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In Hermann Hesse's novel "Journey to the East," the character of H.H., a novice in a religious group known as the League, describes a figurine depicting himself next to the group's leader, Leo.As Hesse's description implies, the heroic image also feeds off of the self, to the point that the individual must disappear.For many, the root cause is growing economic inequality.Even if globalization has benefited some groups and regions more than others, it doesn't explain today's tribal politics; if anything, the lack of globalization in certain regions does.If globalization, and specifically immigration, are drivers of inequality, then the large cities where refugees, immigrants and poorer communities share the same space should be sites of political upheaval.Although globalization and immigration can be political pressure points, the roots of voting behavior today lie in three interrelated developments. Across all liberal democracies, membership in political parties has long been declining, owing to postwar changes in education, social norms and popular culture that emphasize critical thinking and self-expression.Taken together, these three developments help to explain the rise of a new class of voters: highly skilled, highly paid and poorly educated in the values underpinning liberal democracy.Liberal democracies had supposedly moved beyond "primordial" politics, toward a society of empowered citizens.
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