May 9, 2012

Localist (and potentially anti-globalist) sentiment among hipsters

It's worth keeping an eye out for what the cultural trends are among the more privileged of younger people because they can signal the beginning of sea changes. In retrospect, how Wordsworth and Coleridge felt in 1798, for instance, said a lot about how many literate Europeans would feel about various things over the next century. 

The word "locavore" was invented in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2005 to describe people who make an effort (a fetish?) to eat only food grown locally. In Brooklyn, where the climate is less propitious and land is either built-upon or toxic, this urge has mutated into people trying to eat what is manufactured locally. From Benjamin Wallace's article The Twee Party:
By Brooklyn is a small shop that opened last April on Smith Street in Carroll Gardens with the mission of selling only products made in Kings County. Among the store’s inventory, made by some 120 different vendors, are $29 “reclaimed slate” cheese boards from the Red Hook–based Brooklyn Slate Company and wee $58 terrariums from a Dumbo company called Undiscovered Worlds. 
The store itself is a kind of walk-through diorama, a snow-globe fantasy of New Brooklyn in miniature—the boroughwide artisan arms race stuffed into a storefront. There’s packaging featuring vaguely Victorian typefaces, and scents and flavors that seem simultaneously retro and contemporary: P&H Soda Co.’s lovage soda syrup, Liddabit Sweets’ beer-and-pretzel caramels, Salty Road’s bergamot saltwater taffy. There is Clinton Hill–based Early Bird granola (“gathered in Brooklyn”); Park Slope–based Brooklyn Hard Candy (“handcrafted in Brooklyn”); Gowanus-based Brooklyn Brine Co. pickles (“proudly hand-packed in Brooklyn”); and Greenpoint-based Anarchy in a Jar jam (“made with love in Brooklyn”). As much as these are variations on a theme, they’re also a theater of marketing one-upmanship. “Small-batch” Jam Stand jam from Red Hook is displayed near “very small batch” Bittermens bitters from Dumbo and that Early Bird granola, which is baked in “tiny batches.” Clearly, small is the new big. This is packaging that, as much as telling you what you’re buying, is telling you who you are—a Brooklynite of a sort scarcely imaginable ten years ago. A Breuckelenite, let’s say. 
This is not the Brooklyn on your map but a notional place consisting mainly of the western “creative crescent” that arcs from Greenpoint south to Gowanus and runs on freelance design work and single-origin, crop-to-cup pour-over coffee. It’s the Brooklyn where bodegas stock Fentimans “botanically brewed” Dandelion & Burdock soda and where the Dumbo headquarters of crafting juggernaut Etsy has air ducts literally, no joke, swaddled in crocheted cozies. It’s not the Brooklyn of Brownsville, East Flatbush, Ocean Park, Canarsie. By Brooklyn owner Gaia DiLoreto, a 37-year-old former IT worker, is black and wants to be “a role model to young black women,” she tells me. She had one intern from East New York who “knew nothing about artisanal food. An $8 candy bar was insane to her.” 
Fortunately for DiLoreto, there’s a robust audience for whom that candy bar is the very apex of civilization. Area code 718 romantics love to see their hometown’s name every time they pull something out of the fridge, to pretend a borough of 2.5 million people is a small English village, to partake of a Shop Class As Soulcraft authenticity that’s missing in their Twitter-addled, ­cubicle-drone lives, and to reassure themselves that Brooklyn is more “real” than Manhattan and not just an annex with shorter buildings. Sightseers from 212 are equally avid buyers: salving their one percent class angst, signaling their membership in the elite tribe of ethical aesthetes, shoring up their idea of Brooklyn as that exotic but taxi-accessible place where all the kooky artists and kids live and create stuff for the adults in Manhattan who actually make the world go around. And then there are the tourists who compose half of DiLoreto’s business. “Everyone loves Brooklyn,” she says. “That’s the place everyone wants to be, to have a part of, to be a part of. I want to do everything I can to leverage that.” 

The economics of all this are wildly implausible, of course. But, still ... We're talking about a change of heart, one that has been going on for some time.

The main engine is, of course, a new wrinkle in status-seeking. That localism emerged first in the San Francisco Bay Area has much to do with the fact the Bay Area is, as ex-sailor Richard Henry Dana explained to Americans in his 1840 bestseller Two Years before the Mast, just about the most favored locale for human habitation on Earth. It's not surprising that Northern Californians are building barricades of local solidarity against the rest of the world. 

Similarly, the popular buzzphrase "sustainable" is deployed today to justify various silly undertakings, but it, in essence, reflects a deeply conservative impulse.

But how does this change of heart play out in the world? Anne Applebaum complains in Slate about recent European election results:
But as I look across Europe I don't know what to call the wave of discontent, as most of the parties on the outlying right or left have more in common with one another right now than they do with anyone in the center. Generally speaking they are anti-European, anti-globalization, and anti-immigration. Their leaders, in the words of a French friend, want to "withdraw from the world." They don't like their multiethnic capital cities or their open borders, and they don't care for multinational companies or multilateral institutions.

Perhaps the future won't be contested between Left and Right but between globalist dynamists and localist sustainablists: The Economist v. Tolkien.

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

The hipster movement is just like the hippie movement -- a reaction against the horrors of progressivism.

And just like the hippie movement, so far it looks like the progressives have successfully convinced the hipsters that more progressivism is the solution.

Anonymous said...

The conservatism of this ethos isn't entirely accidental.

Shop Class As Soulcraft was written by a Straussian grad student and conservative think-tanker. Michael Pollan's work is full of references to Leon Kass's work on food.

Anonymous said...

"In retrospect, how Wordsworth and Coleridge felt in 1798, for instance, said a lot about how many literate Europeans would feel about various things over the next century. "

Please elaborate?

dearieme said...

"...they are anti-European...: oh no - they are pro-European but anti-EU. It's rather like being pro-American but anti-DC.

dearieme said...

About Wordsworth:
http://www.bartleby.com/145/ww285.html

a very knowing American said...

Probably relevant here is "steampunk." This started out as a specialized subgenre of science fiction but has now grown into a whole stylistic movement: people being nostalgic for an alternate-universe Victorian era, just as Victorians were nostalgic for an idealized Middle Ages. Don't know whether it will have much staying power.

Henry Canaday said...

Do you remember those lines from Breaker Morant:

“Don’t you want to see the world?"

“I’ve seen it.”

One suspects that localists, at least of the urban variety, are people who have already seen a lot of the world.

One dream is that New York City will eventually be able to power itself on biofuels grown within or nearly within the city limits.

Anonymous said...

Local tomatoes picked by unlocal Mexicans and working globalist companies. This is all like Marie Antoinette playing shepherdess. It's not 'conservative' but globo-aristocrats pretending to be 'real' and 'close to earth'.

Anonymous said...

Rent in Brooklyn is reasonable in comparison to salaries given that you are sacrificing floor space and modern building practices. Since you have extra money, but not enough for a fancy vacation. A car is out of the question in Brooklyn, and there are limits to the number of children that a middle class person can stuff into a small 2 bedroom apartment. Fine cloths would fit the bill here except it makes you appear like an inauthentic snob, and can get quite expensive. That leaves food, which is unfortunate as if you cook in a 150 year old tenement building you will attract roaches and will have to pay extra for the maid to clean the cooking oil off the walls. Best to eat out. Which gets you to these various new taste sensations. It is really not Manhattanites on safari, it is mostly local people within walking distance of the food seller. In Brooklyn there are hundreds of thousands of people within walking distance of your food stall.

The internet also made many local stores redundant, so what replaced the local appliance store, the local fancy food sensation store.

How good is the food? Somewhat spotty. So you aren't missing anything, but some of these businesses will catch the same lightning rural Ben and Jerry's did.

Look you can buy a genuine Brooklyn made knife: http://cutbrooklyn.com/

One amusing anecdote for the non New Yorkers. Totally hip Williamsburg sits right on top the worlds largest oil spill. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenpoint_oil_spill

Although you wouldn't know it except for some of those gas flares you see near Newton creek. Sometimes a larger oil spill unseats WIlliamsburg/Greenpoint, but then is washed away by the tides.

David Davenport said...

... A car is out of the question in Brooklyn, and there are limits to the number of children that a middle class person can stuff into a small 2 bedroom apartment. ... That leaves food, which is unfortunate as if you cook in a 150 year old tenement building you will attract roaches and will have to pay extra for the maid to clean the cooking oil off the walls. Best to eat out. Which gets you to these various new taste sensations. It is really not Manhattanites on safari, it is mostly local people within walking distance of the food seller. In Brooklyn there are hundreds of thousands of people within walking distance of your food stall.

Sounds like Hell on Earth, not appealing at all.

Rohan Swee said...

Their leaders, in the words of a French friend, want to "withdraw from the world."

Is there anything more tiresome than this globalist's favorite straw man? Because I want to enjoy the privacy and comfort of my own home and family does not mean that I want to "withdraw" from my neighbors and civic life. Because I have the basic human desire to live in a coherent and meaningful culture that is mine does not mean I want to "withdraw" from exchange with the rest of mankind.

Christ these homunculi are a weariness to the spirit.

Auntie Analogue said...

"Localism" in the U.S. is, I suspect, nothing more than social-cultural liberals acting on their subscription to the notion "Think Globally, Act Locally." To cultivate and prepare their trendy locavore chow and kitschy gewgaws they still have to use and buy electricity and gas from colossal corporations - and their ISP and cell phone and cable-sat-TV subscriptions are with huge mega-media conglomerates, and they buy their AppleSoftHewlettPackage electronics the way you and buy ours, from Best Buy and Staples, not from some fly-by-night loca-volt Indian-immigrant/second-gen computer stall. Not to mention all the other goods these "localists" buy from shopping on the internet. And don't kid yourselves: they fly on the Big Silver Polluter Birds to their Disney World-Caribbean-Cancun-CostaRican-Thailand vacations (and, as likely, to their Stop Global Warming International Conferences) as much as anyone else flies the Big Silver Polluter Birds - but then they get all preachy-pious about how wonderful, earth-saving, whale-saving mass transit simply must be imposed upon and paid for by all those wicked wasteful car-dependent suburbanites. It's always the trendy who cannot see, let alone admit to, their own enormous hypocrisies.

[enter username here] said...

Great Andrew Sullivan parody. But wishfully projecting Conservatism onto cohabiting corporate-hippies in artsyville has been done; next try something more challenging, like the Khmer Rouge, and work in an Auden quotation or maybe Erasure lyrics

Anonymous said...

Nostalgia's a box-office winner any time, any place. During the Heat-Knicks game Budweiser ran their crappy ad featuring telegenic gay guys miming Eisenstaedt which morphs into a multiracial block party/rave (meant to be "the 90s" I gather). The microbrew/artisan-granola revolution is just more globalism-assisted hypermechanized nostalgia--which of course Wallace (and you) noted above. I wouldn't put money on these trucker-hatted Gawker-reading folks vs. angry radical Muslims. Didn't you link before to the Vanity Fair piece about po-mo cannibalization? We've exhausted the Western cultural model and the path of least resistance is fashioning intricate virtual pasts.

bjdubbs said...

http://boniverotica.tumblr.com/

I’m at the farmer’s market with Bon Iver. We can’t decide which artisan cheese we like the most! We propped our bicycles against a bush and made love by the creek and then had raspberry pie.

The writer of these hilarious scenarios is this lady:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3S4e6CQzmRE

Anonymous said...

why have you not written about the anti-austerity AND anti-immigration political parties rising in europe?


http://www.npr.org/2012/05/03/151915923/angry-voters-could-change-makeup-of-greeces-parliament


I think I know why...

candid_observer said...

I had been curious about the scene at Williamsburg, and, as it happened, had a reason to visit and revisit it a number of times a couple of months ago.

I have to say my reaction was: what a dump. Gray, grimy, shabby, almost every last denizen dressed head to toe in black, including both the hipsters and the Hasidim.

Not exactly Paris.

peterike said...

There is nothing inherently wrong with the locavore movement, the desire for organic and sustainable foods, or bringing back -- Jaysus! -- manu-fucking-facturing to Brooklyn, on however small a scale. This is all good stuff. Very good stuff, in fact.

Unfortunately, these hipster dipshits will never connect the dots of how rampant, unchecked immigration and the population growth it causes will forever doom their visions of "a sustainable planet," or for that matter a sustainable Brooklyn. Guess what, hipsters: the Mexicans, Africans, Chinese, etc. don't give a flying dog-burger about the environment, other than "how many people can you cram into a bedroom."

I always felt that much of the anger in 70s punk music was accurately directed at the products of Liberal modernism, but the dumb sods making the music could see only the symptoms, not the cause. And naturally they pimped for more of the same. Left, Left, ever Left. (Remember how the punks slagged off factory jobs? Demeaning! Inhumane! How we would love those factory jobs now.)

The Brooklynites in question (99.7% white, incidentally) do the same. They recognize the symptoms but chalk up all the problems to Republicans or Christers or whatever, and then go vote for the same old schmucks who continue to bury us in third-world riff raff. And, of course, you gotta be all for gay marriage and shit. Social issues rule the day in Brooklyn, WAY more than you can imagine if you're not from there or a similar place.

The sad truth is that the Republicrats and Demicans use social issues as catnip to distract the voters and pit them against each other, while they rob us blind. The only political cure for regional social-issue conflict is the original cure: Federalism. Let the states set the rules, as they were meant to. New York can happily be Gay Sodom, but maybe South Carolina feels different. Let them both take their own path.

Only we all "know" that "states rights" is kkk-code for lynchin' Negroes, so this idea ain't gonna fly.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

peterike - nice work.

1. I'm more of a locabibber, buying locally-brewed beers to help out a neighbor. NH has only a few, so I have to compromise with VT, ME, and MA beers.

2. There used to be a Wired column watch on what Japanese schoolgirls were buying, as a predictor of the future. It seemed to work for quite a while.

3. Tolkien was sort of an Anarcho-Monarchist.

4. Steampunk has lasted 2+ decades already, though it remains specialised. I think it represents a real desire on the part of some young hipsters for a World That Should Have Been Possible, Dammit. Its appeal is almost entirely to high-intellect folk, so it may be worth contemplating where this will lead us.

Anonymous said...

Austerity vs stimulus. Liberals controlling terminology again. 'Stimulus' sounds positive and proactive, 'austerity' sounds stark and punishing.

The real terms we should use is 'responsibility' vs 'profligacy'.
But conzo dummies will go with the liberal choice of terminology.

We should say we are not for 'austerity'. We are for responsibility.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, rich people are still physical beings who must exist in a given location of space-time, so they like to prettify the places they live to make them comfortable for themselves. The spectacular great cities of Europe were created by centuries of wealthy patrons of the arts giving fortunes to famous artists to create majestic public works or art.

But the elites are far more cosmopolitan than the common people, because they travel in muuch larger circles on business and come in contact with lots of different people from around the World.

There is another reason why the elites are cosmopolitan: in general, rich people tend to be smart people, and with high intelligence comes an openess to new ideas and experiences. A mediocre man can live his entire life content with his local community and never want to explore beyond it. But the smart man ponders what is beyond, and seeks to acquire new knowledge and experiences. Also, intelligent people tend to be empathetic to a high degree, and wirh this empathy comes a tendency to judge people more for who they are as an individual rather than what country they were born or who their ancestors were. The criteria of individual character just srtrikes intelligent people as being a more rational and just way of asserting the value of an individual than the country he was born into or his ethnicity.

But Steve Sailer should love the French. The French, when you think about it, are the last thing standing to globalisation. The French insist on their Frenchness despite all odds. Paradoxically, the French have always been very, very nice to foreigners - which is why Paris has always been a hotbed for artists, writers and novelists - despite their nationalism. But they insist on their French language. The French have acquired a reputation for rudeness among Americans, but that is because Americans insist on asking them questions in English. That is HIGHLY insulting to the French. When you ask them for directions in French and make it clear that you are a foreigner, they are actually very polite.

But the French are losing the war against globaslisation. They are the "last man standing" in the West. Great Britain is multi-ethnic and globalised. Germany is as much Turkish as it is German. Italy is a mess and full of Gypsies and Eastern Europeans. Spain is taken over by Tunisians and Chinese. The French have a ton of Arabs, but they insist on not being multiethnic but French. French parents watch in horror as their kids prefer McDonald's greese rather than filet mignon with béarnaise sauce and sautéd potatoes. The French are losing. Badly. But they keep on fighting.....

hipster moonshine and malt liquor company said...

"'Localism' in the U.S. is, I suspect, nothing more than social-cultural liberals acting on their subscription to the notion 'Think Globally, Act Locally.'"

Actually, it's also a social control tool. Urban 'creative' liberals come in two types. The successful/professional type and slackerish/bummish type. Those who are 'creative' with finance, law, medicine, and computers tend to do much better than those creative in the 'humanities', 'performance art', and some such shit.
Occupy Wall Street movement isn't really about right vs left but successful creative liberals vs unsuccessful creative liberals.
NY has its successful lawyers, accountants, financiers, doctors, and tech folks. But it has A LOT of creative progressive folks who graduated with huge college loan debt and degrees in stuff like photography, theater, or ceramics. They aint gonna find a job, especially in the globalized economy where much of American economy is outsourced(by creative globalist liberals). So, this may lead to a lot of poor unsuccessful creative liberals(who wait tables and work as bartenders--if they're lucky, as many are unemployed)getting angry at the successful creative liberals. And this may lead to the worsening of the OWS movement. This will give the whole lie to liberal elites being such wonderful people working for 'equality' and 'fairness'.

So, the slackerish creative libs gotta be given to do.. and so comes in 'localism'. If they 'locally' produce some niche product to be marketed to successful creative liberals in SF and NY, some of the successful creative liberal wealth will trickle down to the unsuccessful creative liberal types.
Thus, the facade of successful creative liberals and unsuccessful creative liberals are maintained. Yuppie gets along with the neo-hippie. And slackerish localists who make special chocolate can feel 'pride' in having created not just any chocolate but special fit for a king. It's all very funny. These are all 'progressives' but devoted to making stuff for special tastes of the uber rich.

Anonymous said...

It's like Hollywood liberals have created this vast global movie industry feeding everyone the same thing and raking in gazillions for themselves... BUT they also attend Sundance festivals to support the 'worthy little guy' making local indie movies.

Anonymous said...

"The Brooklynites in question (99.7% white, incidentally) do the same. They recognize the symptoms but chalk up all the problems to Republicans or Christers or whatever, and then go vote for the same old schmucks who continue to bury us in third-world riff raff."

That may be but if you're gonna sell to urban liberals, you better be politically correct cuz the haute liberal rich will not buy from someone who opposes immigration and 'gay marriage'. So, even if you're conservative, you have to stay in the closet.

jody said...

LOL. why don't they just stick to what every guy above age 20 has done since forever: figure out what the local beers are and pick one of them to drink.

personally when i used to go to new york city every month i liked to drink brooklyn chocolate stout, although brooklyn brewery made a lot of different good beers.

speaking of that, arizona ice tea is made right there in long island, pretty close to brooklyn. never saw a hipster drinking it though. exactly the opposite. seen everybody but hipsters drinking those excellent 1 dollar, ice cold cans.

peterike said...

That may be but if you're gonna sell to urban liberals, you better be politically correct cuz the haute liberal rich will not buy from someone who opposes immigration and 'gay marriage'. So, even if you're conservative, you have to stay in the closet.

No wonder my Lil' Pickaninny Gourmet Chocolates didn't sell! Here's hoping my Hoppy Homo Pale Ale does better.

Yes, I agree with you. An "outed" conservative would fail miserably, no matter how tasty his wares. My point was that the liberals fail to see the disconnects and contradictions among their own beliefs. Which is not surprising, since they don't really have "beliefs," they only have emotional postures. In such a mindscape, contradictions don't exist. Black makes white whiter, white makes black blacker.

atoz said...

I asked a SWPL. He said he buys local to reduce his carbon footprint and to stick it to the corporations by supporting local small businesses.

Anonymous said...

Urban 'creative' liberals come in two types. The successful/professional type and slackerish/bummish type. Those who are 'creative' with finance, law, medicine, and computers tend to do much better than those creative in the 'humanities', 'performance art', and some such shit.

Finance, law, medicine aren't "creative" fields.

Anonymous said...

"Finance, law, medicine aren't "creative" fields."

That's why I put 'creative' in quotes. Traditionally, they wouldn't be considered creative, but meanings change, and 'creative' now applies to any educated urban yuppie or some such who into the neo-lifestyle.

Check the Atlantic Monthly article by some guy named Gross(?) who talks about how the 'creative' class isn't into homes and on the move.

Simon in London said...

Tolkien has the Hobbits, but The Economist has the Orcs. And there are a lot more Orcs.

I'm not sure that localist vs globalist is likely to be the main conflict; the globalists are so much more powerful - leftist NGOs are on the same side as multinational corporations.

Liberty vs Control is a major issue that splits the Globalist side. Eg as someone who favours liberty, I can read the libertarian Marxists of Spiked! and agree with 90% of what they're saying, when they object to Britain's totalitarian police state or the human-hating Green/Warmist ideology. But of course they are committed to free movement of peoples/uncontrolled immigration, and their faith in industrialisation opposes them to localists who often see Green/Warmist ideology as favouring their cause.

Simon in London said...

"Finance, law, medicine aren't "creative" fields."

Yes. IME my (mostly non-white) law students are very conservative and despise 'hipsters'.

Anonymous said...

No.
The battle will be between puffed-up, arrogant political elitists (who think they are smart, but they are not), being lead by the nose like cattle by such rags as 'The Economist' and the WSJ (you see, it proves they are 'smart' and 'informed' - elitists are vain and shallow before anything else), and the broad general mass of the population who have finally rumbled them and their ridiculous lies.
It used to be called 'horse sense' ie the almost instinctive ability to see through lies, obsfuscation and puffed up verbosity shem-academicism masquerading as wisdom, that is the natural gift of a large portion of the good ol'fashioned blood and soil working class who actually toil for a living.
As the great artist and mystic Austin Osman Spare once put it "If you want to know the truth, ask a Cockney".

Cockneys were of course the indigenous working class population of London, now more or less extinct.
They were the people who marched in support of Enoch Powell back in '68.

ATBOTL said...

It's a little known fact that The Economist is written by Satan Himself.

Anonymous said...

http://youtu.be/PPkoxox3sb0

[enter username here] said...

Hmm, actually I see Sullivan criticized the defenestration of title-mocker Naomi Schaefer Riley... I underestimated him there. Well he may be insane but he's no pushover

OT bleachers said...

Was taken aback by Ebert's nonconformist Passion of the Christ review at the time. Talk about going against the grain... I didn't figure him for one of those guys who is ultra-PC yet actually a deductive (?) supporter of it. Totally wrong but formidable, in other words.

Anonymous said...

Asst. Village Idiot, White Birch Brewing in Hooksett. I had their Tripel fermented in pinot noir barrels up in Jackson at White Mountain Cider Company. Tremendous!

ben tillman said...

Unfortunately, these hipster dipshits will never connect the dots of how rampant, unchecked immigration and the population growth it causes will forever doom their visions of "a sustainable planet," or for that matter a sustainable Brooklyn.

Garrett Hardin: "In a less than perfect world, the allocation of rights based on territory must be defended if a ruinous breeding race is to be avoided."

Svigor said...

"Localism" in the U.S. is, I suspect, nothing more than social-cultural liberals acting on their subscription to the notion "Think Globally, Act Locally."

I like "Think Globally, Act Locally." If taken seriously, it would mean Whites acting like a minority, which they are. It would mean reciprocity with nations like China and Mexico, rather than treating Chinese and Mexicans in America as if they only came into existence after they crossed the border. It would mean realizing that the world's largely a dump, and importing it is a bad idea.

Of course, that's a pretty big "if."

Rohan Swee said...

There is another reason why the elites are cosmopolitan: in general, rich people tend to be smart people, and with high intelligence comes an openess to new ideas and experiences. A mediocre man can live his entire life content with his local community and never want to explore beyond it. But the smart man ponders what is beyond, and seeks to acquire new knowledge and experiences.

Cosmopolitanism and the modern cult of "multiculturalism" and "globalism" are not the same thing. An organic "globalization" has been going on since the dawn of man, and the "cosmopolitan" experience has been available to the curious and the able ever since human beings started setting up cities and trading among them. All the high points of civilization have provided the necessary conditions for such "international" creative flow, and nobody had to mandate quotas, or send out the thought-police to enforce its tenets. It is the antithesis of the sterile tyranny of multiculturalism, which is not a natural creative exchange but a mess of false and contradictory dogmas enforced by bullies and mediocrities.

Proponents of multiculturalism (who, as has been noted, are often frightfully ignorant and uncultured people themselves) like to conflate the two concepts for their own philistine ends.

Also, intelligent people tend to be empathetic to a high degree, and wirh this empathy comes a tendency to judge people more for who they are as an individual rather than what country they were born or who their ancestors were.

Again it seems as if you are trying to force a false dichotomy: one can understand and appreciate natural or cultural differences, and the importance of kin and culture to human life, or one can appreciate people as individuals. But there is no either/or here. (Seriously, are there really people out there for whom this is some kind of social rocket-science?)

If you'd examine you're own description of the French, you'd see where your error lies. There is nothing "paradoxical" about the French being both cosmopolitan and intensely particular in their identity.

Mr. Anon said...

"Perhaps the future won't be contested between Left and Right but between globalist dynamists and localist sustainablists: The Economist v. Tolkien."

The Economist as Sauron - that sounds about right. The Economist is sort of a great big gay, british, pin-striped Sauron.

Dahinda said...

In areas like the area of rural Illinois that I live in, the local movement can really help the economy. It is really not much different than the Buy American movement. What is ruining it is the hipster, tree huggin a-holes who see it as a moral thing not a business or economic thing. Being sustainable means less reliance on foriegn oil and less cancer among rural populations. Most farmers are getting by on government subsidies, not the money they make on the crops that they grow. This money is needed to buy all of the chemicals and fuel used in agriculture and is basically welfare (ironic - since most of the farmers are anti welfare Republicans!). Going back to basics and being sustainable, and doing it on a small scale, selling your produce locally, keeps more money in the farmer's pocket, costs taxpayers less, and helps local economies. There is a reason that Amish farms are the most profitable farms in the US!

Jim Bowery said...

I'm not so sure this hipster localism isn't just another case of "conservatism for me, not for thee" that seems to permeate New York City's struggle to for supremacy.

Speaking of which, I haven't noticed any mention here of the trend in movies to portray the protectors of New York City (and its fictionalized embodiments such as Gotham) as white superheros. I think I've even noticed a blond man in a role other than child molester, sociopath, femme gay and/or fool in these movies, as they portray Ayn Rand's sentiment when she said:

"I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York's skyline. Particularly when one can't see the details. Just the shapes. The shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over New York and the will of man made visible. What other religion do we need? And then people tell me about pilgrimages to some dank pesthole in a jungle where they go to do homage to a crumbling temple, to a leering stone monster with a pot belly, created by some leprous savage. Is it beauty and genius they want to see? Do they seek a sense of the sublime? Let them come to New York, stand on the shore of the Hudson, look and kneel. When I see the city from my window - no, I don't feel how small I am - but I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body."

― Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

Of course, one can also go over to the middle east and suffer permanent brain damage in service of neocons if one wants to purge one's self of the scourge of white maleness.

Anonymous said...

Diversity for the masses means more diverse peoples listening, watching, and eating the same thing: rap, Hollywood, and Big Mac.

Diversity for the elites means what they have that no one else can have.

Localism is 'nationalism of taste'. Since nationalism based on culture, race, and territory is a no-no, something has to satisfy the naturally tribal heart of man. And for liberal elites, it is localism where they get to taste special 'our chocolate' that others won't have access to. But since these pricy items are produced by 'slackerish creative' types using 'indigenous' sources, elites can pretend they are for the 'little guy', the David against the Goliath. What's happening is David is slinging fancy chocolate to Goliath elites with their mouths open.

Marc B said...

"Perhaps the future won't be contested between Left and Right but between globalist dynamists and localist sustainablists"

For that too happen, liberals will have to move away from their post modern leftism/ cosmopolitanism and push against UN Agenda 21, a global initiative being instituted on a local level that interferes with their buy grow/buy local ethos. Conservatives will have to turn their backs on Neoconservativism and stop filling their homes with Chinese crap from Wal Mart. I gladly pay a premium for US manufactured craft items that are solidly built and locally raised meat and organic produce instead of factory farmed, GMO garbage.

ATBOTL said...

When the "hipster" moment started, there was a strain of white racial consciousness involved for at least some of the people. A lot of the earlier hipsters were people who didn't want to take fashion cues from blacks or listen to nothing but rap music(what all the other white people their age were doing circa 1999).

Difference Maker said...

Being smarter does make one more worldly and empathetic, but one need not adopt the perverse emotionalism and effeminacy of hipsters

Ad the Scotch Irish helpfully remind us, the great nations of old were built by unabashedly chauvinistic males

Anonymous said...

"I asked a SWPL. He said he buys local to reduce his carbon footprint and to stick it to the corporations by supporting local small businesses."

So, it's a backlash against Walmartization... but these kids who don't wanna leave 'carbon footprints'--who came up with that gay term?--get their info from organizations funded by major globalists like Soros and Google boys.

Anonymous said...

"He said he buys local to reduce his carbon footprint."

You know... there has to be a lot of dumb Swipples out there. How about we make a killing by marketing 'anti-carbon footprint shoes' to these idiots?

Anonymous said...

Hey, who wants to buy a pair of Air Carbons?

Anonymous said...

Re: "Perhaps the future won't be contested between Left and Right but between globalist dynamists and localist sustainablists: The Economist v. Tolkien."

No, it will be Chris Christie and Marco Rubio vs. Obama and Bloomberg.

Anonymous said...

Reply to Anonymous at 7:57 PM:

There is yet ANOTHER reason why the rich tend to be pro-cosmopolitan, which you don't mention.

They are wealthy enough to live in very safe and very nice neighborhoods far away from the diversity they supposedly "claim" to "love". Actions speak louder then words.

Rohan Swee said...

Mr. Anon: The Economist as Sauron - that sounds about right. The Economist is sort of a great big gay, british, pin-striped Sauron.

Well, if you'll permit me to go all Tolkien nerd, wouldn't a great, big, gay, British, pin-striped Saruman be the precise analogy?

But at any rate on board with the Sauron, Inc. program(me) of breeding orcs for cheap earth-raping labor.

Anonymous said...

there is nothing conservative or anti-globalist about this. This so called localism is just a subset of rituals of the modern Leftist secular religion, along with recycling, hiring minorities, worshipping the UN, taxing people to death etc. It is **revolutionary**, not conservative. And you can probably find some Soros and his ilk funding behind the promotion of this as well. In the battle between globalist thieves with globalist fascists (think Soros) the localist carrion eating birds are sure to eventually emerge victorious, regardless of what we or these dumb hipsters might think or do.

Anonymous said...

As a Northern Californian who moved to Williamsburg years ago, I read this post with great pleasure and recognition.

I have to say my reaction was: what a dump. Gray, grimy, shabby, almost every last denizen dressed head to toe in black, including both the hipsters and the Hasidim.

Should've seen it in the mid-90s, before everything got rezoned and cleaned up! It was glorious.

Now of course ben tillman is right. There is a whole range of facts that you can't ever mention. But like the ant, the Army Corps of White Bohemia does not need to know what it is doing as it reclaims the the violent, drug-ravaged wasteland. It's beautiful to watch.

Mr. Anon said...

"Rohan Swee said...

Well, if you'll permit me to go all Tolkien nerd, wouldn't a great, big, gay, British, pin-striped Saruman be the precise analogy?"

Yes, you are right - that is probably the more apt analogy.