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The New World Order, Part II

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In his provocative article, "Why There Should Be A Global Minimum Wage," Jason J. Campbell poses the following question: “Since outsourcing is a viable economic model wherein First World corporations export their labor to defer cost and maximize profits, should there be an international standard for the minimum amount that laborers, of any country, may legally be employed for?” (“To what extent does it differ from slavery,” he then asks.)

I’ll stay away from the moral argument, which seems to be the mainstay of Mr. Campbell’s article. The question of implementation, or the feasibility of enforcement, is another bag of worms; consequently, I'll stay away from it, too. What I’d like to argue, however, is that the very idea of global minimum wage (and a multitude of same-order concepts) presupposes a certain state of affairs – “the new world order,” I called it for short. In effect therefore, whether wittingly or not, Mr. Campbell has given us a blueprint, a glimpse of the future – not the future you or I would necessarily desire but a future nonetheless. His argument is (how shall I put it?) “in reverse,” first positing a controversial piece of legislation – one which, on the face of it at least, would appear to be ludicrous under the existing conditions – and then daring us to imagine a state of affairs, a world in which the exact same proposition or body of laws wouldn’t raise an eyebrow. Hence the underlying purpose: to unpack the argument and by means of reverse engineering, to reconstitute it anew.

In the interest of exposition, I'm going to proceed incrementally, from the existing cases to those which are still in the process of forming – eventually to those which are likely to come into being in the near or not so near future. “Global minimal wage” shall remain our point of focus – the lever – but let there be no misunderstanding: any similar such concept (such as “uniform currency” or “no-discrimination clause”) would do just as well. And here, the most logical place to start would be the U.S. itself, already a federation de jure and de facto (despite a growing sentiment to the contrary).

For better or worse, the minimum wage law is the law of the land. True, every attempt at increase has been fought, and bitterly, by business interests and state legislatures from North Carolina to Texas. But once the new law is passed, it becomes a moot point: the states had better comply or else.

Which isn’t to say that the passage of the law does away with all regional differences. Far from it! There’ll still be a considerable discrepancy between living standards between such states as Kentucky, for instance, and those of New York or California. Likewise, it won’t altogether stop the shift of capital from less to more productive areas or regions, necessitated as it may be by state-to-state differences in the corporate tax structure or any other business-related consideration; some states will be more economically depressed than others, that goes without saying. But the overall effect (to the extent possible) inevitably results in a certain leveling – which is to say that most Americans, regardless of where they live and everything else being equal of course, do enjoy (or have enjoyed) pretty much the same lifestyle. Case closed.

The same with the EU. The Euro is already the common currency – only the pound maintaining its former independence – which put an end to cumbersome, day-to-day exchange transactions and the foreign exchange market. Considering the distances involved and the absence of passport/visa restrictions, travel is easy, which makes it just as likely for a Frenchman to work for a German-based firm as it is for an Italian. Comparable lifestyles and cost of living provide further disincentives for unnecessary capital shifts and business relocation. And although the union had started out as an economic bloc first and foremost, it’s slowly acquiring all the main features and characteristics usually attributable to a federation of states – to include “a standardized system of laws which apply in all member states, a common trade policy, agricultural and fisheries policies, and a regional development policy.” In short, it may well be that it’s on its way to becoming a full-fledged political community.

What’s next? I suppose one could think here of NAFTA, any trade agreement, in fact, whose purpose is to facilitate the exchange of goods and services, limit travel restrictions, and generally speaking, open the labor market which otherwise would have been less accessible to business and entrepreneurial needs.

There are already strong cultural and linguistic ties binding the Americans and the Canadians; and should those ties become reinforced perchance by the commonality of economic interests, then who knows – even the Mexicans might join (as equal partners, of course) in the joint venture. And in the event that past histories, unresolved differences, and feelings of animosity, bad blood and whatnot, would serve (as some might argue) as an insurmountable obstacle and a permanent stumbling block, the South American countries themselves might form a coalition all their own. And so and so forth, until the entire world would become parceled out thus along economic, cultural, and geographic divides – parcels smaller than continents, perhaps, but beyond nation-states. And from there, it’s but one single step until the realization sets in that perhaps, just perhaps, a world government might be the only way to go.

Such could be the natural progression; but then again, it could be not. There might be wars interspersed with rumors of wars, revolutions, social unrest and bloodshed, before the world finally settles down and goes about its business (as it eventually will). But the exact chain of events is beyond the scope of this paper, nor is it prudent for any writer to try to divine it. Suffice to say that the trend towards centralization of power is a real one. And providing that we shall recover from the present crisis – which is a big if – and that corporations the world over will once again acquire their former stature, the centralization of political power along the lines just indicated would be one effective way of responding – a way that would be, relatively speaking, free of violence, takeover, any overt act, in fact, that would otherwise fly in the face of, and thereby offend the sensibilities of, the feeble-hearted. I’d view it as the most natural response on the part of the polity to deal with the globalization aspect in virtually every other area of our lives.

Since the object of this paper is not to offer predictions, only to examine the consequences in the event that some such state of affairs is likely to occur, let me return to my original question: What’s to be gained from such an unseemly arrangement? Who’ll be the winner and who the loser? Will the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

Well, let’s think for a moment. A minimum wage law imposed throughout the federation – reinforced besides by the same currency – would do away with unnecessary and sometimes wasteful capital shifts from one part of the globe to another; and the same, naturally, goes for unnecessary business relocation. I stress the word “unnecessary” because some movement of capital or production facilities might be a good thing: it’d result in a desirable leveling effect, eliminating the most glaring differences with respect to lifestyles and economic opportunity. But even this development, I hasten to add, would be hampered or rendered impractical by ease of travel and comparable language and employment skills.

These are first-order consequences, consequences that are immediate, concrete, and most readily apparent. There are ramifications, however, which shouldn’t escape us. The first would be putting an end to, or severely limiting, unfair business practices. In particular, the moral question which seems to have exercised Mr. Campbell and prompted his article – namely, equating the practice of outsourcing to exploitation (and, therefore, to a form of slavery) – would tend to dissolve itself. Why? Because as the saying goes, take away the opportunity and you take away the temptation. And a level playing field for employers and employees alike – pretty much assured throughout the federation – would effectively eliminate those opportunities.

A related development, and I mention it only in passing, would be in the area of competition and product quality: it would revitalize the former from the ground up by making it honest and aboveboard, because cheating or cutting corners would not be allowed, necessarily improving the latter; everyone would be a winner. But most importantly, perhaps, it would anchor businesses to their places of operation – a long-abandoned practice since the corporations have declared their independence and practically disavowed any affiliation with the local community – resulting thus in a certain give-and-take and mutual good will.

Another important set of consequences would benefit the polity as a whole and greatly improve the relationship between government and business. Since the rules of the game would follow more or less internally, necessitated by the lay of the land as opposed to being dictated "from above,” the government would no longer be perceived as “the oppressor,” as though engaged in excessive regulation; to be sure, there’d still be regulation and forms of control, but they’d be perceived as working from afar – or indirectly, if you like – rather than issuing from the government by any direct kind of action or fiat.

Needless to say, there’d be another concomitant as well, of restoring good will and, hopefully, the spirit of cooperation between business and government. But perhaps the most significant effect of all would be in the form of cleanup – a kind of general purging, if you will, of both public and private sectors of the culture of corruption which, at present, permeates the body politic and contributes to the eroding confidence in our political and economic institutions.

How so? Well, I’ve already addressed the likely changes in the corporate culture. Leveling the playing field would go a long way towards reducing the opportunity to cheat, cut corners, and generally speaking, engage in anything other than fair play. And with the opportunities gone, so would the temptation. But surely, the same logic must apply to the workings of the government as well. Indeed, take the opportunity away and you have virtually deprived all government officials and politicians of the temptation to engage in favoritism, quid pro quo, and bribe – all things, in fact, which are the integral elements of, and (in a manner of speaking) define, fraud. The collusion between public and private interests would be a thing of the past.

Why? Again, because the system wouldn’t support it! And then, who knows, we might even restore honesty and integrity to our government. And justice, too! I know it’s a big if; but then again, it all goes to show that the possible future, such as the one entertained here, doesn’t have to be all that bleak. These are positive developments.

But I had better close before exhausting the reader’s patience and my extraordinary streak of good luck. Suffice to say, this little exercise in imaginative thinking – a thought-experiment, if you like – has not been in vain. Interestingly enough, the experiment is likely to continue. A federation of states, limited as it may be at first, may well serve as a crucible of sorts – a testing ground – in the context of which to perfect and iron out whatever little wrinkles and inconsistencies might exist before the Big Bang – an all-out government of the world, of the people, by the people, and for the people – comes about at last. And that’s the beauty of it all, its flexibility and openness to experimentation. We can proceed piecemeal, on a case-by-case basis, until the final plan is put into effect. This is something to cheer about, not despair.

Granted, it may not be the panacea we may have hoped for. And I’m including here all souls, those who are entrenched in the past as well as those who are looking instead to a more equitable resolution. The good ole’ times are gone and we had better let go; they’re irretrievable. But if you think for a moment the future I’m envisaging here is unpalatable or beyond contempt, think again. Just imagine the planet Earth being invaded by the aliens and then tell me whether anything less than a worldwide federation would do. I dare you. I double dare you!

Welcome to Star Trek, The Next Generation. It’s sooner than you think.

The only problem I’m envisaging has to do with the dilution of representation. But representative democracies, for better or worse, have long replaced direct democracies, so there’s no sense crying over spilled milk. In the best case scenario, the federation could be subdivided into cantons, local communities whose representatives would have a say in running their own, local affairs; consequently, these voices would carry as input in the general assembly. In the worst possible case, God only knows.

A final word to my critics: I well know the risks I undertook by resorting to such a controversial title. A “new world order” is surely bound to evoke all kinds of responses, from negativity and hostility to fear. Let me assure you, however, this has not been my intention. Nor have I tried, think as you may, to validate the purposes of all those – “the powers that be,” for lack of a better term – who are believed by some (with or without justification) to work towards that end. Quite the contrary, what I think I offered here is a fairly plausible account of the unfolding future, even if it does approximate the wishes of the ruling elite – “an invisible hand” type of explanation, if you like, which takes into account the workings of the human agency but isn't necessarily a direct expression or the intended consequence thereof.

You see, it just may well be that for all their cunning and stratagems, for all their conspiracies and whatnot, for all their wishing for the very same thing that I’m here espousing, there is a chance, however slight a chance, that they’re about to shoot themselves in the foot. And I wouldn’t lose a minute of sleep over it.

Which brings us to the old Chinese proverb that we had better be careful what we wish for!

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About Roger Nowosielski

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    A worldwide federation, a single world government – it’s a nice thought, but I’m leery of it for the same reason I wouldn’t want a single-party system…even of liberals.

    On the other hand, there’s a significant group of people out there who think that America should not be a part of any worldwide organization, that we should do what (they think) is best for America and we should pay little heed to the rest of the world no matter how important it is to the rest of the world as a whole….which is one reason why Bush wouldn’t go for the Kyoto protocols.

    The only way I think we can hope to have a true world government – and it would have to be a type of federation – is to increase education for all at every level. Education, education, education…and the rest will come in time as a result.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And kudos to Blogcritics – “Technorati” was referenced as a source of information in a news article in the most recent issue of Newsweek – the ‘socialist’ issue. Congrats to all!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    It’s not something I’m wishing for, Glenn. But no means do I want to give up national identity, and all the goodies. But we may well be heading in that direction if the world continues in this turmoil.

    In essence, it was just an imaginative exercise – how things might look if . . .

    I think a leveling that would come about would be pervasive, and it’d have to include education – not just the general level of prosperity.

  • Cindy

    Roger,

    I have something to say about Robert Nozick. He does not appear to be referring to what most Anarchists are calling Anarchism.

    He appears to be referring to something quite undesirable to most Anarchists and in my opinion unlikely and impossible to sustain called anarcho-Capitalism.

    Of course it would result in a Minarchist state. How could such a proposition exist without state? Who would enforce the contracts?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Are you referring to the text I referenced?

  • Cindy

    Yes. Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State and Utopia

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I’ll have to look more closely as I’m in the process of re-reading it in connection with my next piece. If he does, that may be a particular version of anarchism that Nozick is committed to (perhaps under the influence of John Rawls). But his main argument – apart from the matter of enforcing contracts – still appears to hinge (to the best of my recollection) on offering protection – the whole gamut, that is – from protection agency, to dominant protection agency, the minimal state, and so on.

    So even from that aspect alone, the argument appears to be convincing enough that the emergence of “the state” is a natural development – if one starts, that is, with a hypothetical construct such as “state-of-nature.”

  • Cindy

    Roger,

    The more I am reading about Nozick, the more I am finding that I suspect, in all our conversations, we are calling something one thing yet meaning two entirely different things.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    You’ll have to be more specific than that. What do you mean exactly?

  • Cindy

    Give me a few minutes.

  • Cindy

    Okay, well first of all, Nozick’s entire argument is based on beginning with a “free-market” state of nature.

    This is rejected by Anarchists. None but Dave’s variety, anarcho-Capitalists, would accept a “free-market” state of nature.

    While people are free to use whatever words suit them…anarcho-Capitalists, though they have some ideas in common, are not what is meant when anyone commonly uses the word Anarchism.

    I have found that, Murray Rothbard confirms that this is in fact what Nozick is starting with.

  • Cindy

    Actually, I could go beyond Rothbard’s criticism of Nozick to form my own argument that Anarchism, as I am using the word would be more likely to prevent the formation of a state.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    You can provide me with that reference, link, etc.

    I believe you’re right – and I have to give it some thought. But Nozick only picks up one version and takes off from there. There was Hobbes before – the originator of the idea. And his version, as you know, was quite different.

    I believe Nozick picks up Lockean version – which was already uploaded from that offered by Hobbes – with natural rights, contract, etc – so in that sense you’re right. Of course, Rousseau’s version – the Social Contract – came later; and it departs from Locke.

    As I said, I’ll look at it, but I still think that apart from the idea of contract, the main idea is protection.

    The reason why I believe Nozick starts with the Lockean version is that it allows for the smoothest transition from a no-state situation to one in which state must be established; and there’s something to be said for this strategy – trying to imagine a situation that’s as close to an operative state and yet which is not quite a state.

    So shall see!

  • bliffle

    IMO the only effective minimum wage or wage support movement was the Union movement. Unions create political power in the workplace, locally, with a federation system that extends geographically and through other industries.

  • Cindy

    ROBERT NOZICK AND THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE STATE* MURRAY N. ROTHBARD

    There you go. That is a pdf in case you have trouble with pdfs.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    OK, but I don’t want to go too deep into this subject here because they won’t let me publish later on. So I’ll have to talk around it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Yes, bliffle. But as of late – and since the union movement in the US has been, if not dying, then at least limited to certain key industries/businesses – all the increases in the MINIMUM wage laws across the US has taken place in the political arena, regardless of where the pressure/s had come from.

  • Cindy

    I can adjourn that discussion til your anti-Marx article, if you prefer. Is that where it would fit?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    No, It’s the next I’m doing – arguing against “the privatization of prisons” on moral grounds.

  • Cindy

    Cool. I can wait ’til then.

  • Cindy

    I would like to finish reading this one anyway. I’m only part way through.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I’m pretty sure that Rothbard wouldn’t have liked being called an anarchist and especially wouldn’t have liked being classed with the anti-property social-anarchists Cindy is trying to lump him in with.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Well, I’m going to give it a read anyway – if only to see how he disagrees with Nozick. But even without “the free-market” set up, there’s still the problem of offering protection – Nozick’s main argument, if I’m correct – so I don’t see how one can get around that problem.

    Roger

  • Cindy

    I haven’t begun on that yet.

  • Cindy

    Dave,

    I think perhaps you misunderstood what I wrote. I am talking about Nozick. Rothbard is criticizing Nozick’s Anarchy, State and Utopia.

    In referring to Rothbard, I said nothing about him personally. I merely referred to his critique.

  • Cindy

    Let me put it this way. Rothbard is criticizing Nozick for his own reasons.

    Believe it or not. I actually could find criticisms valid even if they come from people whose political ideas I don’t care for, like Rothbard’s.

    That Rothbard originated anarcho-Capitalism and is criticizing Nozick, whose argument is based on it, is something useful.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Personally, I don’t like Nozick. His writing style is atrocious and he gets too much into extreme, almost out-of-this-world examples. His argument could be much improved by eliminating all the chaff and making it more fluid. So I will read your author. But I don’t think Dave misunderstood you.

  • Cindy

    Of course Dave misunderstood me. And he will tell you so, when he reads what I wrote. He thought I was suggesting Rothbard was criticizing a anarcho-Capitalist, because I thought Rothbard was an Anarchist of my own leanings. Dave qualified this by calling it “social” Anarchism to distinguish it from anarcho-Capitalism, but he normally would not need to distinguish it in such a manner. As he would know what I meant when I said Anarchism.

  • Cindy

    More to the point, Dave thought I was saying Rothbard was an Anarchist in the same sense that I would call myself one.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I can’t comment on this before I read him. So you must chase Dave down for the time being.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I think I read through too many comments and they all got jumbled together, hence my confused comment earlier.

    As for Rothbard I’m not a big fan of him either – too influenced by Rand and her sociopathic ideas.

    Dave

  • Cindy

    I am an Anarchist along the lines of Chomsky. (you do understand Chomsky is an Anarchist?)

    If you would like to understand the subject in your own preferred way, studying it from history. I recommend these writers:

    William Godwin, Peter Kropotkin, Michael Bakunin, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

  • Cindy

    #32 was to Roger

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I understand all that – there is anarchistic thought, it hadn’t started overnight – and I think Nozick lumps it into “Utopia” category. But as I said, I’m re-reading the book, so it’s on hold for now.

  • Cindy

    Chomsky appears to think fairly lowly of Nozick.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Well, with Godwin you’re on your way towards growing out of the anarchist delusion. Just move on to Bastiat, Spooner, Hayek and Friedman and you’ll have fixed your problem with arrested political development.

    Dave

  • Cindy

    lol Dave…

    (Dave and I both claim Spooner. Spooner would never agree with Dave.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I’m not going there – especially “the arrested political development” notion. I have other ideas which shall remain unexpressed for now.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Sorry cindy, I reflexively wrote Spooner when I meant to write Herbert Spencer. My bad.

    As for the “arrested political development” thing, it was mainly a dig at Cindy, but it also has some truth to it.

    There really is a progression in the development of political philosophy, and anarchism pretty much hit a dead-end around 1900 while other movements continued to evolve and adjust to the needs of modern society.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    You don’t mean now that she subscribes to Spencer, do you Dave? That would be news to me.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    No, when I made my listing of philosophers she SHOULD turn to I listed Spooner when I meant to list Spencer. Spooner, obviously she’s likely already a fan of.

    My suggestion would be throw out Spooner for Spencer and dump Marx for Bastiat and dispose of Bakunin for Hayek and replace Chomsky with Friedman.

    Or something like that. I actually kind of like Bakunin and Krapotkin within their very limited context.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Right – but the context IS limited. I haven’t heard of Spooner or Bastiat, so I’ll have to do little reading in order to set her straight.

    In time!

    Roger

  • Cindy

    Spooner is his own case. Both anarcho-Capitalists and Anarchists can claim him. And he influenced both. He believed in private property. But, he was against wage slavery. He only believed in entrepreneurial type of business and he was an avid opponent of anything like a monopoly.

    He was a lawyer and did not believe anyone had to follow laws in a constitution since they did not sign or agree to them.

    I like him. I think he would have changed his views having discovered that wage slavery was going to be an unavoidable factor in any “free market” ideology.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Spooner might have decided that “wage slavery” wasn’t slavery at all, as most other rational post-anarchists did. And what free marketeer is FOR monopoly?

    And Roger, if you’re looking for something to read, go get a copy of Bastiat’s The Law it’s only about 60 pages and it’s available online for free.

    Dave

  • Cindy

    Good, I will get to work on that protectionism idea you mentioned and reread about Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau to see how you link them to Nozick.

  • Cindy

    Spooner would never have tolerated mega-corps.

    But, that is why he’s fun. Neither of us can really say Dave.

  • Cindy

    I knew he would try to take Spooner back! He likes him.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Dave,

    O yes, Franco gave me the source. It was a mouthful, Dave – I can see the similarity with Hayek, but this guy is a nut. I’m sorry, Dave, but you’ve got to let go of this character. You can’t claim him as part of your intellectual pedigree. It borders on fanaticism.

    Cindy, yes, do that. I don’t think there had been any advances in anarchistic thought (maybe footnotes); but I don’t want to prejudge the issue, so I’ll willing to table it for now.

    This has been a long day, and I’m quitting.

    Thanks for visiting.

    Roger

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Burke, Cindy. Hobbes-Locke-Rousseau-BURKE.

    Dave

  • Cindy

    I have some questions about this article though, Roger. I have to think of a sensible way to ask them.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Right! That’s the correct order.

    Bye!

  • Cindy

    k, thanks Dave.

    My philosophy teacher once told me I was his star pupil. I have no idea why. I can never keep any of that in my head.

    I mix them all up, unless I have immediately read something. And frankly, they all bore me silly.

  • Cindy

    Roger,

    I don’t think there had been any advances in anarchistic thought (maybe footnotes); but I don’t want to prejudge the issue, so I’ll willing to table it for now.

    There are of course a whole list of Anarchists you can read. Paul Goodman, for example, was involved in education and therefore the first I read, before I even heard of Chomsky.

    And it’s not a system; it’s principles and practices. That is what makes it flexible. It’s adaptable. So, I am not sure what type of “development” you mean.

    Communities have existed and do exist that use Anarchist principles.

    The Zapatistas, do not call themselves Anarchists, but use principles that are wholly acceptable and compatible, because they have taken them from Anarchist thought. Fifteen years of successful community is mighty powerful evidence when compared with the “ideas” of any philosopher imo.

  • Cindy

    You can correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I need to go to Hobbe’s, et al. Nozick’s argument from a protection standpoint is invalid to Anarchist ideas (except again his own anarcho-Capitalist ones).

    There is no “free market” as it would exist for him and therefore no “privately” owned protection agencies. And I don’t even believe he requires this. It appears he makes allowances for community protection, etc. and only says people “might” find some agency a good idea.

    You’ll have to find out what Anarchism is first I think. Back to the drawing board with you!

    :-)

  • pablo

    Spooner rules!

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Roger,

    The comment thread got way beyond me with Spooners and other exSpencerive silverware, crockery and China being thrown around. At this point Turkey is now longer being served up at all and the cat is licking up Greece from where it has dripped on the floor. The stains of the whole mess are making Marx on the wall and the guests have long since ceased Chompskying down their food.

    I’m a simple man, I’m afraid, used to simple things – like equity and justice. The whole big if in your entire article is that the world will go back to status quo ante once the economies crash. I suggest that this will not happen by any stretch of the imagination – and that you will indeed need to stretch your imagination to comprehend what will occur in its stead….

    A hint – from an e-mail I got yesterday:

    Recently there was a blood moon over Australia.

    The Blood Moon over Melbourne from the Bush Fires . Sorry about my unsteady hand taking it. I have never seen anything like it before.

    I thought that it also could shed some light on the meaning of the prophecy in Joel 3:3

    3. I will set wonders in the heavens and on earth: blood and fire and pillars of smoke;
    4. the sun will turn to darkness and the moon to blood [red], before the coming of the great and awesome Day of HaShem.
    5. And it will be that anyone who calls in the Name of HaShem will escape, for on the mountain of Zion and in Jerusalem there will be refuge as HaShem said, and among the survivors whom HaShem summons.

    This was widely seen over Melbourne and made the news the next day. Certainly during the fires the journalists mentioned how dark it was as well. There were satellite images of a huge pillar of smoke reaching New Zealand.

    Shalom,
    F…..

    Cheers,
    Ruvy

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Ruvy,

    The underlying assumption here is the economies won’t crush. I wouldn’t dare to even imagine what might happen if they did.

    I’ll talk to you later about another matter, the message I left on your thread.

    Roger

  • Cindy

    Ruvy,

    That is very good I like that. The prose bit.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    To you, too. It’s too early for me to start functioning.

  • Cindy

    Me too I am doing coffee and reading. :-)

  • Cindy

    BTW Roger,

    I highly recommend reading Chomsky and Howard Zinn, as they are contemporary Anarchists. You can get more of a relationship between Anarchism and modern events and ideas.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Yes, I will. But I tell you the theoretical problems I foresee straight out – not that’s going to prejudice me. It’s basically a movement based on practice – and practice is always flexible and changing, which is good. But I am going to have to get grip of the concepts; and I think in the concepts area is where it’s major weakness lies.

    See, in the long run, only the concepts survive (a blue-print for practice), or get replaced by improved, more workable concepts. But practice itself – no matter how noble – can’t replace a concept; to do so, it must be strongly anchored in the theoretical – a strong theoretical.

    Anyway, these are my methodological observations for now.

    Roger

  • Cindy

    Roger,

    I am not quite sure what you mean. Can you re-explain it? Maybe use an example?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    The usual distinction between theory and praxis (practice); Husserl and the phenomenologists talked about it a great deal – but even in classical terms, the distinction holds: oftentimes, concepts evolve out of practice if the practice is to persevere; the other direction is that practice(s) evolve out of theory, or constitute an application of theory to everyday life.

  • http://jasonjcampbell.org/blog.php Jason J. Campbell

    Roger,

    Thought provoking article. Your discussion of the federation was interesting. You’re probably right in suggesting that NWO would most likely result from attempts to regulate global practices of any kind. But like the monetary system, our system of capitalism is the same system of capitalism used by the Brits and the EU but no one thinks of it in terms of NWO because our currencies are different, which seems a bit arbitrary. So my question is how will we know that a NWO exists? since we already have global practices but we don’t yet have an NWO…Think of this question like the one posed to the Obama Admin. “How will we know the stimulus is working?” What are the specific markers that clearly demonstrate NWOs arrival…very interesting read…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I’m glad to hear from you, Jason. I wondered for a stretch if you were away.

    You are posing a very interesting question. It seems we’re already deep into global practices prior to formalization.

    I can’t be too quick with an answer, but I think it will proceed in stages – from trade agreements, a certain leveling in the area of education, establishment of common currencies – down to the political eventually. Besides, I think wee’ll need a kind of push & shove – e.g., the deepening of the present crisis, coupled with the realization that we’re all in this together striving for a common solution: a few wars, perhaps.

    It’s difficult to say much more beyond this point. I’ll look at your pieces in the culture section.

    The overall desire on the part of humanity for a taste of prosperity – yes, the bourgeois values – would be a catalyst.

    Roger

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Cindy,

    I’ll do some reading at Starbucks (the only one in town), so I’ll be away for a while. Later.

  • Cindy

    Roger,

    I see. And yes, the idea that concepts evolve out of practice is germane. In fact, desirable I would think.

    This is in no way adversarial to the principles of Anarchism. It simply makes for variation in thinking. There are as many ways to think about Anarchism as there are Anarchists.

    For example, some Anarchists reject all reform measures. I disagree with them. There is plenty of room for people to try and do different things. In fact, look at what Chomsky says, it is precisely because there is no accepted model that we think this can work. (my paraphrase) In other words, these basic principles when applied can be used flexibly to create whatever is needed, without having to know in advance (as in some theory) what will be needed.

    One can use and incorporate ideas from anywhere. I think you will find that once you have a look at the actual principles, you’ll see what I am saying.

    Again, look at the Zapatistas, they don’t say “we are Anarchists”, but they use all the principles. They prefer to invent their own wheel.

  • http://jasonjcampbell.org/blog.php Jason J. Campbell

    lol…diabolically evil your claim “a few wars, perhaps.” Your piece has me thinking about a few things to write about. There’s a lot of interesting things going on in the background especially in your choice of the term “federation” which was well served. I guess on a real basic level, the federation is the union but not a labor union, a union behind a common something…I’d love to know what you thought that something might be. I’ve struggled with a similar concept for awhile now, which is — to use your idea–how is the federation united, what keeps it in tact? I’m not necessarily looking for answers to these questions, but I can always smell a good article by the questions it raises more so than the answers it processes to have. So kudos on the question raising…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Well, Jason, you might look at the ancient Greeks’ experience – I believe Kitto in “The Greeks” brings up the notion of federation: in fact, the Athenian Empire was a federation.

    I’m not getting too many responses on this one – neither the Left nor the Right, as you may notice. I should think it’s because the presentation (not an argument) is fairly airtight. I think it’s a good sign. As always, questions are more important, because they precede and anticipate the answers. Socrates again.

    Roger

  • Cindy

    Okay, I guess it is time for me to figure out my challenges for this article.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Why don’t you let it rest? Just kidding.

  • Cindy

    lol!

    Good one Roger! :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Jason (on Federalism):

    Just finished rereading Nozick (I could kill him).
    Anyway, the last footnote to the last chapter:

    “There is no really satisfactory theoretical solution to the problem [of federations, confederations, etc]. If a federal government possesses a constitutional authority to intervene by force in the government of a state for the purpose of insuring the state’s performance of its duties as a member of the federation, there is no adequate constitutional barrier against the conversion of of the federation into a centralized state by vigorous and resolute central government. If it does not possess such authority, there is no adequate assurance that the federal government can maintain the character of the system when vigorous and resolute state governments take full advantage of their constitutional freedom to go their own ways.”

    References: Arthur W. MacMahon, ed., Federalism: Mature and Emergent (New York: Doubleday, 1955), p.139. See also of course the Federalist Papers. Martin Diamond interestingly discusses “The Federalist’s View of Federalism,” in Essays in Federalism (Institute for Studies in Federalism, 1961).

    Now, this ties in quite nicely with David Grene’s analysis of Thucydides’ account of the Athenian massacre of the island of Melos (for joining with Sparta and breaking away from the Athenian Confederacy) – in “Man in His Pride” (University of Chicago: 1950)

    You have to reread the Melian Dialogue because it’s a gem, but that’s how Grene prefaces the era:

    “Whe she [Athens] has taught the rest of the Greeks chiefly is to be aware of the creation of power in the name of nothing except itself and to consider the factor of the creation of power openly and rationally. In these two respects – and they go closely together – Athens was unique in terms of past history and, in may be contended, in terms of succeeding history until our own time.”

    He continues with his comparisons with the empires which succeeded her until this line …

    ” they [other empires’ felt the need of explaining the brutal fact of national aggressiveness and territorial acquisition in terms of metaphysics and of justifying their conquests in terms of a morality which clearly demonstrated that it was for the good of the conquered to be subjected to their conquerors. …

    The extraordinary feature of the Athenian empire is that the Athenians built it with nothing to stand between themselves and the suffering and injustice they caused; that they faced it all together, every one of them, in individual moral responsibility all the time; and that what they tried to construct as explanation of their actions was no nationalist or semireligious fiction but, as they thought of it, a rational account of the manner in which all men everywhere have acted.”

    In short, there is no political theory to justify use of power – or at least none better than the one offered by the Greeks; and Thucydides well understands this as his “Dialogue” testitifies (probably a literary invention, too, just like Pericles’s famous Funeral Speech).

    I love those guys!

    Roger

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Jason,

    I’d like to add to the above that we might have a theoretical justification today for federalism and centralized power – by virtue of the fact that problems facing the world today are global problems, requiring everyone’s cooperation and global solutions. This wasn’t the case in the past.

    One aspect I apparently failed to mention: not just American values but its culture which, for all intents and purposes, is spreading around the globe – a kind of glue which binds us and coalesces us all together. But I presume you’ve covered some of that in your articles in the Culture section. I’ll have to take a look.

    Roger

  • http://jasonjcampbell.org/blog.php Jason J. Campbell

    RE note# 74,

    Roger, detailed stuff. I really like the first citation. I’m for sure going to modify it for an analysis I’m currently doing involving international relations. You make an excellent point!

    There’s a tension between the federation as a sovereign entity and the state which also has limited sovereignty. As sovereignty does not imply omnipotence the problem becomes how is a federation (globally) held together by its constituent nations/states?

    Moreover, this tension between the state and the federation meets a key point of contension when we talk about succession, which was the topic in one of Dave’s articles a week ago. What I like about your article is that you point to the possibility of recociliation between these competing powers saying:

    “And although the union had started out as an economic bloc first and foremost, it’s slowly acquiring all the main features and characteristics usually attributable to a federation of states – to include “a standardized system of laws which apply in all member states, a common trade policy, agricultural and fisheries policies, and a regional development policy.” In short, it may well be that it’s on its way to becoming a full-fledged political community.” p. 2.

    Though you don’t explicitly discuss it in your piece you do hint to the notion of communalism from the quote above, which could account for that gel that holds the federation together. After all the federation is only as strong as each of its constituent nations/states. You stated:

    “it’s slowly acquiring all the main features and characteristics usually attributable to a federation of states”

    These features are exactly the feature which the federation later globalizes, for example currency. Certainly the state has the power to print its own money but that would undermine the power of the federation and thereby undermine the power of the state, which is why the practice is no longer done.

    What’s interesting though is that you again hint to communalism or some hybrid thereof writing:

    “I’d like to add to the above that we might have a theoretical justification today for federalism and centralized power – by virtue of the fact that problems facing the world today are global problems, requiring everyone’s cooperation and global solutions. This wasn’t the case in the past.”

    What I find interesting about your discussion of NWO though I’m not fond of the term is the easy with which you point to is potential existence. It seems just to be a matter of a shared communal understanding. The problem that I didn’t anticipate is the nature of the relationship between the Federation and its subordinates. The fact is few will be willing to be subordinate which leads me to think of a fight for NWO supremacy. Like king of the hill but the winner get to be the ruler of the world.

    Nice references. I’ll certainly use them for a few side projects.

  • bliffle

    Roger is dismayed:

    “I’ll do some reading at Starbucks (the only one in town), so I’ll be away for a while. Later. ”

    How sad. Starbucks is everywhere around here. There’s one in my parlor and they’re planning to put one in my bathroom. After that they’ll have to put a Starbucks within the Starbucks that’s already in the parlor.

    Non-Starbucks real estate is getting scarce hereabouts.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Thanks, Jason.

    I wasn’t quite aware of the communalism aspect latent in there, but I suppose it crept in. I think the Western culture (declining as it is) is going to be the glue – because most of the world is still hungry for it – Japan being the best example. (By the way, the best argument against Marxism, in my opinion.)

    The problem of who’s going to be the top dog – yes. It’s something to ponder about. Don’t forget, however, there’s still NATO; and as Wesley Clark had remarked not so long ago, possibly the most formidable player in the world diplomacy in time to come. I believe I referenced that quote in “The Hidden Dimensions … Part II.”

    Thanks again,

    Roger

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I hope you’re not complaining, bliffle, but my case is a true sob story.

    There’s no place you can meet people, they don’t hang out anywhere, unless you go to WallMart – which I refuse on general principles. It’s a town of 50,000 but socially and emotionally a desert.
    So for better of worse, BC right now is my only connection with life.

    Not much of a life – I hasten to add.

  • Cindy

    lol @ bliffle

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    It’s not funny from where I’m at!

  • Cindy

    Oh I’m sorry Roger.

    There must be something in a town of 50,000. Do they have a bookstore? Maybe there are flyers with reading groups or something.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Yes, Cindy – as part of a little restaurant – maybe 400 titles, that’s all. But there aren’t any young people. Every one with a modicum of sense leaves this morbid and decrepit town.

    But I’ve got to try the one next to the community college they have in town. I should have done it before, but am too depressed to do it. It’s like I’ve already given up.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    By the way, I’m sorry if I came on too strong yesterday. The last thing I wanted it to have you doubt yourself. Do you understand?

  • Cindy

    Roger, Oh no..don’t worry :-)

    I’m fine. Just frustrated sometimes. But, as I do more things I will feel like I am having some effect. That’s what I’d like to do.

    I am volunteering now in the Z community.

    Tomorrow night I am going with the NJ Civil Rights Defense Committee to stand in the freeholders meeting in protest against immigrant detention in NJ prison.

    Maybe you can volunteer Roger? At the library, or ?? maybe take a class at the community college?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I’ll have to do something before I go nuts.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I’m done. Tomorrow.

  • Cindy

    night night

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    I’m surprised at your depiction of the town you live in, Roger. After leaving London I lived in a town of about 50,000 people and it was very lively and now I live in a town about half that size and there is a lot going on.

    Where in the USA are you?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    After leaving London I lived in a town of about 50,000 people and it was very lively and now I live in a town about half that size and there is a lot going on.

    Chris, you know, it all really depends on what you need for support of a social system. I live in a village of 500 or 600 souls or so. The two neighboring Jewish villages of Shilo and ‘Eli all have similar resources in terms of coffee shops and bars – none. But all the English speaking families sort of know each other from the three villages. We don’t need a bar or a coffee shop. The bus, and the ride home from J-lem is usually an interesting experience – at least as interesting as visiting a coffee shop or bar….

    You don’t really need a crowd at all – or a bar – or even a coffee shop (especially not one like Starbuck’s where they burn the coffee and serve stale pastries).

    Considering that Brooklyn, where I’m from, had 2½ million people when I grew up there, and that is what I’m used to in terms of a crowd of people, that says something….

  • Cindy

    Roger lives in small-town Kansas.

  • Clavos

    Actually, I think he said he’s in Kentucky or Tennessee.

  • Ma(rk Ede)n

    West Va., I thought.

  • Cindy

    haha (cannot wait until she is proven right :-)

  • Cindy

    Hey Mark,

    Did you make progress with your project? I sent you an e-mail about a Z project.

  • M ark

    Hi Cindy. The groups were interested in self-sufficiency for themselves and commodity production beyond that. Not my cup of tea, but I’ll put some energy there — the focus is apt to change with circumstances.

  • Cindy

    I would have been surprised if private growers would be in reducing their profit.

  • Cindy

    …would be interested

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Christopher,

    Actually, Ruvy has got it just right. It’s not really the size but the nature of the community. There’s really none to speak of, unless you decide to join a church; and it’s plenty of them here – Christian Country, KY, is the name of the place (and I don’t like it like that.)

    I’ve been to much smaller towns before – in the American South – which is fine because it’s all there. This is just has no center.

  • Cindy

    I was wrong? rats…Clav proves to be an excellent listener.

  • Ma rk

    Beautiful place, Kintuck.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Yeah, the grass is blue but the town folk are crabby.

  • Alex

    Look at the international bankers you fools…follow the money and you’ll find the power…if you can create the money then you can control society