June 23, 2016
Watching the News at Two in the Morning
CNN and Fox News appear not to have figured out the significance of what just happened in Great Britain. They have their clueless second-stringers doing the marathon coverage of the vote wherein that nation just opted out of the European Union, an act that most likely derives from growing resistance against globalization of the economy and abandonment of national sovereignty.
It seems to me that what has happened is that somehow ordinary people understand something about which the experts remain steadfastly in denial, or about which they wish us to remain ignorant, which is that globalization only benefits international corporations and banking institutions, and inevitably does so at the expense of the workers in the more industrious and productive parts of the world.
In 1982, when I first heard the pitch for achieving a “balance of trade” for the U.S., meaning that we had to sell as many goods and services overseas as we bought from overseas, after a brief befuddlement, it quickly became clear to me that there were only two possible ways that, say, a native of Equatorial Guinea, a nation with a president whose family steals 96% of his nation’s oil profits, could afford to buy an American-made product. Either his government had, with wholly uncharacteristic generosity, to increase his income to that of an American worker, or our government had to reduce the income of an American factory worker to that of an unskilled Guinean laborer. Workers in the Equatorial Guinean kleptocracy are so poor that after a heavy rainstorm, dock workers in the oil ports rush to take the opportunity for a bath in the roadside ditches that fill with water. Whereas, over the years, our government has been purchased by corporations and by the wealthy, the final nail in that particular coffin being Citizens United v FEC, which held that corporations were people and campaign contributions were “speech” and therefore protected by the First Amendment. A disastrous piece of unreality.
While the increased temperature of international trade would benefit the owners, executives and stockholders of corporations that do business internationally, it would necessarily cripple and impoverish what Robert Reich and many other economic analysts have called the main driving engine of First World economies, the well-paid manufacturing middle class of those industrialized nations.
Nevertheless, it was, of course, that fatal second option that was intended from the time in the early 1980s when the “balance of trade deficit” was first mentioned, to lower the pay of the American worker to that of a third world worker. That is well under way and the result we now see was entirely predictable, but never mentioned out loud. On the contrary, the term itself, by using the term “trade deficit” was chosen to imply that there was something wrong that needed to be corrected, which, I argue, was untrue in the first place.
As a corollary to the aim of destroying the working middle class in, for instance, America, England and Germany, it was also advantageous to arrange the free flow of immigration, flooding richer, more productive nations with unskilled laborers who were linguistically, culturally and politically disadvantaged and, lacking all power, willing to work for third-world wages. It was important that these folks should flood in and overwhelm both the economy and the organizational structure of the labor force, undermining their unions and the collective bargaining process by which American workers had previously been able to insist upon a fair portion of the wealth of which they were the primary creators.
The fundamental institution upon which the economic health of nations depended was national sovereignty: the absolute control of a nation over its laws and its borders. Therefore, corporations, interested primarily, or more accurately solely, in their own net profits, bought governments and set them to the task of destroying the key aspects of national sovereignty, protective trade agreements and tariffs, and careful, planned management of immigration. To the latter end, sovereign national boundaries were first attacked semantically. The enforcement of national boundaries was disparaged and called racist, cruel and inhumane, while at the same time American borders were studiously neglected by bought-and-paid-for Democrats and Republicans.
Example: (Too numerous to count, but here is one…) Last year I heard some interviews with ranchers on the Mexican border who had been told that day by bewildered border patrol members that, without explanation, they had been ordered to stop making arrests. A week later, I heard Obama say he was pleased to announce that the number of people crossing the border illegally had been significantly reduced. The single piece of evidence to which he pointed with pride? The number of arrests was down!
In Europe the Globalists constructed the European Union, an economic and political entity that obliterated the internal sovereign borders of its constituent nations while at the same time carefully avoiding constructing any functioning borders around its external perimeter. While trade and travel were facilitated, at the same time it effectively destroyed any economic protection of the more industrious nations from the profligacy of socialist regimes like Italy, Spain and Greece. At the same time it allowed a flood of unregulated immigration from inside and outside the EU, of the victims of profligate or even evil regimes, as well as the unregulated entry of the ideologically hostile and vindictive, which actively sabotaged and undercut the productive workers of the more industrious northern nations.
An Alliance of Opposites
One thing that has made this deception possible has been a coincidence of the goals of two very unlikely bedfellows. While the economic Right has wished to globalize trade and commerce because by so doing it could operate in an interstitial environment free of sovereign taxes rules and controls, the politically progressive Left has long sought the abolition of national sovereignty in pursuit of the fairy-tale of what has become known as “transnationalism”, a main proponent of which is Harold Hongju Koh, Obama’s appointee as legal advisor to the State Department.
Politically, a generation raised on the Disneyesque view that cute little bears and tigers are our friends and that world peace is just around the corner, has come to believe that the only impediment to global governance is entrenched nationalism. They seek to remove the idea of national sovereignty first by denigrating it and pointing to its every flaw, and next by grafting or superimposing a more encompassing, and later a global government on the world. This transnational structure is founded on the idea of “international norms”, which, however, are determined by consensus among groups of “experts”, none of whom are elected by the citizens of the countries they purport to represent and for whom they claim to speak.
This dream is only possible, however, if one ignores the valuable and protective benefits conferred by smaller and more manageable sovereign political units. The European Union has been an effort to replace national sovereignty and its increasingly obvious flaws have been studiously ignored.
Tonight the pissed-off workers of Great Britain voted to leave the European Union, a vote that will bring down the Prime Minister’s government, and that may encourage other productive countries to vote to restore their national sovereignty and defend themselves against further exploitation by international corporations and globalist politicians who can’t see that at this point in time and with our current level of organizational efficiency, the whole globalization idea is a fairy-tale: a form of social science fiction, encouraged by the multinational corporations that want to exploit it.
Everyone seems to understand that the rich have grossly increased their wealth in the past decade, and that the working middle class has suffered greatly. One can only hope that everyone will figure out that this is how it happened.
Tonight was very exciting, suggesting to me for the first time that those who are calling for a halt to the madness of free trade and the unregulated invasion called “illegal immigration”, may actually prevail in America in November. It will depend to some extent upon how well Americans have observed and understood the recent “refugee” disaster in Europe, a lesson that was apparently not lost on British voters Thursday.