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[flagged] All around the world, nationalists are gaining ground. Why? (economist.com)
59 points by amexrap on Nov 17, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 80 comments



I'll directly quote a comment by HN user thewarrior (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12907320), one of my favorite comments, here:

---

It is possible to view this as an isolated event or a trend. Coming on the heels of BREXIT this is a trend.

The attempts at building an interconnected globalised world are beginning to fail. A bunch of elites decided to create their own trans-national utopia unchecked by borders and dismissed all criticism as racist or bigoted. The globalisation project has been rejected by a majority of the population. Whether it is for economic reasons or just plain bigotry is something for the sociologists to study and not something I can pontificate on.

Also people seem to care a LOT about immigration and preserving their culture. Instead of patronising these people it's time we tried to understand their concerns and try to assuage them.

There is no genuine leftist alternative. It's a choice between center-right "left" that's sold out to the establishment and the far right.Economists need to stop acting like priests in the medieval ages who justified the existing order . The rural voter who lost his job doesn't care about the theory of comparitive advantage.

If this trend holds this will soon take hold in France and other European nations. This is a return to the world of the 1920s. Not gloom and doom but a much more unstable global order with every country for itself. Not what we need when we face planet scale threats like global warming. Get out of your bubble.

Hang out more on subreddits you don't agree with.

The divide is bridged one person at a time.

PS - Reposted my comment from another thread as it got flagged. Hope its OK with the mods.

EDIT: His concession speech seems to indicate that he's beginning to appreciate what he's been entrusted with.


Reminds me of Glenn Greenwald's article on the subject:

> The indisputable fact is that prevailing institutions of authority in the West, for decades, have relentlessly and with complete indifference stomped on the economic welfare and social security of hundreds of millions of people. While elite circles gorged themselves on globalism, free trade, Wall Street casino gambling, and endless wars (wars that enriched the perpetrators and sent the poorest and most marginalized to bear all their burdens), they completely ignored the victims of their gluttony, except when those victims piped up a bit too much — when they caused a ruckus — and were then scornfully condemned as troglodytes who were the deserved losers in the glorious, global game of meritocracy.

Also:

> opinion-making elites were so clustered, so incestuous, so far removed from the people who would decide this election — so contemptuous of them — that they were not only incapable of seeing the trends toward Trump but were unwittingly accelerating those trends with their own condescending, self-glorifying behavior.

https://theintercept.com/2016/11/09/democrats-trump-and-the-...

Worth a read for anyone who's still confused about how/why Brexit and Trump happened. The filter bubbles created by sites like Facebook, Google and Reddit seem to be much stronger than most people realize, and many still don't understand that they're trapped in a bubble at all.

Or if you prefer a video, Russell Brand did a great job of explaining it as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3Ou5uFFn8Q

To no one's surprise, neither of these items made it anywhere near the front page of Reddit.


> > opinion-making elites were so clustered, so incestuous, so far removed from the people who would decide this election — so contemptuous of them — that they were not only incapable of seeing the trends toward Trump but were unwittingly accelerating those trends with their own condescending, self-glorifying behavior.

Two hundred years ago, this kind of behavior led to the French Revolution, and the end of many of those elites at the guillotine. Now they just get an election result they don't like (at least so far). That's genuine progress.


Who is they? I see some elites that like the results and some that don't. The "elite" seems just as divided as the rest of the people. Trump is elite. It's true that democrats generally got more support amongst college educated people but those guys aren't really elite in any sense and plenty of them still voted for Republicans.

There are absolutely no parallels to the french revolution. So yeah, progress for sure.


Well, "they" in my context (and Glenn Greenwald's statement) are "opinion-making elites". They're the mainstream media, not the rich.


Well obviously the "opinion-making elites" in the "mainstream" media were not able to "make" the opinions of 50% of the people. So 50% is mainstream? Where do the other 50% get their opinions?

EDIT: I'm not ignoring this narrative about the elites but I don't think it's actually true. Trump golfed with the Clintons. They came to his wedding. He was a TV persona. During the elections he intentionally took an adversarial position towards the media to support this narrative (esp. taking on Fox News). From where I'm sitting they are all elite in the same way.

The same mainstream opinion making elites hurt the Clinton campaign by endlessly talking about the re-opening of the e-mail investigation.

Media is definitely opinionated and doesn't offer a diversity of views (which I sometimes see as annoying) but there's some points where it's almost like you'd say that the mainstream elite in education teaches evolution while ignoring the non-mainstream view of creationism.


> Well obviously the "opinion-making elites" in the "mainstream" media were not able to "make" the opinions of 50% of the people. So 50% is mainstream? Where do the other 50% get their opinions?

No, they weren't able to "make" opinions in that way. They sure were able to make more than 50% of the opinions aired on radio, TV, and in print though...

The people with the microphones control the discussion. It can happen that at least half the country plugs their ears and stops listening. But it still is very difficult to have a different discussion from the one that the people with the microphones want to have.


In my experience I've been on both sides at times. Sometimes the news is telling me things I don't like to hear or I think are biased. I realize the media is incentivized and opinionated and I live with that. I don't plug my ears. I also don't see it as some sort of conspiracy.

In this day and age every person at their computer have a microphone and a keyboard and potentially an audience. For good or bad. You can have any discussion you like.

Reminds me of this interview with Julian Assange a few days before the elections (in "mainstream media") where he said the "powers, bankers etc." would never let Trump win so Trump would lose. I'd like to hear his comments on that not happening. But maybe he can be forgiven for being paranoid since people are actually after him for real.


> Get out of your bubble.

> Hang out more on subreddits you don't agree with.

> The divide is bridged one person at a time.

It's amazing to me how such seemingly smart people can see what's going on and completely miss the point. You still think it's just a matter of educating the dumb, racist rednecks that reside in the rural flyover areas. It's not. Those "idiots" understand your point of view. They reject it completely. It doesn't reflect any reality they recognize, which is why none of you saw it coming. You pay too much attention to ideology and how you wish things were instead of reality and how things actually are.

You can reach out all you like. It won't "bridge the divide." It'll create more opposition. More divide.

You need to start thinking hard about whether your positions are as accurate as you've always believed them to be.


Ok which position have I got wrong? Should we be putting gay people in jail?

I know global warming is real, I've checked the math personally.

Help me out.


You're falling victim to the bubble again, thinking that the only difference is that they thing "gay people should be in jail".

You'd be far better off thinking about questions like, how come when places are run under the policies that Democrats seem to favor, African Americans aren't making any economic progress? Why does my 25 year old child have to still live with me? Why am I paying for a college that seems more interested in indoctrinating my child than educating them? Why are several demographics seeing significant rises in suicide rates? Why does the government count me as no longer unemployed because I haven't been able to find a job in some number of years? Why did my mandatory health care cut its benefits and go up in price by 50% this year?

Why is it when I raise these concerns people just mock me for wanting to put gay people in jail? Why is it that the response to my every concern is to be called racist?

Something I think the HN crowd needs to remember is that while we are not really in the "elite", we are at least in the low elite. We make money and stock options. When someone comes into our industry making $60K a year we ask them what they're doing wrong to make merely 50% over the median wage. Thinking that all this cultural conflict is over whether gay people are sent to prison is just another way of distancing yourself from the real problems, and ensuring that this electoral result keeps happening. Many of these people are making less in a year than I keep in my bank account as my rainy day fund. Many things matter to them that you or I would just spend our way around.

I'll also suggest that it doesn't do much good to say something like "Well, sure, the people I elected may be in charge but I don't actually agree with what they're doing" or some dodge like that. I said "policies that Democrats seem to favor" up above carefully, because it may be the case that you don't favor them yourself, but it doesn't matter, because you (collectively) are voting for people who do. I see HN frequently disagreeing with what you might call the establishment liberal consensus on things like surveillance, but that's not terribly relevant to understanding what's actually going on out there in the world because the SV liberal deviations are not electorally significant.


Gun control, for example. Nobody hurt the completely sane idea of controlling/restricting guns than leftist gun-control activists.


> Help me out.

Where's my incentive to "help you out"? You ask, but you don't really want to know. You've already made up your mind. That much is obvious in how you phrased your question.


I think you totally missed striking's point. It's at least as much a matter of educating the ignorant liberals that reside on the coasts.


Educating them of what, though?


What the middle of the country thinks (as opposed to what the liberal caricature of them thinks). What their problems are. What they care about. What it's actually like to live there.


To what end?


I'm not sure how far you want me to go in answering that question, but I'll give you a few layers of it.

So that the media elites aren't out of touch with half the population, and 90% of the land area of the country.

What good will that do?

To some degree, it will make it so that we no longer have "two Americas", where one part feels completely alienated from the other part.

What good will that do?

Hopefully, politics becomes more sane, more connected with what people in the country actually need, and more able to actually solve problems. (Though if this election taught us anything, it ought to have taught us that hope isn't going to come from the government. And if you think hope would have come from the other side winning: Did you really expect hope from Hillary? Or just "not Trump"?)


> To some degree, it will make it so that we no longer have "two Americas", where one part feels completely alienated from the other part.

I don't see how you got there. What about simply understanding the right's position magically brings the two sides together? Wouldn't both sides need to agree? That seems unlikely, considering BLM's motto these days is 'kill all whites'. I don't know about you, but as a white man, I find it unlikely that I would ever sympathize with a sentiment that means I no longer exist.

> Hopefully, politics becomes more sane, more connected with what people in the country actually need, and more able to actually solve problems.

Again, I don't understand how you got there. Let's say the right is exactly as racist, sexist and homophobic as the left currently thinks and that more than 50% of the American people actually, truly want a return to the days when homosexuality was outlawed, blacks were slaves and women were property. How does understanding that make politics more sane?


> I don't see how you got there. What about simply understanding the right's position magically brings the two sides together? Wouldn't both sides need to agree?

That's why I said "to some degree". Let me state it in reverse: Knowing only a strawman version of the other side's views will make it less possible for the two sides to come together.

There is some hope that, when you see your opponents as having a position that makes some sense, even though you don't agree with it, you can regard them as something other than ignorant hicks who are too stupid to understand how much smarter everyone else is. You can lose an election and not feel that ignorance and propaganda defeated the side of the right. You can stop hating.

> Let's say the right is exactly as racist, sexist and homophobic as the left currently thinks and that more than 50% of the American people actually, truly want a return to the days when homosexuality was outlawed, blacks were slaves and women were property. How does understanding that make politics more sane?

Let's not say that. Instead, let's say that someone could vote for Trump (or at least against Hillary) without being racist, sexist, and homophobic. Understanding why they voted for Trump might make politics more sane. (Or again, take the opposite - saying that they're all racist, sexist homophobes and therefore can be ignored and treated with contempt certainly does not make politics more sane.)

> ... considering BLM's motto these days is 'kill all whites'. I don't know about you, but as a white man, I find it unlikely that I would ever sympathize with a sentiment that means I no longer exist.

Obviously, no compromise is possible with such a position. But is that really BLM's motto these days? Can you document that it is? Because I've never heard that.

But even if that is BLM's position, and you can't compromise with it, then what? Then you can't do anything but oppose BLM, and explain why as clearly as you can. The proper response, though, is not to say "Therefore clearly BLM has no legitimate grievances" or "Therefore all blacks are irrational killers".


> Understanding why they voted for Trump might make politics more sane.

How? This is the part where most of these conversations break down. Those on the left can't possibly fathom that those on the right don't consider being racist, sexist or homophobic to be a capital offense. The number of people who believe exactly as I suggested they do are far more than you're comfortable admitting, even in a hypothetical. And that's before we even get into the shifting definitions of those words since their introduction into American politics.

> But is that really BLM's motto these days?

Google "BLM kill all whites". I'd provide specific links, but HN doesn't really accommodate that very well.

> Then you can't do anything but oppose BLM

That's not the tactic most of the left are taking, though. They're still supporting BLM, even though they're inciting violence and calling for the death of white babies. Same with Antifa, who have attacked peaceful demonstrations.

You seem like a reasonable person, but the people you're aligning yourself with are not, by your own definition.


> You seem like a reasonable person, but the people you're aligning yourself with are not, by your own definition.

Who do you think I'm aligning myself with? I'm calling for the media to get out of their bubble and actually listen to and understand the rest of the country. Who does that make me "aligning with", and how does it do so?


The more I think about the results of the US elections the more my conclusion is that it doesn't yield itself to simple explanations. This is not about some dude who lost his factory job and feels he is being patronized. I'm not denying this dude's existence or his feeling but there are a lot of people here with different feelings. For sure the lines of communication need to remain open to deal with the divide and as you say, this is a one person at a time thing. Another part is communication from the top which we haven't seen enough, both words and actions.

I would say the overall trend though is still towards a more unified humanity. Yes, there are bumps on the road, but if you look at the world today people are a lot closer than they ever were in history. The consume the same products. The cultural gap is much smaller.

Racism and xenophobia were always there. I think these are weaker forces today then they were historically. The world economy is changing but that is only partly due to globalization and more due to changes in technology, demographics, global warming and other factors. This change is certainly impacting individuals who need solutions.

This is a complicated problem that needs complex solutions. Neither candidate in the recent US elections offered any. Some of the problems in the US, e.g. racial tensions and inequality go back more than 100 years. Some of the economic problems go back more than 20 years. There's been a lot of kicking the can down the road and eventually things catch up with you.


To be fair, portraying global unity as an unalloyed good is an ideological stance.


It needs to be a rational discussion. If we don't have unity then what do we get instead? If different nations aren't equal partners than what are they?

I do realize though how difficult it is for people to agree on these things, partly because of their beliefs that at times seem to override any rational argument. That's partly where we need more and better leadership to demonstrate that things can actually work out and be win-win.


Unified humanity is a 'noble' goal for a self-fulfilling, tautological reason: it's defined to be noble by those promoting it. It's an endgame that assumes that resource competition between smaller subgroups will be nonexistent, and that the path to prosperity is mutually-beneficial trade or altruism.

The fact remains, while a rising tide may lift all ships, it doesn't lift all ships equally -- and in developed countries, the wage-earning, non-tertiary-sector classes are left holding smaller relative pieces of the pie than before. Yes, chances are those jobs will have been lost to automation sooner or later. Yes, chances are those jobs are never coming back. But a manufacturing worker in the United States can lose their job to someone on the other side of the globe lifting foreign workers out of poverty, while real wages continue to stagnate [1][2] in the US. Cheaper foreign-made merchandise doesn't help a domestic family pay for homes, higher education (which is a way of buying job security), healthcare. At a certain point, people will start asking, "but what's in it for me?", which shouldn't be surprising.

[1] http://www.epi.org/publication/charting-wage-stagnation/ [2] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/10/09/for-most-wor...


But look at Europe. Europe thought it could ignore Africa and the Middle East but guess what, when there's a large difference things tend to find a way of equalizing themselves.

So my rational argument, I hope, is that one can't leave international disparity for long durations any more than they can leave internal disparity (or instead of it). It will catch up with you. This is a small planet. So when someone asks what's in it for me I think we have some answers for them. And we should also do better for them regardless. North Korea pursues an isolationist pose, how well is that working for the people there? How many American jobs are created because the companies they work for can trade globally? If anything the US is a prime example of how you can prosper while being more open.

EDIT: + cheaper goods do help everyone. As to high house prices that's a different story, don't blame globalism for that one.


It's hard to have it both ways. Europe historically didn't "ignore" Africa [1][2][3][4] nor the Middle East [5][6][7][8][9][10][11].

It's not a question of globalization vs. isolationism. This is a false dichotomy. Rather, each sovereign state should try to look out of the interests of its people, and when they don't see results, the people may hold the government accountable by protest, election, or revolution.

Running a state is an immense task with lots of conflicting goals, but the survival of the state and the welfare of its people ought to be the most important. Sometimes this means more trade, sometimes it means less trade, sometimes it means a domestically-focused governance, and sometimes it means geopolitical machinations (if human history is any indication).

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_Empire [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Empire [3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_colonial_empire [4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scramble_for_Africa [5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silk_Road [6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades [7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suez_Canal [8] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russo-Persian_War_(1826%E2%80%... [9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Persian_Oil_Company [10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partitioning_of_the_Ottoman_Em... [11] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Soviet_invasion_of_Iran


The world is a completely different place today. If you don't believe me put all these historic times in a table with these columns: time to circumnavigate the earth, mean communication time between individuals, global population, CO2 concentration, diversity of life on earth, most powerful weapons, GDP, trade as % of GDP, performance of "mechanical" chess player, # and % of the world economy of "global" corporations.

If you look at things going on at the national level today in the US, Turkey, Britain, Russia, China you can see clear influence of global events. The Middle East and Africa clearly influences all the above in major ways and the US withdrawal from involvement there, if even possible (not), will not change that. The economy of China influences the entire world's economy. Look at countries like Switzerland and Canada who have traditionally tried to stay neutral and perhaps internal focussed in some sense, the Canadian economy has been hammered by the drop in commodity prices. The Swiss had to break their traditional banking secrecy due to external pressures. Climate change is affecting pretty much everyone and the risks it presents are almost unprecedented in human history.

EDIT: Look at how quickly a disease can spread to the entire planet. SARS, flu, Ebola...


If we don't have unity then what do we get instead?

Difference. Diversity.

If different nations aren't equal partners than what are they?

I can't think of a definition of "equal partners" that makes sense here.

partly because of their beliefs that at times seem to override any rational argument

This is a condescending and bad-faith argument.


It wasn't my intention to be condescending. Are you saying that rationality always wins in humans over belief? I think I'm just making a statement about all of us as humans here and I'm possibly sometimes just as guilty.


You're saying you know why these arguments are being made, and furthermore that they're motivated by irrational beliefs.


It's a recurring theme. Whether we talk about global warming, science, evolution, woman's rights, racial relations, human rights. There are beliefs and beliefs almost by their nature are irrational. Try having a rational discussion with a religious Jewish person about why they can't turn the light on or off in their home on Sabbath. And that's an easy topic. Some arguments are made from a rational position but many are not. Some are from an emotional position. Some are based on beliefs that don't care about the rational argument. Now to be honest judging things by rational arguments is a belief on its own.


No, I get it. For whatever controversy, there's a "the" rational argument, you know what that one rational argument is, and all these dummies aren't interested in learning what that is. Kind of evangelical if you think about it.

So on what basis are emotion and rationality being separated here? Common sense?


I didn't say that. There is certainly not a single rational argument, there can be many going different ways. I also didn't call anyone a dummy. If someone's choice is not to present any arguments that can be evaluated by some means I just don't have a way of making progress. But I guess we are not bridging the gap here.

EDIT: and to answer your question emotion and rationality are separated by coming from different places in the brain. I can be mad, or upset, or happy, or in love, without any rational reason. There's not a love=mc^2 equation. But just because I'm mad doesn't mean that gravity doesn't exist. I don't know if this makes any sense but that's my best answer.

EDIT2: Or maybe you're asking how I can tell whether a given position originates from belief, emotion, or rationality? Well, I can't. I'm certainly willing to engage in the discussion and entertain the possibility that erecting trade barriers between the US and the rest of the world will improve in some way something for those people in the US who are feeling hurt by globalization. Convince me. So far what I heard is "we'll bring those jobs back" not followed by any specific actions or explaining how those jobs will come back.


> If we don't have unity then what do we get instead?

An ethos of "you do your thing and I'll do mine".


don't agree with the comment you quote. What I like about the Economist article (discussed here) is that it does not need terms like "bunch of elites" or "attempts at building an interconnected globalised world are beginning to fail" to explain the phenomenon of nationalism. Instead, it points (far down, in the 'Nations once again' section) to factors like pessimism in industrialized countries, nationalism as "a cheap and easy way to generate enthusiasm for the state, and to deflect blame for what is wrong" and the role of social media.

Moreover, I like that there's a sort-of positive bit at the end as it points out that young people are still overwhelmingly globalists, so the current trend towards nationalism could be reversed soon.


I found the article pretty lacking. It failed to even mention what is in my opinion the most important, and the most significant reason for Trump/Brexit/Le Pen: that the elites might be wrong.

Why is diversity good? Why is it better to not offend people rather than preserve free speech? Why would immigration, especially uncontrollable immigration, be beneficial? What if some cultures are better? And even if they're not, why is it bad for Westerners to like their own culture? Why should we respect foreign cultures if they don't respect our own? Why should you lose your job if you make a joke in public that some people deem offensive? Why is racism against whites and sexism against men acceptable?

In the recent years, these questions weren't being asked and the "right" answer was just assumed by the elites. What's more, it was forbidden to even ask questions like these!


It's not that most of these questions are assumed, or that they're forbidden to talk about, it's that they're so obvious it's not even interesting to discuss.

> Why is diversity good?

If I need heart surgery, I want the most qualified heart surgeon. Not the most qualified white person born within N miles of me.

> Why is it better to not offend people rather than preserve free speech?

Free speech is doing quite well, it has never been easier to express yourself to a huge audience.

> Why should you lose your job if you make a joke in public that some people deem offensive?

Many people would rather find a new job than work with jerks. Companies are trying to protect the bottom line and it's easier to replace one person than many.


> I want the most qualified heart surgeon

This is not a question of diversity, it's a question of skills and accomplishments. Several countries have immigration policies to allow for the import of exceptional talent in in-demand fields [1][2][3].

[1] https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-worker... [2] https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-... [3] http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/index.asp


Yeah, this is what I'm talking about. I find your answers unconvincing and based on unspoken assumptions that aren't necessarily true.


Jumping in on a few of these questions (not all):

> Why is diversity good?

In America this isn't really a question of whether or not it's good. The fact is we have diversity already, because of our history. There's no question of if we should allow our country to become ethnically and culturally diverse. That's already happened. So the only question we can really ask is, how to make the best of it going forward?

So I think (at least in the context of America) you've framed this question in a way that's missing the point, and designed to draw out straw man arguments.

> Why should we respect foreign cultures if they don't respect our own?

Respect is an interesting word. I think the answer is simple: it's just common decency. Growing up I've learned to be respectful of others, even if I disagree with them, and to not stoop to a nasty person's level.

> Why is racism against whites and sexism against men acceptable?

I don't think it's acceptable, and probably most people don't, but I know what you're getting at. White men feel like they aren't allowed to say certain things, or engage in certain arguments, or get reprimanded for seemingly innocuous comments. There isn't a simple answer there but I think everyone would benefit from some perspective taking. It's hard as a white person to understand what it means to be black, and it's hard for a man to understand what it means to be a woman.

All that being said, the vast majority of policy and history in America has been written by white men. Take a look at this picture https://modernlifepodcastnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/Pres... and note that all but 1 of them is a white man. Women were banned by law from voting in many (most?) states until 1920. Segregation was on the books in the south until the 1960's. And of course slavery was written into the constitution until the civil war.

So I think there's a reason why people get annoyed when white men talk about sexism and racism: whatever small sexism / racism you may experience as a white man really pales in comparison to the monumental sexism / racism of American history, and also the very real and more substantial sexism / racism that non-white non-men continue to experience today.


Some of those are great questions! Some seem less questions than jabs, but I'm not sure if that's intentional or not, so I'll assume the best.

On diversity, we have ample evidence that it makes us smarter[0] and more productive[1].

I think that placing offense and free speech into opposition is a false dichotomy. I think it's better to offend people than to not offend people, although I'm hard-pressed to think of what evidence I'd offer for that other than to ask: would you rather be offended, or not offended? I rather suspect that most people would choose not to be offended. So if we choose to value non-offense, various issues flow from that, although I haven't seen any impact on the exercise of free speech (as evidenced by our recent election).

On immigration, again, it turns out we have evidence for immigration being a net gain for the US economy[2]. There remains some question about the localized effects of those gains. Anecdotally, I suggest considering just how much of the Silicon Valley economy we discuss on this site revolves around companies started by immigrants or the children of immigrants. It's pretty staggering.

After that, we start to get into questions of cultural which seem more fraught with peril, and I believe the questions assume too much, so I'll stop. I'll say only that these questions you claim are forbidden seem to be things I encounter just about daily online, despite answers being freely available (not just assumed), so I'm not sure how effective the forbidding has been.

[0] https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-diversity-mak... [1] https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/workplace_equality_diver... [2] http://www.epi.org/publication/immigration-facts/


We could further ask, do we want to be smarter and more productive?

I always keep thinking about another research I've read about ([0] seems to be an article about it that I found just now, but I haven't searched hard for any rebuttals) that diverse communities experience less trust and less civic engagement. Basically, it makes sense that similar people want to stick together, and personally I see no reason why we shouldn't let them! (Conversely, those that prefer to live in diverse communities should also get the choice.) Another example is, plenty of Brexit voters knew that Brexit would be bad for economy, but supported it nevertheless because they expected other benefits to outweigh it, so I don't think arguments concerning the economy should overrule all other considerations.

Btw, I disagree about free speech - it seems to be pretty dangerous (career-wise, if not life-wise) these days to offend people (see Tim Hunt, Donglegate, Justine Sacco).

I guess my broader point was embedded in my original post - these questions have multiple answers, but not necessarily the right answer. People have different opinions and priorities, and they're not necessarily better or worse, just different. I think we should respect that and accommodate this kind of diversity ("opinion diversity") into our society, not try to exterminate it by shaming those that disagree with us and trying to change their minds. This is a great article that describes such a world: [1].

[0] http://archive.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2007/08/...

[1] http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/06/07/archipelago-and-atomic-...


I've come to hate the term elite. The fact that I enjoy imported goods and benefit from immigrant labor does not make me some sort of snob or powerful tycoon laughing at the devastation in the rust belt. It makes me a dude who eats at taco trucks and drives a VW.


The majority of voters voted against Trump.


This was the exact explanation[1] given in India when the Left and INC were getting into a "unholy" alliance to form government. I find this hilarious, by the extension of the argument, majority of voters voted against every candidate.

edit: [1]the argument was majority of voters voted against BJP.


If you don't consider voter fraud.


Exactly. So no need to fit a narrative to it.


It is also that big entities like to reach deep into people pockets and spend their money on vanity projects and there is no responsibility whatsoever. It is especially visible in the EU. Sometimes it gets tragicomical - in IT for example, you can get government grants for supposedly innovative projects. So then you can get websites about cats (there was no website about cat like that, so it's an innovation!) and other non-sense out of tax payer pockets. That's just tip of the iceberg. I am not saying that in the smaller, self-governing entities could be any different, but it will be easier to spot who is responsible and no longer suitable for office. That's rather not possible in the EU. Bureaucrats are getting fatter and fatter, civil servants are getting more and more important with more and more powers and little liability. They tell you how you have to live and you must obey. If you do not, you are being labelled bigot, outsider, racist, fascist or whatever label works... and people just want freedom.


You will have to be more specific than "websites about cats", or I will have to call out your post for what it is - nonsense.

Who tells you how to live? Examples please. Who must you obey and in what circumstances? What are the vanity projects?


People are more afraid of more things than ever.

Many of the fears are quite concrete and actionable, such as climate change displacement.

My theory is that in an age of 'infinite communication' and 'infinite information', few people can keep a conscious and subconscious rational, risk appropriate outlook when bombarded with an endless array of not only bad news but also associated vivid imagery.

Even though we as a species are safer than we ever have been, even though women are doing better than ever, even when the worst kinds of poverty are at historic lows, we're more afraid than ever. (Note: I'm not saying things are all peachy, and we have a long ways to go, but the historical trends are clear) Our evolutionary psychology is based on over-reaction to bad things, because that has been, for nearly all of our existence, a survival advantage.

Now, though we try to look at things rationally, that evolutionary baggage is still there, making us afraid, on conscious and subconscious levels.

That's one part of it. The other part is the more directed role technology plays.

Social media wants as much of our attention as possible. That's a business model.

I think they have discovered, via actual direction and/or via various machine learning sources, that our attention is maximized when we are formed into like-minded groups or tribes, and when those tribes are 'fighting' inside the social media lobster cage.

I don't mean to say that there aren't 'villains and heroes', because there certainly are.

But I do believe that most of this churn is straightforward, natural and even an inevitable result of the explosive increase in connectivity and communication capabilities.

In short, technology is the main reason we're getting kind of crazy. And I have no good ideas about how to realistically bend the curve back toward less crazy.


Based on the tone of comments around here lately, I'm getting the sense that HN has been populated by closeted alt-right for a while now.


I think this is more of the "with us or against us" mentality. I'm definitely not on right yet I'm sticking up for them a lot lately because because all "the left" is doing is yelling at people about racism and misogyny, not to mention a lot of other crazy stuff like cultural appropriation.

Not to mention, a lot of the "alt right" is not particularly right wing at all, some (like protectionism) is even left wing.


"closeted alt-right"

Alt-right is just a meaningless catch-all term to describe someone who is sarcastic and "not-liberal."

According to this definition, Bill Hicks was alt-right. Thus, the term has zero value.


Alt-right is just a meaningless catch-all term to describe someone who is sarcastic and "not-liberal."

Unfortunately, this isn't true. There definitely is movement afoot on the right side of the spectrum that distinguishes itself from the standard U.S. "conservative" camp of roughly the mid-1960s to present in many disturbing ways (open and enthusiastic embrace of race-baiting techniques, climate change denialism, and an abdiding belief that political correctness is basically the greatest threat that humanity has ever faced) that many traditional conservatives actually find quite ridiculous and/or outright repugnant.

The WP entry may not be the best, but for further research here are two fairly cogent descriptions you may consult, from two (otherwise, in a normal world) diametrically opposed sources -- NPR and Glenn Beck.

http://www.npr.org/2016/08/26/491452721/the-history-of-the-a...

http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/15/politics/glenn-beck-bannon-app...

Like Beck says, while Trump supporters generally cannot be fairly categorized as alt-right, "they are being influenced without knowing it."


The wikipedia entry[1] is even worse. It literally lists the associated platforms as including: "white supremacism, Islamophobia, antifeminism, homophobia, antisemitism, ethno-nationalism". You'd swear these people, whoever they are, are the American ISIS.

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alt-right


I disagree with both of you.

helpfulanon: I think there are more people than you expected here who are willing to state that they lean right. (That's not the same as "closeted alt-right" by any means.) Some of those people are a bit strident right now. But there are a bunch of people who lean left who are pretty bitter, too. And I think that the only thing that changed was that we had an election. Those people who lean right, leaned right before the election. They didn't just come here in the past week to triumphantly throw their weight around.

newswriter99: According to your definition. I don't think that's the right definition, though. Wikipedia's definition seems pretty accurate: "The alt-right is a loose group of people with far right ideologies who reject mainstream conservatism in the United States." That's why they're "alt" - they reject the normal, mainstream right. So not everyone who voted Republican is alt-right. Trump, however, is certainly not a candidate who embraced normal conservatism, so it might be fair to call him an alt-right candidate.


The Wikipedia goes on to say (also, quoting Wikipedia as a source, kek) that there's no telling how many of the "alt-right" are trolling, how many are dead serious, and how many fall in between.

I repeat my previous statement: the term is meaningless.


One tell of someone who supports the goals of the alt-right is use of oddball terms like "kek." So you're not a disinterested bystander curious about the labeling of the alt-right, you are most likely a member of the alt-right, and as claimed above, attempting to extend the Overton window.


It's getting to the point even liberals are worried that other liberals have gone too far

http://slatestarcodex.com/2016/11/16/you-are-still-crying-wo...


You're trying to normalize it throwaway account. I know what this is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_window


The top comment right now says

>It's a choice between center-right "left" that's sold out to the establishment and the far right.

I came here hoping there would be a more open discussion then on reddit, but it's the same crowd.


To be fair, the view that the modern Democratic party is center-right isn't one exclusively held by the alt-right, but something that's held by the progressive left as well. HRC didn't only lose because of a resurgence of the populist right, but because of an enormous drop-off in left-leaning political support.


I've become beyond paranoid, there is clearly some secret IRC channel where the alt-right that are too sophisticated for 4chan are coordinating. The pile-on in HN has become like an intellectualized version of Facebook comments at this point


The present internationalist regime is a holdover from the Cold War. Institutions (social or political) like the EU or Buckleyite conservatism or the promotion of a trans-national, US educated elite itself (eg Barack Obama Sr) were explicitly founded & run with a mission of countering the USSR.

With the collapse of the USSR & communism generally, these institutions no longer had a sensible mission and started spiraling into rent-seeking and self perpetuation without any sensible feedback being exerted on them, to the point where they began to feed on the populace.


"Napoleon’s Grande Armée marched not just for the glory of France but for liberty, equality and fraternity."

Ohh, man, I can't withstand "The economist" anymore. The non sense propaganda is growing and growing as they feel their Keynesian power threatened . Napoleon destroyed my native country, Spain and half of Europe because of just one thing, personal glory.

Napoleon was a sociopathic ambitious man who claimed to be against Monarchy but declared himself Emperor and his son and family as Throne's heirs.

There is always good words with any invasion. Liberty, equality and fraternity are destroyed when you have to use blood, extortion and humiliation in order to impose them.

In Spain there were people that followed those values, in peace, the "afrancesados", but most of them revolted against France when the invasion happened.

French people consider Napoleon a hero, like Lincoln or Washington in the USA or Bolivar in Venezuela, I understand it, every country has their heroes but the Economist?.

The Economist have been going to big contortions in their arguments in order to defend the Keynesianism order. For example Hillary earning a quarter million dollars for a single speech from the same people that later benefits from her politics was totally normal because scientific Nobel prices could win 50.000 after having changed the world in something.

Now reading the article I don't know how to start, it colvolves and cortorts again the arguments in order to portray as lunatics anyone against the Soros worldview.

I travel around the world around and I see different cultures, what the Economist interest represent is creating a single world country with a single currency, with a single elite in charge.

But people want to preserve their culture and their interests and it is totally ok and good for the world.

In the past we had competition in policies, we could see West Germany with an economic system and East Germany with another and we could compare.

Now this people want nobody to be able to compare, they want all the world banning cash, all the world with negative interest rates, all the world printing money like crazy, Corporations having more power that States.

And they don't want competition, because if someone else follows other policies, it could prove their system not being so good as they claim it to be.


When a country's economy falters, the first reaction is usually nationalism, whether it be through state directed propaganda (e.g. China) or self directed by the maligned (e.g. US, Britain). Scapegoats feel good.


I have a feeling we're all trying to imitate China. For at least a decade now a dominant rhetoric has been, 'China spends all their time and effort focused on their own country, as opposed to being involved in human rights, foreign aid and foreign wars, and look at how much GDP growth they're getting!

At the same time however, I feel that there has also been a 'push back' effect in terms between local and global culture. With every move we make trying to stitch together the world with a unified, global ideals system, the value of local culture and traditions gets magnified, especially among conservatives and nationalists.

In a world under economic stress, it is easy for nationalists to win when all they have to do is point to China's growth story.


Tariffs are one thing, but since the 1990s globalization has been about "non-tariff trade barriers" which seems to be a euphemism for environmental, health and safety laws.


What is the difference between populism and nationalism?

Niall Fergusson seems to think that it is populism we are facing around the world specifically in the northern hemisphere. The experiment seems to have failed in other countries.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/02/28/having-populi...


You could ask similar question: what is the difference between socialism and populism?

All extremes are bad.


Lying about "fake news" after the loss by media doesn't help either : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyS3Ghevf2I


Really nice article.

Last week I was at Websummit in Lisbon. Right after Trump won the election, there was a lot of noise about it and almost every talk included some comments about where the world is going to. Sadly one of the talks was about AI and robots, which included a demo of a robot, that was promised to "Replace people in child-care, public service, restaurants, etc.". Boy, I was so shocked when they said that. The only way that you can fix this statement is with the follow up : "Once we have the basic income, technology won't be so unfair".


For me the most interesting chart is #2, "My Country is the Best Country in the World".

Some countries (US, AUS, and a bit less the UK) show a marked divide between young and old responders for this.

Any ideas why?


The younger ones see what the older ones are doing?


Maybe because you can't force globalism and multiculturalism down people's throats.

Maybe there should be actual sensible discussions about the merits and drawbacks of these concepts, rather than name-calling and assumed acceptance.


While your comment is rather snarky, I think the sentiment is true: many people are tired of being called racists, bigots, misogynists, etc., for simply opposing nationalism. At the same time, much has been revealed through various leaks, pulling back the curtain on various activities that many don't agree with.

I think this mentality of "the people versus the elites" (aka populism) has caught on quickly throughout the world, with the refugee and immigration issues being a catalyst.


| many people are tired of being called racists, bigots, misogynists, etc., for simply opposing nationalism

Now I'm completely confused. Is this really happening?


Oh, sorry, I must have not been paying attention. I mean "supporting nationalism."




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