Peters gets it
Via NRO, today's column
by Ralph Peters. Just as yesteryear's aristos did, today's nobility of wealth and culture see themselves as above nationality. Patriotism is fodder for the peasants (unless it can be exploited for profit). They have far more in common with business partners across the globe than with the guy who fixes their plumbing. They intermarry across borders and forge alliances based on their own interests - as the Tudors, Valois and Medici did before them.
This new aristocracy is less attached to a passport than to a lifestyle. As for those who can't afford the price of admission, let 'em eat cake.
There is, indeed, a globalizing class. But the emergence of that super-class doesn't portend the globalization of humanity. For the masses, the flight from flags isn't toward a new borderless meta-identity, but back into old, enduring associations: tribe, faith, family - and bigotry.
Even in our own society - the best-positioned in the world to profit from globalization - there's a worrisome divide between the multinational executive who retires with a $400 million farewell smooch (and who naturally supports globalizing trade), and the worker maxing out a credit card to pay for a tank of gas - to whom globalization means a threatened job, even if it also means cheaper underwear.
However: Peters shows (perhaps unconsciously) that he is part of the aristocracy, when he refers to tribalism as bigotry and sees it as bad.
Sticking to your own is not automatically bad. What's bad is unequal access to tax-provided services like police protection. What's bad is Leninist exploitation of divisions, and worst of all the Leninist habit of creating divisions that aren't natural.
Peters also misses the deadliest consequence of the borderless economy. Because our 'aristos' have allowed most of our manufacturing to go overseas, we no longer own our defenses. We have to buy electronics from Japan, machinery from Korea, and uniforms from China; we have to let Arabs run our ports and inspect our cargo.