Arutz Sheva spoke to Dr. Gadi Taub, author of The Global Elites and National Citizens - the Attack of the Upper Classes on Israel's Democracy.
Around the world we’re used to defining society by dividing Right versus Left. You're saying that in this generation, the rift is to be defined differently.
“I think I'm not the only one to say that the ideological struggle is between the cosmopolitans, the globalists, and on the other hand the patriots. But the book tried to tie all this into an observation which itself is not new, between what David Goodhart called ‘the Anywheres’ and ‘the Somewheres’.
“Those who live in a cosmopolitan environment, who can take their laptop and work somewhere else whose milieu is also international, who go to international conferences and feel comfortable abroad, and those who are more strongly tied to their roots. And suppose you have a mom-and-dad hardware shop, you can’t just move it to Cincinnati tomorrow, or to Bangkok or to London. So between these two groups, I think there's a there's a struggle over the future of the nation-state, and it's customary in political thought to say that the liberals are those who oppose nationalism.
"And if you look at this differentiation, you tend to think that democracy is on the side of liberals. And what my book tried to say is that the liberals are attacking democracy, and are trying to find ways to impose liberalism from above. Because they generally think that the national citizenry is not enlightened enough to be able to get the political power that democracy grants them.
"So they don't deserve it because they are portrayed as xenophobes, they don't deserve their share in sovereignty so if you look at this struggle all around the world you see the same thing: the remainers in Britain who want to keep Britain and the UK inside the European Union have generally branded the Brexiteers xenophobes, while the Brexiteers fought very clearly to gain back control over their own democracy. So I think the main struggle is liberals who are now anti Democratic.”
Everyone wants to be global to some extent.
“No I don't think everyone wants to be global. I think people are very deeply tied to their national identity, to their language, to their heritage, to the geography of their country; and we just tend to think this is a special thing that Jews love the land of Israel - but it's not a special thing, almost all nations, probably not the Roma - the Gypsies are probably the exception - but almost all other nations are tied to a specific geography so the attack on national identity is the attack on your ties to your own tradition, in what I think we should call the right to be yourself in terms of a national identity.
“So it is these elites that are attacking the national identity and the nation-state from above by international organizations - human rights as opposed to civil rights - and from below, with the politics of identity. And almost always they support unlimited immigration, and oppose the national identity. But if you weaken the nation-state, then most of the citizens remain powerless. So in all those international structures like the EU or the UN, in these institutions only elites have power, and national citizens are defending their right to self-determination.”