Michael Ignatieff on the political contradictions of democratic globalism:
I do think that there’s a real disconnect between an international cosmopolitan discourse about rights — the rights of migrants, the rights of refugees — versus the way in which ordinary people in most democracies see this question. […] For ordinary people, a citizen’s relation to a stranger is a gift relationship, not a rights relationship. They think it’s up to the citizen to decide who gets in. It’s up to the citizen who decides what the boundaries of a political community are. […] That’s what democracy means to them. That’s what democracy promises them: control of borders and the handing out of discretionary gifts to those they decide belong in the community. […] There are a lot of Brexiters who think a decent country is generous to strangers, is compassionate to strangers. But that’s the language of the gift. That’s not a language of rights.