In recent years, the term ‘globalist’ has become a favourite among populists and the anti-establishment media. Politicians from Donald Trump to Viktor Orbán to Giorgia Meloni have used the word to describe what they are against — but does it actually mean anything?
More controversially, critics of the term also claim it has anti-Semitic connotations. Dating back to WWII, they argue that the word is a reference to Jewish people having allegiances not to their countries of origin, but to a global conspiracy. Just yesterday, Jewish groups came out to criticise Nigel Farage for labelling the new Home Secretary Grant Shapps, who is Jewish, a “globalist”.
We caught up with Israeli political philosopher Yoram Hazony, an expert on nationalism, to see if he finds the term useful or problematic.
He explained to UnHerd: “The term “globalism” is a useful shorthand for referring to “the rules-based international order” or “liberal internationalism.” These somewhat cumbersome terms describe the post-1989 consensus that sought to establish a single worldwide market governed by a single worldwide legal system established by international bodies rather than by independent national states. In other words, “globalism” is the opposite of “nationalism”—which is the way I use the term.”
And does he think the term is anti-semitic?
“No, it’s not. The overwhelming majority of time, “globalism” is used to express a concept in political theory, international relations, and political economy. In its normative usage, it has no anti-Semitic valence…”
The philosopher goes further, saying that attempts to banish particular words is part of a wider attempt to suppress certain ideas, and must be resisted.
“The woke neo-Marxist cultural revolution is not only interested in “canceling” individuals. They want to “cancel” and prohibit the use of any word or expression that is useful in advancing a conservative worldview,” Hazony says.
“If the woke had their way, words like “globalist” and “nationalist” would be cancelled, blacklisted. And once that happens, it will become impossible for us to present our views on the contest between a global order and an order of nation-states. That’s what our opponents want: They want to make it impossible for us to express our views because the very words that we need to say what we think will have been eliminated from legitimate speech.”