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Globalization and Global Chaos

Globalization and Global Chaos

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Published by Ron Hera
As globalization progresses, it leaves in its wake political disenfranchisement, reduced individual rights, unaccountable leadership, illegitimate governments and the potential for violent oppression. It is a profound irony that the positive vision of a unified, global human collective is one of harmonious, peaceful cooperation, without warring nation states. Sadly, the unintended consequences of globalization include social and political upheaval, civil unrest and, eventually, revolt.
As globalization progresses, it leaves in its wake political disenfranchisement, reduced individual rights, unaccountable leadership, illegitimate governments and the potential for violent oppression. It is a profound irony that the positive vision of a unified, global human collective is one of harmonious, peaceful cooperation, without warring nation states. Sadly, the unintended consequences of globalization include social and political upheaval, civil unrest and, eventually, revolt.

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Published by: Ron Hera on Aug 24, 2011
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Hera Research, LLC
7205 Martin Way East, Suite 72Olympia, WA 98516U.S.A.+1 (360) 339-8541 phone+1 (360) 339-8542 faxhttp://www.heraresearch.com/
1
Global Perspective:Globalizationand Global Chaos
By Ron HeraAugust 16, 2011©2011 Hera Research, LLCAs social and political upheaval and civil unresthavespread across the globe,it has become clear that the problems facing Westerncountriesareneither transient nortemporary.Europe, the United Kingdom andthe United Statesshareacommonset ofproblems over and above economic declineand sovereign debtissueslinked toproblems ofthe globalfinancial system. Theissues surroundingcivilunrestcomprise alack of economic opportunity,political disenfranchisement, erosion of individual rights,asystematiclack of accountabilityfromlocal authoritiestonational leaders, deteriorating credibility of political andfinancial leaders anddisintegrating national government legitimacy.The reason that the above problemsare common to Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States is that theyarealllinked toglobalization. National governments have become increasingly subordinated tointernational bodies, such as the WorldTrade Organization (WTO),International Monetary Fund (IMF),Group of 20 (G-20) or the EuropeanCentral Bank (ECB), as well as tolarge multinationalcorporations.Large multinationalcorporations,which areacentralfeature ofglobalization,enjoy privileged status granted to them by governments. The bailout of large multinational banks by Western governments in the face of the financial crisis that beganin 2008 illustrates thatthe well being ofsufficiently large multinational corporationspreempts nationalinterests.The rationale that large multinational banks cannot failstems from the fact thatthey make upthe infrastructure—the valves, pipes and pumps, so to speak—of theinternationalfinancial system.Whatis important is that thesame rationale can be applied to virtually anyinternationalindustry. The precedent of bank bailouts ushered in a new paradigm wherein the agendas of international industrialcartels take precedence over the laws, regulations, economic and trade policies of national governments.Although theworld financial systemisat a more advanced stage of globalizationrelative tomostother industries, the bank bailouts revealed,with startling clarity,anewworldorder.The financial crisis of 2008 and the global recession that followed suggest that globalization may fail for  basiceconomic reasons. Globalization, as opposed to promoting sustainable, economic communities,advances an agenda of central economic planning designed to optimize global output, mainlyfor the benefit ofmultinationalcorporations.Policies or regulations that benefitmultinationalcorporations donotnecessarily promote economic stability or sustainability and may run counter to the interests of localor regionalcommercial concerns.The law of unintended consequences states that when a simple system attempts to control a complexsystem, unintended consequencesare theresult. Globalization placestherelatively simple, rigid bureaucraciesof international bodies andlarge multinationalcorporationsin a position of oversight and policymaking over the affairs of roughly196countries and 6 billion human beings around the world.Unintended consequences are, therefore, endemic toglobalization.What is more important than theeconomic failure of globalization, however,isits imminentpoliticalfailure.International trade and capital flows areemergent phenomenathat exist as a consequence oftheindividual human actions that form the basis of every local and regional economy in theworld.
 
©2011 Hera Research, LLC
2Economies, like biological ecosystems, are spontaneously self-organizing systems that develop naturallyin a local or regionalcontext. Breaking down naturally occurring localor regional economies in order toreassemble their components, e.g., capital, labor or natural resources, in a wholly artificial, centrally planned system, is a profoundly flawed and politically dangerous concept. Specifically, the politicalstructures required for globalization breed unrest. Political systems that requirehuman beings to behavein ways contrary to human natureare, by definition,oppressive.Since politicalstructures arise in a socialcontext, replacing local and regional economic relationships, characterized byethnic and culturalsocialstructures,withanabstract concept, such as the global economy, requiresoppressive political structures.
Globalization and Individual Liberty
Understanding the political failure of globalization requiressome familiarity withpolitical philosophy.The Greek philosopher Plato wrotethat“excess generally causes reaction and produces a change in theopposite direction, whether it be in the seasons, or in individuals, or in governments.”Under a policy of globalization,national governmentsdefer tointernational bodies and to the agendas oflarge multinationalcorporations, which are thought to make up the global economy, butthe removalofeconomicand political controltointernational bodies represents a radical centralization of power. The European Union,for example, has been described as a centrally planned economic union where unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats make decisions in place of democratically elected nationalleaders. If Platois right, then themore excessive the centralization of power becomes, the moreforceful the reaction against it willultimately be.Philosophically speaking, theinstitution of the statealways opposes individual liberty to some degree.There is anenduring,inherent conflict between the rights of individual human beings andthe rights of human collectives.By nature, human beings are social animals, thus the survival of the collective, e.g., afamily, clan, tribe,village,etc.,takes precedence over the survival of individuals.However, individualhuman beings innately desire freedomto pursue their own selfish interests.Of course, thepursuit of selfish interestson the part ofindividualsincludes behaviors that benefitthecollective,of which they area part, i.e.,it is in theselfinterest of individuals to maintain their own collective. Thus, selfishpursuitsare notnecessarilydestructive to the collective and can be supportive of it,which is the basis of  philosopherAyn Rand’s view of selfishnessas a virtue.Thelimitation onindividual libertyin thecontext of any collectiveis thatbehaviors that impair the capacity of the collective to survive cannot betolerated. Conversely, behaviorsthatarenot harmful tothe collectivecan besafelytolerated even if theydo not benefit the collective.The great complexity of human socialand politicalorganization springs fromthe constraints onindividual behavior necessary for thesurvival of the collective and from how such constraints areenforced bythe collective.In a political context, the most important, definingissue isthetreatment of individual liberty.According toAyn Rand, “individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majorityhas no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protectminorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).” Since theglobal collective is the ultimate political majority, it isalsothegreatestthreat to individual rights.The social contract,underwhich human beings liveharmoniouslyin collectives, is reflected in the legaland political structures of a society.As a practical matter, lawsrequirelaw enforcement and lawenforcement presupposes the existence of anenforcingauthority. It has been said, for example, thatgovernment is “...an institution with a monopoly on the legitimate use of deadly force within a specifiedgeographic territory(Max Weber 1918).Globalization violates the social contract.While nogovernmentcanbe separated fromthe use of force, the use of force is only legitimate if it servesthe interests of the collective, e.g., of a particular nation. The useof force by a government against its
 
©2011 Hera Research, LLC
3own citizens in order to serveprivate, rather than public, interests or to serve the interests ofanother nationis not legitimate and is merely violent oppression. The latter distinctionisclear to Westernerswhen observing, for example, the shootings ofnonviolent protestersin countries like Iran or Syria,but isless obvious when observing police violence against nonviolent protesters in Spain or Greece.
Globalization and Government Legitimacy
Human social structures, such as those offamilies, clans, tribes,villages,etc.,naturallyhave elders or other leaders that, in theory, haveanunderstanding of the structure of thecollective and of what isnecessary for or harmful to its survival.Throughout human history, the relationships ofhumancollectives and their leaders have been based on various combinations of force,rational or irrational beliefs,socialclassstructures, economic factors,andonthe will of the collective. For example,oligarchies aretypicallybased on beliefs, e.g., religious beliefs,oronmaterial wealth,e.g., landownership. Military dictatorships are based onforce;whiledemocracy, at least in theory,is based on thewill of the collective,and so forth.Globalizationcorrodesthelegitimacy of national governments.Setting aside leadership based purely onforce, e.g.,militarydictatorship,legitimate leadershipdepends ontheassent of the collective.The assentof the collectiveislost when leaders failtounderstand the structure of the collective or what is necessaryfor or harmful to its survival. Just asindividual behaviors that are injurious to the collective are nottolerated, leaders that are injurious to the collective can be rejected by the collective, sometimes violently,i.e., revolution.Of course, revolutions are relatively uncommon and, throughout history, the vastmajority of human beings have lived as subjects.The American Declaration of Independencestates that “…governments long established should not bechanged for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are moredisposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to whichthey are accustomed.”Thus,loss of legitimacy on the part of a government is a necessary condition for revolutionbut it is not sufficient.Generally,subjects thatreceive benefits from their rulers or thatfeelthey have something to lose, e.g., their livelihood or property, will not revolt unless they stand to losemore by failing to act,i.e., whena long train of abusesand usurpationsevinces a design to reduce themunder absolutedespotism.However, when economic mismanagementthreatens the survival of individuals,the probability of revolt greatly increases.
Globalization and Political Disenfranchisement
As the collective encompassed byagovernment grows wider in scope, the constraints onindividual behavior, and on therights of individuals, grow accordingly. In a family, clan, tribe or village, leadersaremore or lessdirectly accessible and accountable and individuals have direct input on decisions affectingthe collective. As the scope of the collectivegrows, individuals areincreasingly subordinated, eventuallyhaving nomeaningfulinput on decisions, nosignificantaccesstoleadersand no influenceover the policies of the collective. Political disenfranchisement, therefore, follows globalization in lock step.The European Union, forexample,hasarguablydevolved intoan autocracywere unelected bureaucratsdictate fiscal, monetary and trade policies based substantially on the requirements of the largest European banks. In other words, national governments and democratic electionsin Europehave become largelyirrelevant.While democracy ensures that leaders have the assent of the collective, given sufficient resources,elections can beinfluenced, e.g.,through the news media. Theoretically, in a republic, theficklemajorityis constrained by principles enshrined in fundamental laws, but, for better or worse, laws can be changed.Roman Senator Gaius Cornelius Tacitus (AD 56– AD 117) wrote “the more corrupt the state, the more

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