Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Marc Schulman of The American Future gives a good fisking to the pro-democracy but anti-globalization openDemocracy editors Anthony Barnett and Isabel Hilton:

"This is where their analysis falls short. Granted, departures from democratic practices aren’t helpful to the anti-terrorist cause. But Barnett and Hilton fail to mention the helpful effects of bringing democratic practices — e.g., the referendum on the Iraq constitution — to people who have never before experienced them. The presumptively negative effects of the former must be weighed against the decidely positive effects of the latter. This the authors do not do."

I have to add that there is a definite incongruity between advocating political freedom to make choices in terms of one's government while wanting to preclude or restrict the economic freedom to make choices in every other area of one's life - work, lifestyle, access to information, travel, religion and culture. Denying people the latter ultimately makes a mockery of the former; a farmer chained in perpetuity behind his water buffalo by the state casts a ballot only to decide which hand is going to hold the whip over his head.

" In the general course of human nature, A power over a man's subsistence amounts to a power over his will. "

- Alexander Hamilton
Well, while it is useful you highlighted this, I was not personally impressed with the response.

Were I not so busy, I might be inclined to give the underlying Leftist idiocy a proper gutting, but sadly your man did not address the core idio-anti-Globo left economic illiteracies. As the utterly unfactual whinging on about Multi Nationals, nor convincingly respond to the sense of loss of control (which is much more understandable and those of us who are for free markets, liberal economics and politics (to the extent that is not duplicative of free markets) as drivers of human betterment must give better answers. And we can.)

The weakness pains me. Nothing said annoyed me (well not more than anything does, me being most annoyable) but the lack of oomph in htting the anti Globos in the gut of their argument got me.
Hi Col,

Please give the lefty anti-globos a good skewering if you can find the time - their philosophy is:

a) Completely contradictory as well as incoherent

b) Pernicious in the most maliciously self-interested and patronizing way imaginable

c) If ever put into action, the resultant great depression would kill millions across the planet via starvation.
Hi mark,
Now you have done it. I am completely mixed up. ‘lefty anti-globo’s”? Isn’t lefty usually reserved for people who are liberal? I don’t understand how someone who is liberal can be anti-globo, anymore than I can understand how someone can be a conservative-globo. Are you trying to tell me that President Bush is Pro-globo and conservative?
When a country is under attack, it goes more conservative. It draws into itself and seeks the values that made the country great. Are you saying we should become more liberal while we are under attack? Or maybe you are just saying one of our conservative policies is globalization.
I see Bush as being under attack for his liberal policies, but it is not by the liberals. He has always advocated the liberal policy of globalization started by Bill Clinton. Why would liberals attack him? So I guess it comes down to, what do you mean by “lefty”?
Hey Larry

Well, going back to the early 19th century through the 1930's conservatives always favored protectionism and tariff barriers and liberals favored free trade. This seemed to be the rule internationally, not just here at home (though even Hoover thought Hawley-Smoot was counterproductive excess).

Globalization, if it could designate a founder, would have Cordell Hull as the forefather. Hull attempted to reverse maniacal protectionism via bilateral tariff agreements, and in a rare burst of influence, persuaded FDR to insist on Free Trade as the price the U.S. would charge Great Britain for signing the Atlantic Charter.

Postwar Britain made good on the pledge out of necessity and dismantled their empire ( without Imperial Preference the empire was simply a drain on gold reserves) and supported the postwar Bretton Woods-IMF-World Bank -GATT Western economic structure.

The effect within American politics was to create a consensus for free trade that ran from moderate conservative Republicans to liberal Democrats. The principle accepted was that tariffs ultimately would go downward, albeit slowly.

Today you see protectionism on the far Right and far Left. The former espouses " economic nationalism" of the paleocon Pat Buchanan variety. The far Left is basically a hodgepodege of radical anticapitalists and anti-American factions - Communists, Anarchists, radical Deep ecology environmentalists who see the global market as exploitative imperialism. They favor everything from discredited command economy socialist planning to vague peasant-based, small-producer, communal living to replace it.
So Mark,
According to your last comment, someone who is pro-globo could be a neo-liberal like Thomas P.M. Barnett or a conservative like yourself, but you both would have to call yourselves in the middle, to the left of Pat Buchanan and right of communist, anarchist, and socialist. So actually it is the left and right that are tearing our country in two, and not liberals or conservatives. Liberals and conservatives want capitalism for all. The left want an economy of the masses, and the right wants the economy of the few.
I knew I was ignorant, now I understand why.
No Larry, I don't think you're ignorant, if I did I wouldn't have put you on my blogroll.

There are lots of individual variances as particular Congressmen respond to local interests peculair to their district that may not mesh with the rest of their political identity ( Think Robert Byrd who never saw a military project in West Virginia he did not like).

That being said, when you find people like Michael Kinsley and Phil Gramm both supporting NAFTA I think it is fair to say the issue commanded broad support across the political spectrum for most of the last forty-fifty years. Granted there was often pointed dissent - textiles, steel, cars - but that was usually special pleading dissent, not philosophically-consistent demands for autarky. Detroit wanted to keep out Honda and Mitsubishi yet keep buying cheap foreign steel etc. etc.
Nice site. Check mine out if you can. coeds need cash
A manual trackback: their claims about democracy are old hat.

Dan tdaxp
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