From Joshua Mitchell.
“Globalization” and “identity politics” are a remarkable configuration of ideas, which have sustained America, and much of the rest of the world, since 1989. With a historical eye—dating back to the formal acceptance of the state-system with the treaty of Westphalia in 1648—we see what is so remarkable about this configuration: It presumes that sovereignty rests not with the state, but with supra-national organizations—NAFTA, WTO, the U.N., the EU, the IMF, etc.—and with subnational sovereign sites that we name with the term “identity.”
…When you start thinking in terms of management by global elites at the trans-state level and homeless selves at the substate level that seek, but never really find, comfort in their “identities,” the consequences are significant: Slow growth rates (propped up by debt-financing) and isolated citizens who lose interest in building a world together. Then of course, there’s the rampant crony-capitalism that arises when, in the name of eliminating “global risk” and providing various forms of “security,” the collusion between ever-growing state bureaucracies and behemoth global corporations creates a permanent class of winners and losers.
Pointer from Tyler Cowen.
Read Mitchell’s whole piece, as well as the earlier essay to which he links. I find his thoughts congenial, because I agree that the election pitted cosmopolitan vs. anti-cosmopolitan.
However, this is far from the last word. In fact, I would say that the longer you take to react to news, the better off you are. In general, I like to schedule my posts several days in advance. (This one is being drafted 3 days before it is scheduled to appear.) That gives me time to revise or delete a post before it appears. You may have noticed that when stock futures plummeted the night of the election, Paul Krugman predicted that the plunge would be permanent. I bet he wishes he had scheduled that post for a few days later, in which case he could have deleted it before it became public. In fact, I rarely have to revise or delete, because scheduling a post in advance forces me to be less reactive and to think ahead.
A lot of social media lacks the “schedule in advance” feature. I don’t think Twitter has it (I only use Twitter automatically, to announce blog posts, so I do not know how Twitter actually works.) Facebook does not have it. Software for posting comments does not have it. (If you like to comment on this blog, feel free to hold back for a few days. Old comments on old posts show up for me to read just as well as fresh comments on fresh posts.)
Thus, for the most part, social media leads people to be reactive and trigger-happy, as opposed to reflective and sober. It is something that one has to be aware of and push back against.