The globalists’ premier weekly magazine has thrown a spear into their smug claim that they represent the open-minded, open-economy, open-society future.
The Economist‘s supposedly anonymous “Bagehot” columnist described progressives as “narcissistic cosmopolitans” as he wrote:
One of the most popular interpretations of modern politics is that it is increasingly defined by the difference between open and closed rather than left and right. Openness means support for both economic openness (immigration and free trade) and cultural openness (gays and other minorities). Closedness means hostility to these things.
The people who make the claim aren’t just engaging in dispassionate analysis. They are players who are engaged in a political battle: “closed” is used as a pejorative description (“closed-minded”) and “open” as a term of praise. There are also far too many difficult facts that do not fit into this pattern.
… there is a much better way to understand modern politics: that is through the prism of meritocracy, in particular the divide between those who pass exams and those who do not. Passing exams gives you an opportunity to enter a world that is protected from the downside of globalisation. You can get a job with a superstar company that has constructed moats and drawbridges to protect itself from global competition. You can get a position with a middle-class guild that has constructed a wall of licenses. You can get a berth in the upper-end of the state bureaucracy or a tenured job in a university.
Exam passers combine a common ability to manage the downside of globalisation with a common outlook—narcissistic cosmopolitanism—that they pick up at university and that binds them to other members of their tribe. Failing exams casts you down into an unpredictable world where you are much more exposed to global trends such as the shift of manufacturing jobs to cheaper parts of the world. Exam failers are also bound together by a common outlook on the world: anger at the self-satisfied elites who claim to be cosmopolitan as long as their job is protected, and a growing willingness to bring the whole system crashing down.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi exudes these attitudes as she describes illegal immigrants as better Americans than Americans, and as “the best of the best” or when she co-hosted a TV show where men ridicule female dress and appearance.
Nancy Pelosi made queens cry on RuPaul’s Drag Race, and inspired @KQED‘s politics and pop culture editors to come together for a back-and-forth chat about the impact of her reality TV debut. 💅🗳🇺🇲 https://t.co/yBWdu9XOge ️ pic.twitter.com/o4zCz4WrY0
— KQED Pop (@KQEDPop) March 12, 2018
Similarly, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wears these attitudes as he adopts local clothing to show empathy to non-Canadian cultures:
Is it just me or is this choreographed cuteness all just a bit much now? Also FYI we Indians don’t dress like this every day sir, not even in Bollywood. pic.twitter.com/xqAqfPnRoZ
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) February 21, 2018
The Economist article is a useful deflation of progressives’ pride and prejudice, but Professor Patrick Deneen at the University of Notre Dame also wields a sharp knife as he explains how progressives’ demand for diversity is merely a mask for snobbery and selfishness.
In his article in First Things magazine, titled “The Ignoble Lie: How the New Aristocracy Masks its Privilege,” he writes;
Our ruling class is more blinkered than that of the ancien régime. Unlike the aristocrats of old, they insist that there are only egalitarians at their exclusive institutions. They loudly proclaim their virtue and redouble their commitment to diversity and inclusion. They cast bigoted rednecks as the great impediment to perfect equality—not the elite institutions from which they benefit. The institutions responsible for winnowing the social and economic winners from the losers are largely immune from questioning, and busy themselves with extensive public displays of their unceasing commitment to equality. Meritocratic ideology disguises the ruling class’s own role in perpetuating inequality from itself.
Campaigns for equality that focus on the inclusion of identity groups rather than examinations of the [economic] class divide permit an extraordinary lack of curiosity about complicity in a system that secures elite status across generations. Concern for diversity and inclusion on the basis of “ascriptive” features—race, gender, disability, or sexual orientation—allows the ruling class to overlook [money and] class while focusing on unchosen forms of identity.
Highly touted commitments to equity, inclusion, and diversity do not only cloak institutional elitism. They also imply that anyone who is not included deserves his lower status. If elites largely regard their social status, wealth, and position as the result of their own efforts and work (and certainly not of birth or inheritance), then those who remain in the lower classes have, by the same logic, chosen to remain in such a condition.