Immigration

Steve Bannon’s ‘Economic Nationalism’ vs. Libertarian Globalism Is the Battleground of 21st Century Politics

The Brink, a documentary about the former Trump adviser, delivers an interesting insight.

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If you want to understand the "economic nationalism" that undergirds the right- and left-wing populism currently sweeping Europe and the Americas, Alison Klayman's new documentary The Brink is essential viewing.

Klayman embeds with former Trump adviser Steve Bannon as he crisscrosses America and what Donald Rumsfeld once caustically dismissed as "Old Europe," trying to create an international movement devoted to tightening national borders. He bounces from meetings with Trumpy Republicans, Brexiters such as Nigel Farage, National Rally Frenchies, and unapologetically xenophobic Beneluxers who are barely distinguishable from each other as they fret over the loss of uniquely Belgian and Dutch cultures.

Klayman is immensely talented as a filmmaker (Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry rightly took home a fistful of awards in 2012), and she fully captures Bannon's arrogance, pettiness, and delusions of grandeur. He comes across by turns as charming, fake, cringey, and a deeply committed ideologue who really thinks he is saving the future from the clutches of globalists, rootless cosmopolitans, and Davos-dashing liberal elitists completely out of touch with the dreams, hopes, and fears of regular people all over the planet.

What I took away from the movie was less about whether Bannon might personally be able to scale Trumpism up to the international level and more about the realization that nationalism vs. globalism is the fundamental political cleavage in the 21st century. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have far more in common with each other than they do with many people in their own parties; one reason American politics is increasingly spiteful and stupid is because we're speaking in terms—right-wing and left-wing, liberal and conservative, even socialist and capitalist—that have become outmoded. There are socialist populists and socialist internationalists, right-wing populists and right-wing internationalists, and on and on.

Friedrich Hayek famously dedicated The Road To Serfdom to "the socialists of all parties." In the 21st century, libertarians are going to have make common cause with the globalists of all parties, with the people whose core value is the right of individuals to move freely around the planet. There will be lots of arguments over whether globalism also means that goods and services should move freely too, but that may be a secondary issue for some time to come. We live in a hopelessly mixed economy and that's unlikely to change anytime soon (though we should always be pushing for more choice and less top-down control). The real question is whether it will become harder or easier for people to cross borders.

Bannon's vision is of a world of distinct nations and cultures that might be defined by any number of factors, including race and ethnicity, but also a common history, religious values, or shared geography. His economic nationalism is a reaction, partly correct but mostly false, to the belief that large, global forces—some impersonal, some embodied in specific elites and individuals, from Hillary Clinton and George Soros to Warren Buffet or Richard Branson—are calling all the shots.

This outlook holds that free trade, automation, and other forces are taking work from the regular guy or gal, even as newcomers—low-skilled immigrants hungry for work opportunities, refugees and asylees, professional-class globe trotters—seem to be swamping the mother country and simultaneously flourishing economically and sucking off the teat of the welfare state (this is known as "Schrodinger's Immigrant"). This is Donald Trump's worldview, and it isn't far from Bernie Sanders' too. The Vermont socialist is a critic of "open borders," denouncing the very concept as "a Koch brothers proposal" that would drive down wages for Americans. Trump and Sanders (and other populists, such as Elizabeth Warren) are all against free trade because they believe that stuff from poor countries will always undercut anything made in America. They express themselves witf very different tonalities and words, but the policy implications aren't so different.

The message that populists, whether right-wing or progressive, articulate is mistaken, but it does contain elements of truth. The "rich" did not capture all the income gains of the past 30 or so years, and economic mobility remains the rule rather than the exception. But there's no question that a sizeable percentage of Americans are not doing well and, as important, feel as if they have no control over how their lives turn out. Limiting the flow of people and goods over borders—economic nationalism—makes sense from this point of view. Such actions strongly imply a collective identity that will limit interest in individual rights, inciting yet more populist policies.

Libertarians and others who believe in free movement and free trade need to acknowledge the emotions that undergird economic nationalism. We need to explain how we can build resilience into the system, and we need to explain the benefits of a globalized world—that, for example, cities that welcome immigrants experience increased wages and lower unemployment. We need to update our arguments about why individuals are ultimately more important than groups, and about why empowering individuals creates a richer, freer, and ultimately more socially cohesive world. We need to show that there is no inherent tension between being a citizen of the world and a proud son or daughter of one's country, region, and hometown. And we're going to have reach out to liberals, conservatives, and progressives who identify with freedom of movement as a moral right and economically superior.

Watching The Brink made me think that for all the other differences Reason has with the socialist magazine Jacobin, it may matter far more that we share a belief in open borders.

Here's the trailer for the documentary.

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107 responses to “Steve Bannon’s ‘Economic Nationalism’ vs. Libertarian Globalism Is the Battleground of 21st Century Politics

  1. One component of libertarianism is control (government) should be as local as possible. How does that work exactly with globalism where more control is centered around “Davos-dashing liberal elitists”.

    1. This is how libertarianism fuses with Davos-centered globalism.

      “You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I’ll tell you what his ‘pinions is.”

      …Mark Twain’s boyhood friend Jerry.

    2. One component of libertarianism is control (government) should be as local as possible.

      No it’s not. Libertarianism is concerned with individual rights. It doesn’t matter if the individual is being oppressed by the town, county, state, or nation. Sometimes larger jurisdictions protect the individual from the oppression of smaller jurisdictions.

      1. Hayek said a socialist could exist in a libertarian society. Libertarianism is most certainly about making power as small as possible. This idea that a powerful central authority is going to force libertarianism down people throats is itself an authoritarian POV.

    3. Reason doesn’t believe in self-government, they believe in Open Borders.

      It’s nice for Nick to confirm what I’ve said for years – that Reason’s fundamental value is a deontological commitment to “Open Borders Uber Alles”, otherwise known as “Borders are bad, m’kay?”

      All the *mechanisms* that actually preserve and defend liberty in the world don’t matter. That liberty will be snuffed out in a world of Open Borders doesn’t matter.

      Borders are bad, m’kay?

  2. Watching The Brink made me think that for all the other differences Reason has with the socialist magazine Jacobin, it may matter far more that we share a belief in open borders.

    Precisely.

    If there is one theme I have emphasized in my year and a half posting here, it’s the necessity of Koch / Reason libertarians forming an alliance with democratic socialists to achieve the goal of unlimited, unrestricted immigration.

    1. OPL, has gone from parody to just quoting Nick Gillespie.

      1. For parody, it’s tough to top ‘Libertarians For Authoritarian Immigration Policies’ or “Libertarians For Bigoted Walls.’

        Unless it’s with ‘Libertarians For Statist Womb Management’ or ‘Libertarians For Tariffs.’

        Or ‘Libertarians For Torture And Endless Detention without Trial’ or ‘Libertarians For Trump.’

        Or ‘Libertarians For Big-State Micromanagement Of Ladyparts Clinics’ or ‘Libertarians For The Muslim Ban.’

        Carry on, clingers.

        1. For parody, it’s tough to top ‘Libertarians For Authoritarian Immigration Policies’ or “Libertarians For Bigoted Walls.’
          “Unless it’s with ‘Libertarians For Statist Womb Management’ or ‘Libertarians For Tariffs.’
          Or ‘Libertarians For Torture And Endless Detention without Trial’ or ‘Libertarians For Trump.’
          Or ‘Libertarians For Big-State Micromanagement Of Ladyparts Clinics’ or ‘Libertarians For The Muslim Ban.’”

          Asshole rev doesn’t understand that one of those is different than the others.
          Carry on confused asshole.

        2. ‘Libertarians For Bigoted Walls.’

          Apparently Walls can be convicted of WrongFeelz too.

    2. The clearest expression of Reasons “Open Borders Uber Alles”.

      No one should be shocked at Nick seeing Jacobin as his natural ally. Nick went full “No True Communist” a while back.

      “Totalitarians professing communism killed millions of people, but this analogy is flawed. Hitler was the leader of Nazism, Stalin the leader of…Stalinism, not communism.”
      https://goo.gl/xnJ8CT

  3. Trotskyites vs nationalists. I like they way these type of fights have gone in the past. Bring it.

    1. The American battle continues to be the liberal-libertarian alliance against the stale-thinking conservatives.

      Sometimes called the Culture War, it’s been a rout throughout our lifetimes, with progress effected against the wishes and efforts of right-wingers pushing for backwardness, intolerance, and superstition.

      It’s all over but the whining.

      1. Conservatives are always destined to lose. If your philosophy is rooted in always maintaining the status quo, sooner or later, you will lose. For change is inevitable.

        1. Maybe pop culture conservatives do, but classical conservatism isn’t about just respecting and honouring cherished values but it also espouses being forward looking. The first people to push for end of slavery or preserved science (during the Renaissance with the Catholic Church for example) were conservatives. They’re more progressive than, well, progressives – who are just authoritarians with a cherry on top.

      2. “Sometimes called the Culture War, it’s been a rout throughout our lifetimes, with progress effected against the wishes and efforts of right-wingers pushing for backwardness, intolerance, and superstition.”

        Isn’t it strange how ignorant assholes make up some conflict and then claim to be winning?
        Carry on, ignorant asshole

  4. “Nationalism vs. globalism is the fundamental political cleavage in the 21st century.”

    I don’t see why nationalism and free trade need to be in opposition, and I see clearly why libertarians should want to keep politicians as accountable to their local constituencies as possible.

    Libertarianism is not about seizing the reigns of powers and inflicting free trade or open borders on the American people against their will by keeping policy makers as unaccountable to the voters as possible through globalism. Those issues, along with the power to declare war and tax, were properly given to our Congress in the Constitution because it is inappropriate for government to inflict wars, taxes, or immigration policies on free people–over their objections and against their will. Rather, libertarian policies are meant to be adopted willingly by free people who want them, and it is the purpose of libertarians to persuade our fellow Americans to demand more freedom from our politicians.

    Persuading our fellow Americans that they shouldn’t have any say on naturalization, etc. is a surefire way to ensure that our fellow Americans will turn their backs on our arguments for open borders. Why would anybody believe we want them to be free to make choices for themselves when we’re trying to undermine their ability to influence policy through the politicians who are accountable to them? Yes, it makes us come across as disingenuous.

    1. You confuse libertarians and Constitutionalists. Small “L” libertarians stand for NAP. If the Constitution supports something that violates NAP, then libertarians (should) stand against it (in as much as it does).

      1. “Small “L” libertarians stand for NAP.”

        That’s according to you.

        Small “l” libertarians believe that the only legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights.

        1. As well as violating them? So government defies its own purpose simply by existing?

          How do you define libertarian in a logically consistent manner?

          NAP makes sense. Nothing else does.

          1. “As well as violating them? So government defies its own purpose simply by existing?”

            Because government sometimes perpetrates injustices (violates our rights) doesn’t mean that protecting our rights isn’t its legitimate purpose.

            1. It violates our rights by its mere existence. It taxes and enforces a monopoly on the use of violence.

              1. I guess you’re an anarchist or something. Have fun with that.

                1. I think that was an “Appeal to ridicule”. But, even if it wasn’t, it wasn’t a response.

                  So I guess my point stands. Democracies cannot coexist with rights.

                  1. Well, that demonstrates the difference between libertarians (small l) and anarchists. Libertarians generally agree that government does have a legitimate purpose in protecting rights. It is entirely appropriate to form some sort of collective security arrangement to which we can delegate some of the responsibility of protecting home and hearth from predators. I know we have a lot of folks here who talk a great game about protecting their homes and families single-handedly, but unless you want to sleep every night with one eye open, cradling an AR15 to your chest, it’s probably to your advantage to let the cops carry some of the burden.

                    Ideally, of course, these arrangements would be voluntary and tightly controlled.

                    1. “Libertarians generally agree that government does have a legitimate purpose in protecting rights.”

                      True. Which means they are logically inconsistent as government violates rights merely by existing.

                      “It is entirely appropriate to form some sort of collective security arrangement to which we can delegate some of the responsibility of protecting home and hearth from predators.”

                      Yes, and it’s utterly counterproductive to make the security arrangement attack us by definition. Free markets solve this.

                      “it’s probably to your advantage to let the cops carry some of the burden”

                      There are more private “police” than governmental police. Basically, that’s a false choice.

          2. It was a final response.

            I have no interest in arguing about anarchism (or creationism or abortion) at the moment, especially if you’re just going to regurgitate platitudes about the NAP and how a government that protects people’s rights violates people’s rights with its existence.

            Not interested. You can go have fun with that by yourself.

          3. “I have no interest in arguing about anarchism …at the moment.”

            You’re arguing about rights. That this happens to point us towards An-Cap thought is a necessary result of arguing about rights, and one who doesn’t want to talk about An-Cap thought shouldn’t talk about rights.

            “how a government that protects people’s rights violates people’s rights with its existence”

            A. Government doesn’t exist to protect your rights. It exists to bring itself power.
            B. If a government, created by “angels”, tried to take your life, liberty, or property at will, it would not protect people’s rights, it would simply violate them.

            “Not interested.”

            Yes, just like so many, you are only interested in following logic until it gets to where you want it to go, and then you abandon it when it goes beyond that. You are logically inconsistent and deserve the cognitive dissonance you currently have. No one should listen to you, and you ought to suffer (your self induced pain) until you accept that you have to follow logic ALL THE WAY, not just until you like it.

      2. P.S. Naturalization policy, whether to declare war, and whether to impose a tax should are all within the proper purview of democracy regardless of whether you subscribe to the NAP, regardless of whether you’re a libertarian, and regardless of whether you’re an American.

        1. “within the proper purview of democracy regardless of whether you subscribe to the NAP”

          False. A democracy is mob rule, there are no rights.

          A system in which there are rights excludes the majority from EVER violating them (or they aren’t rights). Ergo, a “democracy” that actually respects rights cannot tax, prevent people from entering others’ property, or decide to murder (war). (Fits nicely with “life, liberty, and property”.)

          So, what you’re saying, is there are no rights.

          1. “False. A democracy is mob rule, there are no rights.”

            Democracy has its proper purview–hence the separation of powers.

            During the American Revolution, this came across in standards like “No Taxation without Representation”.

            Governments should not be able to force its population to go to war without the approval of the legislature either.

            Deciding how one becomes a citizen of a country is also fundamentally within the proper purview of democracy. Our government also shoudln’t be able to commit us to international treaties without our consent, hence the need for the Senate to ratify them.

            These principles are applicable to all countries. These duties of government are within the proper purview of democracy in all societies. No free people can have these things inflicted on them by the government over their objections and without their consent–which is why they are properly within the purview of democracy.

            The idea that our rights don’t exist if there’s a democracy is absurd. Rights are the obligation to respect the agency of others. Our First Amendment makes does an excellent job of distinguishing between the proper purview of democracy and our rights when it starts, “Congress shall make now law”. Rights are thoroughly compatible with democracy when democracy is restricted to its proper purview, and immigration and trade agreements are both well within that purview.

            1. “Democracy has its proper purview–hence the separation of powers.”

              That doesn’t address my point, that there are no rights in democracy.

              “Governments should not be able to force its population to go to war without the approval of the legislature either.”

              That assumes individuals (or groups?) have rights. You can’t claim that.

              “No free people can have these things inflicted on them by the government over their objections and without their consent”

              Obamacare? Theft of gold coins in the 1930s? Roe v Wade? Really?

              “Rights are the obligation to respect the agency of others”

              What is taxation if not theft? What is enforcing the theft if not (attempted) murder/kidnapping? What is preventing others from entering my property if not an assault to their rights (as well as my own)?

              If the majority gets to determine what to do with my life, liberty, and property, then there are no rights, period.

              Hoppe was right, democracy is truly the god that failed.

          2. “That doesn’t address my point, that there are no rights in democracy.”

            The fact that our rights exist regardless of whether the government recognizes or violates them doesn’t seem to phase you.

            The fact that we enjoy rights here in the U.S. despite the presence of democracy doesn’t phase you either.

            I’m supposed to believe your self-declared axiom about how there are no rights in a democracy despite what I see with my own eyes–because you have pronounced it–and this is a discussion I or anyone else is supposed to want to have with you for some reason?

            The world around doesn’t seem to exist if it doesn’t fit your favorite theory, and you don’t seem to understand the nature of your own favorite theory very well.

            Go have fun with that by yourself.

          3. “The fact that our rights exist regardless of whether the government recognizes or violates them doesn’t seem to phase you.”

            Democracies don’t recognize any rights whatsoever.

            “The fact that we enjoy rights here in the U.S. despite the presence of democracy doesn’t phase you either.”

            We do not. Everything you call a “right” is subject to mob rule.

            “I’m supposed to believe your self-declared axiom about how there are no rights in a democracy despite what I see with my own eyes–because you have pronounced it–and this is a discussion I or anyone else is supposed to want to have with you for some reason?”

            All right, let me ask it this way, which “right” do you think you have that isn’t subject to mob rule? Do you have the right to life, liberty, or property? It’s a simple question, really.

            If the government can tax it can steal, murder, and kidnap at will. Therefore, there are no rights where a government can tax. Let’s not even get into what a government that enforces a monopoly on the use of force does!

            This isn’t difficult logic. If the government thinks it can take your life, liberty, or property when it wants to, then it doesn’t recognize those rights. That is what we see today, therefore the government doesn’t recognize those rights. Under a truly Constitutional government, they still wouldn’t recognize those rights.

            How do you argue with that?

    2. Re: Ken Shultz,

      I don’t see why nationalism and free trade need to be in opposition,

      Odious and kunckle-draggin’ Trumpistas do see a conflict, and they made their hostility towards markets well known by voting for an economically illiterate con artist, a fraudster and mountebank. You’re merely wasting energy trying to reconcile the two things. There’s no point to it.

      1. The anti-free trade people you’re imagining are largely what we should be calling “Trump Democrats”.

        “Reagan Democrats no longer saw the Democratic party as champions of their working class aspirations, but instead saw them as working primarily for the benefit of others: the very poor, feminists, the unemployed, African Americans, Latinos and other groups.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reagan_Democrat

        That was written about Reagan Democrats in 1980 and 1984, but if you added something to the Democrat leadership’s list of concerns about LGBTQI+ and radical environmentalists, it could have been written about Trump Democrats in 2016.

        There was a large number of Republicans who would have voted for whomever the Republicans nominated–especially against Hillary Clinton. There was a significant number of white, blue collar voters from the rust belt states of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin who broke against their unions and voted for Trump because after eight years of being hated on by the progressives who run the Democratic party for being white, blue collar, heterosexual, rednecks, etc. they were finally persuaded that the Democratic party doesn’t like them.

        1. I would not use that information to infer that the country or Republicans have turned against free trade. Trump’s position on free trade today is somewhere to the left of where Bill Clinton was. It broke of a chunk of traditional Democrat support, but it is not indicative of any kind of revolutionary change in American thinking. Because the Democrats foolishly flushed the white, blue collar, middle class down the shitter isn’t indicative of anything about the larger culture.

    3. “Libertarianism is not about seizing the reigns of powers and inflicting free trade or open borders on the American people against their will by keeping policy makers as unaccountable to the voters as possible through globalism. ”

      +1, that’s a great comment

    4. You don’t need to seize any reins or claim that others have no say in order to make a globalist argument in favor of legalized immigration. Open borders and the democratic process are not diametrically opposed.

      I think for a lot of us, libertarianism is pre-political. It’s based on the core belief that ALL individuals deserve total freedom of personal choice. Things like governments and borders are less significant (and much more temporary) than that first moral principle.

      So yeah I am more concerned with the freedom of people – no matter where thy live – to choose their own lives than I am with “keeping politicians accountable to their local constituencies.”

      1. “Open borders and the democratic process are not diametrically opposed.”

        I agree!

        I’m here to tell you that an open borders treaty with Mexico is in the best interests of the United States, and I’m here to persuade my fellow American to demand precisely such a treaty.

        Tell people we want to strip them of the influence of their vote in the name of globalism, and we will lose the argument.

        1. Who is telling people that?

          1. There are people in this thread who believe that immigration is a right like choosing your own religion–that your vote on whether other people can come here is like voting on other people’s religion.

            In fact, in Gillespie’s piece above he writes:

            “In the 21st century, libertarians are going to have make common cause with the globalists of all parties, with the people whose core value is the right of individuals to move freely around the planet.”

            1. I do believe that freedom of movement is a human right in that same sense, but even the freedom of religion had to be legally encoded in a constitutionally valid manner for it to become law of the land. I haven’t seen anyone arguing in favor of some extra-legal coup or whatever to force open borders without any law or amendment.

              And I’m not sure how that Gillespie quote hints at force in any way. He’s talking about making common cause with people to form a consensus and effect legal change.

            2. The hilarious thing about Gillespie’s statement is just how *disingenuous* it is. The neo-cons in the GW Bush era were just as globalist. They underwent massive national wars not just for American interests, but for Global interests. They built huge international accords for spying and international intervention not merely because they thought America needed this, but because they truly felt forcing democracy on Iraq and Afghanistan was a net good for the globe as a whole.

              Does anyone for an INSTANT think that Nick would call out Bush as more worthy to find common cause with than Bernie Sanders, even though the former supported immigration reform? Of course not. Nick spent 8+ years complaining about that icky conservative, and there is no reason to suspect he would ever do differently for similar rightists today.

              This article is more informative of Nick’s biases than anything. The globalists on the Right have largely been chased out of power, so he has no problem speaking about making common cause with globalists on “both sides” of the aisle. He won’t have to contemplate balancing their desires to make war all over the world (or promote religion, obstruct gay rights or whatever) against their support for immigration. And it is quite illustrative that Nick can easily gloss over equal non starters on the left (censorship, economic command and control, etc) to suggest that alliances with those lefties would be a good thing.

              1. ” so he has no problem speaking about making common cause with globalists on “both sides” of the aisle. ”

                Reason stands with the Globalist Corporatist Unitparty.

                They write bigger checks than the peasants.

                #LibertariansForTheDeepState

    5. “I don’t see why nationalism and free trade need to be in opposition”

      Accounting. And Adam Smith agrees with me.

      “It will generally be advantageous to lay some burden upon foreign industry for the encouragement of domestic industry, when some tax is imposed at home upon the produce of the latter. In this case, it seems reasonable that an equal tax should be imposed upon the like produce of the former. This would not give the monopoly of the borne market to domestic industry, nor turn towards a particular employment a greater share of the stock and labour of the country, than what would naturally go to it. It would only hinder any part of what would naturally go to it from being turned away by the tax into a less natural direction, and would leave the competition between foreign and domestic industry, after the tax, as nearly as possible upon the same footing as before it.”

      1. National defense.

        “It will generally be advantageous to lay some burden upon foreign industry, for the encouragement of domestic industry, when some particular sort of industry is necessary for the defence of the country. The defense of Great Britain, for example, depends very much upon the number of its sailors and shipping. Defense is of much more importance than opulence.”
        –Adam Smith

        But I’d go further. Economics is power. “Defense industries” are basically everything that counts.

        It’s really odd that people can think that enriching Emperor for Life Xi, totalitarian ruler of the largest economy in the world, has no downsides.

  5. Nick is an idiot if he doesn’t distinguish between free trade (real free trade, not government directed trade) and what “globalism” usually denotes, which is world government.

    How does the song go? “Don’t use words you don’t understand.”

    1. Globalism denotes “world government” when it’s some anti-semitic conspiracy theorist talking, sure.

      1. Appeal to ridicule. Fallacy of composition. Try again.

        1. You must be a blast at parties.

      2. “Everyone I disagree with is a racist, which makes everything they say false.”

  6. “libertarians are going to have make common cause with the globalists of all parties, with the people whose core value is the right of individuals to move freely around the planet

    Can someone show me why I should believe that the globalists who run Europe want free trade outside of the European Union or free immigration for anyone but other Europeans within it? Sure, they may take in refugees–people who supposedly don’t have any choice but to flee to the European Union–but what about the rest of us? If I decide as an American that I want to move to France and look for a job, what are the chances that the EU’s “globalist” immigration policies mean it will be easy for me to get such a visa? Is it not harder for someone in the U.S. to legally emigrate to the EU than it is for someone in the EU to emigrate to the U.S.? Why should I believe that that so called globalists who run the EU want free trade with countries outside the EU? Where is the free trade treaty the EU is pushing the U.S. to sign because they’re so much more committed to free trade than the supposedly nationalist United States?

    1. If there is a trade off between nationalism, on the one hand, and globalism, meaning free trade and free immigration, on the other, then I don’t see any evidence of it by comparing the supposedly nationalist United States to the globalists in the EU. What kind of distinction is that if the more nationalist US is always the one pushing for free trade and the globalists are in the EU aren’t even offering anything? Do you not realize that the reason Brexit is so controversial is because the EU’s trade policies are so protectionist that leaving will hurt the UK’s economy? What kind of distinction is that if the globalists in the EU would NEVER tolerate illegal immigration into the EU like the United States has across our southern border for generations?

    2. Ken hits the nail on the head here. “The right of individuals to move freely..” is NOT a core value or the left. The left considers certain populations to be tactically useful ,and is thus importing those groups specifically.

  7. “We need to explain how we can build resilience into the system”

    I’d like to see. Because frankly I don’t even really know of the Libertarian argument to resilience other than a kind of cross my fingers and hope it goes well, even though it hasn’t been going perfectly.

    There are very valid points that increased trade, increased automation and increased high skilled immigration are beneficial. But there seems to be too much belief that the negative trade offs can be ignored. Despite the overwhelming evidence that those trade offs have very real costs.

    “life’s tough but it’s a lot tougher when you’re stupid.”

    1. Nick needs to explain how you make the US *more* libertarian by importing *less* libertarian people.

      Or maybe he’ll just come out and say that freedom in America should be destroyed For The Greater Good.

      I can see utilitarians making that kind of argument.

  8. Both nationalism and globalism move decision making away from the individual and thus should be rejected by libertarians. This isn’t a hard one to figure out.

    1. If nationalism is the idea that the government should act for the benefit of its people, then I’m not sure we’re talking about taking decision making away from the individual so much as we’re talking about individuals making their preferences known and having them respected through policy.

      Again, the question for me is what’s in our best interest. I think free market capitalism, free trade, and an open borders treaty with Mexico are all in our national best interests. If I can defend that, then how is nationalism taking decision making away from the individual?

      Globalism to me smacks of taking the interests of the whole world into account. We don’t invade Iraq because it’s in the U.S.’ interests–but because it’s in the best interests of the Iraqis, the region, and the world. We don’t sign on to the Paris Climate Accord because it’s in our interests but because it’s in the best interests of the world. That necessarily smacks of collectivism to me. Globalism, to me, is about sacrificing our best interests for the good of the world.

      1. Ken, in your formulation, though, the argument could go both ways. You say that you believe the policies of free trade and open borders are good for the country so you ask for it at the national level. I believe that these same policies of free trade and open borders are good for the entire world, and so I think they ought to be put at the global level. If either of us got our way, the affect here at home would not be too different (though I think global free trade would be better for us, than just national free trade). Likewise, if a nationalist government signed on to the Paris Accords because it believed it would help that nation (in addition to the rest of the world), the affect is just the same whether they are nationalists or globalists at heart. Indeed, in the US, we are already a nation mediating between vastly different groups of people from the coasts to the heartland. Choosing what is best for 50.1% of the country isn’t terribly different than choosing what is best for 50.1% of the world.

        That is why Nick’s whole article is so incoherent. Globalism vs Nationalism is a distinction without a difference for libertarians. Whether you are talking about a small town, a small nation, a large nation (like ours) or the entire world, it’s just a difference in numbers that are under a given jurisdiction. It is what that jurisdiction does that is so important, and why I think Nick is crazy to think there can be common cause with global socialists.

      2. The problem is the aggregate of “the people”. Any particular policy is going to have individuals who gain as well as lose – framing things in terms of a national interest papers this over and provides an opening for the fabrication of a General Will independent of any consideration of individual interest. Both frames roll issues up to some collective decision making framework that will sacrifice individual preferences to some supposed greater good.

        1. Within the proper purview of democracy, however, we’re looking at a fairly narrow cross section of issues.

          Should the Senate ratify treaty x?

          Should we declare war?

          What should our immigration policy be?

          Should we cut spending on this and taxes on that?

          Again, these issues are not arbitrarily defined as being within the proper purview of democracy. What puts these issues within the proper purview of democracy is that free people can’t have such decisions imposed on them by the government–without their consent–and still be considered free. Different people may have conflicting interests, but the solutions that allow them each to maximize their own interests best are consistently libertarian and free market capitalist.

        2. Tax policy is presently not the way I want it. I want to abolish the income tax, the corporate tax, and the capital gains tax. I continue to argue about the injustice of them and the harm they do to both the economy and the American people. The existence of these taxes doesn’t mean that the government shouldn’t need the consent of our representative bodies in order to cut taxes. As long as that requirement remains, the means to lower and abolish taxes remains available.

          It’s the same way with immigration. I want an open borders treaty with Mexico because I believe it’s in the best interests of the American people. Because we don’t have one is no reason for me to curse democracy–the only legitimate means by which the treaty I want can be achieved. Because we don’t have the open borders treaty I want is a reason to persuade my fellow Americans to demand one. It’s a reason to leverage democracy–not a reason to shit on it.

          Once they’ve persuaded people that democracy has no proper place in setting policy on things like immigration, then how do they plan to effectuate change?

      3. ” an open borders treaty with Mexico are all in our national best interests”

        Care to explain how being invaded tens of millions of people who make a demonstrably less free, less secure, and less prosperous society benefits Americans?

        Countries are people.

  9. libertarians are going to have make common cause with the globalists of all parties, with the people whose core value is the right of individuals to move freely around the planet. There will be lots of arguments over whether globalism also means that goods and services should move freely too, but that may be a secondary issue for some time to come.

    And here we see why Reason is so frustrating to me. Gillespe has no real reason why the free movement of people should be more important than the free movement of goods and services…he just figures it ought to be.

    But indeed, if we really want to maximize impact, we should be talking about goods and services first. Far more people are affected by a container ship traveling over from China than are affected by a shipping container filled with central american refugees. I have little problem with immigration, and want it increased, but it is more important to me that people are able to exchange with one another, than that they can travel 1000 miles. Indeed, Immigration seems more or less just a small subset of trade.

    1. Further, I don’t think it is as easy to conflate all globalists with all nationalists, especially in this day and age. Should a libertarian really make common cause with a globalist who wants to institute global bans on free speech rather than a nationalist who wants to protect speech in the United States alone? Why? Just so people can cross a border?

      Surely Nick sees that putting a bunch of global socialists into power would ultimately reduce our freedoms far more than putting a nationalist free trader in power- even if that meant immigrants couldn’t come here more easily.

      I am globalist in that I believe free global trade is vital to improving the lives of the most people- including people here in the United States. I want NOTHING from what globalist pro-government people desire. Go look at the UN. Do you really want that nonsense determining your freedoms in your home town?

      1. The biggest problem with globalism is that it means unelected left wing dominated bureaucrats make the decisions enforced by unelected left wing dominated courts.

        We bitch about government all the time but at least it includes a framework to object. The only thing worse than global rule by government is global rule by bureaucracy.

        1. Meh, in the United States, I don’t really see this as a significant difference.

          I prefer federalism over Nationalism, for exactly this reason. We have bureaucrats largely from the east coast dictating policy for the rest of the nation today. While that is certainly preferable to some Iranian (or German, etc) bureaucrat doing the same, it is only a difference in degree. The differences between some New Yorker from Yale and a some Londoner from Oxford is pretty small these days.

          Put another way, Nationalism in America is just globalism light since America encompasses such a varied and global population anyways. And that won’t change. We have 300 million people in this country. Even if they all started out as WASPs it is only a small matter of time before they have evolved such different cultures that we are in the same boat- people that share very few of your cultural values being put in charge (at the federal level) of too much of your life.

          That is why I am so baffled by Nick’s proposition above. I want a more libertarian city council. I want a more libertarian state government. And I want more libertarian federal governments working together to make more libertarian international agreements. To the extent that I would support such work at the global level makes me a globalist, I suppose. But that doesn’t mean I have common cause with global socialists. Or with neo-con globalists who want America to be the world’s police, either.

    2. Trade and immigration are both “subsets” of basic individual autonomy.

    3. Gillespe has no real reason why the free movement of people should be more important than the free movement of goods and services…he just figures it ought to be.

      Well one reason might be that people have rights, but inanimate objects don’t.

      1. Oh come on. The free movement of goods and services is literally the freedom of people to contract with one another.

        A restriction on trade/contract affects every human in the jurisdiction, as does a restriction on immigration. However far more people exercise the rights to trade and contract than exercise the right to go live in another country- and that balance would not change substantially if restrictions were completely lifted.

        Again, I am pro immigration. But it is CRAZY to get in (political) bed with global socialists in order to open up borders for immigration. Sure, you can move to another country, but what is the point when you’ll be forced into socialist slavery either way?

    4. But indeed, if we really want to maximize impact, we should be talking about goods and services first.

      This is true. Most people don’t want to immigrate but are pressured by economics or in some cases by violence/repression. Free movement of goods makes everyone richer but of course that impacts the very poor’s lifestyles the most. Once the economics are normalized immigration becomes much less of an issue.

    5. “Gillespe has no real reason why the free movement of people should be more important than the free movement of goods and services”

      Because his deontological feelz.

  10. Great article, except for the last bit. No we shouldn’t try to find common cause with the Jacobins.

    1. Agreed.

    2. We all know how you feel about a whole host of subjects Pedo Jeffy. Including the horrors you’re willing to visit on American children because foreign child predators have ‘rights’.

    3. Racebaiterjeff, you don’t have to *find* common cause with the Jacobins, you *have* common cause with Jacobins.

      Nick knows. You don’t.

  11. The editor of the Jacobin has stated that he wants to make private employer-employee relationships illegal. If the Jacobin gets its way, you’d be one the first to the guillotine, Gillespie.

    1. “Open Borders Uber Alles!”

  12. “In the 21st century, libertarians are going to have make common cause with the globalists of all parties, with the people whose core value is the right of individuals to move freely around the planet.”

    That would suggest that all other values libertarians espouse are then negotiable.

    1. The notion that libertarianism has anything at all to do with the various visitation and immigration policies of various national governments is purely absurd. The only sense in which the “free movement of people” is related to that is the sense in which private property owners should be free to set their own terms and conditions of admittance, regardless of what the state has to say about it.

      If you think you’re going to find many globalists to make common cause with you on that, you’re certifiably insane. The overwhelming majority of people think that state interference is the only thing holding back most businesses from re-instituting Jim Crow.

    2. “Open Borders Uber Alles!”

  13. In the 21st century, libertarians are going to have make common cause with the globalists of all parties

    lol NOPE

  14. “….We need to show…”

    Yeh, good luck with that.

    I completely reject both sides. One being troubling in the sense that nationalism is tribal and could get out of control, and the other being so utterly naive so as to suspend the realities of human nature.

    There has to be a healthier choice in the middle.

  15. Where’s John anyway?

  16. “…rootless cosmopolitans…”

    Yah, comrade!

  17. with the people whose core value is the right of individuals to move freely around the planet.

    I fail to see how that is really the core liberty. It can very easily devolve into ‘free to flee and FYTW’. Which is exactly the sort of way that dictatorial elites can maintain a hold on power and suppress liberty.

    I agree that the freedom to move is a natural right. But freedom to make your life better where you are is far more important. The consequence of that latter doesn’t lead to either fatalism or the trap of becoming a useful idiot to power.

    1. “I fail to see how that is really the core liberty. ”

      Because it’s not. Being free to travel about an open air gulag encompassing the entire world is not freedom.

      But it is the core value of Reason: Open Borders Uber Alles!

  18. If Schrodingers immigrant does not capture Trump’s view of immigration I cannot find a better meme.

    Granted that it has nothing to do with the physicist and thought experiment.

    1. There’s nothing contradictory at all moron… Low skill immigrants DO mooch off native born people, because we have socialized costs, and also push down wages for native born… And high skill immigrants DO improve the economy overall, but probably still suppress wages for people in their respective fields. The thing is suppressing wages from $150K a year to $140K isn’t as big a deal as dropping wages from $30K to $20K in some low rent job.

      God you people are stupid.

  19. Listening to Bannon speak does not clarify precisely what he wants out of politics. He just sounds like he wants to wall white people off from the rest of the world and cross his fingers that the brown people will leave us alone. Get him real drunk and I’ll bet he’ll admit it’s gravy if the browns kill each other off.

    What is this other than an entirely too emotional disagreement over which color palette is in style?

    1. racebaiterTony gonna race bait

      Racebaiters are a malignant societal cancer.

  20. If Trump wants less immigration from South of the border, he should end drug prohibition which fuels most of the violence these poor people are trying to escape.

    1. That would help, but I don’t think the corrupt ruling class of Latin America will disappear like a soap bubble if we end drug prohibition.

      On the bright side, ending the national prohibition on pot is likely in the next couple of years.

  21. This is….. dumb. Bannon’s version of nationalism isn’t my thing and is worrying in some ways. The core battleground is and has been authoritarianism vs. collectivism. The globalists are far more collectivist. The nationalists are collectivist in a more acceptable way in that they still support most freedoms for the native population. The whole premise behind this article is horribly flawed because it ignores how radically collectivist/authoritarian the left has become. Their globalism focuses on bringing the world under control of a single unaccountable government. Let’s not pretend that a free nation restricting immigration is as bad as world governance. The globalists talking up open borders want socialism. This will destroy first world countries and eliminate the freedoms and benefits that come with moving to a better country

    1. But you’re not listening.
      What part of Open Borders Uber Alles don’t you understand?

  22. Yes globalism is VERY “libertarian”. Unaccountable bureaucrats making laws from post-national bodies like the EU and UN with no concern for the rights of the citizens is very “libertarian”.

    The Libertarian Party saw an opening and to be sure they never have success they have to sabotage themselves. Why run to right of the GOP on economics when they can run to the Left of the Dems on immigration? Idiots.

    1. What part of Open Borders Uber Alles don’t you understand?

  23. In the 21st century, libertarians are going to have make common cause with the globalists of all parties, with the people whose core value is the right of individuals to move freely around the planet.

    An interesting choice of priorities. What is it you’re interested in preserving here? Libertarianism or Globalism? No, they aren’t synonymous, no matter how hard Reason tries.

  24. As long as Americans believe that moving to another country, any other country, will not improve their lot, economic nationalists will be persuasive. Once the country declines to a level where pulling up stakes and striking off into the unknown looks like a good bet, the Libertarian position will look a lot more attractive.

  25. Government of the people, by the people, and for the people
    vs.
    Government of the ruling class, by the ruling class, and for the ruling class.

    If the Globalists win, self-government perishes from the earth.

  26. Bannon doing the OK! Priceless!

    I hope he was having a glass of milk with that!

  27. @Reason declares itself for the Leftist Globalist Corporatist ruling class, and their central mantra “Open Borders Uber Alles”:

    “In the 21st century, libertarians are going to have make common cause with the *globalists* of all parties

    Watching The Brink made me think that for all the other differences Reason has with the socialist magazine Jacobin, it may matter far more that we share a belief in open borders.”

  28. “Libertarians and others who believe in free movement and free trade need to acknowledge the emotions that undergird economic nationalism. ”

    Obviously they’re all just racists full of hate hate hate! Always focus on that, and always ignore their arguments.

    “We need to explain how we ”
    will have any freedom in the world after you’ve destroyed the United States, the guarantor of that freedom, with an invasion of Not Americans.

    Countries are people.
    America is as free, secure, and prosperous because *Americans* make it that way.
    Mexico is as free, secure, and prosperous because *Mexicans* make it that way.

    Import Not Americans.
    Become Not America.

  29. JESUS CHRIST!!!

    How can anybody who claims to support freedom possibly put international movement of people as being MORE important than literally every other right???

    I accept that open borders is technically a correct libertarian position dogma wise. I still reject it completely, but I get the argument.

    But how in fucks name, given that it is just one random right, can one elevate THAT ONE out of all rights, above ALL OTHERS???

    Fucking insane.

    Also Nick, you stupid fucking moron… You’re just NOW getting that this is the big battle royale of the 21st century? God you’re stupid. I guess I should be glad I’m mostly German instead of a dumb WOP, because I realize this years ago, as it was painfully obvious. Hell, I’ve even said it in the comments numerous times. Maybe you should read the comments section more often, you might learn a thing or two.

    Those who want to destroy the entire fabric of the world, AKA all cultures and peoples, and create whatever cluster fuck that will create… They are the enemy of all sane people, and those who want to preserve the uniqueness and richness of the world and its cultures and peoples. To expect people to willingly destroy everything they hold dear… It’s a bad bet you globalist shit heel. So don’t expect to win.

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