Capitalism – a social system based on the principle of individual rights. Politically, it is the system of laissez-faire (freedom). Legally it is a system of objective laws (rule of law as opposed to rule of man). Economically, when such freedom is applied to the sphere of production its result is the free market. – capitalism.org
And so I give to you my favorite definition of Capitalism. It encapsulates much of everything that is great about Capitalism – individual rights, freedom, rule of law, free markets. It stands defiantly against the definition of Globalism. Read on.
I’ve always found it ironic that Liberals have feared global rule by a handful of giant corporations yet they would willingly turn over leadership to a handful of elitist politicians in the name of Globalism. But it makes more sense if you view Globalism for what it is – a political goal with Marxist origins.
Globalism is a contorted blending of Socialism and Capitalism – and it is doomed to fail. As I noted in Populism – the Road back to Capitalism:
Globalism is often clad in free trade garb but in fact there is a hindrance of free trade with globalism. Globalism, through its attempt to erase national borders (and identities), applies a broad economic brush to varying problems and economic conditions of differing regions and as a result fails by definition. Globalism tends to exacerbate economic problems rather than fixing them, and hinders free trade by distorting market responses.
Globalism initiates with talk of open borders and free trade but inevitably leads to concentrated government and centralized planning. If you believe this not to be true, look no further than Brussels – the hub of the European Union – and its convoluted financial responses. Brussels is internally conflicted by its member nations – engaging in alternating interest rate policies, stifling regulations, taxes that are strikingly high, redistributionist policies that are ineffectively coupled with austerity measures – all while market forces are constrained through the single currency implementation of the Euro.
Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, even France, are all facing high levels of unemployment. Yet Germany’s economy remains strong and is running at or near full employment – as are several other member nations. What monetary policy do you engage to fix the issue in one country without harming another? It’s not only an economic mess but a culturally and nationally incompatible environment – with the Germans often diametrically opposed to their other European counterparts.
When the European Union was first being contemplated in its current form, I struggled to understand why the EU would want to create a common currency (See The Euro’s Failings for a more complete discussion). Why would countries want to give up their Sovereign Right to print money and manage their own monetary policy? I could not see any particular benefit to the Euro’s creation other than a political one – a political goal to increase Europe’s world standing and influence. I felt the effort was doomed in the long run – and I still do. A common currency accomplishes many things – none of them particularly positive.
Although the terms are often used interchangeably, Globalization is NOT the same as Globalism. They are very different things. Globalization is a natural economic outgrowth of trade. Globalism is a political goal – plain and simple.
Time for some quick definitions. Note the differing treatment of property rights in the first three definitions. Focus on the application – or ownership – of law in the last.
Capitalism – an economic and political system in which all property is owned by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.
Socialism – a political and economic theory of social organization in which all property is owned by the state on behalf of the workers. In Marxist theory – a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of communism.
Communism – a political theory advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is owned by society and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs.
Globalization – an economic process resulting in increasing economic integration and interdependence of economies through cross-border movement of goods, services, technologies and capital. It can be seen as capitalism on a global scale. It does not include unhindered movement of labor – national boundaries are recognized implicitly.
Globalism – Global Governance. The operation or planning of economic and foreign policy on a global basis. Central to Globalism is the concept of the “global rule of law,” under which nation-states cede judicial authority to supranational courts.
Globalism differs from Capitalism in several distinct aspects. Globalism promotes globally centralized control of laws, foreign policy and monetary policy. Unlike Capitalism, Globalism inherently blends rule of law with rule of man. Globalism comes into existence through the ownership of laws. And through the ownership of law, Globalism gains ownership of nations.
If you refer back to Gramsci, Alinsky and the Left, you will recall I introduced several concepts – Counter Hegemony, Critical Theory and Gradualism. Antonio Gramsci created the Theory of Cultural Hegemony – the way in which nations use cultural institutions to maintain power in capitalist societies. Gramsci felt that in order to change society, the entire value systems of Societal Institutions must be overturned. This would require the introduction of an entirely new set of values and beliefs – Counter Hegemony. Gradualism – along with Critical Theory – were the processes used to achieve Counter Hegemony. Marxist/Socialist philosophers – led by the Frankfurt School – picked up where Gramsci left off and brought these ideas to America. They refined Gramsci’s Marxist ideas – they reshaped them.
What had once been seen as separate and distinct aspects – culture, politics and the economic market – were now merging to maintain the whole. Culture was no longer a by-product or a coincident part of capitalism – Culture perpetuated capitalism.
If Culture is the true source of Capitalism – how do you truly change Culture? You change it by removing the identities of Culture. As Theodor Adorno stated, you create a “genuine liberal” – an individual “free of all groups, including race, family and institutions”. A Global Citizen.
The tool used to accomplish this goal? Political Correctness – or “same thinking”. Raymond V. Raehn put it this way; “Political Correctness seeks to impose a uniformity of thought and behavior on all Americans and is therefore totalitarian in nature”. Political Correctness is Cultural Marxism – also known as multiculturalism. Political Correctness is the translation of Marxism from economic to cultural terms. And once you’ve changed the culture you can change the laws.
The end game of Political Correctness – its ultimate goal – is Globalism.
And it is here we must be careful. For Globalization has opened a pathway to Globalism. This is the very reason the two are so often presented as the same. An economic process – Globalization – has been altered and repackaged to further a goal of societal change. This is why Globalists so often dress Globalization as Globalism. Globalization is required for Globalism to become a reality. But Globalism is NOT a necessary prerequisite for Globalization.
And it is here I, too, must be careful. I must also apologize for a short but necessary digression:
I am NOT advocating against Globalization. Globalization is inherently good in its free market form. But that’s not what we’ve been experiencing as a nation. Allow me to quickly explain. President Trump is correct in his assessment of our trade agreements. They are convoluted, conflicted and usually unfair to the United States. Too often our trade agreements have been used as mandated international welfare whereby we have enriched other nations at our expense. There is an implicit transfer of wealth that occurs within these agreements – and it is our middle and lower economic classes that pay the price.
The playing field is further tilted by regulations imposed on our domestic businesses. When government places regulatory burdens on companies, three things occur. First, production costs are increased – the cost of doing business rises. Secondly, these domestic business are placed at a cost disadvantage against foreign producers not hindered with the same regulatory constraints – producers like China. But there is also a third impact – one more insidious and more costly. When regulations are imposed on companies, an incentive is created that guides these companies to move their operations elsewhere – to other countries – as a means to avoid the cost of these regulations.
The consumer can often (but not always) avoid the extra regulatory costs because of competition from foreign producers – the consumer simply buys the cheaper alternatives. But shareholders (that’s most of us – think of your investments and 401k plans) – and labor – bear these regulatory costs directly. Domestic producers are forced to cut costs and prices to compete – and labor is often a place to look for cost reduction – through increased automation, job cuts or lower wages. Shareholders are impacted through lower profits. And we all bear the impact of jobs moved overseas. These combined effects lower domestic production, which directly impacts us all through lower economic growth. Corporate taxes impact us in exactly the same fashion. Regulations are simply a more destructive and hidden form of taxation.
When these unnecessary burdens are removed Globalization becomes a gift to us all. Costs fall and production goes up. It is for this very reason that as President Trump has cut regulations and announced plans for a corporate tax cut, we have witnessed a stock market boom and a dramatic resurgence of domestic jobs announcements – organic job growth and job growth from companies bringing domestic production back from overseas operations.
As I noted earlier, Globalization, the free movement of goods, services, technology and capital is inherently vital to Globalism. It is a requisite first step. You cannot have a global government without a global economy. But you can have a global economy without a global government. As noted before, Globalization does not require the free movement of labor – nations and national boundaries are an inherent quality of Globalization. Globalization is vital and beneficial to healthy, functioning economies. But Globalization walks a close line to the transitional step – and so we must be on guard. Just as Communists first seek to impose Socialism on their way to Communism, so do Globalists seek to turn Globalization into a stepping stone towards Globalism. Their goal is to convince citizens they are one and the same. Using Gradualism.
But there is a distinct difference – and an obstacle. Globalization can lead to benefits for all while still preserving the nation-state. Which means the concept of national identity stands firmly in the way of Globalism. In order to maintain national identity you must first maintain self-governance and full sovereignty. Globalism seeks to break national identity by subsuming national laws. Ultimately, preservation of national or sovereign law is the key to preventing Globalism.
In 1995, the Commission on Global Governance issued a report titled Our Global Neighborhood. The report advanced the view that nations are interdependent and called for a strengthened United Nations. The Commission made a standard definition of global governance stating that;
“Governance is the sum of the many ways individuals and institutions, public and private, manage their common affairs. It is a continuing process through which conflicting or diverse interests may be accommodated and cooperative action may be taken. It includes formal institutions and regimes empowered to enforce compliance, as well as informal arrangements that people and institutions either have agreed to or perceive to be in their interest…It is our firm conclusion that the United Nations must continue to play a central role in global governance.”
It was the U.N.’s first real published step towards World Governance. Towards Globalism.
The report is very careful to note that “Global governance does not imply world government or world federalism” but these words are followed by numerous statements that imply the opposite:
“The principles of sovereignty and non-intervention must be adapted in ways that recognize the need to balance the rights of states with the rights of people, and the interests of nations with the interests of the global neighbourhood. It is time also to think about self-determination in the emerging context of a global neighbourhood rather than the traditional context of a world of separate states.”
“The global neighbourhood of the future must be characterized by law and the reality that all, including the weakest, are equal under the law and none, including the strongest, is above it. Our recommendations are directed to strengthening international law and the International Court of Justice in particular.”
“All member- states of the UN that have not already done so should accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the World Court.”
“Governments can be made to initiate change if people demand it. That has been the story of major change in our time; the liberation of women and the environmental movement provide examples. If people are to live in a global neighbourhood and live by neighbourhood values, they have to prepare the ground. We believe that they are ready to do so.”
“Acknowledging responsibility to something higher than country does not come easily. The impulse to possess turf is a powerful one for all species; yet it is one that people must overcome.”
“In the global neighbourhood, a sense of otherness cannot be allowed to nourish instincts of insularity, intolerance, greed, bigotry, and, above all, a desire for dominance. But barricades in the mind can be even more negative than frontiers on the ground. Globalization has made those frontiers increasingly irrelevant.”
“The global neighbourhood is the home of future generations; global governance is the prospect of making it better than it is today.”
These statements should be viewed with a certain alarm by any who value their status and identity as citizens – those who value their culture. They are all the more alarming when viewed in the context of the dismal record put forth by the United Nations as a governing entity. If you would like a review of the United Nations’ many failures I detail some in De-Funding the United Nations. Of particular note is the UN’s focus and treatment of Israel. Since the creation of the UN’s Human Rights Council in 2006, there have been 121 condemnations of nations for human rights violations. Of these, 62 condemnations were of Israel. Condemnations for the rest of the world’s nations combined equaled 59.
Corruption, fraud and mismanagement in U.N. procurement have been ongoing since the organization’s creation. The listings and allegations are almost endless – as are the toothless reports issued by one UN agency or another. In almost all instances investigations are stonewalled and delayed. Rarely, if ever, is anyone actually held accountable.
A 2016 audit of the United Nations Refugee Commission by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) found the UN turned over literally hundreds of millions of dollars to various partners with literally no oversight of fund usage. Another devastating 2016 report – 133 pages in length – by the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) on “Fraud Detection, Prevention and Response” found the UN in a “near state of denial” over corruption and fraud within its system. Links to these reports can be found within my UN article.
The UN’s peacekeeping record is no better. Like the many fraud and corruption issues, examples of UN Peacekeeping failures continue for as long as one cares to look for them. Rarely does one uncover examples of true UN peacekeeping success.
John Bolton, a former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. and a recent consideration for Secretary of State wrote of the U.N.’s goals in 2000. He noted;
“The Globalists have seized more readily the opportunities provided by the end of the Cold War to advance their agenda…In substantive field after field – human rights, labor, health, the environment, political-military affairs, and international organizations – the Globalists have been advancing while the Americanists have slept.”
“Limiting the United States under “Human Rights” cover…has become an important component in…Globalists’ effort to constrain and embarrass the independent exercise of both judicial and political authority by nation-states. There appear to be two broad approaches. The first is to create a network of international agreements and customary international law that effectively take critical political and legal decisions out of the hands of nation-states by operationally overriding their own internal decision-making processes… The Globalists’ second approach is specifically targeted against the United States, in an effort to bend our system into something more compatible with human rights and other standards more generally accepted elsewhere.”
“Globalism, in effect, represents a kind of worldwide cartelization of governments and interest groups. Even though its proponents purportedly abjure [renounce] global government as such (at least rhetorically, and only for now), the consequence is, for all practical purposes, the same. The costs to the United States – reduced constitutional autonomy, impaired popular sovereignty, reduction of our international power, and limitations on our domestic and foreign policy options and solutions – are far too great, and the current understanding of these costs far too limited to be acceptable. Debate over global governance…is the decisive issue facing the United States internationally.”
I remind you that Mr. Bolton wrote these words on September 1, 2000. Mr. Bolton – a man studied in politics and the mechanisms of the United Nations – held a great suspicion and skepticism over the U.N.’s true motivations. I share his view.
Now consider two differing viewpoints put forth during the Obama Administration by two important members of Hillary Clinton’s State Department – Anne-Marie Slaughter and Harold Koh. Currently, Ms. Slaughter is the President and CEO of New America – a liberal think tank. Jonathan Soros – one of George Soros’ sons – sits on New America’s Board of Directors. Harold Koh returned to Yale as a law professor after resigning from the State Department in 2012. He recently encountered criticism from campus progressives for his legal defense of targeted killing using drone strikes while in the Obama Administration.
“Vertical government networks pierce the shell of state sovereignty by making individual government institutions — courts, regulatory agencies, or even legislators — responsible for implementation of rules created by a supranational institution. . . . Vertical government networks make it possible for a supranational court, regulatory entity, or parliament to create a relationship with its national counterparts to make those rules directly enforceable.” – Anne-Marie Slaughter – Hillary Clinton State Department chief intellectual strategist – Head of the Office of Policy and Planning
“I am advocating a transnational legal process that engages nation-states, corporations, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations in a variety of forums, to make, interpret, enforce, and ultimately internalize rules of international law. Lawyers should trigger transnational interactions, which generate legal interpretations, which can in turn be internalized into the domestic law of even resistant nation-states.” – Harold Koh – Hillary Clinton State Department’s chief legal officer and Yale Professor
As you re-read the words above, please keep in mind that the central tenet of Globalism is the concept of “global rule of law,” under which nation-states cede judicial authority to supranational courts.
Ms. Slaughter previously defined vertical government networks in her book A New World Order as “those between national government officials and their supranational counterparts”. She further noted “The prerequisite for a vertical government network is the relatively rare decision by states to delegate their sovereignty to an institution above them with real power–a court or a regulatory commission.” This was written in 2004.
Fast forward to Ms. Slaughter’s time at Clinton’s State Department – her language has evolved. Of particular note is her quote “Vertical government networks pierce the shell of state sovereignty”. What she really means is the destruction of the nation-state through the creeping imposition of global law.
“The point of Political Correctness is not and has never been merely about any of the items that it imposes, but about the imposition itself.” – Angelo M. Codevilla
How is “piercing the shell of state sovereignty” accomplished? It is done slowly and incrementally. It is done through division – by undermining society through created rifts. It is accomplished through the application of Political Correctness. Society is slowly fractured into divisions of class, race and gender. Sub-groups are created within these divisions to further enhance societal stress. By lessening national identity the process of usurping national sovereignty becomes easier. There is a reason why George Soros, the self-avowed billionaire globalist, funds 150 different progressive organizations through his Open Society Foundation. Groups like the ACLU, Black Lives Matter, CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), Human Rights Campaign, La Raza and the Women’s March. More importantly, this is why Globalists are in favor of unlimited immigration – and the national strife and divisions it creates.
I will once again quote Raymond V. Raehn:
“No single religion was to be superior. No single culture was to be superior. And no single race was to be superior. And so multiculturalism was invented. And then no single sex was to be superior. And with nothing superior, there was nothing to value…This is the very essence of Political Correctness. It serves as the means to conduct the psychic decapitation of any potential leader who might seek to unify Americans on the basis of a shared religion, culture or race.”
Political Correctness is the tool employed to break Nationalism – an oft-misused term. Nationalism can be defined as loyalty and devotion to a nation, the shared communal identification with fellow citizens. It requires maintaining self-governance and full sovereignty free from unwanted outside interference. It requires self-determination. Nationalism occurs when one maintains a national identity based on shared characteristics such as culture, language, tradition, religion and politics. It is Patriotism.
The election of President Trump was a re-embracement of Nationalism – and a repudiation of the Clintons and their aptly named – and now closed – Clinton Global Initiative.
But the Globalists remain.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, recently penned what can only be called a manifesto entitled Building Global Community. (For those who don’t have Facebook access here is a link to an article that contains his full letter) It instantly generated further speculation that he may be considering a presidential run at some point. It has some striking similarities to the 1995 Our Global Neighborhood report – albeit with a Millennial twist. In it he poses, explores and answers – sort of – five questions:
- How do we help people build:
- supportive communities that strengthen traditional institutions in a world where membership in these institutions is declining?
- a safe community that prevents harm, helps during crises and rebuilds afterwards in a world where anyone across the world can affect us?
- an informed community that exposes us to new ideas and builds common understanding in a world where every person has a voice?
- a civically-engaged community in a world where participation in voting sometimes includes less than half our population?
- an inclusive community that reflects our collective values and common humanity from local to global levels, spanning cultures, nations and regions in a world with few examples of global communities?
His comments are painted against the backdrop of his company but very quickly transcend any corporate affiliation. Here are some quotes:
“Progress now requires humanity coming together not just as cities or nations, but also as a global community”
“We may not have the power to create the world we want immediately, but we can all start working on the long term today.”
“Bringing us all together as a global community is a project bigger than any one organization or company. How do we help people build an inclusive community that reflects our collective values and common humanity from local to global levels, spanning cultures, nations and regions in a world with few examples of global communities?”
“Today’s threats are increasingly global, but the infrastructure to protect us is not. Problems like terrorism, natural disasters, disease, refugee crises, and climate change need coordinated responses from a worldwide vantage point. No nation can solve them alone…Humanity’s current systems are insufficient to address these issues.”
“There are two distinct types of social infrastructure that must be built:
The first encourages engagement in existing political processes: voting, engaging with issues and representatives, speaking out, and sometimes organizing.
The second is establishing a new process for citizens worldwide to participate in collective decision-making. Our world is more connected than ever, and we face global problems that span national boundaries. As the largest global community, Facebook can explore examples of how community governance might work at scale.”
“Building an inclusive global community requires establishing a new process for citizens worldwide to participate in community governance. I hope that we can explore examples of how collective decision-making might work at scale.”
“There are many of us who stand for bringing people together and connecting the world. I hope we have the focus to take the long view and build the new social infrastructure to create the world we want for generations to come.”
“Our hope is that this model provides examples of how collective decision-making may work in other aspects of the global community.”
This manifesto seems to be a sort of “call to arms” – and a potential roadmap – for the Globalism movement. Globalists suffered a significant setback with Brexit – and a greater one with the election of President Trump. And the Globalist EU utopia is finding itself under increasing pressure from within.
Financially, the European Union finds itself in a conundrum. When a stand-alone country encounters economic headwinds it can respond by adjusting its monetary policy (interest rates, available currency) accordingly. But the European Union must adjust its monetary policy based on the average overall condition of its member countries. The EU is also forced to give a greater weight in its monetary policy to the singular economic powerhouse of Germany. This creates a situation of perpetual interest rate imbalance. Said another way, interest rates will be too low in countries where wages are rising and too high in countries where unemployment is rising.
Prior to the Euro’s creation, if a country belonging to the old EEC (pre-European Union) engaged in monetary recklessness (increased debt, spending, etc) the markets would respond with higher interest rates and/or falling currency prices via exchange rates. This controlling mechanism was removed with the creation of the Euro. In practical effect, the stronger, more fiscally disciplined economies are not only subsidizing countries that choose to engage in more reckless monetary policy and actions – they essentially are encouraging them to do so.
Populism has been surging in Europe as evidenced by election turmoil. Brexit was the first – a seminal event – a loud shot fired over Brussels. Italian Prime Minister Renzi’s loss on a referendum vote on constitutional change – leading to his resignation – was the second. He has since stepped down as head of his party but vows to fight for re-election. March 15th brings us the Dutch elections – a litmus test for Europe. The right-wing Freedom party of anti-immigration candidate Geert Wilders appears to be slightly ahead in polling but the race is tight. Of greater significance for the EU’s future are the French elections. Recent polls show the leader of the anti-EU Front National, Marine Le Pen, winning the first round of voting, scheduled for April 23, but losing the May 7 run-off vote between herself and whoever comes in second in the first round. Germany holds its federal election on September 24th. A far right candidate has virtually no chance based on polling – the battle comes down to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union and the social-democrat SPD party led by former European Parliament President Martin Schulz. Merkel has been under huge pressure due to her open-door immigration policy. Ironically, SPD’s policies are nearly identical – meaning Germany is likely headed to four more years of pro-EU, open-door policies. No matter what happens – change is afoot in Europe – and populism does not appear to be going away.
The word “Populism” sounds sinister. It conjures up visions of fascist-like political movements and is often portrayed exactly as such. And yet, populism is nothing of the kind. There is no populism ideology to speak of. The closest thing to Populism is Nationalism – but it’s not necessarily the same. Populism is, quite simply, the response of citizens to the failure of their leaders.
Brexit – at its heart – was nothing more than a desire by British citizens to reclaim their democracy – their self-governance. There is nothing sinister in that.
And there it is.
People want their democracies – their self-governance back.
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