This story from the Beeb, as the Brits call it, is an excellent example of how globalism is eroding the nation state.
The Islamists who committed the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris should be not be described as “terrorists” by the BBC, a senior executive at the corporation has said.
Tarik Kafala, the head of BBC Arabic, the largest of the BBC’s non-English language news services, said the term “terrorist” was too “loaded” to describe the actions of the men who killed 12 people in the attack on the French satirical magazine.
Mr Kafala, whose BBC Arabic television, radio and online news services reach a weekly audience of 36 million people, told The Independent: “We try to avoid describing anyone as a terrorist or an act as being terrorist. What we try to do is to say that ‘two men killed 12 people in an attack on the office of a satirical magazine’. That’s enough, we know what that means and what it is.”
Mr Kafala said: “Terrorism is such a loaded word. The UN has been struggling for more than a decade to define the word and they can’t. It is very difficult to. We know what political violence is, we know what murder, bombings and shootings are and we describe them. That’s much more revealing, we believe, than using a word like terrorist which people will see as value-laden.”
This is an inevitable result of globalism. The BBC used to be a British company funded by British taxes. Now it is a global concern (still collecting British taxes) with more customers outside of Britain than within it. The elites running it naturally have little reason to be loyal to Britain or any other country in which they operate. Like their company, they are citizens of the world, which is a polite way of saying citizens of nowhere.
The global elites are the cloud people. They float above us, detached from language, culture and history. They have no loyalty to a country or the people and traditions of a country. It’s like the British Raj. The people in charge are fine with the rest of us engaging in our quaint customs, as long as it does not interfere with their looting of the resources. When the ground people cause trouble, then the cloud people step in to remedy it.
I suspect it is why our elites are berserk for mass immigration. At some level, the fact that clusters of people with a common ethnicity and common heritage exist is a challenge to the new post-national ideology. If Europe can be turned from a patchwork of peoples and cultures to a gray, featureless slurry devoid of cultural diversity, the elites will feel justified in their indifference to toward the people.
At other times I have used the word neo-feudalism to describe this new arrangement. The financial support of our elites comes primarily through government sanctioned skimming operations. The BBC would not exist without the British government and the British taxpayer. Much of the modern economy is simply socializing costs and privatizing profits with the former falling on the middle-class and the latter bubbling up to the elites.
Mere greed does not explain the berserk behavior with regards to immigration. It does not entirely explain why the BBC is willing to indulge in linguistic acrobatics in order to avoid describing reality. It turns out that Georg Lukács was right, but he was looking in the wrong direction. It is not the proletariat that achieved class consciousness through reification. It is the modern global elites.
The alienation that Marx and Lukács imagined as the natural result of a mechanized, material society never materialized as the lower classes always had other primary identities that trumped all else. The neighborhood, the gang, rooting for a particular football team are all ways working men give their lives meaning. No amount stuff can change that, particularly in a welfare state.
The modern global elites are formless and their dealings are entirely transactional. The rich and powerful of the Industrial Age used their wealth and power to build the cultural and political institutions of their country. They could look around them and see the envy and admiration of their tribe, they people, their country. Today’s elites hang out at Davos comparing Rolex watches and eating $50 hot dogs.
The class identity that our elites have realized is really an anti-identity. They hold the rest of us in contempt. That’s why the BBC looks for ways to poke the common Brit in the eye. It is why the NYTimes roots for whoever is fighting against the American service man, wherever he is sent to fight. It’s why elite academies keep retrograde companies like Chick-fil-A off their campus. They are who they are because they are not us.