'Aristocrats are anarchists': why the wealthy back Trump and Brexit

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Nationalism has been sold as ‘a war for the little guy’ but Brooke Harrington argues that it serves the interests of elites

We know that politics makes strange bedfellows, but few alliances are more surprising than the one linking the ultra-rich to ultra-nationalists. What could the wealthiest people in the world have in common with those upending politics in the name of the “forgotten man”? As I have found in over a decade of research on global elites and tax havens, a shared political project unites them: both seek to weaken or dismantle international alliances that constrain them.

For ultra-nationalists, this project means “taking back control” of their governments from foreigners. For the ultra-rich, it means eliminating the controls that international organizations and alliances have imposed on them individually and as a class: a world without the EU, or without the Global Magnitsky Act, is one in which the people who appeared in the Panama Papers can get even richer and expand their influence over an increasing share of the world’s governments and resources.

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