This is an interesting presentation that I would suggest should be named A Classical Pragmatist Approach . . . One might move it farther into realpolitik by naming it that. Kissinger would, I’m sure, approve.
Achieving an effective solution to the conflict between populism and globalism is the key structural requirement to achieve continued survival for our species. I question the relegation of globalism to idealism. In fact I would more likely reverse the roles here and show populism as not only abstract but unrealistic.
Before getting too entangled in traditional debating points, this is not the 17th century. The problems in the rise of western nation states as sovereign entities had many sources ranging from slowly collapsing classical era religions to tribal forces that had never settled in the overlay of the Western Roman Empire to population growth and massive inflation from successful foreign trade. The fact that most of the fighting in working these things our, or, more correctly, in failing to work these things out having taken place in the Holy Roman Empire is indicative. The role of the free Dutch in this conflict is even more important.
The key to this is the problem of sovereignty and that is inevitably a top down application. I’m frankly not sure what to make of sovereignty in the 21st century Except as something that has outlived its usefulness and become a large danger. As you pointed out this was originally a pragmatic solution to more than a century of incredibly brutality in the European corner of the planet. This had to be sorted out and the traditional ‘authorities’ came up incapable of doing anything but fielding armies of peasants and mercenaries.
At that point in history drawing sacred boundaries around contiguous populations was about the only answer. That was really the point of the Peace of Westphalia while whittling away at royal and imperial power.
We now have the opposite problem. The only way forward and in order to survive, our species must define sovereignty as planetary. This is not denying the success of what came from and after the Peace of Westphalia but the problems that resulted form those successes require us to deal both climate and resource utilization along with asset allocation at the planetary level.
There is no value in populism or its nasty offshoot, nationalism. In fact those will produce planetary disaster for us and our related species. We are right up against the incredible difficulty of negotiating necessary laws protecting our climate and resources as well as expanding rights understood to be inherent in the existence of all life forms. Obviously sentient life forms need to take responsibility for this.
This planet is a system and our population levels have come to dominate that system as illustrated by the new Anthropocene geologic era. We cannot go backward except to, effectively, curl up and die. We must move a planetary system of political and economic organization.
The EU is the best shot at that attempted to date. It seems disasterous to me to give up on it at this point. We don’t have an alternative that can scale to the planetary level. It certainly doesn’t seem to haver reached the point of being irreparable despite the moaning of folks like Peterson.
And even if it has that suggest a new way of scaling the concept of sovereignty to the planetary level must be found. I agree that bottom up solutions ares essential so the issue is not simply a giant nation. We know that from the collapse of the American empire that we are suffering now. China is more capable than most cultures as well as older but it doesn’t seem to have anything more than a few relatively minor revisions to this so that it will eventually, or sooner, it the end of the road and fall apart.
Globalism must be redefined in a more equitable and pragmatic form that is not based on radical capitalist politics and economics. There are movement and much thinking in that direction. The problem is that the existing authorities are the remnants of the old world that has failed us.
My thoughts are toward separating sovereignty, which must be planetary, and social administration that must be a produce of people at a much smaller, district level. I’ve suggested that the steady rise of metropoles as the centers of the majority of human population can replace nation states for administrative and direct democracy. Alliances of metropoles could provide regional coordination and diversity whistle remaining under the sovereign plantary structure for problems at that level. Rights and sustainability would be handles, then, at the planetary level.
I really don’t see any other way to do this and make it. We’re pretty seriously screwed unless we evolve socially very quickly.