Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Globalization

I just came across this online article by James Poulos about globalization. Let me begin by admitting that after reading this article through one time I don't have a clue what it's about. It isn't exactly written in simple terms. But it has something to do with globalization and about how America should somehow be the overseer but not the victim of the process... I think...
Recently I've begun to wonder if maybe globalization, the word, is merely an euphemism for something a bit more sinister. "Globalization" as a word isn't as offensive as the effects it is having around the world. Globalization is a process. Some schools of thought propose that it is an ungoverned process, the results rather than the cause of changes centered on technology and trade. The changes are primarily economic but to that end, there are also political, cultural, and yes technological changes necessary to grease the ways for this economic transition.
I tend to see globalization as something not quite as recent as some suggest. We tend to think of globalization as a process that got its start around the time of Ronald Reagan's trade policy revisions. But the process that globalization represents has much deeper roots.
Certainly the British Empire was bent on world trade and on shaping the politics and culture of the world in such a way as to set England up as the hegemonic head of trade and banking. Britain's East India Company was a financial force with immense world power backed up by Britain's merchant fleet and her navy. The British Empire failed to sustain its hegemony.
Before that, there were the Spanish, the French, the Dutch, the Portuguese. All sought wealth through world hegemony. All failed to sustain it.
Even the Roman Empire sought the same goal two thousand years ago. It failed.
But all of these imperial powers sought the same goal, wealth through control of the world's trade. The legacy of this goal reaches even further back in time, further back than the Caesars of Rome and Constantinople. And this legacy has links in recent history as well. In the Twentieth Century the empires of Germany, Italy, and Japan fought the empires of Britain, the United States, and Communist Russia. Germany nearly succeeded, but it was the United States which emerged as the victor.
The Cold War masked over this victory. For decades we Americans saw ourselves as vulnerable, as the weak victim struggling to survive against the power of the Communist threat. We feared Russia. We feared China. We even feared Cuba and when it came right down to it, we feared Nicaragua. We feared that our economic hegemony, our enormous wealth, would fall into the hands of the Communist proletariat. We even feared Hollywood.
The Cold War is over now and it was that sea change that brought on the tidal wave of globalization. Suddenly the powers of finance found themselves in full control, masters of the codependent working classes. The time was at hand for the wealthy to take command. Technology had finally conquered the obstacles of time, distance, language barriers, communications, propaganda, even armed resistance. The goal of the wealthy through the ages was finally within reach.
While all of this is quite obviously true and while it is clear that the wealthy are organized, it is amazing that globalization's enablers, the workers, the scientists, the technicians, the politicians, the military forces, all continue to deny that there is indeed a hegemonic power at the top that is guiding this process. The word "globalization" is euphemistic. The real term is in its most recent negative form is "fascism."
Globalization is the managed transition from a world of nations and sovereignty, governments, religions, and cultures, to a world of open borders and enormous wealth for the few through world trade.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Pander Bare

Look, the Empress has no clothes!
It's not easy thinking up models of behavior that can explain the Hillary Clinton campaign these days. There was the bickering over NAFTA where Clinton opposes strongly from the beginning that which she and her husband strongly supported while he was President. There was the "elitist" claim against Obama for his suggestion that people are not very trustful of Washington politics. There was the Jeremiah Wright issue where Hillary, the Methodist, and not Obama, the "Black church" faithful, had the true American religion. Of course there was the Bosnia incident where she repeatedly told the same lie - op! I mean "misspoke" - to her own constituents to prove her worthiness under fire. Now it's the gas tax issue.
What on earth is going on with her? What flavor of Kool-Aid has she been drinking the past month or two?
The gas tax thing I think has one more layer that hasn't yet been revealed. Eventually Obama will appear as the one opposed to a bi-partisan solution to high gas prices. Hillary hasn't to my knowledge hit Obama yet with that punch, but no doubt she will to counter Obama's claim of being the one reaching across the aisle to solve America's problems. Not that dropping the gas tax will solve any problems, mind you, unless the gasoline prices have been artificially inflated for the specific purpose of defeating the national gasoline tax, but that is a conspiracy theory and we all know America in not run by conspiracy.
Obama is the one with the valid point. If highway users don't pay their fair share for using the highway, then who will pay for highway maintenance? Hillary says the oil companies should pay, as if that won't drive up the price of oil! McCain, I guess, thinks we should fund highway repairs with deficit spending. Let the Chinese come up with our highway maintenance money. Exchange treasury bonds for bridges and let future generations dig their way out from under the debt.
But here's the thing that gets me about all this Kool-Aid. In all of these controversies, Obama comes across as the thinking man. Hillary and McCain come across as real dumb-asses. It's like a competition to see which one can have the greatest dumb-appeal. One thing George W. Bush taught us as a nation is that dumb appeal wins a whole bunch of votes in America these days. Americans aren't looking for a thinking man to be their leader.
Hillary hasn't always had this appeal to the Bush-type supporter. She used to have the reputation as a thinking person. But recently she morphed into this mindless political giant using any form of logic and fallacy that might work to defeat her opponent. She morphed into a Karl Rovian form of candidate. She accused her opponent of thinking too much and being an elitist while she, the true elitist, became what she believed the voters were looking for, stupid.
Obama thinks the voters are thinking people. Clinton and McCain think they are stupid. That's what this game is all about. Obama won't let his intelligence be used to belittle the voters. Clinton and McCain are perfectly content to appeal to the voters' dumber side. And just like Obama says, we all have a dumber side that surfaces when we don't think our leaders are using their brains.