Saturday, April 01, 2017

Burning the candle at both ends

Thanks to David Goodhart we have a new way of bifurcating entire complex societies into separate polarised tendencies: the somewheres and the anywheres.

Over-simplified of course, but let’s run with it...

Right now the revolt of the somewheres against free trade, free movement, free bathroom choice and so on is in full flow.

And it appears to be posing a significant threat to democratic life in the developed world — precisely because it is taking place through the medium of democratic institutions.

But before we had the revolt of the somewheres, we had the underhand, barely visible machinations of the anywheres, which had (and continue to have) as much potential for disrupting democracy — precisely because they deliberately bypass the medium of democratic institutions.

How you respond to Theresa May's notorious remark that  “If you believe you are a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere”, depends to a large extent on which of these two anti-democratic tendencies is currently causing you the most anxiety. 

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