writes, there are already lessons to be learned:
First, democracy and advanced capitalism aren’t always compatible. Britain’s voters were asked whether they wanted to stick with a globalized system designed to increase wealth in the aggregate. The majority looked at what they were getting out of the arrangement and said no.Second, nationalism is alive. There was a time, not so long ago, when the nation-state was viewed as passé. It is not. When Britain’s leavers said they didn’t want to be governed by bureaucrats in Brussels, they meant it.Third, full labour mobility is, politically, a step too far. The conceit of the European Union was that it had erased borders — that EU citizens could travel, work and live anywhere.
Thursday’s referendum showed that a lot of Britons simply don’t agree. If the polls are right, a lot of other Europeans don’t agree either. They fear an unrestricted flood of newcomers will drive down wages. Sometimes, these fears are justified.Fourth, the refusal of centre and left parties to deal with any of this has allowed the hard right to monopolize antiglobalization sentiment. In Britain, the right dominated the leave campaign in part because there was no one else.In the United States, would-be presidential nominee Bernie Sanders articulated a centre-left critique of globalization. But his Democratic party didn’t agree. Now demagogue Republican Donald Trump has the field to himself.
The United States has its critics of globalization on both the Left and on the Right. In Britain, it was the Right that won the day. And there are lessons, too, about the kind of leadership the Right espouses:
The motives of those who voted to leave the EU in Thursday’s referendum were not always noble.Racism played a role as did plain old xenophobia. Those leading the leave campaign were hardly Churchillian. They included Nigel Farage, the odious leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party as well as former London mayor Boris Johnson, a buffoonish toff who may well end up being the country’s next prime minister.
But the most important lesson was simply this:
Global integration may serve that abstraction known as the economy. But it doesn’t always help real, flesh-and-blood people.
The lessons are there. We'll have to wait and see if people around the world are paying attention.