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Internationalists vs. Nationalists

The Internationalist: If you want it you can do it! Only your imagination limits you!

The Nationalist: I can't, I won't!

The gulf between the internationalists and nationalists is kept open by many different factors.

The international zone has been a huge brain drain from the nationalists. Anybody with the least inclination could leave and move there in the beginning. That left the conservatives, reactionaries and people fearing failure more than the problems of remaining back in the national zone. The only ones returning from the internationalists were the failures, rejects or those who eventually disagreed with the internationalist vision. Together they created a culture of suspicion or outright rejection of the internationalists. While the door still stood open, they worked hard to convince their fellow citizens that it was a bad thing to escape and betray their heritage. Over time these views have hardened, and new generations grow up in a climate dominated by the rejection - they can still leave, but have to overcome a strong social pressure to do it.

Many rulers and intellectuals among the nationalist make a good living by blaming the internationalists for everything bad. That global markets are to blame for unemployment, pollution, terrorism and the uncertain future is obvious. In many places racism is also an element. The internationalists also make themselves the perfect targets of paranoid conspiracy ideas. They are seen to have the means to communicate in secret, draw up nefarious plans and the implement them using the full force of the net economy. The Invisible College and the nebulous networks run the world.

The internationalists also contribute to the gulf. Part of it is their cultural distance - they have their own culture, unlike all others and hard to understand for an outsider. They have their own prejudices against the nationalists, seeing them as small-minded, conservative cowards who lack the ambition to become free.

Another problem is their self confidence, their "become everything you want to be!" attitude. It flies in the face of much of the stability the nationalists have come to identify with. At worst it sounds like arrogant taunting and at best gives people a vague feeling of guilt over not immediately starting to improve themselves.

Technology also plays a role. Internationalists live in a complex technological ecosystem, surrounded by smart devices and organisms. Taken out of their context, most of the devices will not work properly since they rely on the presence of other smart things - a modern car constantly communicates with neighbouring cars, the traffic control system, the road and satelites to drive safely, efficiently and quickly. Put it on the snowy streets of Paris and it will likely be harder to drive than an ordinary french car in 2034, it lacks the infrastructure. This both gives many nationalists the image that internationalist high tech is useless, and forces anyone wanting to use it efficiently to buy into the whole system.