November 25, 2016
In an essay at American Thinker Michael Curtis bemoans the failures of "populism" here and in Europe.
"However, populism is, and has been in historical experiences, more an emotional and passionate response to being neglected by the rulers than a coherent, integrated political program. Policy proposals have taken many forms, some put forward by legendary populist leaders who have abused the will of the people or played on irrational resentments. American politics were plagued by the paranoia of Senator Joseph McCarthy or Father Coughlin's Social Justice Movement."
I think this (and the argument he is using leading up to it which I did not reprint for brevity's sake) makes a number of assumptions that are not necessarily justified.
He's right about populism, in that it is not a coherent political program, but I think he fails to ask the question of what exactly constitutes populism. Populism is an imprecise term, much like the word love. I love a good steak, but I also love my wife, and love my mother, and love my country, and love my automobile. English is horrible in this regard, because these are all very different emotions and yet they all go under the same imprecise term. the Greeks, of course, had no less than 6 different words for what we lump together as love; eros, Philia, agape, ludus, philautia, and pragma, and each of these represents a different type of love. Populism is a similar term, and has little to do with anything except that it represents a rebellion against the established structure of leadership. He is correct in his assertion that it is about passion; nobody launches a rebellion who isn't hacked off.
But Joe McCarthy as a populist? McCarthy was a herald, a guy warning about Communist infiltration of our government. While he was ACCUSED of populism, of trying to win elections by scaring people with lies, in reality McCarthy was absolutely correct in his claims. This was not a populist campaign of any sort, but rather was a warning which many Americans heeded.
This had nothing to do with abusing the Will of the People or stoking resentment; it had everything to do with protecting our country. Huge difference.
Now it can be said I am not so far from Mr. Curtis's position, and perhaps that is true. But here is where I check out:
"The process of globalization, which means not only free movement of capital, people, and goods but also a lesser role for individual states, is feared because of its impact on jobs, employment, and living standards. Globalization feeds sense of injustice, and loss of cultural identity. But there is no going back to preglobalization and national economies have to be integrated into the global economy."
First, the loss of cultural identity and political autonomy are huge aspects of this, far more important than the loss of a few jobs or whatnot. In point of fact, living standards generally go up in the Globalist economy, but at a terrible price.
Look, God made the nations of this world, not men. It first occured in Genesis, where the followers of Nimrod found their languages confused. The Tower of Babel was destroyed precisely because it was an attempt to put all Mankind under a single political umbrella. Now, you may think this story is polemic, and it probably is, but it illustrates a point; we have different cultures, different traditions, and forcing us together to create a common world culture and government is not a good idea. Does anybody in this day and age think the utter destruction of Native American culture was a good thing? Are Progressives happy about that, or about the Westernization of places like India? Aren't they forever telling us how terrible it was, this cultural imperialism? And yet here we are being told that Globalization is good and should be embraced. Yet it is nothing BUT cultural imperialism, only on a world-wide scale. If it was bad for the Indians it is bad for the rest of us.
What Mr. curtis is doing is falling into the Marxist trap here. He assumes that History has a definitive purpose and is moving inexorably toward some end. Granted, Christians have always believed that too, but the end will be terrible before the Parousia, the Second Coming, and that precisely because of efforts by Man to create a human paradise. Marx adopted this idea of a purpose to history and used it to suggest to everyone the futility of opposing collectivism and globalism.
But why do we assume globalism is inevitable? No doubt the Romans thought the same thing, as did the people in Alexander's time. Inevitablility is not always so inevitable.
The reality is that History is the sum of our choices. It is no more inevitable than Hillary's victory in the election; we can choose a different path.
While the last few centuries have seen a move towards larger political and economic structures, that is hardly proof of the inevitability of globalism. Rome - a massive socio-political system, fell apart and was replaced in the West by a confederation of small hereditary states. These states often pledged fealty to one another, and some quite large structures were created as a result - such as the Holy Roman Empire. But Feudalism was always rooted in place and family. It was the union of two Iberian kingdoms - Castille and Aragon - that led to the first Nation-state, Spain. This concept produced a larger entity, and in time many of these nation-states mushroomed into huge, world girldling colonial empires. Those empires were broken up in the last century as they proved to have outlived their usefullness.
What's the point? Colonialism was no more inevitable than was Feudalism or the current globalism. It was a construct, an idea people bought into. There were Euroopean countries that never built colonial empires. Heck, there were feudal states that never joined into nation-states. There is Andorra, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Malta, San Marino, etc. Even the Vatican, which is just a few blocks in area, is an independent country. And once it owned most of Italy. Italy, along with Germany, were not nation-states until the 1879's, I might add.
So this "inevitability" of globalism is nonsense, a holdover from the Progressive/Marxist vision of world socialism.
It may well be that the nation-state is the best arrangement for human beings. Man is driven by two opposing factors, the desire for autonomy and independence and the need for security and the production of wealth. The former drive the desire for smaller and more responsive, and in bygone days gave us the Neolithic tribe, an extended family. But the need for security and food led to the agricultural revolution and the establishment of cities, and began the movement to build a stable political structure. The city state was the most obvious, and has been with us since the agricultural revolution, certainly. The classic Greek era was dominated by city-states. But in time it became necessary to build larger political structures because powerful neighbors began conquering other city-states, and so different sorts of countries were established. Most were empires, an amalgamation of different peoples bound by a common need or bound by force of arms. Empires are notoriously unstable because they just aren't responsive to the needs of the disparate groups. Sorry Hillary, but we are not necessarily stronger together. Were that true the Austro-Hungarian empire would have dominated world politics. Germany was much stronger though far younger, and that was because Rthe Germans were relatively homogenous whereas the Austrian empire was polyglut, with Austrians, Hungarians, Serbs, Croats, Czechs, Bulgars, Romanians, etc. They had too little in common.
So the Progessives want to create a world empire, with all of us tossed into a huge salad and given little choice. I believe this is a terrible idea because in the end we don't have much in common with many other groups except perhaps our inevitable hatred of the elites running this diseased system. THAT is a huge part of the "populist" rebellion. It is a desire to get back to what may well be the natural human system. It's much like Goldilocks; the city state was too small, the Empire too large, but the nation-state is just right! But instead of returning to the nation-state we are going to an uber-empire, after all the acrimony hurled at the old colonial empires. Globalism is imperialism writ large.
Look, I don't wear a size 8 shoe because it is too small, nor do I wear a 12 because it is too large. I wear a ten and if I don't have a ten I have to buy one because the others just do not allow me to move about adequately. So too may be the system of governance; the nation-state has the right mix between capabilities and responsiveness, between homogenaity and diversity. Another analogy may be the pancreas; it secrets two hormones, one which helps you get the sugar in the bloodstream into the cells and the other to tell the liver to increase the amount of sugar in the blood. In diabetes the pancreas stops making insulin, but the cells keep calling for sugar, so the blood sugar levels rise and rise and, without the artifical instroduction of insulin, the person dies. It may well be the nation state is the homeostatic state. Too little autonomy may be the equivalent of diabetes for political entities.
"All these issues will be in the forefront in the contest for the French president. Le Pen, the leader of the far-right FN, opposes free trade, globalization, immigration, and call both for protection of the French economy and for "making France great again."
Yes but again why? These things are destroying France. There are places in Paris where no Frenchman dare go because they have been turned into Islamic hell-holes by immigrants who have no intention of becoming French. I know Curtis understands this but he seems to put it out of his mind in this discussion. The reality is the globalization the elites are so fond of serves them well but ultimately is destroying the mother that has given succour to the French People In the end this is not about some vaguely directed anger but about national survival.
In the global government there will be winners and losers chosen by an elite cadre. In point of fact, the much larger Third World has an old score to settle and when they have the power to invade and ultimately destroy the West they are going to do so. Especially the Muslims, who have no intention of playing the globalists games.
This is madness.
Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at
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