What is “Global Interdependence”?

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Globe centred on Asia and Oceania - Satellite ...Human beings are not isolated, atomistic individuals. Both Thomas Hobbes and John Locke were flawed in holding that they are. Aristotle was on the mark when he said that “Man is by nature a political [i.e. social] animal.” Human beings share a common nature–they are “rational animals,” to use another of Aristotle’s terms. Human being are dependent rational animals–Alasdair MacIntyre was correct in focusing on the dependence aspect that is so often ignored in both Classical Liberalism and Social Democracy’s notion of “autonomy.” Humans are dependent on nature to provide an environment for the basic necessities of life and livelihood. They are dependent on other living things for food, clothing, and oftentimes companionship. They are dependent on other people from the moment they are born to the day they die, notwithstanding modern and contemporary claims of atomistic autonomy. The modern nation-state, established in root form at the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, consists of people under one central government authority. Yet nation-states have never been wholly sovereign or autonomous, since their survival has been dependent on trade and cooperation with other nations. With greater integration of economies, it is easy to push “global interdependence” as a principle that removes sovereign nations and replaces them with a world unified, if not politically, at least economically and in terms of a melding of cultures. Many collages and universities push “Global Interdependence” and require that it be part of the core curriculum classes.

As good as this emphasis sounds, it is fundamentally flawed. While humans are not atomistic individuals and are, in fact, dependent on others for survival and well-being, this does not imply an artificial unity in which all cultures merge into one and the world becomes “one big happy family.” The end of the Cold War has led to the formation of nation-states divided along ethnic lines, even in parts of Europe (the former Yugoslavia, the former Soviet Union). Cultures that have thrived thousands of years continue to thrive and demand freedom from the centralized government of the modern nation-state, as is seen in tribal resistance to the weak central government in Afghanistan. Blood and individual cultures have shown themselves to be thicker than utopian schemes of a New World Order. I do not buy into the conspiracy theorists about the New World Order–in the United States it has meant free trade and the ruin of American manufacturing, the destruction of local cultures with their rich diversity (something that pseudo-multiculturalists and proponents of a politicized “global interdependence” do not understand). Human beings develop their uniqueness in community best within local cultures that vary due to geography, tribe, history, religion, and overall world view. This is what unifies human beings in community, not a system such as the “European Union” that originally found its strongest support among French and German Marxists. It is interesting that Chancellor Merkel, a Christian Democrat, supports a strong European Union, but underneath her rhetoric is an assertion of German economic strength rather than a support of an abstract, artificial unity that harks back to the Roman Empire. Despite the claims of Pax Romana, the “Roman Peace” was filled with rebellions against the central government, including two Jewish revolts from 68-74 and from 132-135. Since the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century A.D., Europeans have gone through periods of searching for that lost unity, from the “Holy Roman Empire” to the current “European Union.” Thus, “global interdependence” cannot refer to an ephemeral political union, and with the decline of the great Medieval unifier of Europe, Christianity, there is no hope for any cultural unity within Europe. If any group has a chance of “winning” the clash of cultures in Europe, it will be Islam. Of course, since we’re so “interdependent,” even the most Islamist of Muslims will join together in one happy family in which local religions and local cultures do not matter (notice the sarcasm in that statement). “Global Interdependence” is a valid concept; the problem is when it obscures real differences between states, cultures, and ethnic groups as if they do not matter (moral and cultural relativism). That is the view of global interdependence that is being pushed by the successors of the 1960s radicals on American colleges and universities as well as in the K-12 educational system. It is a deeply flawed position and should not be used as a tool to indoctrinate students in a radical, utopian agenda.

The United States Should Not Bail out the European Union

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Constituency for the European Parliament elect...

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The United States, through the IMF, of which the U. S. is the majority owner, is pumping 250 billion dollars into the EU-IMF Stability Fund. Unlike the Marshall Plan after World War II, which helped keep Communism out of Western Europe and helped rebuild and stabilize Europe, this plan supports an organization which should quietly pass out of existence.

Since the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century, there have been several attempts to restore the political unity of Western Europe. Charlemagne, in A. D. 800, proclaimed a new Roman Empire, which quickly broke down into competing dukedoms and fiefdoms. The area that is now Germany was not part of the original Roman Empire and already had a different language from the languages developing out of Vulgar Latin that would later become the modern Romance Languages. The barbarian invaders had brought their unique cultures with them into the Roman territories where they settled, and the mix of barbarian and Roman culture produced very different cultures in different areas. The Holy Roman Empire kept the fiction of a European union, but it was basically a group of German petty states controlled by nobles (Germany was not unified as a nation-state until Bismarck did it in 1871). The Bishop of Rome kept an ecclesiastical unity in the West until the Protestant Reformation. But after the Reformation and  after the Feudal era, modern nation-states arose, especially with the Peace of Westphalia  in 1648. But the dream of European Unity did not end.

The European Union was an attempt to create at least an economic union with its own currency, the Euro. Britain, which treasures its independence, kept its own currency, the Pound, although it sends representatives to the European Parliament. But the European Union is intrinsically unstable. Europe has never had the linguistic and cultural unity it had before the fall of the Western Empire, and it lost its religious unity in the 1500s. There is not even a religious vision of the world shared by Europeans given the decline of Christianity and the rise of radical secularism. But French and German Marxists attempted to impose a union upon Europe that is an illusion more than a reality. To continue to support the boondoggle of the European Union is contrary to the best interests of the European nations in the so-called Union, but is also a waste of money for the United States.