The narrow victory of the leave side in the Brexit referendum demands a profound rethinking of the liberal globalization agenda.
At one, highly disturbing level, the majority for leave was a clear victory for the nativist, often overtly racist, populist right, and a clear defeat for the economic and political elites who overwhelmingly backed the remain side. As widely noted, this underlines the lack of broad popular support for deep economic and political integration which seems to be increasingly pervasive in both Europe and the United States.
Detroit's recent bankruptcy filing led me to re-read a fine award-winning book by Thomas J. Sugrue, “The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit.” The basic argument of the book is that the crisis of that city – now a mainly black, overwhelmingly poor city, a fraction of its former size and a shadow of its former magnificence – is deeply rooted in persistent discrimination against blacks at the workplace and in housing.
It is uncertain which is more puzzling: the sudden surge in inequality in developed countries in recent times, or the failure of this to generate a sufficient response in the form of a countervailing politics.