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  1. #1
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Default Globalization as American ideology.

    So I was reading a book by Zbigniew Brzezinski and came upon a part where he described his view of globalization as a new, American ideology. He proposed that this was a somewhat unusual occurrence in that the USA has historically been driven more by pragmatic national interest than ideology. But supposedly this was an inevitable result of the USA facing the gaping, uncertain abyss in the wake of the cold war.

    I found his description on this ideology interesting. Its two key components were free market economics, and an erosion of state sovereignty in the political sense, enhanced by global military involvement. It really struck a chord with me, because it was descriptive of a certain kind of American ideologue that I have encountered quite frequently.

    The free market part amounted to what I would call libertarian. As I've often noted, this country has been shifting libertarian in the political arena for decades, and has recently experienced a sudden, populist burst of libertarian enthusiasm on top of that. It is definitely a passionate ideology, and it is definitely the most rapidly growing one in the USA. The thing is, most people who actually call themselves die-hard libertarians seem to be pacifists or isolationists, and they often seek to shrink the government in part by eviscerating the defense department. In this regard, libertarianism has not grown at all. There has been neither a political shift nor a significant popular movement against the USA's military preponderance, and this is particularly amazing in light of the USA's two unpopular contemporary wars.

    So we have this being who is increasingly becoming the face of American political ideology, and this being is bascially a libertarian economist with a fetish for a boundless military. It seems to me that this is what Brzezinksi would call a Globalist.

    While he described the emergence of an American ideology as being circumstantially understandable, he did also say there's great risk. There is already an anti-globalist sentiment, which is often inseparable from anti-Americanism (as happened with Communism and the USSR), and that this defuse, contrary sentiment is fertile ground for breeding a well defined, actual ideology in opposition to globalism.

    And from there me and Brzezinski definitely depart, because to me, an anti-globalist ideology sounds just like what the doctor ordered. I've been intently watching to see what ideology emerges to counter globalization and hoping, though pessimistically, that it might bear some similarity to my prescriptions for the ills of globalism.

    It's only a matter of time before something emerges as an obstacle to this would-be hegemony. What is it going to be? And how far will globalism get before that obstacle emerges?

    Anyhow, there's no particular aim to this thread. Just throwing thoughts out there.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  2. #2
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    I'd say your best bet for the birth of this anti global sentiment or ideology would be in the recent recession(depression). Seeing as how we've (supposedly) gone through the worst there's probably not much of a chance of it gaining more substantial momentum.

    Now if there's a double dip then ya I see how its possible.


    to sum up.....global economic catastrophe would amount to anti global forces. At least in my opinion. But until then people from around the globe will still be wanting their next ipad...until they cannot have a chance of affording it.

  3. #3
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swivelinglight View Post
    I'd say your best bet for the birth of this anti global sentiment or ideology would be in the recent recession(depression). Seeing as how we've (supposedly) gone through the worst there's probably not much of a chance of it gaining more substantial momentum.

    Now if there's a double dip then ya I see how its possible.


    to sum up.....global economic catastrophe would amount to anti global forces. At least in my opinion. But until then people from around the globe will still be wanting their next ipad...until they cannot have a chance of affording it.
    lol



  4. #4
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    Oh yeah, globalization an American ideology with all the protectionist anti-China rhetoric going on. Suuure.

    But it looks like you're only talking from the militaristic point of view rather than the economic. I'll give you that a large part of America has fully embraced globalization in this regard.

  5. #5
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swivelinglight View Post
    I'd say your best bet for the birth of this anti global sentiment or ideology would be in the recent recession(depression). Seeing as how we've (supposedly) gone through the worst there's probably not much of a chance of it gaining more substantial momentum.

    Now if there's a double dip then ya I see how its possible.


    to sum up.....global economic catastrophe would amount to anti global forces. At least in my opinion. But until then people from around the globe will still be wanting their next ipad...until they cannot have a chance of affording it.
    We've basically done nothing to resolve the actual causes of the recession since it happened. We're just setting up for another one. In the mean time, the EU is navigating an economic minefield, China's probably over-ambitious economy could face a calamitous bust, and there's potential for an Israeli-Iranian conflict, which would bring the global economy to its knees. So we've got plenty of room for that grim catalyst.

    Quote Originally Posted by SmileyMan View Post
    Oh yeah, globalization an American ideology with all the protectionist anti-China rhetoric going on. Suuure.

    But it looks like you're only talking from the militaristic point of view rather than the economic. I'll give you that a large part of America has fully embraced globalization in this regard.
    Amongst the laymen there has been a big spark of that lately, but I actually don't take it very seriously. I do mean economic as well as military. Laissez-fair economics is one of the keys of globalization. The other way to look at is in terms of who has real influence. Cut out the idiotic audience member you see at a town hall meeting. How much did the ideology of the people who guided the USSR represent the ideology of the common Russian, Ukrainian, etc? If we talk about the people who actually decide how the USA as a whole will use it's power, then I am very confident that free trade is a part of the American globalist ideology.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  6. #6
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Fascism aka tea party

    Actually this thread reminds me of this. Guess what happens as population hits the upper end of the exponential growth curve?

  7. #7
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    Good luck hindering globalization, you might as well try stopping an avalanche with your fists.

    Progress means a shrinking world.

    This is hardly new, and has been the status quo ever since the development of trade routes in the ancient world.

    The more technologically interconnected we become as a species the more globalized we become.

    There are some unfortunate side effects of globalization, most notably the tendency of some multinationals to exploit producers in the chase for higher profit margins.

    But the benefits of globalization are so integral to modern civilization, that the world as we know it would not exist without it.

    There has been neither a political shift nor a significant popular movement against the USA's military preponderance, and this is particularly amazing in light of the USA's two unpopular contemporary wars.
    How is it amazing that the worlds superpower wants to maintain it's international hegemony through the use of force projection?

    The only interest is self interest (at least where sovereign nations are concerned).

    Any other country put in America's place after WWII would have done the exact same thing.

    I will concede that we are at a place now where the benefits realized by the US populace, are outweighed by the fiscal burden incurred by using force projection to the extent we have (not to mention the security concerns raised by spreading our forces so thin).

    But that is besides the point.

    Globalization is (mostly) good. The international exchange of commercial research and development data alone is worth the price of admission.

    How would opposition to globalization move man forward?

    It wouldn't.

    There may be those opposed to certain deleterious externalities inherent in the pursuit of greater profit margins, but there is no way that opposition could create a system of global economics more beneficial to mankind than globalization.

  8. #8
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Good luck hindering globalization, you might as well try stopping an avalanche with your fists.

    Progress means a shrinking world.
    Proximity and interaction do not equate to openness.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    This is hardly new, and has been the status quo ever since the development of trade routes in the ancient world.

    The more technologically interconnected we become as a species the more globalized we become.
    To sort of build of the previous point, I don't think that reach necessarily leads to the conditions of globalization. Also be mindful to not just take the world at face value. We aren't talking about globalization, we're talking about Globalization™. After all, Communism isn't simply a system of communes. The specific details of this ideology, the laissez-fair economics and the totally unbound and intermixed security, I do not think those things are either inevitable or necessarily desirable.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    There are some unfortunate side effects of globalization, most notably the tendency of some multinationals to exploit producers in the chase for higher profit margins.
    Well, there are some compelling cases to be made that not only does it facilitate exploitation on several levels and the expansion of a wealth disparity all the way across the world, but that is also exacerbates issues of energy sustainability, environmental destruction, and possibly poses the risk of cultural hegemony and all of its complex issues. That, and the fact that the so-called interdependent security may in truth just be free reign for the most powerful military.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    But the benefits of globalization are so integral to modern civilization, that the world as we know it would not exist without it.
    Up to what point exactly? Does anyone know?

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    How is it amazing that the worlds superpower wants to maintain it's international hegemony through the use of force projection?

    The only interest is self interest (at least where sovereign nations are concerned).

    Any other country put in America's place after WWII would have done the exact same thing.
    More like after the cold war. But anyhow, perhaps from the perspective of those who guide the country, it's not all that surprising, yet the prices the USA has already paid for it's military expansiveness are rather obvious I think. For the common people, the American masses, it still is just baffling that they wouldn't be very pacifistic or isolationist by now. They have mostly lost for all of this. I mostly blame lack of education and ubiquity of propaganda.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I will concede that we are at a place now where the benefits realized by the US populace, are outweighed by the fiscal burden incurred by using force projection to the extent we have (not to mention the security concerns raised by spreading our forces so thin).

    But that is besides the point.

    Globalization is (mostly) good. The international exchange of commercial research and development data alone is worth the price of admission.
    I also think the free exchange of information has been great. Is it perhaps possible to maintain that and not necessarily all the other open exchanges?

    Actually, Brzezinski made another interesting observation. Most globalists still conspicuously avoid the topic of immigration, or blatantly sound like nationalists again. People still don't accept free moving migrants. What's funny to me is that I'm more comfortable with that than I am with totally unrestrained commerce or military. In that way I feel like I turn globalism on its head.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    How would opposition to globalization move man forward?

    It wouldn't.
    Groups of people do that all the time. They act out constructive cooperation without being totally open and freewheeling to each other. It's possible, and I would almost certainly think beneficial to be selective here, about what you do and don't share.

    Something to keep in mind is that even globalization does not explicitly prescribe an actual, singular world government, and even if it did implicitly, the attempt to establish it would be long and quite difficult. That means that at the global level, there are still no authoritative rules. Rules do not get passed onto states, the rules only exist as the sum of the decisions all the states have made for themselves. Globalization is effectively asking everybody to collectively let it go, leaving no rules as a result. No rules just amounts to might makes right. I think, Brzezinski thinks, and countless others think that one of the most plausible factors for a counter-globalist ideology emerging is the convergence of would-be weaker nations acting on their fear of the most powerful nations who would blatantly stand to gain the most from globalization. And you know, it isn't always about 2nd and 3rd world countries hating the USA. As SmileyMan kind of pointed out, American workers feel some reasons to hate how China and India have been involved in globalism,

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    There may be those opposed to certain deleterious externalities inherent in the pursuit of greater profit margins, but there is no way that opposition could create a system of global economics more beneficial to mankind than globalization.
    I'm one of a great many who is trying and expects to be successful at proving you wrong on that one. The concept is still in it's infancy, but just what I know about the flaws of free market fundamentalism and totally porous security are already a good starting point.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  9. #9
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    Well, there are some compelling cases to be made that not only does it facilitate exploitation on several levels and the expansion of a wealth disparity all the way across the world, but that is also exacerbates issues of energy sustainability, environmental destruction, and possibly poses the risk of cultural hegemony and all of its complex issues. That, and the fact that the so-called interdependent security may in truth just be free reign for the most powerful military.
    You can go ahead and cry me a river if you think that will help...

    Those in control will always exploit those who aren't, regardless of what system their doing it under.

    It would happen in your utopian world just the same as it happens in our real one.

    The best you can hope for is to minimize it's effects.

    I'm not saying that there isn't more we could be doing to combat the symptoms of our global problems, there is, but to think some new system will solve all our ill's is naive at best, and insane at worst.

    More like after the cold war. But anyhow, perhaps from the perspective of those who guide the country, it's not all that surprising, yet the prices the USA has already paid for it's military expansiveness are rather obvious I think. For the common people, the American masses, it still is just baffling that they wouldn't be very pacifistic or isolationist by now. They have mostly lost for all of this. I mostly blame lack of education and ubiquity of propaganda.
    We have spent some $ and we have lost some lives, but in the grand scheme of things the cost to us hasn't been that high. We don't have some lost generation of men like we did after WWI. Our military endeavors haven't bankrupted us yet. And all things considered (whether you agree with our military actions or not), we have done a fine job of securing US interests.

    People love war, they love the theater and the ability to unite against a common foe for once. They love being distracted from boring domestic issues. This has pretty much always been true, and to an extent will always be true.

    I'm one of a great many who is trying and expects to be successful at proving you wrong on that one. The concept is still in it's infancy, but just what I know about the flaws of free market fundamentalism and totally porous security are already a good starting point.
    Good luck.

    I'll stick with my pessimistic realism.

    Groups of people do that all the time. They act out constructive cooperation without being totally open and freewheeling to each other. It's possible, and I would almost certainly think beneficial to be selective here, about what you do and don't share.

    Something to keep in mind is that even globalization does not explicitly prescribe an actual, singular world government, and even if it did implicitly, the attempt to establish it would be long and quite difficult. That means that at the global level, there are still no authoritative rules. Rules do not get passed onto states, the rules only exist as the sum of the decisions all the states have made for themselves. Globalization is effectively asking everybody to collectively let it go, leaving no rules as a result. No rules just amounts to might makes right. I think, Brzezinski thinks, and countless others think that one of the most plausible factors for a counter-globalist ideology emerging is the convergence of would-be weaker nations acting on their fear of the most powerful nations who would blatantly stand to gain the most from globalization. And you know, it isn't always about 2nd and 3rd world countries hating the USA. As SmileyMan kind of pointed out, American workers feel some reasons to hate how China and India have been involved in globalism,
    I'll believe it when I see it.

    2nd and 3rd world nations will never be able to unite against first world nations. The power required for those nations, or a group thereof, to make a difference precludes their ability to desire such changes.

    Let me put it this way....

    China, India, and Brazil stand on the precipice global emergence in the first world. The more powerful they become the greater the interest they have in maintaining the status quo (their share of the pie). The amount of international cooperation that would be required of 2nd and 3rd world nations in order to shift the balance of power is unattainable. Nations just aren't that good at working together for their long term mutual benefit, when it is so much easier to focus on ones own interests.

    So forgive me my doubt.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I think on the topic of globalisation that there's globalisation and globalisation, one of the aspects of socialism and communism which had American patriots whipping up fear about a red menace from early days in its conception was its global aspect, or rather what was called internationalism. Although internationalism perhaps does have more pacifist and multilateral overtones than globalisation.

    What I do think is that the current globalisation was seriously corporate driven, the need to discover and expand into new markets to make up for diminishing returns, particularly as patents ran out (a real issue for pharmaceutical monopolies) and also to provide opportunities for national monopolies to attempt to increase their profits and market share even further, it having reached its natural limits on a national scale.

    I think that there are reasons why national governments, particularly those with predatory financial institutions upon which the economy is dependent for big shares of its GDP, would have an interest in defining and advancing globalisation now. If you are going to depend upon economic growth to finance public spending and therefore artificially repress taxation, particularly of corporations, banking functions and obscene board room or executive pay, then you really need a libertarian globalisation to do that. There's only so many ways you can achieve it with the national swindles which have sufficed so far, selling public assets etc.

    Militarism in the US is a unique thing, a legacy of the Cold War for sure but I see it as a legacy of much earlier political developments and shifts than even that. Churchill was a total and utter fan of the US and wrote complete eulogies to the US as one of the last bastions of white anglo-saxon culture and capitalism, he effectively saw the UK as handing the baton of Empire and hegemony to the US following the defeat of his political vision in the UK by labour "socialists". Churchill's politics never really saw a second life in anything other than Bush's rehetoric about Blair's joining of the "coalition of the willing". The reason being that when Thatcher took over the eighties it was Hayek et al who supplied the vision and they were more in tune with American capitalism than UK conservative heritage proper.

    The US had military keynesianism while the rest of the world had either industrial-keynesianism (Rhine capitalism in Germany) or social/health-keynesianism for when public spending and circulating cash in the economy was requisit. I think that explains militarism in the US, I thought that Obama's election could herald another paradigm shift, with the US making a move like the UK after WW2 with the creation of the National Health Service but it didnt. I think a lot of other pundits did too because at that time there was a lot of analysis of the EU's willingness or capability to serve military function, some moderate/euroskeptic Germans (euroskeptic there doesnt mean anti-union like it does in the UK) saw a Pax Europa replacing the Pax Americana which replaced the earlier Pax Britannia. That changed with both resumed hawkishness after 9/11 but also some serious UK led economic warfare against the single European currency and finance accords.

    I definitely think that US militarism has to change, I also think that globalisation should change too and I'm worried about the shear extent to which really leftfield or crazy libertarian ideas about returns to the gold standard, and the serious shrinkage in money circulating that would involve, have become centre stage. At present I can say that while I really oppose capitalism and US hegemony, for a whole variety of reasons, I'm still one of the chief beneficiaries of each, living in the english speaking first world, although I honestly believe that if libertarians are able to succeed in setting the agenda I wont be able to say that for long. Neither will anyone else.

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