Nationalism is a sterile mirage. We live in globalized societies that are complex and cannot retreat to autarky. People may embrace nationalism, but it is a sterile nationalism full of wishful thinking that is nowhere near the brutal antagonistic warlike nationalism of our parents and grandparents. We may be lured into thinking that it is a viable path considering the horrors of the likely future without jobs and with climate catastrophy. But it is all, like a Netflix adaptation, already globalized mythology and wishful thinking spread by Silicon Valley software on East Asian hardware. Even in the EU, europhobes cluster in the same party and celebrate each others copycat nationalism and shared hatred and fear of the unknown. Trump and Putin have a bromance that would make Churchill, Roosevelt, Hitler and Stalin frown or worse.
Still many may think that the nation offers a way forward. And it does, it is a vital ingredient in the mix, but the likely future where technology replaces labour and climate change will possibly set hundreds of millions (sometimes literally) adrift cannot be tackled by reviving a political tool that is not at all equipped to deal with global challenges.
Trump and Brexit were brought into being by reactionary forces, elderly suburban and rural people who no longer recognize their world as it sails past. They were promised a Disney type remake of their past by people interested only in victory for victory’s sake. They do have the means and the wealth to organize better than the young, and they do have the means and wealth to erect a facade and convince people that their out of date models are valid still.
It’s worse than a pity that at a time when we should be transitioning away from hydrocarbons and towards a sustainable economy where robots and software liberate us from toil, we are fighting windmills and creating a reality that Orwell would find improbable.