Sunday, June 26, 2016

Globalization vs "Globalization"

Seeing the headlines about Brexit being a defeat for Globalists caused me to take a trip back through memory lane.  In the 1980's, there was a lot of howling about globalization from the left, because this clearly posed a threat to the Earth's proper rotation around the Sun, not to mention unions.  We have come a long way for the UK to be cursed by the same far left for opting out.  What happened?

The original concept of globalization goes back to Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (1776).  The idea was that global trade would make everyone wealthier with different countries playing to their strengths as they had been endowed with resources and labor.  Traders will necessarily move about, while certain prosperous zones will attract labor from elsewhere resulting in certain cultural melting pots.  This is the globalization that I am familiar with and attracted to.

This has me thinking back to Bill Clinton's North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), for which the left cursed him.  Immediately after this agreement went into effect, I went on a business trip to Canada and was pulled aside by the customs officer to find out which of the myriad NAFTA labor categories my work fell under.  We then got hit with a newly introduced free trade tariff.  What had happened was that Clinton brought the unions and hyper-bureaucrats to the table for negotiating "free trade", thus, making a mockery of the entire thing.  This seems to be the point where the left realized that international "free trade" agreements could be used to impose their leftist agenda onto other nations in return for trade concessions.

This has now been taken to its extreme limit with out current government imposing things all over the planet, so that trade is undoubtedly freer the less free trade agreements we have in place.  Europe has its own brand of this globalization as a pretext for government gone wild as they try to impose one culture of production across the EU.  Meanwhile, their tariffs with Africa remain completely out of control, hurting the entire continent and giving Africans more incentive to move.  One example is here.  True globalization does result in natural flows of labor, but "globalization" is something completely different:  Both the EU and the US are experiencing floods of foreigners that often seem more like the invasions of the Huns, Magyars, or Vikings, with the difference that our governments are encouraging the invasion and doing their best to insure that the new invaders don't settle down and assimilate like the Goths and Celts did.

So my overall perspective is that the left hated the earlier globalization, but eventually realized that it could not be stopped.  Then they switched course, joined the globalization band wagon, insisted that they were the ones best to lead, grabbed the reins, and proceeded to drive it off a cliff.  It won't take long before the leftist in the UK realize that they are by far the most qualified to lead the Brexit movement.


Rummuser said...

Looney said...

That is the irony, that the working class is in conflict with the, Labour party!

Max Coutinho said...

Hi Looney,

Yes, but global trade didn't bring prosperity to everyone. On the contrary: the policy of telling countries which strengths they have been endowed and what they are to do (a very socialist MO) is exactly what brought problems to the world.

Globalisation was harsh on poor countries, for instance, as richer countries began subsidising farmers, meaning that the farmers from poorer countries could not compete. This created more strife.

The same thing happened within the EU: they began telling member states who was going to do what, who had the right to fish what and when, who had the right to farm land or not, who would be a country of services or not etc. Result: some countries became wealthier than the others. This is not good.

From where I stand, I'll be damned if the Left will explore the Brexit. I know they will try after they're done with the internal bickering and scandals, but Tories will fight them (and by G-d, I will help them). I'm loving this new political phase.

Excellent piece, Looney. I shared it.