism won’t always command the strongest loyalties, nor will practical nationalism always look so pretty. If we can accept that reality, then maybe we can stop throwing stones at each other.


'It is hard to excerpt'

But not to write, one assumes.

And this is silly - 'What might a sane nationalism look like — a nationalism broadly consistent with a centrist cosmopolitanism?' The United States is a concept, one that has consistently rejected the basis of 'nationalism' - that is, of a group defined by blood.

Patriotism is what marks Americans, not nationalism, and most definitely not the sort of nationalism found attempting to resurrect itself in Europe after all the bloodshed it is responsible for over centuries, culminating in the most violently extreme nationalism we have witnessed.

And much like the confusion between patriotism (or loyalty to the ideals embodied in one of the greatest documents in human history) and nationalism seems unavoidable, the idea that borders are somehow not geographic, but 'moral' is abstruse in truly entertaining fashion.

'For most of human history, of course, such borders either did not exist or were not enforced. '

This is simply wrong, at least starting with the rise of fixed settlements.

As for the EU, 'That said, it should be judged ruthlessly on practical grounds as to whether or not it will succeed. ' seems to ignore the last little outbreak of genocidal warfare in Europe, where not one the nations involved were part of the EU. And where that warfare has not recurred, with most of the nations being involved in mass murder now part of the EU. And oddly enough, also not committing mass murder.

'It would in fact be good for those forms of nationalism to weaken.'

Well, for Americans actually proud of their past, those forms of nationalism deserve to be crushed - they are more than simply a road bump to a much better world.

"the basis of 'nationalism' - that is, of a group defined by blood"

Dictionary: "identification with one's own nation and support for its interests, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations."

'identification with one's own nation and support for its interests'

And America is fairly unique in that one can be born and raised in another nation, then choose to become an American. That is, Americans can be people who actually chose to be American, to the exclusion and detriment of the interests of the nation they were born in.

(But sure, the term 'nation' has a number of meanings. Those happy go lucky nationalists running Germany after the Depression would never have accepted the idea that just anyone could become a German, in major part because the German nation was formed out of Blut und Boden.)

Hi, I am Mr. Benjamin Taylor, from Tippecanoe County in Indiana. A question has been burning my soul lately. Are our children safe? The answer may shock you.

Mrs. Damares is a Baptist preacher and Brazil's Minister of Citizenship. She says she spent decades studying American cartoons for years. What she learned may surprise you. According to her, cartoons are not just harmless drawings. Quite the opposite.

She has concluded that Universal's Woody Woodpecker teaches selfish, violent, anti-social behaviors and Disney's Frozen preaches lesbianism.

Since cartoons were introduced, crime, drug use, irreligiosity and homosexuality skyrocketed. Do you know what your children are doing or watching right now? Can they be being covertly manipulated by Hollywood while we talk? Please, talk to your children about the harms cartoon viewing can bring to them and their community.

Woody Woodpecker is a jerk.

Frozen is a story about how blatantly pathetic it is when we rationalize defiant self-assertion as the cure for the isolation of modern life and how the only cure is not self-love, but self-sacrifing love of another.

Exactly. It is time to stop Hollywood's War on Children.

I'm a latent homo myself.

Cosmopolitanism seems only work if we don't segment everyone else into some sort of ethnic box.

Just allow non-white immigration but don't allow them to claim victimhood status.

AOC is a "woman of color" who wants to "address America's past treatment of PR's."

Non-white immigration making America resemble an African state, with each ethnic group seeking its largest slice of a fixed pie.

I'd be willing to bet the victimhood narrative is inevitable, though, in societies where the returns to cognitive skills are high and the variance in skills between groups is substantial. The low-performing groups, both for their own psychological reasons as well as to agitate for set-asides and freebies, are always going to argue that they have been victimized in some way, much like a child who loses a game will immediately shout "no fair!"

Indeed. This is a perfect description of working class white men today. Victimized by immigration and trade, agitating for set-asides in the form of protections for their jobs and the markets for the products they make.

Also, feminism. Working class white guys are victimized by feminism. If it weren't for the feminists, women would be forced to date them.

While some women have entered the workforce in areas previously dominated by men, for the most part that is not the case. Women tend to gravitate towards high-touch careers in teaching, health-care, social work, and government etc.

The problem is, for blue-collar workers, the loss of manufacturing jobs due to trade policies. Those policies were deliberately enacted despite the predictable cost to non-college educated men. You can rightly argue that global trade has resulted in lower cost for manufactured goods for everybody, the costs if the policies are disproportionately borne by non-college educated men.

You can argue that maybe those men should get a college education, but not all men are created equal, some have higher IQs than others. Also, college is expensive and there aren't enough colleges to accept everyone.

This problem is exacerbated by an open border policy that allows millions of uneducated migrant men to compete directly with the male citizens displaced by global trade and automation.

Sadly, there seems to be little sympathy from the cosmopolitan elite for those displaced men. In fact, it is the opposite, the cosmopolitan elite, the beneficiaries of cheap domestic workers and global trade, treat those men with truly hateful contempt - and those men know it. Those men disproportionately suffer from deaths of despair, well described by Case and Deaton. A political backlash from those men squeezed by open borders, global trade, and automation is predictable. This was my big objection to the premise of Tyler's "Average is Over". Dispossessed men can vote, do can their wives and daughters. If you ever see this phenomenon up close, as I have with my younger brother, who died a death of despair, you might find a place in your heart for those men, and may even consider the impact of public policy on those men.

The aren't misogynistic racists.

You can argue that maybe those men should get a college education, but not all men are created equal, some have higher IQs than others. Also, college is expensive and there aren't enough colleges to accept everyone.

So, if society should be structured to provide jobs to people with lower IQs, does that not argue even more in favor of setting aside jobs for black people, who (according to many commentators on this site) have on average lower IQs? If society should have compassion for low IQ white men, should it not have even more compassion for African Americans?

Why more? Why not the same for a 90 IQ black guy and a 90 IQ white guy? I don't even think you need to set jobs aside, just get out of the way by removing some of the regulations and bad incentives. There's plenty of work to be done for these folks to do.

I believe EdR is arguing in favor of trade protectionism for working class white guys above. That's not just removing regulations.

I too favor improving the lives of working class white men by removing the regulations and bad incentives they face.

I think we are in agreement here on a something's. I don't honestly know about set asides or affirmative action - to me that is undignified and dishonorable. I would advocate for public policies that consider all the consequences to all people and act accordingly. I also think we should refrain from slandering people, any people, that are already suffering. To do less is a form of the brutish behaviour Tyler doesn't like.

If you continuously insult people they will react - that is human relations 101A.

I would advocate for public policies that consider all the consequences to all people and act accordingly.

The problem with that is that "public policies" are invariably controlled by the groups that have the most power. The idea that government will ever implement a policy that genuinely optimizes the common good is naive. What we're witnessing with Trump and trade protectionism (and a host of other issues) is a demonstration of the fact that white people have more power than other ethnic groups, and are thus more capable of influencing public policy in ways that benefit themselves - at other groups expense. When white people are suffering, politicians react and help them with compassion - when black people are suffering, well it's just their bad culture and low IQ.

Plenty of non-whites in China-competing industries will benefit from the tariffs too. It's not only white people in the factories.

This is another distinction between "Make America Great Again, for factory workers" and "Pay gap! White Privilege!".

At least the pro-factory worker protectionist agenda pretends its not nakedly in the interests of any ethnic+sex bloc, and isn't openly in favor of that, even though disparate impact may favor some ethnic+sex bloc. The political rhetoric is about helping any citizen who are factory workers (even though a disproportion of these will be male and many will be white).

A true left equivalent of factory worker protectionism might be more like "Let's ensure better wages for our hardworking teachers / low paid service sector workers, whatever the market says" (leans female). That's something that totally has currency within the left today, but is tending to be increasingly eclipsed by naked requests for gibs on the basis of offsetting "White male privilege" alone.

It's a "disparate impact" by design. It will disproportionately benefit white working class people, intentionally so. The costs are of course bourne by all consumers especially those that rely on cheap chinese imports.

I grab beers with a good mix of white and blue collar guys. I don't hear them complaining that they want anything that they didn't earn. They're all busy workwise, but it's nice to be around people who expect to be paid less for 35 hrs of work compared to others who work 50.

A recent conversation was with a lab manager who was told he had to hire a woman. The lab is fairly gender balances and he did complain that he was forced to choose a women. He did interview 2 that could do the job fine, so he wasn't that annoyed.

Being a white guy, either white collar, or blue, means you must be OK with being discriminated against and can't say a word.

The mentioning of 'feminist'-a group who got what they want and don't like it - in a comment complaining about blue collar guys shows me you really don't know any.

Geez I need a copy editor. Apologies.

I don't hear them complaining that they want anything that they didn't earn.

Except that they support Trump and his policies on trade and immigration. Which basically means they want their jobs to be protected from competition. Which means, yes, they do want something they havn't earned.

I agree with you on trade, but others from different countries have no right to come here. And they often consume more than they produce.

Except that they support Trump and his policies on trade and immigration. Which basically means they want their jobs to be protected from competition. Which means, yes, they do want something they havn't earned.

Let's see, Whirlpool, in the form of its management and stockholders, was able to get the government to slap tariffs on foreign washing machines that were running them out of business. So there were some guys with suits and ties involved, too.

Like weekends?

Remember the guy who owned the drywall business, who complained to an unquestioning NY Times that the election of Trump had frightened people (or they were coached to say they were frightened, but any rate they took the opportunity to go home and visit the folks) and he was having trouble finding local guys who would work 7 days a week, 10 hours a day?

I don't know about you, but I don't look around at the work blue collar guys do, white or black or Hispanic - like the two guys near here who were crushed to death by the utility pole they were putting up this past weekend - and think to myself, those guys sure haven't earned any labor protections.

The vast majority of work place incidents I have seen was mostly due to the people not following the rules set by the employer. You would almost never find an employer forcing someone to work dangerously, that would provide a clear danger of being sued and prosecuted if nothing else. So more regulations won't help. Employers already have plenty of incentives not to put their employees in danger. The main thing that the government could do to prevent these kind of problems would be to create significant unemployment so the only people working are the plus 100 IQ types.

Yes, maybe, no. Probably you're right, where everything's on the up and up, and people are not fatigued from 70-hour workweeks and lack of sleep. But where people are disposable - like these folks the chicken processors bring in - the stories almost farcical - many years ago, this one company employed the Amish, but ultimately they wanted Sundays off; then the management got wind of unrest in Central America, and sent somebody down there to recruit people (the people didn't just magically appear); and then when after some time those people, even as vulnerable as they were, being illegal, began demanding sturdy gloves (!) [one of them, a woman who'd been there like 17 years, cut her hand so badly she couldn't work that day, was brought into the office, and cynically told - oh, we just alerted the government you were using a fake social, you're fired] the company began looking further afield - to Nepal, of all places, I believe it was. There was a terrific story about it in the New Yorker (from a few years ago, before the New Yorker's recent dumbing-down, which, ironically, will preclude such pieces that involve actual, intensive reporting - and have the effect of "waking" me up - in a way that will never happen with the New New Journalism where MFA graduates tenderly explore their own specialness and the cognitive dissonance occasioned by their feeling that they are underappreciated just for existing).

Yeah, not really so much "working men" (White or otherwise), blue or white collar, that complain about a difficult romantic marketplace, more typically progammers and the like, men who do quite specific white collar work, which isn't very sexy and doesn't earn very much money and who tend to socialize with choosy women who tend to have middlebrow aspirations to intellectualism (but not anything too challenging!).

Particularly for working class men, working class women who they would usually pair up with don't have too much time for feminism for the most part. They might think most of feminism is foolishness, but seems not likely they blame it for romantic life issues.

But Hazel doesn't like working class white men, and so it goes.

Women become very choosy the moment a working man ceases to be employed. This isn't just a white collar thing.

That definitely describes some working class whites, absolutely.

Feminists are the biggest victim group out there, though, so that one kinda falls flat, I would say.

I dunno, if you listen to some of the alt-right/MRA types, you would think feminists were a fearsome and powerful group of people, capable of destroying any man that stands against them, through their secretive control of the establishment media and the office of civil rights. That doesn't sound very victimy to me.

Right- they're not ACTUALLY victims, they just assert their victimhood as another means to exert power. The control is not secretive, by the way.

Indeed! The matriarchy exists to keep the beknighted white man down!

You're at your worst when you're trying to troll people.

Affirmative Action and Title IX laws are real and on the books. Either we want a meritocracy and all the statistical discrepancies that go with it, or we don't.

But it strikes me as being incredibly disingenuous to say that this line of thinking is, "Victimized by immigration and trade, agitating for set-asides in the form of protections for their jobs and the markets for the products they make." After all, we truthfully have no idea what the labor and immigration markets would look like in absence of AA/Title IX. Yet we don't seem to have the courage to either scrap them or extend them to the last remaining demo.

As for me, I'll be clear: I'm against all that stuff. Strip away all these dumb laws and let the market sort it out, as markets tend to do.

So, you're in agreement, then? White men are victims!

Everyone is a victim at some point and a victor at some other point. Dismissing one of those points just because the other point also exists is, to be a little cute, point-less. "You can't be a victim, because sometimes you're not!" is not a particularly intelligent way to approach the issue.

You're correct. EVERYONE is a victim! Let's all be victims together!

Okay, you obviously need this spelled out for you, so here it is.

Like I said in my first comment to you: You're at your worst when you're trying to troll people; and either we want a meritocracy or we don't. That should be enough for you to grock my whole position here, but evidently it isn't, so let me elaborate.

Your two-pronged trolling attack is effective because it reveals the underlying psychological defense mechanisms of white/male chauvinists. That is, "two contradictory positions, one held consciously, one held sub-consciously, alternating variously." How can a superior race be victims? How can victims be superior? Oh, so edgy. Trolled and triggered!

The problem with this, though, is that you're working with the same defense mechanism, so your trolling reveals the same thing about you that you think you're revealing in others. Namely, if we need things like Affirmative Action to correct the power imbalance, then how can you claim that any recipient of Affirmative Action is still disadvantaged? Or, if Affirmative Action and such fail to correct the underlying disadvantages, then why do we need them? And likewise for your kind of feminism.

So your trolling just ends up ringing really hollow and making you look just as bad as the chauvinists, which is unfortunate because your real and genuine position, the one you'd be talking about if you weren't trolling, is actually the correct one, the one with the empirical evidence on its side, and the one that can be reasonably defended.

So, stop trolling, and start defending your real position. You'd be a much more effective advocate that way. It's always better to argue in good faith, always.

You are completely missing my point. I'm not even arguing in favor of affirmative action. My point is that seeing yourself as the victim is effectively buying into the leftist ideology you decry. You are becoming examples of the victim culture you claim to hate. Stop buying into this paranoid ideology in which white men are their own identity group that is against everyone else. If you want society to rise above identity politics and victim culture, then rise above identity politics and victim culture, instead of cultivating your own little victim culture.

Hazel - it is perfectly consistent to keep the two ideas in your head that 1) men oppressed women unjustly in the past and 2) men are today often being discriminated against in the workforce due to the desire of employers to show positive discrimination in favor of women. And it is also true that if you accept 1) it is somewhat inconsistent to favor positive discrimination. We all learned in Kindergarten that two wrongs don't make a right.

Right, so white men are totally victims and they should act like it and claim victim status. We need set asides and freebies for white guys.

Who's asking for freebies? The only complaint I've ever heard from a blue collar guy is that he wants to be treated equally. The victim groups are all looking for special consideration. I don't see being treated equally as special. As for the illegal immigrants, they're illegal. Legal guys need to pay all the insurances, taxes and fees, while the illegals don't. Oh yeah, and they are illegal. Enforcing the law is now a freebee?

Here's a good example of guys whining, funny if no so true.

"In a 1998 speech delivered before a domestic violence conference in El Salvador, former US senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that “Women have always been the primary victims of war. Women lose their husbands, their fathers, their sons in combat.”

"Women have always been the primary victims of war. Women lose their husbands, their fathers, their sons in combat.”
now we are really confused
wouldn't that make the husbands, fathers& sons the primary victims
in war?
+1 postmodern clintonian bullshit

remember senator Mazie Hirono's message to men: 'Just shut up and step up …
and she did affirm/validate pretty strongly at least one of the false Kavanagh accusers connected to the nutty avenati lawyer

Feminists, who want choices, then complain about the results of their choices are the biggest victim whiners out there.

Pretty sure Trump and his crybully supporters out whine them all.

Not the only thing you're wrong about I bet.

Seems like the feminist lobby arguing for female quotas in high paying jobs, and greater compensation for "undervalued" female work (much of which is government jobs that exist mostly on subsidy, make work service work, etc), still seems louder and larger than anything coming from working class white men.

The "Pay gap" and so on.

Unlike displaced manufacturing and construction job males, it also doesn't really seem to have any economically credible argument about preserving a manufacturing base for the purposes of national security. So hard to justify in much more terms than gibs. At least the displaced manufacturing employees make an argument for preservation of the industrial base and would at least *pretend* to be happy with at least automated onshoring...

Except that Trump got elected and Hillary Clinton didn't, so which group is *really* "larger" and "louder" ?

Incidentally, I'm not a Hillary supporter or anything, I'm simply pointing out the irony of complaining about "victim groups" while bitterly complaining about your own victimization.

Trump got elected on a more diverse platform than *just* working class white males... Including many working class white females who want hubby to earn a bit more money.

Although Clinton did win the popular vote.

In terms of victimhood narratives, you should put the comment about that in the context Haidt, Campbell and Manning when they describe what it really is all about, which is a change in moral culture - / The protectionism is a qualitatively different thing - the WWCM don't really embrace "victimhood culture", and largely make different arguments.

Victimhood narrative, in their telling, metastatizes from the campuses, not from "low-performing groups" in terms of cognitive skills. (Indeed if you look at the closest, if rather distant, thing to a victimhood narrative that thrives in history, it's probably coming from Ashkenazi Jews, and there isn't a more capable and high performing group about! Victimhood narratives have not much to do with skills.)

the WWCM don't really embrace "victimhood culture", and largely make different arguments.

Actually, they do. They just like to think they don't. Whether they discuss their victimhood in leftist terminology or not, they feel just as sorry for themselves and blame other people for their problems, just like any of the victim groups you mention.

Nah, victim morality is a distinct cultural complex; WWCM US ex-manufacturers mostly phase things in terms of an elite that's selling out the nation and compromising the group safety, not their individual victimisation. Victim morality mostly develops among high cognitive performers on the campuses (and the higher performing, the more victim morality is embraced) the exact opposite of Anon For Obvious Reasons viewpoint....

Trump and his supporters explicitly phrase it in terms of an elite that is selling out working class people and America's white European heritage. The victimization and persecution complex on the right is every bit as ferocious (if not more) as the one among African Americans vis a vis "The Man" or feminists vis a vis "the patriarchy". See, for instance the paranoid belief that the Democrats are deliberately "importing" Hispanics to "replace" white people so as to engineer a change in Demographics. The right wing has adopted a conspiratorial mindset which explains and justifies their own victim status. Victim morality is a cultural complex, and right-wing white people have it.

" selling out working class people and America's white European heritage"

You're reading that last part into the conversation, as you can't ever seem to avoid race, even when it's not mentioned or relevent. Hint: the 'working class' is less European than is the population as a whole. So chose one, or the other.

That might have something to do with why white working class people feel so threatened. Doesn't change anything. Trump is speaking to *white* working class people. He's explicitly promising to keep out all those brown people they are competing with for job.

Trump is speaking to working class people. Who have a greater percentage of POC than the general population. The *white* is in your head. Do you think he's helping the larger group of POC because he hates them? His popularity among the Latino voters has never been higher for a Rep president.

Just allow non-white immigration but don't allow them to claim victimhood status.

Ah, MR. Where all prejudice is imaginary, until you say it isn't. Wink, wink.


Bigotry of low expectations. Some can't even image of POC or woman who wasn't a victim.

Can you even see what you did there? Not every POC or woman is a victim, so no one is? Classic MR.

Calling you out on your bigotry? Yes, classic MR.

Actually I think that is even below par for MR. People who worry about racial prejudice against others are .. the real bigots?

Ah well, know your silo.

I know! Those dumb black folks need your protection. Bastards probably don't even appreciate you looking out for them.

"AOC is a "woman of color" who wants to "address America's past treatment of PR's.""

Past meaning our prompt efforts at aid after 2017's Hurricane Maria?

Probably. Are they still finding warehouses of stuff delivered to PR for the victims that they hid away to sell later?

They hid stuff away to sell for later? Hmmmm. Sound let they are smarter businessmen than our president.

No, just shittier people. (The culprits, not all PR)

If only we let that Trump supporting outfit with two workers and an extension cord out in the middle of the northwest have the billion dollar contract to rebuild the grid in PR all would be well.

That was the PR people, nothing to do with Trump. Try again.

FEMA is Trump's responsibility. They made a bad contract to a crony who donated to his campaign so this is the expected result. You can add fraud to the list of Trump crimes.

"Still, two former FEMA officials told Vox they are concerned about Puerto Rico's decision to award such large contracts outside the regular bidding process, normally required for federal reimbursements."

Puerto Rico awarded the contracts.

Article says Puerto Rico's Power Company awarded the contract, not the same as Puerto Rico. The contract said it had been approved by FEMA, but FEMA later said they were 'concerned' all along.

So yea it's all Puerto Rico's fault. For some reason PR just decided to award a contract to a guy from Minnesota who just happened to be from the same hometown as the then interior secretary and who just happened to personally know him and gave his son a job at one of his sites....all this just sort of happened because Puerto Rico, for inexplicable reasons, just decided to go find that guy and give him a huge contract and he just happened to....yea ok. And they did this because...well they were hording all that bottled water they were planning to sell for big profits.

Puerto Rico's Power Company is owned by Puerto Rico.

'Hiding away', more seriously, either sounds like stuff that wasn't useful or wasn't able to be distributed. Does it get sold later on? Sure. What else can one do with it? Ship it back?

Some stolen, but some had distribution issues. Like the idiot mayor of San Juan, standing in front of 10,000 bottles of water complaining no one cared. Either way, your comment was about our prompt reaction, which it was.

Let's say you have a warehouse full of bottled water but the roads are impassable. Those within walking distance of the warehouse can get plenty of bottled water but aside from that there's nothing you can do with it. If water is running by the time the roads are repaired, then yea the warehouse full of bottled water should probably just then be sold off. Material gets wasted in big operations despite the best efforts. After WWII the US literally threw tons of perfectly good trucks and ships into the ocean simply because it was cheaper to toss it than sail it all the way back to the mainland.

But your'e saying the Mayor of PR used the hurricane as an opportunity to 'hide' 10,000 bottles of water and then sell them months later? Are you aware of the market price of bottled water or is your mom the only one who goes to the grocery?

"But your'e saying ...." No, I did not. Two different stories. The complaint above was that we weren't prompt in our relief efforts when we clearly were, as shown by the warehouse full of water and other items. If the items weren't able to be distributed, then it's not our fault, as implied by your snarky answer about AOC.

Who is this 'our' in 'not our fault'? The job of a relief effort is to get relief where it is needed and then solve the problems that keep that from getting done.

The US got it there, and to the people as well as conditions allowed. The mayor of San Juan just wanted to get on TV and complain. She had no time to help with relief, but enough to have anti-Trump t-shirts made. If conditions were perfect there would be no need for relief. You can say the effort was lacking though, or you'd be a liar.

PR to you seems no bigger than a hashtag. Trump threw some paper towels at someone, problem solved.

The governor of PR said Trump gave him everything they needed. He did a good job responding. I don't think anything short of everyone is a Marriott is failure.

I took your 'Past meaning our prompt efforts at aid after 2017's Hurricane Maria?' comment as snark - so forgive me it it wasn't.

This article attempts to impart intelligence on an unintelligent idea. It is putting cologn on a pile of horse manure.

Nationalism is obviously wrong. Nationalism does not simply say...America first. It says America first at the expense of any and everything that gets in our way, whether we are in the right or not. It is a prideful and destructive use of sovereignty. It is being a bull in a China shop.

The reality is that nationalism is a racist ideology because it requires its followers to willfully think small. Putting America first...which is the biggest, baddest, most powerful.nation to ever the same thing as putting white people first. Its idiotic and moronic and straight up racist.

Dont evpen think about arguing with me. There is nothing you can say to counter this truth.

Welcome to 2019....where the idea that Americans should choose policies that put America first are considered racist. What an enlightened age we live in.

Do you honestly believe Trump is putting America first? He's destroying America from within and weakening our standing in the world. Trump might have first and last mixed up, he's just making the wrong moves.

Yet, President Captain Bolsonaro was elected under the motto "Brazil above everything, God abover everyone".

"God abover everyone"
For a fascist, Bolsonaro is no grammar nazi.

Cosmopolitanism is obviously wrong and racist. It's a fig leaf where "elites" can replace the existing plebes with people of their preferred skin color and when Americans complain they can be shouted down with cries that they are being nationalistic and provincial and of course the lives of people with the proper skin color are worth two or three times as much as yours.

Nah, a skin color can't make my widgets. But a worker who happily accepts a lower wage for the same labor? Golden.

I too agree that lower wages are good.

That aside, mass immigration is not about increased production. The New Germans are quantitatively and substantially less productive than Actual Germans. Yet the establishment considers them "golden" nonetheless.

I would draw this distinction. Nationalism, like all other forms of in-group favoritism, is good when it inspires the individual to voluntarily sacrifice his own interests to improve the group. Conversely, nationalism, like other forms of in-group favoritism, is bad when it inspires the group to coerce sacrifice from unwilling individuals within or outside the group to advance the interests of the group.

That's funny, I've said something very similar about whiskey...

Paying taxes can be a form of sacrifice! Sometimes not voluntary taxes are necessary. There are limits to simply talking about coercion and consent in such blanket terms, and this is why we argue about fundamental rights that the state cannot transgress rather talk about coercion as inherently bad and voluntary action as always good.

The closing sentence is great. But the comments here, which are generally among the least insane out there, make me wonder if we can ever get there:

"A tempered and centrist cosmopolitanism won’t always command the strongest loyalties, nor will practical nationalism always look so pretty. If we can accept that reality, then maybe we can stop throwing stones at each other."

I don't know if I agree with your a priori and vocabulary.

Anyway, The USA at inception (Constitution and Amendments ratified) could not embark nationalism as pejorative. However, at some point, being pushed along by its citizens moving west, it was "coerced" to become expansionary. "Manifest Destiny" and all that. That is another story.

Since 1913, the US can be nationalist (pejorative). 'They' amended the Constitution to allow the Federal income tax for necessary funds for global adventures and standing armies; they passed legislation establishing the Fed, eventually to act as the nation-state's fiscal agent and print money needed to pay for global domination; and the states, over a long period, ceded (forcibly in the case of thirteen southern states) their sovereignties.

Even at its inception the US was expansionary. One of the grievances that led to the Revolution was a ban on settlement west of the Appalachians. The provision for adding new states in the Constitution also envisioned an expanding nation.

Remember when Tyler talked about whether we had to accommodate the brutes? Everybody hated it. This piece doesn't seem to have moved that far along.

I remember it well. He wrote this:

"The contemporary world is not very well built for a large chunk of males. The nature of current service jobs, coddled class time and homework-intensive schooling, a feminized culture allergic to most forms of violence, post-feminist gender relations, and egalitarian semi-cosmopolitanism just don’t sit well with many…what shall I call them? "

But then he erred when he followed up with this:

"Quite simply, there are many people who don’t like it when the world becomes nicer. They do less well with nice. And they respond by in turn behaving less nicely, if only in their voting behavior and perhaps their internet harassment as well."

Which, ironically, is not a very nice thing to see, and is also wrong.

I would say those men are men of action - they want to DO something, BUILD something, like the cars you drive ( yes, I know about robots), the train platforms you stand on, the office buildings you work in, and the houses you live in. They are the people, mostly brawny men, that arrest criminals, repel invading armies, stop genocide (Bosnia), put out fires, reconnect the power at night in the rain, and fix your plumbing.

They have been sold out and then insulted and slandered by people like you and Tyler.

What do you suppose the consequences will be?

More irony, should those slandered turn to violence, you will send out other brutes to protect yourselves.

What a sad bunch of hypocritical wimps.

That post, along with most of the comments, aged terribly. Also, how was it not obviously to me who Hazel Meade was two years ago?

But anyway...

This whole "nationalism vs cosmopolitanism" dichotomy seems like a proxy debate for... pretty much anything else. Those who consider themselves cosmopolitans seldom want to let everyone in, or if they do, they certainly don't want everyone participating in the decision-making. Meanwhile nationalism - real nationalism - is only fun when you're winning, and America hasn't really been winning lately. So I don't see this debate going anywhere at all.

But, like, if we wanted to debate a policy issue, I'm for having that debate. That might go somewhere.

"Cosmopolitanism" has a long history of being bound up with a number of other outlooks: a stoic approach to life where you have a favorable view of moderate progressive change and a negative view of any drastic change in any direction, liberalism as a guiding economic philosophy, a socially and economically privileged background. Most of the old Roman Stoics, like Seneca and Marcus Aurelius, adopted a citizen-of-the-world outlook with the end of the Republic and the rise of the Empire, at a time when the Roman Empire constituted "the world". A lot of the writing we are doing on cosmopolitanism now is reminiscent of the various 18th Century Enlightenment writings on the subject: Voltaire wrote at length about seeing himself as a "citizen of the world". Kant's Perpetual Peace is more or less a meditation on the desirability of a single world order: Kant was in principle in favor of it, but had many doubts, believing the best compromise to be a rules-based order of independent republics (something like the League of Nations). Ironically the great romanticists of the late 18th Century, Rousseau in France and Herder and Schiller in Germany, were setting the stage for 19th Century nationalism at a time (the latter half of the 18th Century) when it seemed that cosmopolitanism was easily winning the day when most arguments against it relied on superstition.

Which is to say, that discussing these issues is extremely unlikely to resolve them if history counts as any sort of evidence. It's not a simple policy issue, but is an entire approach to life and worldview, and the tension between them is more than 2000 years old in what we conventionally call The West.

Right, but this is just mood affiliation. It's more like siding with a particular demeanor, rather than a particular set of policies. If exactly the opposite kind of policies could be articulated in such a way as to convey the same demeanor, then presumably anyone adopting "cosmopolitanism" for aesthetic reasons would be duped.

That's my whole objection to this kind of thing. It's easy to dupe people when they're voting for a demeanor rather than a set of policies. Arguably, that's how Trump won: he took advantage of the fact that Republicans refuse to vote for the Democratic demeanor, and vice-versa, regardless of what policies Trump actually wants to promote.

And so, once again, to climb back on my old hobby horse, all disagreements should be presented in the following form: "I disagree with [person] when they say [statement] because [reasons]." It's simply impossible to end up duped or on the wrong side of your chosen ethics if you stick to this kind of argument.

It's more than just Trump being elected, it's now a Republican Senate protecting him from any or all impeachments. To say "regardless of wrongdoing" is not an overstatement

.. while right-cosmopolitans dithered about the level of accommodation they should provide.

I don't disagree with you. I'm saying that, if people would just stick to their preferred policies, rather than their preferred affiliations, we'd have a viable solution against all of the knaves, rather than just some of the knaves.

Good comments, and perhaps.

But perhaps too we have simply accommodated the brutes too much in recent years.

Let's hope Joe Biden, a funny guy but not a brute, is right and this is a momentary aberration.

"But perhaps too we have simply accommodated the brutes too much"

Noam Chomsky has made the point repeatedly over the years, when asking about why he takes an extremely strong stance on free speech, that you do not accommodate brutes: rather, brutes accommodate you. It's a non-brute's only hope, because the brutes will always win a contest of brutality. Nassim Nicholas Taleb has made the same point in recent years.

“Romney gon’ put y’all back in chains!”

Yes. He’s a paragon of virtue, truth telling, and respect for minorities.

What does "cosmopolitanism" even mean?

The US has always been nationalistic.

54 40 or fight, Remember the Maine and Manifest Destiny are some of the examples of American nationalism.

A really great column.

There are some out there who say it's contradictory for folks who advance an "America first" policy and simultaneously cheer on Farage (Britain first) and Orban (Hungary first). It really isn't a contradiction, though, if one understands nationalism as the type that says "we wish others well but will look out for our own, and enjoy our country here at home in our own borders" versus the type that says "we're the best on earth and therefore we will invade our neighbors." There's nothing about nationalism that says one must inevitably be aggressive toward other nations. Good fences really do make good neighbors.

John Quincy Adams's "monsters abroad" speech still rings true. Astoundingly prescient, in fact.

"Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will [America's] heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself, beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. The frontlet upon her brows would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished lustre the murky radiance of dominion and power. She might become the dictatress of the world: she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit."

The same John Quincy Adams, as a former POTUS and current Rep. for MA, that argued before the Supreme Court, for the freedom of the rebellious slaves of the slave ship La Amistad. He won. He died later on the floor of the House of Representatives.

What's not to love about that history?

Oh, and what is Obama doing these days? He's partying with billionaires at Martha's Vineyard.

Wow! Just wow!

but what was that other one about not even pennies for tribute but millions for defense (or something along those lines).

The world has gotten a lot smaller and grows ever more narrow. I just wonder if some don't see China (both trade practices and recent militarization of the ocean in that area) in much the same light as Jefferson saw the Barbary Pirates.

In the end, sure it would be great to see reality and just all get along but reality does tend to suggest some humans will not and some of those will get into positions of power forcing others down paths they would rather not take.

I don't think it's nationalism vs. cosmopolitanism. I think it's nationalism vs. imperialism.

Absolutely--the cosmopolitanism is a new kind of imperialism, a revolutionary ideology exported by certain states.

Cosmopolitanism might be benign imperialism, because it argues for a diffuse cultural center rather than an autocrat.

In practice, cosmopolitanism means everywhere must eventually become like everywhere else.

That should kill the travel industry...but it's a very green idea ;-)

Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

The biggest cities in the US, NYC, LA, Chicago, and Houston are all quite distinct. No one would the Hollywood sign for the Statue of Liberty.

How first might our (segregated, insulated) cosmopolitan elites transcend their native cosmopolitan provincialism?

a good faith start from the elites would be for them to
more precisely define nationalism
& stop throwing milkshakes and fake dossiers

Kids in Flint still don't have water but if some guy who makes more than you'll ever make got a milkshake thrown at him on the other side of the world you should focus on that.

I don't care about Farage for his sake, but for mine. Farage is more likely to destabilize the international status quo, and perhaps enhance the prospects for my own freedom, if even at just the cultural level (by loosening the grip of the liberal narrative). Folks in Flint, by virtue of the fact that they're still living there, probably don't have the ability to do much of anything for me. Worse, they might be a net negative for me if my tax dollars end up being used in some federal effort. So I get more bang for my buck worrying about Farage than Flint.

You care about the policies Farage is pushing and deem that more important than Flint in terms of consequences. OK. My understanding of British law is limited but I believe whether or not a bill passes depends upon the votes for it, the presence of absence of milkshake stains on the chap's suit has no bearing on that.

you changed the subject
we can actually focus on both leady water and throwing stuff

Why should we focus on someone throwing a milkshake? Your must have a lot of free time in your life.

if it makes you happy we can talk about antifa fuckwits
throwing pee on people

AS long as Russian trolls feed you tweets to be angry about, your time and brain power is occupied.

not angry
sanguine &sated
not russian trolls tweeting
its good old usa today
that documents the pee throwing

The average American is more at risk of a giant cartoon safe falling on them from upon high than pee being thrown at them. But good use of keeping your priorities in order.

not if they are in the proximity of antifa frittatas
& how come you are making my priorities
your priority anyway

Likewise if they are in proximity of a UFO then involuntary anal probe without proper HIPAA forms being signed is a higher than normal risk.

"how come you are making my priorities your priority anyway"

You come very low in my universe of priorities. I don't care if you dedicate your life to irrelevant grievance mongering. You, however, presumed to lecture us about making milkshake throwing something we should focus on. I'm just providing the corrective lens for your warped attention. You're free to walk around without wearing your glasses.

we bet people think ur bossy
pointing out that throwing pee & milkshakes at people is
not grievance mongering or lecturing
it is mocking the
people who are throwing pee & milkshakes

"it is mocking the people who are throwing pee & milkshakes"

No one here is throwing pee or milkshakes at anyone. This is not a problem, that judgement from me may sound elitist but that's only because your standards are very low. If you think our tolerance for pee/milkshake throwing is too low, I suggest you spend a week throwing your pee and milkshakes at random people and then come back and report what happened to you here.

we are not actually a pee/milkshake throwers
because it is messy/gross &
we don't make presumptions about anyone here's tolerance for pee/milkshake throwing
only brought it up because Dr. Cowen brought up rock throwing

In the spirit of rational evidence gathering please spend a week throwing rocks at people, then as a control spend the next week throwing milkshakes at people. Report back how it works.

you are bossy &
you might wanna check your serum lead level.
literally throwing stuff at people is what they hecklers veto
its what they do at smith college

we wanna go on the official deepstate record as being
against hurling pee at people
repeat Boonton is the fella advocating pee throwing
not us

The milkshake is signalling that the target is vulnerable to assault. Eventually somebody more unhinged than the milkshake thrower will pick up that signal, so I don't think this ends well. You might make more than me so I'll throw a milkshake at you. All in good fun of course.

Flint, Michigan collects about $54M in taxes each year. I recommend they prioritize the water system.

Years ago a large soda was thrown on me. Where were you! Why do you care about foreigners and not your fellow countrymen?!

Too bad it wasn't a 32 ounce Vaughn framing hammer. I would have skipped happy hour to see that, and I love them free beer nuts.

As if you would ever skip a happy hour.

For that I would make a exception - I am willing to pay a high price, a very high price.

I thought he was cosplaying my starring role in The Weatherman.

Were you quite well when you wrote that stuff, Mr Cowen? Or did you intend it as satire, perhaps?

"borders are morally arbitrary"-T.C.

+1 postmodern

"Nationalists" over the EU coordinated with themselves to try to win the recent EU Parliamentary elections. This, of course, demonstrates the folly. Successful nationalism in the modern age becomes cosmopolitianism.

Nothing wrong with this. They want the EU to be a family of sovereigns, not subordinates to a supra-national bureaucracy.

"They want the EU to be a family of sovereigns"

A family is typically a group of people tied together by blood. The nationalists will end up with an EU more cosmopolitan than its founders would have ever though possible.


We tried that with the USA -- didn't really work that well it seems. What do the odds makers have for an EU civil war in the next 20 years?

Already had two, they called them WWI and II.

Taking the long view of European history, the 'norm' may be for a relatively united Europe. Nation states that were very independent (enough to go to war with each other), might have simply been a historical anomaly caused by the collapse of the Roman Empire.

The historical norm appears to favor large entities in major geographical centers. India, Persia and China, for example, has spent much more time more as one thing rather than many things.

A logical response to continued immigration from all those countries out there that are, as usual, failing, is that we just run them instead.

Is that 'logical'? Why? Did the US take over Ireland in 1880? People leave places that don't work and go to places that do. That's a good thing, not a bad thing

We didn't share a border with Ireland. The Irish also spoke English.

Press one for English!

The Irish have their own language, the US from the beginning was populated by large numbers of German, French, Dutch and even Spanish speakers in addition to Native languages. Americans from the beginning were globalists dealing with a polyglot of languages. English dominates not because of who settled here but because there's a market for language just as there's markets for ideas and cultures.

Nationalists should learn their own history first before lecturing the rest of us.

I know my US History exceptionally well, enough to know what you wrote is completely ignorant. I won't even correct you - the knowledge would be given away for too low a price.

You have to work harder, or not, in which case I can enjoy laughing at you.

"my US History exceptionally well"

my US History = stuff I make up and believe because I want too.

Of course argument from authority is a common logical fallacy people fall into but EdR pulls a one up on that. Argument from Non-Authority.

Fake history.

As a piece it seems a bit "nations don't exist; believe in them anyway" which seems not so likely to work, even if it's a better compromise than is often offered. I would tend to submit instead that nations do exist, even if they are intangible cultural abstractions of vast communities connected in manifold ways and so functionally fairly difficult to demonstrate unequivocally!

In any case mostly ancestry and culture based nationalism will always, for practical purposes, rule the roost. Civic, creed based nationalism has many difficulties:

- Who defines the creed? How do you define the lines between your creed and another creed?

- What do you do with people who reject the creed yet who have established family lives in your state? (Is it treason to reject the creed? Do you have thought criminals and disenfranchised then, or is adherence to the creed rather toothless?).

- Do you have to become entangled in the affairs of all foreign nations where some people accept the creed (if all believers are your citizens), falling into universal empire?

- Do you accept anyone regardless of their abilities if they accept the creed?

- How does your state maintain diversity of thought when the population are assessed for their conformity to the creed, where only conformists to the creed can in theory be citizens?

(Class based forms of social organization have the same issue, and with rather more harsh economic effects as little division of labour is possible in a state, like "A worker's state", in which only one class of person can really be a citizen).

Taking creedal and ideal based nationalism on a consistent basis would lead to many difficulties incompatible with maintaining a functional state.

For these reasons, even a nation like the United States doesn't actually have citizenship based on a creed, but for practical purposes one based on a line of parents who are citizens, with a larger than normal degree of exceptions, and those exceptions will be allowed more leaning on "cultural assimilation" than a litmus test of values.

For practical purposes citizenship and membership in the nation, in the US is mostly inherited (on "blood"). Most Americans are Americans because of who their parents were, regardless of their values, and a world where this guarantee was not true would be an oppressive nightmare. "Civic nationalism" is mostly functionally a chimera.

What the United States doesn't have, and which to some degree no nation can have, is a belief that all citizens share a single pool of ancestors at some point in the time, to the exclusion of members of other states, and that the state comprises all people who share the same language and that same pool of ancestors. (Some "folk"). But no state can have this to an infinite degree of resolution (without degrees of isolation which are impossible), it's just rather more explicit and obvious in the United States. It's not necessarily bad to be explicit that this is an unachievable ideal, without throwing the baby out with the bathwater and insisting on a unworkable and imaginary "civic nationalism".

'even a nation like the United States doesn't actually have citizenship based on a creed, but for practical purposes one based on a line of parents who are citizens'

Not really. For an American citizen who is born outside of the U.S., and who does not live in the U.S. before having children, those children have zero right to be American citizens. In other words, in a not extraordinary situation (that is, not being raised in the American 'creed'), blood plays zero role in becoming American.

As for the term 'creed' - it is generally called the 'law of the land' or the Constitution in the U.S., and it enshrines the right to believe in what you wish. Of course, since becoming an American citizen when born in another country is voluntary, all of questions concerning 'creed' are taken care of by simply pointing out that those who do not agree to the standards of American citizenship have zero right to become American citizens. Why would this be puzzling is itself puzzling, however.

Hah, Americans "raised in the creed" and on US soil are not subject to tests of their fealty lest they be expelled, they inherit citizenship from parents, as it should be. For those born to Americans outside the US, I gather it has nothing to do with whether they bear children

The US has tons of citizens who do not accept and protest US laws; as it should be, their acceptance as citizens has nothing to do with their views on the rightness of the American system, much less some inept legalism. Communists, minimal state libertarians, Californian nationalists etc should not be stripped of their citizenship because their beliefs clash with the state. The US was founded by dissenters, and non-compliance to a single creed is its important historical feature.

A nation of beliefs and ideals is poor idea; national citizenship should never be based on ideology, but the real bonds of communities and families.

Ok, so if a bunch of muslims (legal descendant of Muslim immigrants) form a community, reject the US constitution, and decide to govern their town by Sharia law, you wouldn't consider that un-American at all?

Propositions are incorporeal. If America is just a proposition, then any people will do, including fundamentalist Muslims. In fact, under the "nation of immigrants" gold standard for Americanism, the more exotic and recent you are, the more American you are. Thus, a family of Pashtuns just hitting the tarmac is way more American than those boring old seventh-generation Smiths in Richmond, Virginia, and the rival Tajik family still in their village on the other side of the world are the most American of all!

Except we can't really even call America a proposition nation anymore, because we don't throw people out when they don't agree with the proposition, and nobody can define the American proposition in any event.

America at this point is an administrative imperium, a purely social construct. Since it does not matter in the slightest who lives here, the only permanent fixture is the government. Welcome to the future you chose.

As for the term 'creed' - it is generally called the 'law of the land' or the Constitution in the U.S., and it enshrines the right to believe in what you wish.

'The creed is that there is no creed, if you're born in the US and have ties to the US by blood and soil. This applies to the vast majority of US citizens.

While for foreign citizens who wish to become Americans, nominal adherence to the creed is part of it, but not sufficient at all, along with a litany of other requirements, which are not totally creed based and are strongly biased to include parental nationality.

But I will insist the US still isn't functionally a nation of citizenship defined by parents and by place of birth, for some reason'.

at least since the end of World War II, this system has performed pretty well. Living standards have risen greatly, progress has spread and, for the most part, liberty and democracy have expanded.

Why would we think that this is based on the existence of the nation-state? Entities that don't fit this pattern exist, Luxembourg, Monaco, Andorra. Even more groups would like to, the Kurds, Basque, Sami, etc. but nation-states simply can't give up their fiefdoms. Let the Hawaiians go free, allow the native Taiwanese to run their own operation.

One ring to rule them all. Why not move to China. Then you can be all the cosmopolitan you want to be.

Communism is all inclusive.

Pretty confident in continued end of british american empire, and return to competition of civilizations, core states, nationalism, state capitalism, maximization of autarkic economies. Nationalization of consumer credit, end of distributing liquidity thru the financial sector. Also pretty confident in a bloody civil war. More change in the next twenty than the entire postwar period. Science has reversed the anti-darwinian cosmopolitan program, including nature-nurture, gender differences, individual differences, and now group differences falling as we speak - esp Marx, Boas, Freud, Hirschfeld, Trotsky, Strauss, Adorno, Marcuse, Horimer, Fromm, Honneth, Benjamin, Pollack, Derrida, Lyotard, Rand/Rothbard. Pseudoscience, sophism, denial, and fabrication of falsehood. So no it's not going to be gentle. It's going to be house to house. And the power vacuum will rapidly reorder the world.

A reasonable, not hysterical post. Of course a bloody house to house civil war is inevitable worldwide. WWII was for babies.

"Try explaining all that, and its required background knowledge, in a 280-word tweet."

...280 word tweet?

So now we know Bloomberg doesn't apply even cursory editorial oversight to Tyler's columns.

Twitter is increasing the character limit.

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