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The rise of nationalism – a product of the left’s embrace of globalism – can be a benevolent force, according to this ‘wine-bar’ polemic. Nick Cohen begs to differYou must have once sat in a bar listening to an apparently informed companion. At first, they beguile you. Then the drink flows, tongues loosen, fingers wag and the evening degenerates. I have been on both sides of the table. I have wagged and been wagged at so often I know the danger signs. Nowhere are they more evident than in today’s lectures on how liberals “just don’t get it”. Yael Tamir offers an upmarket version of contemporary cliches. She is more wine bar than saloon bar, although, as the glasses are downed, the distinction between the two blurs. Tamir is from the subgenre of former or self-declared liberals and leftists. She was an anti-war activist in the Israeli Peace Now movement and like Blue Labour in Britain, the Prospect founder David Goodhart and a significant faction in the leftwing press, she speaks to liberals more in sorrow than anger. To begin with, at least. She believes nationalist movements can be exploited for social democratic aims and deliver economic patriotism and social responsibility rather than, say, attacks on foreigners and stagnation. Continue reading...