To be a globalist means almost nothing — even “Davos Man” has to trundle home somewhere after the annual forum draws to a close. Rex Tillerson is as much a globalist as Samantha Power. Ditto for John Bolton and John Kerry, Charles Koch and George Soros, Mike Pompeo and Julian Assange. A term that embraces opposites has almost no explanatory power.
To be an anti-globalist, on the other hand, does specify something. It means someone who is convinced that serious business is transacted at conferences like Davos or Bilderberg or Munich, and that 500 or so people run the world at the expense of everyone else. It means the notion that American prosperity would be well served by a return to a Smoot-Hawley world of punitive tariffs and other beggar-thy-neighbor economic policies. It means the suspicion that Americans whose cultural and geographic horizons are broader than America’s borders are deficient in patriotism.
In short, anti-globalism is economic illiteracy married to a conspiracy mind-set. The dark truth about Davos isn’t that it’s sinister or significant. It’s that it’s booooring.