In The Nation, John Feffer's Splinterlands 2050 might be a way of advising thinkers of the left that the Hegelian dialectic is one working hypothesis. But working hypotheses have to pass some kind of falsifiability tests, and here comes the surprise.
The movements that came to the fore in 2015 championed a historic turn inward: the erection of walls, the enforcement of homogeneity, and the trumpeting of exclusively national virtues.

The leaders of these movements—Donald Trump in the United States, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French National Front Party leader Marine Le Pen, Indian Prime Minister Nahendra Modi, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, to name just a few—were not members of a single party. They did not consider themselves part of a single movement. Indeed, they were quite skeptical of anything that smacked of transnational cooperation. Personally, they were cosmopolitans, comfortable in a variety of cultural environments, but their politics were parochial. As a group, they heralded a change in world politics still working itself out 35 years later.
Gee, you think years and years of the vanguard's experiments against reality wouldn't have provoked somebody to ask questions?  That, and years of mau-mauing people for being xenophobic fails to have much force, when actually existing people have to interact with actually existing Moslems?  The generalization to campus "diversity" measures leading to more friction is left as an exercise.  And does it come as a surprise that social solidarity works better within a family than without?
Let us also look forward to the day when social science carefully compares and contrasts market-based and kinship-based rules of allocation. I strongly suspect that the same ties that lead to kinship-based sharing also lead to what the identity politics crowd calls "othering" (presumably one of the lines of attack for deconstructing bourgeois norms.)
Advantage, Cold Spring Shops. But at least the self-styled progressives are thinking about it.
What no one anticipated was the impact climate change would have on nationalism. But how else would people divvy up increasingly precious natural resources? National sentiment proved to be the go-to principle for determining what “our” people deserved and those “others” didn’t. As a result, instead of becoming an atavistic remnant of another age, nationalism has proved to be this century’s most potent ideology. On an increasingly desperate planet, we face not the benevolence or tyranny of one world, but the multiple confusions of many worlds.
Duh. Complex adaptive systems tend to do what they d**n well please, and you don't go far wrong starting with the premise that people will act in what they perceive to be their best interests. To the vanguard, though, there's still the illusion of the Power of Collective Action.
We have been fragmenting at precisely the time when we should be coming together, for the problems that face the planet cannot be solved by millions of individuals or masses of statelets acting alone.
Yeah, that collective action worked so well in the Great Power Saeculum, didn't it?

No comments: