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Globalism vs. Ethnonationalism.


By Patrick J. Buchanan

Standing before the Siegessaule, the Victory Column that commemorates Prussia’s triumphs over Denmark, Austria and France in the wars that birthed the Second Reich, Barack Obama declared himself a “citizen of the world” and spoke of “a world that stands as one.” Globalists rejoiced. And the election of this son of a white teenager from Kansas and a black academic from Kenya is said to have ushered us into the new “post-racial” age.

Bolivia is Balkanizing, dividing up and being divided on the lines of tribe, race and class. And, hailed by Hugo Chavez, Morales’ Bolivia is not the only place where the claims of ethnicity, tribe and race are conquering the forces of universalism and globalism.

After a disputed election in Kenya, the Kikyu were subjected to ethnic cleansing and massacres by Luo. In Zimbabwe, white farmers are being dispossessed due to their ancestry. In Sri Lanka, the Tamil rebellion against the ruling Sinhalese — to create a Tamil nation, a war that has cost tens of thousands of lives — appears lost, for now.

In Europe, populist anti-immigrant parties, alarmed at a loss of national identities, are striding toward respectability and power. The Vlaams Belang, seeking independence for Flanders, is the biggest party in the Belgian parliament. The Peoples Party and Freedom Party are now Austria’s second and third most popular. The Swiss People’s Party of Christoph Blocher is the largest in Bern. In France, the National Front humiliated the government this week, winning over half the vote in a suburb of Marseilles.

All are unabashedly ethnonationalist. Writes British diplomat Sir Christopher Meyer, “It is useless to say that nationalism and ethnic tribalism have no place in the international relations of the 21st century.” Meanwhile, global institutions, the United Nations, IMF and European Union, have lost their luster. Czechs — whose president, Vaclav Klaus, regards the EU as a prison house of nations — hold the EU presidency. When the financial crisis hit, Irish, Brits and Germans rushed to bail out their own banks, as did Americans, who rescued Ford, Chrysler and GM, leaving Toyota, Hyundai and Honda twisting in the wind.

Barack won the African-American vote 97 percent to 3 percent over John McCain, and 90 percent to 10 percent over Hillary Clinton in the later primaries. McCain ran stronger than George W. Bush only in Appalachia, the laager of the Scots-Irish.

In Jerry Z. Muller’s “Us and Them: The Enduring Power of Ethnic Nationalism,” in Foreign Affairs, his thesis is summarized: Once ethnic nationalism has captured the imagination of groups in a multiethnic society, ethnic disaggregation or partition is often the least bad answer.”

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