Steve Sailer likes to promote an idea he calls citizenism, which is the general idea that a government should place the interests of its current citizens ahead of the interests of non-citizens or potential future citizens. It is pretty much what we call civic nationalism now, but a dozen years ago that meme did not exist, even though the concept has been with us since the founding of the country. The Founders certainly thought the point of government was to serve the interests of the current citizenry and their posterity.
Civic Nationalism is largely a reactionary idea today. Like various forms of socialism, it lacks a root system in the soil of the current culture. In a world in which people of European heritage are a tiny minority and increasingly minorities in their own lands, bourgeois notions of fair play and orderly debate are anachronism. We see that whenever a populist candidate or party wins power. The rules go out the window and the ruling elite goes to war with the rebels, using any means necessary to stop them.
An orderly debate about what is best for the citizens of a country is impossible because the people in the ruling elite of the West define themselves in opposition to the notion of citizenship. That’s what it means to be a post-nationalist Progressive. The whole point of it is to oppose those antiquated notions of citizenship. Those are exclusive and the new global person is open. Worse yet, citizenship is hierarchical, placing the interests of some over the interests of others. That’s probably racist.
You can get a sense of this in the response to Tulsi Gabbard’s decision to run for the Democrat nomination in 2020. Civic nationalists are programmed to think she is bad, because she makes unapproved noises about economics. They will no doubt says she is a socialist. That’s the result of being trapped in a forgotten era. None of that will matter to the people in charge, particularly those involved in Democrat politics. They see her as a threat to their conception of the new global citizen. Here’s an example.
“But Gabbard’s almost singular focus on the damage these wars inflict domestically, and her comparative lack of focus on the carnage they wreak in the countries under attack, is troubling. It is nationalism in antiwar garb, reinforcing instead of undercutting the toxic rhetoric that treats foreigners as less deserving of dignity than Americans.”
You’ll note two things that turn up in the Progressive criticism of Gabbard. One is her roots are inauthentic, as far as they are concerned. She does not have the appropriate struggle narrative. An essential element of the left-wing mindset is the assertion that only the oppressed have authenticity. Therefore, to assume a leadership position in the forever revolution of the oppressed, the leaders must have overcome oppression. Gabbard has lived the standard American middle-class life, so she can never be trusted.
The salient issue lies in that highlighted section. Gabbard’s opposition to fighting wars in the Middle East is pretty much the civic nationalist view. Those wars are not good for America or Americans. They may have some benefit to the ruling elite of the empire, but they have no benefit to Americans. Further, the people being sent to fight these wars are suffering for a cause that has no benefit to them. In other words, to sacrifice for your people is noble and heroic. To suffer for strangers is pointless.
To the ideological core of the ruling elite, this is an abnegation of who they are, which is why you will hear lots of “this is not who we are” in response to her over the coming months. Just as the Left refused to defend Sanders against attacks from the Buckley conservatives in 2016, the Left will stand silent as the warmongers of neoconservatism hint that Gabbard is an alt-right anti-semite. Her assumption that citizenship is a real thing implies that nations are real things and that’s unacceptable in a post-nationalist world.
This is why civic nationalism is a dead end movement. It’s trying to reanimate an Enlightenment concept that was killed off by the post-war cultural revolution of the last fifty years. Reviving the old notions of civic identity is about as promising as reviving the monarchy in Germany. Thinking about it is a nice escape for those struggling to face the reality of identity politics, but that’s all it is, a fantasy. The world created by the Left is a post-nationalist world and therefore a post-citizen world.
In fairness to the cosmopolitanism globalists, they are not wrong about citizenship having no place in the future West. It can continue on in the Visegrad countries that have escaped the migrant invasion, but even there it is more of a tribal response, an identity politics of an ethno-state, than civic nationalism. Otherwise, citizenship makes no sense in multicultural, multi-racial societies. Tribalism is not just part of the human condition, it is part of our biological reality, and therefore the future is some form of tribal politics.
Another glimpse of this will come from the alt-right, who will be enthusiastic supporters of Gabbard this year. They see her anti-war rhetoric as a sanitized version of their own opposition to Israel. In other words, there remains a great shallowness to the alt-right in these matters, but that shallowness is a glimpse of future politics. That is, who you are will be as much about who you oppose as who you support. Anyone familiar with the politics of Lebanon has a sense of what comes next for the multicultural democratic empire.