years ago, Senator John W. Bricker (R-Ohio) introduced a constitutional
amendment that would have prevented any treaty from overriding
US law and the Constitution. The
Bricker Amendment, which came within a hair’s breadth
of passing over President Eisenhower’s voluble protests, became
a conservative cause celebre, with every major organization
of the Right mobilizing its members to lobby for the cause.
It was the last gasp of the Old Right in America, the antiwar,
anti-imperialist anti-New Deal coalition of conservatives,
old-style classical liberals, and Midwestern populists that
dominated the American conservative movement before the coming
of Bill Buckley – and they put up a heroic fight that almost
succeeded. As Garet Garrett put it in The Freeman [May
you may see what happens when, after a prodigious rise in
the executive authority of government, people put forth their
hands to limit it. The State Department echoes with cries
of distress; and the reigning bureaucracy, sinking all minor
differences, united to throw a fighting defense around it.
The people are told they know not what they do. They would
weaken American leadership in the world and perhaps destroy
mankind’s hope of peace."
IN THE ROAD
each turn in the road to the emerging world state, its opponents
have faced the same remonstrations: that defenders of sovereignty
are willful obstructionists blocking the road to peace and
progress, reactionary alarmists whose "isolationist" objections
are utterly without foundation. If the Bricker Amendment passes,
the Establishment pundits and power-brokers declared, the
foreign policy of the US would be "crippled": Secretary of
State Dean Acheson flatly declared that passage of the Bricker
Amendment would be "calamitous upon the international position
and prospects of the United States." Eisenhower and Acheson
were careful to couch their arguments against Bricker in terms
of US national interest and cold war rhetoric – John Foster
Dulles averred, in a speech in March 1954, that the NATO treaty
overrode the Constitution in transferring the right to declare
war from Congress to the President. In the context of the
cold war, the ongoing assault on American sovereignty was
cleverly presented as the best military strategy against an
external enemy. This was the line taken by the Eisenhower
wing of the GOP and its allies in the Democratic Party. But
other opponents of the Bricker Amendment were not so cautious.
. . .
– A SILLY SHIBBOLETH?
the pronouncements of Talbott by nearly half a century, Owen
J. Roberts, a prominent New York lawyer and a very active
member of the New York "Committee to Preserve the Constitution"
– organized to defeat Bricker – announced in a speech that
"we must decide whether we are to stand on the silly shibboleth
of national sovereignty," or yield to some "higher authority
– call it what you will."
SO NEW ABOUT THE NEW WORLD ORDER?
George Bush called it the "New World Order," in proclaiming
his rationale for the Gulf War, and he was not the first to
do so, and the phrase has caught on. But what does it entail?
Capitalizing a word or a phrase rarely explains the concept
behind it, and this is no exception. What is this "New World
Order" that presidential candidate Pat Buchanan vows "will
come crashing down" when he takes that oath of office?
best and certainly the clearest explanation was given by Murray
N. Rothbard, in 1994, at the height of the battle over
US membership in the North American Free Trade Association
what was the frenzy all about, from Clinton and Kissinger
down to Beltway thinktanks? It was indeed not about trade,
certainly not about ‘free’ trade. As the Clinton administration
and their Republican auxiliaries stressed as the vote got
down to the wire, the fight was about foreign policy, about
the globalist policy that the United States has been pursuing
since Woodrow Wilson, and certainly since World War II. It
was about the Establishment-Keynesian dream of a New World
Order, NAFTA was a vital step down that road.
such an order means a United States totally committed to a
form of world government, in which the US/UN "police" forces
dominate the world, and impose institutions to our liking
around the world. Economically, it means a global system devoted
not to free trade, but to managed, cartelized trade and production,
the economy to be governed by an oligarchic ruling coalition
of Big Government, Big Business, and Big Intellectuals/Big
our elites declare their bloody and vicious "victory" in Kosovo,
a war explicitly justified as a fight against rampant "ultra-nationalism,"
and Time-Warner-AOL is poised to become the monopoly Media
Trust filtering our perception of the world, Rothbard’s prescience
seems almost eerie. Even eerier is the speed with which the
Big Intellectuals, in league with Big Media and Big Government,
are now openly proclaiming the virtues of their global dystopia.
The aforementioned Richard Wright, in the New Republic
– that semiofficial organ of the Big Intellectuals – gaily
proclaims the death of the nation-state, while deriding its
opponents as "widely considered fringe characters flaky
if not loony."
is the favorite conceit of our Big Intellectuals. Upholding
the intellectual equivalent of the Time-Warner-AOL mega-merger,
they believe they have a monopoly on all serious ideas. By
these lights, outsiders such as "fringe" characters Ralph
Nader and Pat Buchanan, who warn against "an alarming concentration
of planetary power in one or more acronyms," don’t have to
be refuted – only smeared and ridiculed. In the case of the
latter, The New Republic can naturally be counted on
to lead the charge.
"FLAKES" WERE RIGHT
but even "fringe" characters can be right, it seems, because
"this may be one of those cases when the flaky are closer
to the truth than the sober." It turns out that a world state
is emerging after all: but don’t worry, he avers, because
it’s too late to heed the warnings of the "alarmists"
there isn’t anything you can do about it anyway, Yes, it’s
true, that power is "starting to migrate to international
institutions, and that one of them is the WTO," and that Buchanan
was right when he described the WTO treaty as "a sell-out
of American sovereignty" – but so what? According to Wright
"world government of a meaningful if . . . diffuse sort is
probably in the cards. It follows from basic technological
trends and stubborn economic and political logic. And, what’s
more, it’s a good idea. Among other virtues, it could keep
a sizeable chunk of the liberal coalition from veering off
thrilling that the liberals live in fear of Buchanan as they
never would of Bush. They tremble as he thunders against
their wars, their arrogance, and their idolatry of power,
and quake as he threatens to tear their fragile internationalist
consensus asunder. Yet, in spite of Buchananite storm clouds
on the horizon, today’s intellectual advocates of the new
internationalism are perky at their prospects: they view the
dissolution of America as inevitable. Of course, an overwhelming
sense of inevitability comes with the onset of middle age,
and perhaps this explains the sudden rage for Hegelian "endism"
among baby boomer intellectuals: the "end of history," the
"end of racism," the "end" of practically everything has been
proclaimed. This moment, this generation, this vision of human
destiny is the apex and endpoint of human development, the
inevitable result of the unfolding dialectic of history –
this is a familiar conceit. Intellectuals of the statist persuasion
love this idea, in any case, because its predictive pretensions
allow for central planning: decode the hidden plan of History,
and you have unlocked the secret of the dialectic – and of
NATURAL VERSUS MAN-MADE
why? Why is the evolution of a world state practically
inevitable? Our globalists are vague on this vital point:
according to Wright, "it follows from basic technological
trends and stubborn economic and political logic." Confusing
the natural laws that govern the market with man-made laws,
Wright argues that nations will band together out of economic
self-interest to "avoid lose-lose outcomes" and that the process
leading to a world state begins with "that elementary human
non-zero sum game, mutually profitable exchange." The existence
of the market, we are told, leads inevitably to a world system
to govern, or "adjudicate" it, as Wright puts it. But the
market does not need to be "adjudicated": it is a perfect
mechanism that works all by itself, without having to be wound
up on a daily basis by the bureaucrats of the WTO.
POLITICS OF CO-OPTATION
trade can only be enforced by some international organization
that has the power to violate sovereignty, avers Wright, but
this is wrong on two counts. First, as Rothbard pointed out
above, what is wanted by Wright and his fellow globalists
is not free trade but a system of international cartels, an
"oligarchic" system run by a state-privileged corporate elite
that transcends national boundaries. Within the framework
of "liberalized" trade offered up by Wright, with the prospect
of international labor standards and global governing authorities
to enforce them, each interest group will be given its share
of the plunder. The unions are first in line, with the environmentalists
second, as the WTO brings in all the wacky little pressure
groups fixated on the extinction of a particular species of
fish from a certain river, as well as the Sea Turtle brigade
that made such a showy debut during the Battle of Seattle.
TRIUMPH OF MENSHEVISM
this scenario, what we have to look forward to is the international
extension of Clintonism, in which all the national variants
of the Third Way meet and merge into one worldwide system
of social democracy, or democratic socialism. The history
of the past fifty years, from this point of view, can be summed
up as follows: "Bolshevism is dead, long live Menshevism!"
And, of course, it’s all "inevitable," the magical unfolding
of the political and economic "logic" of history – except,
it isn’t. . . .
ROAD TO REAL FREE TRADE
free trade is never going to be achieved by any international
governing body or by some pact between governments, either
globally or bilaterally. This awaits the globalization of
economic knowledge, and a massive worldwide awakening to the
benefits of free trade. All tariffs are a tax, levied by governments
that profit from their continuation and extension: it seems
somehow naïve to expect that these same governments will
voluntarily give up these revenues. Only a worldwide realization
that tariffs are an especially onerous tax on the poor and
middle classes (i.e. the majority), who must pay more for
basic items like food, clothing, and basic services, can succeed
in overthrowing the special interests and ushering in a new
millennium of truly free trade. And this will be done, if
it is done, in each individual nation – indeed, that
is the only way it can be done – without surrendering
"the shibboleth of sovereignty."
ART OF MUMBO-JUMBO
much for the "economic logic" of the new globalist triumphalism;
now, what about the technology angle, that links globalism
to modernity and the onset of the computer era? Wright is
here indulging in mumbo-jumbo, a technique mainly utilized
by writers of fiction, usually authors of third and fourth-rate
fantasy and science fiction. When pressed to explicate the
"scientific" kernel at the core of the story, the explanation
for time travel or interstellar flight or Monsters from the
Id or whatever, practitioners of the art of mumbo jumbo invariably
resort to arcane formulations, such as "a flux in the Space-Time
Continuum," or else appeal to pure fantasy and invoke the
power of the Elder Gods. Combining these methods, Wright mystifies
technology and especially the Internet with such phrases as
"the shrinkage of economic distance." We must inevitably surrender
our sovereignty, which will wither in the shade of the coming
world colossus, because the Internet has opened up a perilous
possibility. Due to "the shrinkage of economic distance .
. . economic downturns can be contagious."
WORRY, BE HAPPY
don’t worry about all those inherently insolvent financial
institutions, like banks, that couldn’t begin to cover their
debts in a crisis – the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
is going to be the guarantor of last resort, a world central
bank in embryo. Sure, the IMF has its critics, we are told,
"but almost no one is saying the IMF should quit lending altogether."
Free-market economists and conservative opponents of globalism
and foreign aid apparently don’t count: in Wright’s elite
circles, "the mainstream argument isn’t about whether to have
a form of world government but about what form to have."
VERSUS THE INTERNET
Wright’s view, the creation of the Internet is seen, not as
a globalizing cultural influence, but as an uncontrolled phenomenon
that cries out for regulation, and even a threat akin to a
decade from now, global laws regulating the prescription of
antibiotics could make sense, if the too-casual use of these
drugs creates strains of super-bacteria that can cross oceans
on airplanes. And then there is cyberspace, that notorious
distance-shrinker and sovereignty-sapper. It empowers offshore
tax-evaders, offshore libelers, offshore copyright-violators.
Nations will find it harder and harder to enforce more and
more laws unless they coordinate law enforcement and, in some
cases, the laws themselves."
SPECTERS OF DOOM
twin specters of a global epidemic of raging bacteria let
loose and an Internet that empowers such Satanic figures as
"offshore libelers" (who be they?) this is the
kind of stuff that gives science fiction a bad name. Naturally,
the globalists don’t like the Internet – to them, it is a
danger, a genie that must be put back in its bottle. This
is the agenda behind Janet Reno’s recent announcement of a
crackdown on "crime in cyberspace." The reasoning goes that
international crimes require international law so we can prosecute
hackers in, say, Latvia. But why is this so, more so than
in any other category of crime? There are laws against murder,
theft, etc. in most of the world, although most governments
exempt their own agents and employees from this legislation
– especially in time of war. Aside from that, however, freelance
murderers and thieves are extradited and tried all the time,
and the same process could easily be replicated in the case
of "cyber-criminals." Why is it impossible for each country
to separately enact legislation covering "cybercrime," and
punish it when it occurs within its own territory? Law enforcement
agencies of different countries often cooperate in catching
the bay guys, but that is hardly an argument for surrendering
our sovereignty to some acronymic world entity, the United
States of the World.
the groups that will rule the coming New World Order, Rothbard
(above) mentioned one, the Big Intellectuals, who play a key
role in its construction. Wright’s piece is the perfect expression
of their credo, which completely adjures all notions of patriotism
as little more than superstitious (and potentially dangerous)
sentimentality. After all, we are reminded, look at the economic
dislocations that led to Hitler: if we had had a world central
bank around to bail out Germany during the 30s, we might not
have winded up with Hitler. The globalists regret that the
German hyperinflation was not extended to the rest of the
world. This is really the heart of the globalist enterprise
– the creation of a world central bank to "insure" the banking
industry against an economic downturn –and, having eliminated
such inconveniences of the marketplace as exchange rates,
give it the power to inflate without limit or restraint. A
fiat paper money currency on a world scale, and the complete
elimination of gold – this is the old Keynesian dream, by
which means they sought to foist their socialist vision on
AND LOATHING AMONG THE ELITES
Establishment is living in mortal dread, and is fearful that
it will blow its big chance to seize power on a global scale.
On the economic front, the increasingly shaky foundations
of the world economic system, and especially the inherently
unstable banking sector, give them ample cause for worry.
The "contagion" they fear is growing lack of confidence in
the monetary policies of governments worldwide, and especially
in the solvency of the heavily-subsidized and propped-up banking
system. On the political front, the specter of Buchananism
haunts both the left and the "respectable" right: his powerful
challenge to their hegemony frightens them half to death.
The New Republic has been one of the major centers
of this morbid fear, and of anti-Buchananism, generating since
1991 a body of material that could easily fill two or three
good-sized volumes, comprising a veritable Encyclopedia
VOICE OF INTERNATIONALISM
the premier magazine of American internationalism, founded
by financier Willard Straight, a Morgan partner, in 1912,
The New Republic symbolized "the growing alliance for
war and statism between the Morgans and various of the more
moderate (i.e. non-Marxist) progressive and socialist intellectuals,"
as Murray Rothbard put it in his trenchant study, Wall
Streets, Banks, and American Foreign Policy. Agitating
and cheerleading for every military intervention of the bloody
20th century, from World War I to Vietnam, the
left-internationalists of The New Republic still serve
the same cause, and the same masters. Wright’s manifesto of
the globalist dream of socialism on a world scale is an old
song re-dubbed for modern consumption. Whereas the intellectuals’
anthem in the 20th century was all about the inevitability
of the proletarian revolution, and the implacable coming of
the worldwide dictatorship of the Communist vanguard, today
our Big Intellectuals are singing the same tune, but with
different lyrics. Now we hear all about the inevitability
of free trade, democracy, and even free markets. Yet, strangely,
the result is the same: a government-privileged elite gets
to lord it over us all, regulating commerce from Texas to
Timbuktu, and trolling the Internet for evidence of "hate
speech" and other "cybercrimes." The same coalition of Big
Government, Big Business, Big Media, and Big Intellectuals
seems perpetually in the saddle, no matter what they
call the ruling ideology – and isn’t it funny how things always
seem to work out that way?
BET ON IT
well, that’s another column altogether. Suffice to say here
that we are less than reassured by Wright’s contention that
world government is going to be loose and diffuse, when compared
to the rule of nation-states. He writes:
won't world government ever be as taut as old-fashioned national
government? For one thing, governments have traditionally
drawn internal strength from external opposition. If you scan
the historical and prehistoric record for distant parallels
to the current moment, the nearest approximations you'll find
are when agrarian villages have united to form "chiefdoms"
or when chiefdoms evolved into ancient states."
external opposition, short of an invasion of aliens from outer
space, Wright reasons that the emerging world state will not
have the political strength to impose a "taut" (i.e. unduly
oppressive) regime. But this overlooks the strength it can
draw from mobilizing state resources against its internal
enemies, including anyone who resists or opposes its legitimacy.
A worldwide crusade against "renegade" nationalists of all
persuasions, from the Balkans to the American Midwest, would
serve the interests of the global centralizers to a tee. As
the last holdouts against militant universalism, reactionary
opponents of the cultural and political homogeneity that is
the globalist ideal, dissident could be caricatured as dangerous
manifestations of national and ethnic particularism – or "racism,"
in the lingo of political correctness – and dealt with accordingly.
For the "crime" of not wanting to join the global "human family,"
the penalty could be high.
the historical record for some parallels to the current moment,
what comes to mind is not the prehistorical formation of "chiefdoms"
but the consolidation and hubris of the Roman Empire. A vast
territory encompassing most of the civilized world, ruled
over by a decadent elite and half-mad Emperors who could wage
war at will; choking on its own corruption, seething with
internal conflict and religious and political rivalries constantly
threatening to break out in open civil war – is this
the future our globalists dream of, a rerun of the late Roman
is striking about Wright’s essay is that there is not the
slightest regret at the passing of the old American republic.
There is no mention of the Constitution, nor how it will fare
in the new millennium of "global governance." Such anachronisms
as the Founders, who warned against "entangling alliances"
and sternly lectured posterity on the need to jealously guard
our independence, are nowhere mourned, or even mentioned.
To the elites, to Wright, to the readers of The New Republic,
it is as if George Washington had never existed and the American
Revolution had never taken place. This is the true
meaning of treason – the intellectual treason of our transnational
elites, who owe loyalty to nothing but power, money, and their
own positions as gatekeepers of the conventional wisdom –
and I say: to hell with them.