April 07, 2004


The thing is, Knight's problem is, there isn't the fit between nationality, culture and - most nebulous of all - race that he wants and needs there to be. As Knight ruefully remarks a propos East European immigrants, being 'white' is no longer a guarantee that 'they' are 'one of us'.

The globalization Knight fears and detests actually has at least two, wholly different - even opposed - senses.

There's a telling moment when Knight learns that his job might be under threat because of a reorganization initiated by his employers' American parent company. Why doesn't Knight's lament for 'lost' Englishness become transposed into a rage against the homogenizing effects of American culture? On the face of it, Knight's anger could just as easily go in the direction of a certain version of anti-capitalism. Or: the Far Right are already anti-capitalist, since capitalism presupposes a level of multi-national miscegenation it finds intolerable. Yet Knight's reflexes are always to racialize; to blame the Jews not the Americans.

The other type of globalization Knight loathes is religious supra-nationality, the Islamic 'umma', the religious community that has no respect for national borders. This is what he fears; the Muslims owe their first affinity to their religion, not to this nation. They are Enemies within, traitors.

Posted by mark at April 7, 2004 05:08 PM | TrackBack

yeah the far-right are pretty anti-capitalist aren't they, for precisely that sort of reason.

Posted by: scott at April 7, 2004 06:03 PM