Saturday, May 10, 2008

Nationalism and internationalism

"James Higham" joins his voice to those who detect a revival of the nationalist spirit.

I don't think nationalism will be confined to losers in the game, or rejected by those who claim to love all mankind. Once there was Bukharin/Stalin's "Socialism in one country"; soon it'll be "China first". I can't blame the latter - they have worked so hard for what they've got, and won't understand why we think we can whinge it all back from them.

Speaking as the man in the street, my perception is that we have had a long period in which global businesses and a carpetbagging international managerial class developed and made fortunes. The liberal economists say this system is great for all of us, and should stay that way; perhaps so, if we had honest money and sound national budgets, so the correction mechanisms could steer the course of international trade more steadily.

But thanks to criminal negligence, incompetence and greed by those who could have maintained the integrity of the economic system, I think the aspirant working class and lower middle class in the developed world are paying heavily, and will pay more heavily. As they give up on their aspirations, we shall see a ballooning underclass, increasing the drag on national economic performance; but the situation may prove impossible to change for electoral reasons in a sort-of-democracy. The gap between rich and poor in our countries has widened, but will widen further: "Devil take the hindmost."

At the same time, on both sides of the Atlantic, people suspect a sell-out by the political class, which is intertwined (professionally and often maritally, or extra-maritally) with the business, media and public relations people. I have often said that I think we are seeing the reconstruction of the aristocracy in Europe. Many Americans also fear that their society is moving away from its historic and constitutional foundations.

The implications for democracy, social cohesion and international relations are worrying.

4 comments:

Lil Jimmy said...

The Americans are more advanced than us, for obvious reasons, in the concept of constitutionality.

The number of Americans who say, of the SPPNA for example, "It ain't gonna happen," is not an indicator of head in the sand so much as a determination that the constitution will not be messed with.

Brits have trod a different road and the abuses are more able to be perpetrated, e.g. Blair/Brown's 3000 new offences and the absolute hash of running govt. departments.

At what point will the Brit put up with no more?

"As they give up on their aspirations, we shall see a ballooning underclass, increasing the drag on national economic performance; but the situation may prove impossible to change for electoral reasons in a sort-of-democracy."

I gave up on mine 12 years ago when I came over here, largely immune from the vicissitudes of those still living in Blighty and I'm not at all sure how even the working class Brit would live in the manner I do - not exactly Richard Briars and Felicity Kendall but not far from it.

The people here with their credit aspirations are also going to come a cropper but that's another thing. I hope it happens here before prices get beyond all control.

Which brings us to who will be the new aristocracy. Will it be predicated solely on income or on birth and breeding as well? Will talent come into it?

dearieme said...

New Labour clearly think of themselves as a new aristocracy. Just ask Mr Ball's wife what she thinks of Mrs Dunwoody's daughter's view of Mr Alexander's sister.

SACKERSON said...

DM: Time for a new "how they are related" map?

James: I guess that if the new aristocracy is on English lines, it will be hereditary but porous and absorb new talent and money; if on French lines, exclusive, arrogant and ultimately doomed.

"Richard Briars and Felicity Kendall": are you growing your own food?

hatfield girl said...

The Earl of Onslow made some, as ever from him, very sharp remarks about the 'peoples' peerages' that have been awarded so far.