Sunday, May 04, 2014

Minority report

"Cosmopolitan critics, men who are the friends of every country save their own."

So said Benajmin Disraeli. On the one hand I would tend to disagree and claim to be a friend of every other country as much as of my own.  But that of course is the contrarian curmudgeon that I am.

All of this comes from the interesting work done in the Untied Kingdom by the Populus polling organization. They recognized that the conventional typologies based on the political 'left' or 'right', a demoscopy based on age, income, education or place of residence, needed to be abandoned and replaced with something more qualitatively relevant to the twenty-first century. The BBC explains it all very well here.

The newly defined political tribes are listed in the illustration above and when I did the online test the result was that I fitted to 97% in the cohort of Cosmopolitan Critics.

Now it doesn't worry me to find myself in a very small 9% minority, a fate shared by those wallowing in Comfortable Nostalgia. I am, after all, in Germany also a member of a tiny minority of assimilated Scots. Nor does the opinion of Disraeli worry me overmuch. But it is the use of the term Cosmopolitan that irks me a bit. Often this word has had pejorative connotations: the Soviets, for instance, equated cosmopolitanism with betrayal of national culture and identity and writ it large in their anti-Semitic diatribes. I rather wish Populus had picked another label for those of us who are quite clearly skeptical outsiders!.

Be that as it may, another question that comes to mind is how this attribution of political tribal identity would apply here in my chosen homeland, Germany. Would there be more or fewer Cosmopolitan Critics in the overall make-up of the population than in Great Britain? 

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