Doug Casey on Globalism and the Worldwide Populist Revolt
Nick Giambruno: The inevitable breakdown of the European Union and the massive financial crisis it could trigger is an important theme for us right now.
I’ve just spent weeks with my boots on the ground in Italy. The country has enormous public debt levels, and its banking system is on the verge of collapse.
Italy could trigger the collapse of the entire EU, which could start an irreversible trend. It’s a sign that globalism—the secular religion of the Deep State—is a failed ideology.
By globalism, I simply mean the centralization of power into global institutions: the EU, the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank, NAFTA, GATCA, NATO, and so forth. Globalism is really just a polite way of describing world government, or what George H.W. Bush termed the New World Order.
I’m skeptical of government on any level, especially global government.
Most people never bother to consider what “globalism” actually means. The mass media simply asserts the idea of globalism as though it were a permanent fixture in the universe, beyond discussion.
Nonetheless, I think the breakdown of the EU represents a failure of globalism. It also appears to be planting the seeds of increased nationalism.
Now, my question is: Is nationalism a lesser evil than globalism?
Doug Casey: First, that’s a great definition of globalism that you just gave.
But before I answer the question, we have to also define nationalism.
Nationalism is, most importantly, a psychological attitude. It amounts to making your nation-state a major element in your life, where you view yourself not so much as a human being, or an individual, but as an Italian or an American or a Congolese or Chinese or what have you. Nationalism makes you see yourself, and others, as part of a collective.
Of course there are different flavors and degrees of nationalism. “Patriotism,” for instance is automatically considered a good thing, wherein you reflexively support what your nation-state does. But it’s really just a euphemism for nationalism. It’s nationalism made righteous, with overtones of hearth and home, as opposed to politics. Then you get “jingoism” when patriots get overenthusiastic. The connotation of words is often just as important as their formal definition. Think: “I’m a freedom fighter, you’re a rebel. He’s a terrorist.”
I think it’s a mistake to automatically give your loyalty to any large group that you belong to just through an accident of birth. For instance, should you have been a Soviet patriot just because you were born in the USSR? Should you have been a German patriot while the Nazis were in power?
Nationalism amounts to saying “my nation-state is the best in the world because I happen to have been born there.” It’s really a very stupid psychological aberration, because it places an accident of birth above much more important things like your ethics, desires, and attitudes. I don’t, by the way, necessarily favor or disfavor people because of their nationality, but only because of their character, beliefs, and actions. Although sometimes in today’s world, their nationality can give you a clue as to their character, beliefs, and actions…
Nationalism, no matter what flavor, can be a very dangerous thing. It brings people down to the lowest common denominator. It encourages groupthink. Unfortunately, it’s probably a condition with genetic roots, so it’s hard to cure. At best, you can probably just minimize the size of the groups it affects.
So, ideally the world would have about seven billion little nations. Then everyone could, quite rationally, be as nationalistic or patriotic as they want. But nationalism is not nearly as dangerous as globalism.
That’s because globalism is the idea that all the power in the world should be centralized. You don’t even get a choice of what kind of nationalism you might prefer. It means power is further concentrated into the hands of the kind of people that constitute the Deep State.
Nick Giambruno: I agree.
The situation is very different than it was just 25 years ago. Back then, globalists thought they had the whole thing wrapped up.
Francis Fukuyama’s 1992 book, The End of History and the Last Man, illustrates this well. The book proposed the ridiculous and now discredited notion that we were approaching the endpoint of humanity’s sociocultural evolution and the final form of human government.
Doug Casey: Fukuyama is a professional neoconservative intellectual. His book impressed me in two ways. Neither good.
First, its central thesis—that today’s version of so-called “liberal democracy” is the final evolution of politics and economics—is at once naïve, dangerous, and stupid. It’s amazing that someone who’s supposed to be a historian actually believes that conflicts between major nation-states have come to an end, because everybody now shares the same worldview. Which is also untrue.
The other thing that impressed me was how Fukuyama’s notions have become so popular among television’s talking-head intellectuals and the kind of people who read The New York Review of Books and The Atlantic magazine. Ironically, I include myself among their readers. Although I read them mainly to find out what the enemy is up to.
The fact that his view—essentially that the U.S. had triumphed—became so widely accepted, was the bell ringing at the top of the market, just after the USSR collapsed. People only become so arrogant at the peak, just before they head downhill. The Romans felt that way in the second century, the Spanish in the 16th century, the French before Napoleon invaded Russia, the British in 1914, the Germans in 1940. The Russians in 1980. It’s typical, and predictable.
Fukuyama is representative of a whole class of what might be called “court intellectuals.” He now collects fat speaking fees from think tanks and NGOs, of which there are hundreds in the U.S. alone, most located within the Washington Beltway. It’s a whole ecosystem, populated by people who see themselves as “the best and brightest.” They pretty well dominate the media, academia, and government. They all promote each other and feather each other’s nests. Since they’re the “elite,” the average person feels safe parroting their thoughts. But they’re really just propaganda outlets, funded by foundations, whose donors want to give an intellectual patina to their views. He’s a mouthpiece for globalist views.