Monday, December 15, 2008

Barack Obama Will Save the World!

One of the ideas currently floating around is the notion that current international problems necessitate institutions of global scope to solve them, that is, we need world government to fix the world's problems.

Gideon Rachman, for example, makes the case for supranational governance in his piece, "
And Now For a World Government."

Arguments for world government are almost always based in utopianism: If there were a single human purpose with a single center of power, the multitudes of the planet might unite as one to feed the hungry, heal the sick, and end warfare. At various times in international relations global reformers have been motivated by the need to transcend narrow national interests for the good of humankind. Perhaps most recently, the establishment of the United Nations reenergized idealists that the aftermath of the world's most devastating conflict would create the consensus among world leaders to unite in a single body of international scope with enough power and resources to govern the globe (
the Wikipedia entry on this notes that current enthusiasm for the International Criminal Court and similar supranational authorities is based in the ideology of world governmental power over nation-states).

In his piece, Rachman
waxes longingly for a world body and makes reference to Barack Obama's The Audacity of Hope, where the President-Elect has written, "When the world’s sole superpower willingly restrains its power and abides by internationally agreed-upon standards of conduct, it sends a message that these are rules worth following."

But check out Harold Meyerson,
at the American Prospect, who places all of his hopes of world socialist utopianism in the hands of "The One":

At the end of the Civil War, Americans lived within local economies. Then railroads, steel and oil companies, meatpackers, and eventually automakers, with the considerable assistance of the nation's largest banks, began functioning on a national level, bending state and local governments to their will. Largely unregulated and in the absence of national countervailing powers, these institutions were unassailable until the crash of 1929 and the ensuing depression stripped them of much of their clout. Only then did Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal create national regulations on their conduct, and the agencies to enforce them. Only then did genuinely national unions arise that won national contracts from employers.

Taking government from the state to the national level was necessary to save the economy and build American prosperity. During the waning days of the Hoover administration, for instance, the governors of a number of states ordered bank closings to forestall depositors' runs on the banks. What the governors could not do, however, was restore depositor confidence. That is precisely what Roosevelt did, by coupling an order to close all banks so their books could be checked with the establishment of a federal deposit insurance agency -- a solution beyond capabilities and resources of the nation's insolvent state houses. Similarly, though individual states had enacted wage and hour laws before the Depression, creating the prosperity and stability of the post?World War II economy required the New Deal federal standards.

Today, Obama faces a similar challenge to Roosevelt's - and has a similar opportunity. Over the past several decades, the same asymmetry of power that characterized America between 1865 and 1932 reappeared - but on a larger scale. Finance and corporations have become global, outstripping the regulatory and bargaining powers of merely national governments and unions. Now, as in 1933, it is suddenly possible to globalize at least some standards and regulations, just as Roosevelt once nationalized them. The changes will come more haltingly and piecemeal than they did in Roosevelt's New Deal, because the leap from nation-state to global order is far greater than that from state capitols to Pennsylvania Avenue. But as in Roosevelt's time, the changes will come because the asymmetry of power led to an unregulated economy that collapsed of its own weight and folly - and because the only way out of the collapse may be to regulate that power on the global scale where, until recently, it was unchallenged.

How broad the changes are, how sturdy or rickety the new global architecture that emerges is, depends on a multitude of variables. Financial institutions may well oppose the formation of transnational agencies that, say, restrict the amount of leverage they're allowed to carry; multinational corporations will surely resist anything resembling global labor laws. Nations that disproportionately rely on the financial sector will oppose financial restrictions; nations at different stages of economic development will take different positions on wage and environmental standards. The very idea of a global New Deal would be altogether preposterous but for the fact that the return of prosperity may depend upon it. But then, the same once could have been said of a national New Deal, too. Finally, just as the creation of the national New Deal depended upon Roosevelt, the creation of a global one will depend upon Obama -- a figure who seems uniquely suited to voice not just the nation's but the planet's aspirations. The world - its citizens and its economy - awaits him.
Note the assumption here that many, if not most, of the "financial institutions" and "multinational corporations" will be American. And that's what talk of world government is all about: the establishment of a world regime to regulate American power and the agents of American influence, in this case U.S. transnational enterprises that are, for all intents and purposes, in the left's paradigm, the masters of the universe.

Nevermind that, in fact, some for largest corporations in the world are headquartered in places like Tokyo or Stuttgart. America remains the world's hegemon, and if U.S. and global activists have their way, they'll tie down U.S. global supremacy like a modern-day Gulliver.


JR said...

The Church of Liberalism

In the name of the father, the son and Barry Obama

Laura Lee - Grace Explosion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jan said...

Donald..why is it that I get a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I read about anything to do with Barack Obama?

He certainly is not the promised Messiah, nor is he the Antichrist.

He is not going to lead the world out of darkness, into the light, nor is he going to create Utopia.

What he is doing is setting up something which we do not want to be a part of--eventually bringing us to the edge of utter destruction.

How people can be so deluded is beyond my comprehension..but not really, because I've read the end of the book.

And, yes--I'm sure that just reading anything that casts a bad light on The One, causes gnashing of teeth, but it needs to be said.

King Politics said...

I would that when people talk about a "world government" they're talking metaphorically.

shoprat said...

In theory I would agree with a world government except that it would be a worldwide kleptocracy run by the United Nations.

I too doubt that Obama is the Anti-Christ but I wonder who his puppetmaster is. Who is it who is pulling his strings?

Norm said...

Wow, it's like no other country with
power hungry leaders exist ! I think Putin is going to eat up and spit out Obama like an olive and its pit. These people are delusional.

PRH said...

Hail the Chosen One!!!

LOL! These people are NUTS!

Anonymous said...

I think Putin is going to eat up and spit out Obama like an olive and its pit.

Norm, why do you spit out the olive, not just the pit?

Anyway, George Bush seems to be the one who fell in love with Putin after gazing into his eyes and declaring him to be a soul brother.

JoeBama "Truth 101" Kelly said...

One question Grace. Who will be the antiChrist of the year in 2010? You people can't seem to make up your minds.

JBW said...

As I read more and more comments on this site I truly wonder what it's like to know many of you people in real life; I mean, I assume that most of you are on the fringes of political society based on your stated beliefs (Grace, you currently enjoy the honor of being far ahead of the pack in that regard) but I still wonder: are you all as petty and mean-spirited in person or do you just reserve such speech for the (relative) anonymity of the blogosphere?

As far as I can tell, none of you give your full names and an accurate picture of yourselves in your profiles (understandable, given the era in which we live) but it appears to me that this semi-anonymity emboldens many of you to write things that I assume you would not repeat in polite society (or at least to the faces of the people you vilify with such relish); I hate to say this about a technology I have repeatedly called the greatest invention of my lifetime but it seems the Internet has given most of you carte blanche to write the most heinous and devious things about relatively good people because you know that there are no repercussions to be had.

As much as Don and I disagree on most things, I know that there is a measure of mutual respect between us and the fact that we're both straight up about who we are in the real world affords us both a modicum of responsibility for what we write on our respective sites.

After all the Chardonnay I've had since I got home tonight I guess my point is this: Barack Obama is still some 40-some days away from being inaugurated; to attack him now with such a visceral hatred means that you're all either going to run out of such well before he can really screw things up (in your view, of course) or else you're going to have to ratchet up the hate to near-hysterical levels to maintain the same relative outrage.

In any event, I shudder to think of what it would be like to be in the same room with many of you when the latter of those outcomes happens, and I shudder equally as much for the sake of those who choose to spend time in your presence. I'm going to have another glass now but I truly hope that at least one of you considers what I've just written (this is me, not holding my breath). Good night.

Anonymous said...


Come on, give Grace some comic value man!. How could you not at least have a chuckle at someone that cannot utter more than 2 words without having to resort to some sort of religious preaching. Heck we could be talking about how to bake Cake, and she'd have to throw in a few lines of Jesus in there some where!

That Obama 666 mmmmmmmmmmm yeh!


JBW said...

Trust me CS, I appreciate the seemingly endless well of entertainment she provides, I just feel that the one trick pony aspect of it is wearing thin. Besides, my comment was aimed more at those who aren't clearly insane but rather just ill-mannered jerks.