To Ross Douthat of The New York Times, the idea of global citizenship is illegitimate, and the so-called ‘cosmopolitan elite’ who pride themselves on transcending petty tribal, ethnic and religious differences are themselves just another tribe—an isolated and delusional one, at that.
The Brexit vote, the rise of Trump, the emerging ascendancy of left and right-wing populism in Europe and beyond are seen by Douthat as a rebuke to the tone-deaf pretensions of the Davos crowd. He berates them for failing to see how their embrace of multiculturalism, open borders and free trade comes across to the less privileged as “self-serving cant” masking what Douthat sees as “a powerful caste’s self-serving explanation for why it alone deserves to rule the world”. At this tumultuous juncture, Douthat’s is a powerful and well-crafted argument that can’t be dismissed or ignored.
But the millions of people from around the world who support Global Citizen’s campaigns on poverty and disease eradication, gender equality and climate change would not recognize themselves in Douthat’s characterization.
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