Tagged: nativism

Hand in glove

Republican Party 1854-2016.

A nativist tradition has always had a presence in US political culture, at times lurking beneath the calm waters of regular electoral politics, at other times crashing through like a Kraken intent on the destruction of the nation.

Since 2009, the Republican Tea Party has been that mythological sea monster, initially awakened by Mr Trump’s birther fabula. Now these Republicans have again turned to Mr Trump in massive numbers. His campaign represents their best fears and worst hopes for America.


There is no “Western” model. Abstract structural processes (l’histoire quasi immobile, la longue durée, and mentalités, in the terms of the Annales School) have engulfed the world and have taken on their own dynamics in particular places. To tie them to their points of origin is to mangle the object of historical analysis. What is potentially broken — or, at best, significantly frayed — is the post-WWII Entente Cordiale (i.e., Bretton Woods and the United Nations) that established a new world economic order and legal order for managing financial crisis and political conflict (respectively). Porous borders (which are imaginary in any case) means regional problems become global problems; because borders cannot be sealed in any permanent way (the pipe dream of all contemporary nativist-populist political tendencies). Backwardness in the form of medieval monotheism or nineteenth-century nationalism is a symptom of the problem, not a solution.