The young of today find themselves in the artificial globalism of the modern world. Traditional identities no longer matter if one has the ability to travel and get cheap rates on their mobile phone. Laughably, despite this, the young are still seen as politically and socially radical in some way. This supposed radicalism of the young has given place to a pathetic acceptance of neoliberal globalisation. At university today, we hear the modern left support staying in the EU (an institution founded on the principles of neoliberalism) and accepting this moronic idea of a “globalised world”, which we must be citizens of. National identity or ethnic tribalism, well these are racist. How about localism and economic independence, well these are isolationist and probably proto-fascistic. Such are the responses of today’s radical youth.
Universities are full of this kind of nonsense. Instead of understanding the welfare-warfare state and modern globalism as the cause of much of the ills of today, leftists instead navel-gaze into their own safe spaces and exclude anyone who disagrees with them. Issues of identity amongst people are swept under the rug in favour minoritarianism. Nothing, it seems, is more important than inclusivity for trans-people or any other concocted identity. The internationalisation of the individual has led to this strange paradigm. Instead of being proud of where one is from, most young people can’t wait to escape it, and instead move to the cultural homogeneity and soul-crushing uniformity of the large city.
Pride in one’s identity of ethnicity, locality and nationality are increasingly seen as reactionary foolishness by much of today’s youth. In its place is the vapid identity of where one works, what gender one identifies as or, in the case of lad culture, how much sex one has and how much one can drink. This is perfect for corporate power, which runs unaccountable to anybody. As Keith Preston has noted, we’ve seen the combination of this corporate globalism with the internationalisation of the individual. One must be inclusive of everyone, except for those deemed unacceptable and in need of exclusion.
Its not surprising that university’s have been the breeding ground of this. Nonsense identities are allowed to fester, while the neoliberalisation of universities has become the norm. While students may protest it, they don’t actually provide an alternative outside of “free education” or opposing particular forms of liberalisation in universities. And that’s because they can’t, as most have accepted the logic of globalism, that of a world citizenry where everyone is imbued with particular “human rights”. People can’t hold onto their natural identities or cultural inclinations, as they are destroyed by the twin paradigms of neoliberalism and totalitarian humanism. This is particularly clear with tribal identities in much of the developing world. Instead of being protected and nurtured, they are decried as being reactionary and anti-development, thus opposing some sort of historical progressivism.
Even in the Western world, such can be seen in many towns and villages in England affected by mass immigration. The rural character of most English villages was informed by a deep connection between the community and the farmer. Young people went out to do seasonal work with the gentleman farmers and landowners, and the culture was adapted and constantly revitalised for each generation. But with globalisation and the EU, our traditional farming has been destroyed by the stupidity of out-of-season food imports and non-local farming practices (both of which are massive contributors to climate change). But with the advent of the centralised welfare state (which encourages apathy among the young), the desire for urbanisation and the mysticism of a university degree and a corporate job, this cultural paradigm has been destroyed. Instead, farmers rely on massive subsidisation through the common agricultural policy and the importation of workers from Eastern Europe. An English culture of tradition has been destroyed for the sake of globalisation.
But I don’t think this is the end. While young people in universities are either obsessed with a corporate job or with their petty identity, the increasing fragility of the indebted economy means that these things are becoming increasingly frail. Many of the young people that still live in English villages and towns are not the pathetic young progressives of the 21st century but instead the harbourers of these dying traditions. They want to live and work in these towns, not abandon them for the vagaries of city-life. To maintain these traditions, we need to move toward the patchwork England of multiple identities and economies that existed (to an extent) in the aftermath of the English Civil War.
We need to push against globalism through forms of identitarian agorism. Creating local, alternative economies informed by the desires of those who live there (as already seen in the Transition Towns network), allowing for local businesses to predominate and hire within the community, is highly important. EU farming subsidies need to be ended, and the control of migration given over to cities and counties who can decide who stays and leaves through forms of social hierarchy and local democracy. Freedom of association would be paramount. This allows for the redevelopment of that English culture as decisions are kept at the local level. Parallels can be made with the radical tradition of the clubmen, who emerged near the end of the English Civil War. In the urban centres, universities and economies need to be reoriented toward the local area. Universities should not to continue to rely on massive corporate investment but rather on local reinvestment and partnerships with local political organisations and firms. A return to the cities’ corporate charters, with their guilds and incorporated interests, would mean economies led and directed in the interests of local people, rather than shareholders and international investors. Urban farming means a maintenance of food independence and a local culture of farming and work. Similar ideas and practices were seen among the Levellers in the major English cities. Altogether, it means a turn toward economic independence away from the forces of globalism.
This system provides a real identity for young people. Rather than the vagueness of a sexualised society and cultural decay, young people can actually belong to a shared community and nation. The heterogeneity of what I’m proposing recognises differences between communities and localities, but also allows for the development of a shared nationhood where desired. Such has been a defining characteristic of English nationality. Local decision-making actually has accountability, and can be opened to necessary change through direct action. This cannot be reasonably done with the state. Thus in recommending agorism, the state should be ignored, and in its place spaces of freedom and voluntary association created that pushes against both globalisation and the identity crisis it has engendered. This way, young people are given a natural, organic identity developed out of radical tradition and history, instead of one fashioned from the excrescences of our market society.