Lay the burdens down upon the grass
Daily Archives: October 15, 2016
The racists and patriots and patriotic racists celebrate Trumpism and Brexit as a rejection of some sort of world order that presumes to try and bring nations to the negotiating table without violence, to work as partners instead of adversaries, neighbors instead of nation-states. The fear of multiculturalism, multiracialism is all just a tool of tribalists that fail to see the advantage of leveling the playing field for all of us, structurally. The world economy operates on the debt of the third world, and the debt of everyone to everyone else. Economically, we rise and fall as a unit, already. The fallout from the foolish Brexit campaign is already symptomatic of the danger of losing connection to other countries.
We are afraid to cede control to people who are not like us. Instead, we build up armies and walls and rhetoric that separate humans from humans. This is dangerous. The tribal impulse, the mercantile impulse to accumulate more at the expense of others, creates a world of resource scarcity that will culminate in a conflict between the haves and have nots. Until we reach a world where we are all united under the same tribe, we will be unable to think about our world in the proper fashion.
I say proper explicitly because racism is improper and incorrect. The notion that one group or nation is better than another, or “the best” is often called patriotism. But patriotism is ideologically similar to racism, so much so that it can be difficult to distinguish them. Love of country and community is quick to bend to hatred of another country or community. When we claim America is the greatest nation on Earth, there is implicit inside this claim that other nations aren’t so great as us. So, it is a claim that carries the ghost of racism in the language. Racism is built into the fabric of tribal societies as the easiest way to distinguish one group of better humans from another group of not-as-good humans. We build up our kingdoms in the sand at the expense of the full access to humanity to those outside the lines. Certainly, the Bill of Rights does not apply to citizens of other countries, only Americans. We can assassinate them, remand them without due process, lock them up in Guantanamo, and snoop and spy on everyone, everywhere without probable cause. To function as a government, the American government creates a tribal class of human called “American” that is fundamentally imbued with rights, that no one else gets to have.
So, when I hear a former United States Ambassador to the UN say that he wants to get rid of all but one nuclear bomb, and he wants America to be the owner of that bomb, it chills me. The cudgel to keep the world in line should not belong to one class of citizens. The ideals of democracy insist on a world where everyone has a voice in their own governance, and every class of citizens are also citizens of a kingdom where the revolutions do not come with blood, and courts and appeals can address our great conflicts, not bombs and drones and terrorist acts.
Those on the alternative right wing who appeal to an end to globalization are renouncing the idea that democracy belongs to everyone, that war is no way to resolve conflicts, that the tribe of humanity encompasses all peoples, everywhere. They are engaged with, and expressing ideas that are either explicitly or implicitly racist. I do not wish to see the world united in bloodshed. War does not unite a kingdom, without an enemy to conquer. Instead, the slow, incremental work of the United Nations to bring powerful nations together to resolve global conflicts, and the spread of free market economics, seems to be doing the work a little at a time, connecting everyone, and pulling our rabble-rousing patriots to the table in peace instead of violence. The rise of dictators seems to be an impulse brought on by the terror of new technology, while new technology is also the panacea against the continued success of dictators.
One day, we will have one world government, and all humans will know they are equal. It is a good thing to work towards that goal a little at a time, slowly. At the end of the life of dicatorships, comes democracy. Corruption builds until it festers to an unsustainable state, and the oppressed will overthrow their masters. Democratic systems allow that revolution to be bloodless, quick. It would be far superior to the current state in international relations where the UN is constructed as a sort of hedge against global unity, with “superpowers” holding permanent places on important councils, and no clear sense of authority over the life of individuals on the ground.
Anyway, what I am trying to say is that anytime someone talks about globalization as if it is a bad thing, as if the world must be prevented from uniting under one government, that person is either an implicit or explicit racist. Challenge them if it appeals to you, but know that their ideas will die out without our help. Power has a manner of accumulation. Once economics becomes so powerful that no nation would dare cross the sanctions, things will start to roll faster and faster towards a united world without war, with democracy at the level of the leaders of government leaders.