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Right and Left Globalism

Globalization is a fact. It is the actual integration of international markets for goods, services, labor and finance. Globalism, by contrast, is a doctrine or ideology that calls upon the peoples of Western societies to embrace mass immigration and diversity as a universal good, or as an inevitable accompaniment of global economic integration.

Globalism has Right and Left versions (hereafter called Right and Left globalism). Both argue that the nation state is losing — and ought to lose — effective sovereignty as its policy options become ever more constrained by pressures to harmonize economic and social programs. Right globalists seek to subordinate non-economic values, including national interests, to the values of the international market. The final goal, in their estimation, is an era of unprecedented and perpetual efficiency, as profitability, and economic growth. Left globalists seek to subordinate non-universalist values, including national interests, to internationalist “humanist” values. In the Marxist variant, globalization is seen as the logical culmination of the capitalist dynamic, which will usher in an age of international socialism where exploitation vanishes and wealthy regions (nations no longer) will be taxed to bring poor regions up to the world standard.

The Economics of Right Globalism

If globalization did not provide material benefits, Right globalism would have little impetus among the wealthy economies presently advancing it. Globalism is, after all, a movement of colourless economic and intellectual elites. By the nature of their creed, such would-be leaders are attractive mainly to that small constituency for whom globalization feels like an unambiguous triumph, and whose sense of security is still preserved within gated communities, as yet unimpeded by the rabble of the ever shrinking global village. Another constituency, at least in principle, is non-European minorities within European nation-states, who would benefit from the weakening of the European majority ethnic power caused by the nation state being subsumed within regional and global governments. However, the evidence for a significant minority impetus to globalism is poor compared to the capitalist and leftist impetus. If the integration of markets did not offer real economic benefits, globalism would be a rich man’s club entertained by intellectuals. But global trading routes have been developing for centuries because they generate wealth. International accords, part of the armamentarium of globalism that includes free trade zones and regional defense pacts, not only facilitate trade but reduce the spectre of war that so marred the twentieth century.

The economic explanations offered for globalization are generally true. Lowering trade barriers, freeing up the movement of goods, capital, and labour, do indeed boost overall wealth by removing impediments to efficient market allocation of resources. From the perspective of the world economy as a whole, it is profitable to move a labour-intensive factory from a high-income country to a low-income one. And if one’s top priority is to reduce conflict, then establishing international governance is indeed a good idea. A large number of business people and ordinary citizens have a stake in these aspects of globalization.

However, globalization has costs, due partly to the inequality exacerbated by global capitalism, and partly to collateral damage inflicted on other interests (there are values other than increasing overall material wealth and avoiding conflict). Pope John Paul II introduced some related issues in a speech to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in late April 2001, when he called for the adoption of an ethical standard able to safeguard diverse cultures from the homogenizing impact of globalization. “Globalism must not be a new version of colonialism”, he declared. The Pope expressed concern that globalization left people helpless by destroying lifestyles and cultures.

Globalization often risks destroying these carefully built-up structures, by exacting the adoption of new styles of working, living and organizing communities . . . The market imposes its way of thinking and acting and stamps its scale of values upon behavior. The Church will continue to work to ensure the winner in this process will be humanity as a whole, not just a wealthy elite that controls science, technology, communication and the planet’s resources to the detriment of the vast majority of its people.1

The Pope’s speech was consistent with concern about ethnic interests. Most local cultures belong to an ethnic group, or a cluster of related ethnies. Protecting cultural identity is tantamount to protecting ethnic identity, a critical first step in the process leading to defense of ethnic autonomy, continuity, and resources. International diversity of cultures roughly corresponds to another treasure of mankind, our ethnic genetic diversity. The Pope’s message concerned the cultural side of ethnicity while ignoring the genetic side. Combining the two would have brought the Pope’s caution close to that of I. Eibl-Eibesfeldt (2001) who argued for the benefits of “international multiculturalism”. Eibl-Eibesfeldt warned against the “grey uniformity” and social discord risked by intra-state multiculturalism, which pushes diverse ethnic groups together. The Pope could also have mentioned mass immigration, a major threat to the integrity of local cultures. The mass immigration and “replacement immigration” urged or tolerated by advocates of globalization is the surest way to obliterate local cultures as well as swamp their genetic interests. The home countries of the world’s multinationals are the greatest victims of this irreversible form of homogenization, though the choicest neighbourhoods remain gated.

The political risk to local cultures was not touched upon in the Pope’s speech. If local cultures are to retain their integrity they cannot rely on the benevolence of external actors, including Left globalists. They need to be equipped with an effective group strategy for making their way in a turbulent world, namely the nation state. Possession of a state sovereign over the territory in which a people lives allows them to control immigration, regulate business activity, protect vulnerable elements of society, and take other measures to defend local interests.

Globalization opens avenues for elite free riding. When the elites that manage a multinational corporation assert corporate independence from the nation state, for example by moving operations offshore or incorporating in another state, they are requisitioning the huge investment made by the nation in establishing and promoting the company. Large corporations often grow out of cooperation between state and business elites, in which the state represents corporate interests in managing labour relations, educating the labour force, building and maintaining the nation’s infrastructure, subsidizing research and development, securing overseas markets, and guaranteeing domestic markets in the face of international competition.

Economic, cultural and genetic interests are interconnected. For example, employers stand to benefit from increased immigration of cheap labour which undermines the employment prospects of the native born. Right globalism might maximize overall economic growth, but it also undermines some local economic and ethnic interests, making it adaptive for a large number of people to resist it. The appropriate target of the people’s ire is the “right-wing” political elite, which is responsible for making concessions to globalism amounting to an abdication of the state’s responsibility as the bearer of the nation’s group strategy. Allowing mass immigration from genetically distant populations is the most egregious betrayal, because it confuses identity and dilutes ethnic kinship, thus reducing the people’s ability to act as a solidarity group. This reverses the state’s role as defender of the people’s ultimate interest to an enemy of that interest. The people lose their historical investment in the nation state, which is effectively hijacked for private purposes. Globalism can thus strip ethnies of their most powerful instrument for pursuing ethnic interests.

In a democracy voters can, in principle, replace treacherous and incompetent officeholders with new representatives. In reality the political mobilization and coordination needed to sweep a party from office requires leadership from alternate elites in the media, academe, the professions, and business. Yet globalism tends to affect these elites. The centripetal force in business is towards transnational corporations, a few hundred of which dominate the global economy. The same is true of media and mass entertainment of films and music that influence audiences’ understanding of world and domestic affairs. A successful business career often brings individuals into the orbit of a cosmopolitan corporate culture that can view national cultures as parochial; prestige is associated with projects and capital of global scale. Similarly, academic performance is often judged by peer groups with an international outlook, when advancement becomes contingent on confirming globalist values.

The Puzzle of Left Support for Globalism

It is remarkable that globalism today involves a tacit coalition of the intellectual left and global business interests. Both parties are visible, for example, in pressing for the dissolution of the European nation and the erection of a concept-type superstate. From this twin perspective the new state is not intended to be adaptive, but profitable and politically correct. Since the aim is not to do positive harm, things might turn out well enough, for a time. From the genetic standpoint, a political union between European countries has more chance of being adaptive than other regional experiments, because Europe (certainly leaving aside the masses of alien immigrants who have arrived into England and France in the last years) is the most genetically homogeneous of all the continents.2

But somehow the intellectual left has become so thoroughly alienated from biology — even “greens” are denatured in this respect — that “adaptiveness” is a word not to be found in any of its manifestos. For example, the German philosopher Jürgen Habermas opposes traditional patriotism and argues instead for Verfassungspatriotismus, constitutional patriotism. Habermas fails to account for genetic interests in his criticism of “quasi-natural people”. He echoes contemporary biologically-blind multicultural theory by arguing for a concept nation in which each state works out “a distinctive interpretation of those constitutional principles that are equally embodied in other republican constitutions — such as popular sovereignty and human rights — in light of its own national history”.3

This view is accepted by Basam Tibi, a German citizen born in Damascus who was trained by Max Horkheimer and Theodore Adorno. Like Habermas, Tibi believes that Europe should be defined by a “community of values”, not of ethnicity or culture or religion, but one consisting of belief in the Enlightenment values of human rights, separation of religion and politics, democracy, civil society, and pluralism. The only difference with multiculturalism is that these values should become the Leitkultur or leading culture of Europe, which immigrants are expected to embrace. This is, of course, a selective reading of Enlightenment ideas, which include the birth of modern nationalism, the democratic privileging of majority ethnicity, and the linking of minority emancipation to assimilation, and which also celebrated empirical science including biology, which culminated in man’s fuller understanding of himself as a part of nature.

It is remarkable that in an age where biological science informs us of the genetic dimension of ethnicity and of the general principles underlying stable altruism, leftist intellectuals (of all people) have no place in their doctrines for genetic interests. This is, after all, an interest shared by the mass of ordinary citizens, the recognition of which is liable to constrain right wing elite exploitation. Even some scholars familiar with evolutionary biology, who understand that all life has genetic interests, do not extend this understanding to their fellow man. For example, Robert Cliquet and Kristiaan Thienpont, in an otherwise excellent analysis, conclude that “in modern culture and a globalising world, the traditional in-group/out-group syndrome has become inadaptive”, and that consequently efforts should be increased to “counteract the innate drives towards nepotism, tribalism, patriotism, ethnocentrism, racism, xenophobia, etc”.4 They do not propose replacing these drives with institutional protections that perform the equivalent adaptive functions. The well known ethologist Robert Hinde also writes: “As the interdependence of nations becomes more crucial, the pursuit of national self interest acquires a less positive and more negative value”.5

The reasoning in these two articles is not clear; both seem to be confusing an interest with strategies for achieving it. The family analogy is useful here. Imagine that the elders of a family locked in incessant feuding with neighbouring families realized that this was counterproductive, and that instead it would be adaptive to coalesce into a larger interest group. They make peace with their neighbours, and perhaps establish an accountable legal system to dispense justice instead of revenge. It would hardly make sense to dissolve the family as a means of ending family feuding. Means, but not vital interests, are expendable. In the international arena, if war is no longer adaptive then it is prudent for citizens to oppose militarism; it is not prudent to dissolve the nation as a strategizing unit if the nation has a genetic or other adaptive significance. It is a matter of education and politics to redirect patriotism from warfare to technology and trade. But national interests remain.

The modern Left opposes ethnic and racial discrimination (by majorities) even when this would advance core Leftist values such as equality. Left social philosophers such as Michael Walzer and Brian Barry will not countenance improving welfare rights by using immigration to reduce diversity. Democracy and popular sovereignty are other core Left values subordinated to anti-racism. It seems beyond the Left’s imagination to envisage their ideal polity leading via democratic process to the defense of ethnic interests. This despite a call by at least one leading left intellectual for the need to embrace Darwinism. So far has the Left drifted from its democratic rationalist roots, that it can barely accept the legitimacy of popular votes for politicians who would defend national autonomy.

Due to a tacit agreement between the Right and Left to keep ethnic issues off the table in their assessment of globalization, discussion about our maladaptive immigration policies has been seriously limited. The rapid transformation of European-created nations by mass Third World immigration has been a top-down revolution in which exclusivist circles within the academic Left and the business Right have been complicit, by commission and omission, in pushing a globalist agenda that is destroying the ethnic integrity of the nations of European peoples. Citizens look to intellectuals and politicians for the facts and analysis needed to make wise policy but our elites are pushing for globalism, the break-up of Western nation-states in complete disregard for the science of ethnic interests. Correction will necessitate tackling the ideological corruption of the humanities and social sciences by reintroducing some intellectual diversity and free speech on the crucial relationship between the integrity of nation-states, their ethnic cohesion, immigration, and the ethnic interests of European peoples.

[1] “Globalization Hurts Cultures, Pope Says”, International Herald Tribune, 28-29 April 2001
[2] Cavalli-Sforza et al., The History and Geography of Human Genes, 1994
[3] Jürgen Habermas, The Inclusion of the Other, MIT Press: 118
[4] Robert Cliquet and Kristiaan Thienpont, In-Group/Out-Group Behavior in Modern Societies. An Evolutionary Perspective, 1999: 281
[5] Robert Hinde, “Patriotism: Is Kin Selection Both Necessary and Sufficient?” Politics and the Life Sciences, 8 (1), 1989: 60
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