common market within its boundaries,rnto enforee a uniform systemrnof justice, and to extend citizenshiprnboth to pett proprietors andrnto rich merchants, ahke excludedrnfrom power under the old regime.rnThe middle class understandabKrnbecame the most patriotic, not tornsay jingoistic and militaristic, elementrnin society. . . . Whatever itsrnfaults, middle-class nationalismrnpro ided a common ground, commonrnstandards, a common framernof reference without which societyrndissolves into nothing more thanrncontending factions, as the FoundingrnFathers of America understoodrnso well—a war of all against all.rnThough Laseh was writing of a middlernclass that is now fairK remote in history,rnthe same fundamental interests explainrnthe persisting attachment of MiddlernAmerica to nationality. It is onlyrnthrough the protcctie shield that the institutionsrnof nationhood and nationalrnso’ereignt’ provide that men and womenrnof the middle rank of human societyrncan expect to receive any protectionrnat all. Lacking the wealth, power, educationalrnskills, and social connections tornprotect themselves against dominantrninternal elites or aggressive foreign enemies,rnthe middle class must depend onrnnationhood and its affiliated institutionsrn—constitutionalism, the politicalrninstitutions of republican governmentrnthat allow for the representation of middle-rnclass interests, the legally enforceablerndefense of private propertv, the nationalrndefense of both the territory and the economicrninterests of the nation (which arernidentified with the interests of the middlernclass itself)—for its very existence.rnAny dilution of the national identity, anyrnfracturing of the shield of sovereignty orrnof nationhood, then, will always be perceived,rnand correctly so, as a threat to thernmiddle class, in was that neither aristocratsrnnor bureaucrats, neither proletariansrnnor praetorians, will comprehend.rnAristocracies can expect to get alongrne’en if the nation anishcs completely,rnand for an underclass, life will remainrnmuch the same regardless of where thernbuck stops.rnMoreoer, in the 1990’s, as Lasch alsornnoted, the decline of the nation-state isrnclosely connected to the decline of thernmiddle class. Free trade and economicrnglobalization are in part intended to flattenrnmiddle-class incomes and reducernmiddle-class bargaining power with businessesrnthat can produce their goods inrnMexico and Thailand. The importationrnof an immigrant proletariat with no historicalrnor emotional bonds to the nationrnhelps drive the multiculturalist and antiwhiternassault on middle-class institutionsrnand cultural hegemonv, and immigrationrnis itself, as Peter Brimelow notes inrnhis recent book on the subject, part ofrnthe “war against the nation-state.” Thernconstruction of transnational authoritiesrnin the United Nations, NATO, NAFTA,rnGATT, and their sisters contributes tornthe political subordination of the middlernclass to goals and policies favored h thernelites that manage and benefit from thernnew structures.rnThe struggle over sovereignty, then, isrnnot mereh’ a verbal and academic battlernover an abstraction of political theoryrnbut rather over who and what will runrnthe country and even whether the countryrnwill continue to exist. Partisans ofrnglobalism, on both the left and the pseudo-rnright, may sneer at those who seernthreats to sovereignty in every U.N.-authorizedrnmilitary mission abroad and e’-rnery transnational convention to managernthe global environment, protect globalrnwomen and children from their husbandsrnand parents, and put global criminalsrnon trial in global courtrooms. Butrnthe truth is that all of these and manyrnother efforts concocted b’ the globalistrnelites in this and other countries are concertedrnattacks on national sovereignty,rnthe nation-state, and the social groupsrnthat rely on sovereignty as a frameworkrnfor their own existence and identity.rnHaving disengaged, materially and psychically,rnfrom the underlying body ofrntheir national societies, these elites nornlonger perceive a need for nations tornsatisfy their economic, political, or culturalrnpurposes. Their needs, in the formrnof the command of the populations,rnnatural resources, and territories ofrnnations, can now best be met throughrnextranational modes of organization,rnand indeed, the continued existence ofrnsovereign nations, populated by particularrnpeoples with particular cultures, actsrnas a brake on and an obstacle to the satisfactionrnof the needs of the elites.rnThat, at least, is how the elites andrntheir partisans sec it. The truth mav bernsomewhat different, as suggested by thernoutcome of most international gatheringsrnthat are supposed to “manage” andrn”reconstruct” the global economy. Suchrngatherings rarely produce any results thatrnare not dictated by the perceived nationalrneconomic interests of their participants,rnand for all the rosy rhetoric aboutrn”one world,” a “borderless economy,”rnand a “NewWorid Order,” the persistentrntruth is that nations continue to exist.rnThey continue to exist simply becausernthe people inside them live and work togetherrnin ways that are different from thernways other peoples in other nations livernand work, and their political leaders,rndemocratic or not, understand this andrnreflect it in what they demand for themselvesrnand their peoples at the fancy conclavesrnwhere they are supposed to berntranscending pett’ interests and thinkingrnabout the welfare of all mankind.rnBut “mankind,” as Spengler said, is arnzoological expression. It has no meaningrnapart from its specific cultural and politicalrnincarnations, and within those incarnationsrnthere must be a controllingrnpower somewhere, and that power isrnsovereignty, the place where the buckrnreally does stop. In the epoch in whichrnAmericans now live, there is no suchrnplace for the simple reason that no socialrnforce, neither the Middle Americansrnwho seek to decentralize power and preservernthe sovereignty of the nation, norrnthe incumbent elites who want to keeprnpower in the megastate and fuse it withrninstitutions outside and beyond nationalrncontrol, is able to mobilize sufficientrnpower to institutionalize its vision ofrnwhat the nation should be and how itrnshould be governed.rnThis is not really a bad situation, becausernit suggests that the power of thernelites has slipped a bit while that of thernMiddle American resistance has prospered,rnat least to the point that it canrnsometimes restrain its adversaries. But itrnis not a situation that can or will last.rnSooner or later, one force or another willrngather sufficient power to answer thernquestion of who is to be master, and ifrnthe nation and its defining social core arerngoing to survive. Middle Americans needrnto make sure the buck stops with them.rnOCTOBER 1995/9rnrnrn