Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your national identity!

By Aussiegirl

This is a must read article by James Pinkerton! One of the most insightful analyses of the situation I have read to date, and one that clarifies a lot of thoughts I've had concerning the curious confluence of left and right over the issues of globalization and immigration. When the left and the right come together on something that will affect the entire future of not only the country, but the world, you know only bad can come of it. Whenever you have a concentration of power the end result is not going to be good, and you know the average person is in trouble when left and right start singing from the same hymn book. As communism found out, you can't go against human nature -- and universalism or globalism goes against human nature. While the Catholic church may be a universal church open to all spiritually, it has nothing to do with political matters or issues of nation states. The universalism is a spiritual one, not a national or international one. Think locally, act globally, the new agers tell us. Well, the fact is that most people do think locally, and it's in the acting locally that the free market is at it's most productive, responding and reacting to local needs and demands. Once things become globalized, they of necessity become homogenized and regulated so that one size fits all.

TCS Daily - Universalism vs. Nationalism

By James Pinkerton

Here's a question: Why do Roger Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and The Wall Street Journal editorial page have such similar views on immigration?

The answer is that all four of the above -- Mahony, CAIR, the ACLU, and the Journal -- have chosen universalism over nationalism. The four embrace different visions of universalism, to be sure, but each one of them is similar insofar as it seeks to transcend passports and borders. Each of the four pursues a trans-nationalizing, world-flattening globalism that regards nation-states as, at best, necessary evils -- and at worst, unnecessary evils. Far better, the universalists say, to unite the world, regardless of color and class, according to common belief. In terms of either religion or ideology, many find it inspiring to think that the whole world might be united into one big system, in which all pursue purity or prosperity. It's all pretty heady stuff, these universalisms.

But there's one big catch: Such universalizing is terrible politics -- the folks at home don't like it, and they won't vote for it. Regular people don't seem to like universalism; they like nationalism, particularism, localism. Electorates, each in their own homeland, seem to reject new world orders, preferring to organize themselves into something that many thought was dead and discredited: the nation state.

[...]Looking at these four universalisms, we see similarities and differences. Obviously, Christianity and Islam are different religions, but they are similar, too, insofar as they are both evangelistic, world-girdling monotheisms. And if Christianity and Islam are two sides of the same religious coin, so the ACLU and the Journal are two sides of the same globalizing coin.

Whoa! Wait just a second, some might protest: the ACLU and the Journal as two sides of the same globalizing coin? Is that really true? Just as Christianity and Islam are different, but share certain characteristics, so it is with the left-wing and right-wing globalists. Both left and right "globalists" share a secular faith in abstractions: rights, markets, freedom, etc. In the minds of globalists, national differences should recede as the great ideas of history make their advance.

[...]And so we come to the problem with any and all of these isms: they make for unpopular politics. Let's review:

Cardinal Mahony may want an open border with Mexico, but most Americans -- even most Catholics -- do not. And in Europe, even traditionally ultra-Catholic Spain is tightening up.

Various Islamists may wish to see the Caliphate restored, but there will be many wars before it happens. And that's just between Shia and Sunni Muslims, let alone Muslims and everyone else.

ACLU-ers and left-wing internationalists might have cheered when then-Vice President Al Gore said, with a perfectly straight face, that US troops "died in the service of the United Nations" -- but most Americans hated that thought.

And as for right-wing internationalists, such as those at the Journal, they've certainly got strong arguments when it comes to Ricardian comparative advantage, but other attempts to implement their political agenda, such as keeping the border open and bringing the blessings of liberty to Iraq, are, shall we say, less viable.

To the endless consternation of the globalists, most people prefer to think small: to express affection for their own, first.

[...]The challenge for all of us is to maintain a balance between inspiring universalisms and required particularisms. Yes, we dream big dreams, but politics is the art of the possible. So politics becomes our humility-enforcement tool. Political pressure checks the universalists, balancing their grandiosity with practicality.

All things in reference and proportion, Edmund Burke said. And he was right.

James Pinkerton is TCS media critic and fellow at the New America Foundation.


At 2:16 AM, Anonymous verity said...

It is an important piece; he puts things together nicely. But I can only hope he is right when he says that political pressure will check the universalists. Seeing the way the open borders lobbies are riding roughshod over the American majority certainly makes me uneasy. It seems as though the universalist elites have all the money and most of the power, along with the psychological influence of the 'old' media, and they are hellbent on conditioning us to accept the inevitability of this brave new world they believe in.
I hope Pinkerton is right, however, and that 'normal' wins out. Our civilization depends on it.


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