What I Find Contemptible

As I said, I don’t despise people who are disturbed by globalization. I don’t despise people who can’t just “pick up and move.” I don’t despise people who can’t speak several languages, make good money, or beat addiction.

But I do despise – with a passion that scares me sometimes – folks who say “I’m not going to read Williamson because he’s a libertarian / he writes for National Review / I read a quote from him on Twitter that sounded offensive. It’s perfectly fine not to read Williamson, of course. Everybody should choose their own reading matter based on their preferences. But making these huffy statements about rejecting people who are not sufficiently ideologically pure is, in my view, contemptible.

4 thoughts on “What I Find Contemptible”

  1. So: is there a nation state situation of the past that you recommend or would it be still to come? I mean: any part of Europe, pre or post EU? US in any period, before NAFTA / etc.? Globalization really got popular with the end of the Berlin Wall and the USSR, and Fukuyama’s idea of the end of history . . . and the US seems to have thought great, now our corporations can take over while offshoring themselves and evading all laws and taxes. I’m an internationalist, not a globalist, I’m not necessarily opposed to the liberal nation-state in all its forms, but it’s got limits too . . . especially now that there are all these climate refugees and will be more (you know El Salvador has almost no drinking water in some areas, this kind of thing is going to get more and more massive)


    1. There’s no nation state to come, that’s for sure. I liked the nation-state model when it came up with the idea of welfare and developed that idea. Then the 1980s came, neoliberalism won, globalization accelerated, and welfare started to die out. That I don’t like.

      Yes, massive migratory flows – both physical and not – that try (and always fail) to catch up with capital will increase. They will increase whether we chant “build the wall” or “no human being is illegal.” We will all feel the effects. Do you love the place where you have to live? That’s the price you are paying. As we all are. Academics know how hard it is better than many times because we have no choice but to flit around. Sadly, this isn’t making us much more understanding of how much suffering this way of life causes to others.


      1. Well — in Europe the full-on welfare state is post-45, and in US it’s a little earlier, with the New Deal, but the creation of welfare is what a lot of the 19th century unrest was about, so guess they come together. If the nation-state is over — and I have been worried about this for at least 25 years — I wonder how else there can be a basis for welfare.

        Being from the Americas, a place where the modern nation state concept was gestated, and also the first transnational corporations also took root, I don’t necessarily see the nation state as all powerful or as not overpowered by capital. It still looks to me as though this nation state, at least, is strong enough and rich enough to have welfare etc., and cooperate usefully internationally, if it has interest in any of this.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.