May 9, 2004

"The Illusion Of Moral Action"

Anti-Globalism = Anti-Americanism, by French author Jean-Francois Revel points up the intellectual bankruptcy of the anti-globalist movement, showing how it boils down to the traditional left's hatred of capitalism, combined with knee-jerk anti-Americanism. Here's a sample, but this is too good not to read the whole thing:

The simplistic article of Marxist faith that capitalism is absolute evil, and that it is incarnated in and directed by the United States, may be the most important principle shared by the current crop of anti-globalizers. America is the object of their loathing because for a half century or more it has been the most prosperous and creative capitalist society on earth. But ultimately it is something even bigger that the anti-globalizers want to destroy: liberal democracy and free-market economics. Or quite simply liberty itself...

...Anti-globalists have tried to replace democracy with a despotism of the mob, advancing the brutal proposition that street demonstrators are more legitimate than elected governments. Wherever they have been active, their goal has been to prevent elected heads of state or appointed officials of international organizations from meeting. Like other totalitarians, they treat the mere expression of ideas contrary to their slogans as a crime.

Anti-globalizers have no ambition to advance a program by democratic means, for the simple reason that they don’t have a program, or coherent ideas, or facts on their side. So instead they beat relentlessly on the archaic anti-capitalist and anti-American drum. In Genoa we saw red flags adorned with hammer and sickle, effigies of Che Guevara, and the acronym for the Red Brigades.

The anti-globalists are often incoherent. They brought mayhem to Seattle in the name of combating a “savage” globalism that “profits only the rich.” Yet which groups met in Seattle? The World Trade Organization (WTO), whose role is precisely to monitor international economic transactions so as to prevent them from being “savage.” There has not been a country in the world that hasn’t been eager to be admitted into the WTO, and the poorest are the most eager...

...If you ask the developing countries what they want, they will tell you they want more globalization, not less. What they desire most of all is freer access to the world’s best markets for their products. So when well-heeled young radical protestors try to subvert meetings whose goal is to extend free trade and strengthen poor countries’ ability to export goods, they actually act as enemies of the world’s poor...

...It’s important to recall that it is only market globalization that the Left rejects. In fact, the Left has always hoped for globalization without the market—an ideologically correct world government. Soviet and Maoist communists always felt the vocational urge to impose their models on the whole of humanity, if need be by armed subversion, which they did not hesitate to use on five continents. Although they lack the means to undertake bellicose operations on such a scale, today’s anti-globalizers are no less internationalist in their ambitions.

(via Arts & Letters Daily)

Posted by dan at May 9, 2004 12:39 AM