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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Culture and the World Economic Order

An insightful article in Human Events puts the opposition to the Port Deal in perspective:

This minor uprising was about a general feeling that, whatever merits free trade, open borders, and corporate globalism may have financially, they are often not good for the nation in many ways that fail to be accounted for in the theoretical models of economists. Free trade fails to take account of cultural consequences, and it places no value on concepts such as national loyalty. To the value-free traders, labor is simply a commodity, and people are interchangeable parts. And they are entirely correct—economically speaking. A widget is a widget, and the cheaper you can get them made, the better.

But the problem is that all nations are more than just economic systems. They are each somebody’s home. And each has a culture, and a language, and a set of common ideals that they want protected—even more than they want another 0.3% added to next year’s GDP. Some things matter more than the economic opportunity cost we pay for having them. The American Revolution, for example, was bad for the economy while it was under way. But that was not really the point of the whole thing, was it?

The emotion surrounding the ports deal, and illegal immigration, and outsourcing, and homeland security and a dozen other aspects of breakneck international economic integration is no longer simply a quiet misgiving. It is rapidly being formed into a single coherent message from average citizens to those in power—both on the right and on the left- that see it as their job to make sure the “inevitable” rise of a single world economic entity actually happens. People are saying, “Stop!

They’re saying “OK, we’ve tried it your way and it never seems to end. No amount of globalization, tolerance, equalization, outsourcing, internationalism, interventionism, human smuggling, and security risk is ever enough. There is always a push for more—even before the last round has proven itself wise or foolish. Treaty piles upon treaty, migration upon migration, integration upon integration. Now people want a break and a reassessment. They’re not sure they are against it all. They’re just no longer sure they’re still for it.

This is a valid point; the opposition to this deal may well stem from the same root as opposition to illegal immigration; a desire to protect our culture from the forces of globalization and internationalism. An Arab-owned, international corporation managing a key component of America`s infrastructure smacks of ``New World Orderism``, and is especially onerous while we are at war with radical Islam. It is the same sort of reasoning which President Bush employs with his guest-worker program initiative; economic factors are the only ones to be taken into account. I oppose the President on immigration because I believe we have a right and, in fact, duty to preserve our unique cultural heritage. This view was absolutely unquestionable in times past, and has only recently come into the national consciousness as a result of the modern liberal concept of multiculturalism. Now we are told we have no right to maintain our culture, but must go quietly into that good night if need be. The port deal seemed more of the same; we have no right to impose limits within our own country. That view appears to have chaffed many.

Be sure to read the entire article.



Blogger StaticNoise said...

A very good point the author makes about taking a step back and assessing the situation... Not going to happen, however. Just as we lost manufacturing jobs to Japan, who lost them to Korea, who lost them to Indonesia , who lost them to China the work will go to the lowest bidder. Where will it all end?

I often think about urban sprawl in the same way - can we continue to move farms out of the way for more housing and strip malls? Yet, in Mpls/St. Paul we are seeing urban redevelopment in the form of condos as (rich) people move back into the central cities. So will manufacturing eventually come back to America. I think it's virtually assured since our schools are putting out uneducated dummies who will only be able to screw together widgets for minimum wages. (I am only being semi sarcastic...)

9:59 AM  

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