Saturday, July 27, 2019

"Somewheres" and "Anywheres" Through The CJ Lens

As you can see from the last post I've finally finished publishing my book Civilisation Judas. This is quite a relief as it felt like quite a big project, and took a lot of time and effort. So it'll be nice to let it leave the nest and fly off on its own. However, there's one final thing I'd like to touch upon which relates to the themes contained within it.

In the book I proposed a new notion. What I labelled the "city aristocracy" - a class of people similar to the more familiar landed aristocracy, but that draw their status and influence from processes which occur in towns and cities.

In the first chapter I explained this distinction as follows;
The landed aristocracy are tied to their land and derive their wealth and status from it. With their power resting largely on tradition and force (the force needed to defend their territory, raise militias, maintain law and order, etc). 
However, the city aristocracy don't have vast areas of land, what they have is transferable wealth - money, gold, trade links, etc. Their power largely rests on innovation and intelligence. Unlike the landed aristocracy they are not tied to the land, but are in a position to move, and to move their wealth as well.
In the book I suggest that historically "Jewishness" was something that emerged from wider society as a consequence of this distinction. Essentially stating that the word "Jew" originally simply signified a member of this city-based social class. As opposed to a member of a separate religious or ethnic class. And that the modern distinctions, be they religious, ethnic, cultural, etc, all originally stem from this social division that naturally occurs in societies.

(This is obviously quite a novel idea which will seem strange to many people when it's first presented. However, I explain it further in the book.)

Somewheres and Anywheres

Anyway, something that would suggest that I've correctly identified a very real historic and social phenomena is the modern, and seemingly very new distinction made between "Somewheres" and "Anywheres".

These are labels that have came about as an attempt to explain the difference between "leavers" and "remainers" in the current Brexit divide. A division that doesn't seem to follow the classic left/right political divide, and that has forced pundits and writers to analyse and search for markers to distinguish each group.

The "somewhere" and "anywhere" labels seem to do this quite effectively. Which has led to their usage becoming common parlance in political debates about Brexit. (They also seem quite apt in describing the divide between Trump and anti-Trump in America, and other such modern political divisions.)

The most noted proponent of these labels is the author David Goodhart, who explains the division quite succinctly in this following Newsnight feature.

(David Goodhart;
Anywheres vs Somewheres)

It essentially states that "remainers" or open-border advocates tend to be more mobile and well educated, and lack any strong connection to a particular place - hence they are anywheres. Whereas the "leavers" or nationalists tend to be less well educated, more group-focused and more rooted to a particular place - the somewheres.

It parallels my above division of city and land quite neatly and again suggests we're dealing with a social phenomena. A divide that naturally occurs in societies due to social and economic factors. With the historical Jewish/Gentile divide, and the current leaver/remain divide, being similar manifestations of the same natural societal tendencies.

Of course, this division in reality is more of a spectrum than a hard line. Much like the naturally occurring left/right spectrum in politics. However, certain events, such as the Brexit referendum, may force people to choose a side. Highlighting this division in ways it wouldn't normally be noticed.

Comparing the Brexit divide to the historic divide between Jew and Gentile may seem an odd comparison, however, as I explain in the book. Before the modern separation of church and state, religions were the state. So religious divides were also political divides by virtue of that fact. Similarly modern Jews and Christians will not necessarily fall into these same anywhere/somewhere categories today. As modern religions are so far removed from their historic origins. Plus the wider social landscape will have changed so much since that time. In fact, most modern Israelis today will no doubt tend very much towards the somewhere category. So in many cases it may be completely reversed.

I would speculate that modern religions are in part simply legacies of earlier socio-economic movements. Though we see them as purely religious or spiritual today. Likewise we can see how, even in this supposedly secular age, political movements often take on the zeal and accoutrements of religion. Be it rainbow flags or MAGA hats.

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