The Spectre of Nationalism
This was a Tweet from Richard Dawkins on March 30th, 2019:
National pride has evil consequences. Prefer pride in humanity. German pride gave us Hitler, American pride gave us Trump, British pride gave us Brexit. If you must have pride, be proud that Homo sapiens could produce a Darwin, Shakespeare, Mandela, Einstein, Beethoven.
This is just the latest salvo in the new war against nationalism by global elites. Foreign Affairs magazine recently ran a whole issue trying to find “a way out” of the “sobering” resurgence of “the new nationalism”. In March of 2018, Richard N. Haas, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote an article lamenting the ‘death of the liberal world order’. Who killed it? Populism, nationalism, and Trump. These are apparently the three horseman of the globalist-destroying apocalypse.
From this and many more possible examples, it’s clear that nationalism is the new bogeyman for certain powerful interests, the new dirty word, especially after Donald Trump openly proclaimed to be a nationalist. On the state owned radio station where I live, there have been a growing number of stories referring ominously to the rise of nationalism. It reminds me of allied propaganda in World War I referring to Germans as “dangerous brutes”. It’s clear that I’m supposed to fear nationalism, and definitely never support it. Because you know who supports nationalism? Racists and fascists that’s who. Especially the worst of them all- white nationalist racists! Anyone who now supports nationalism is instantly branded as being on the right, or worse, the ‘far-right’ or the ‘alt-right’. Progressives are instructed that they should never support this supposed return to barbarism.
But there’s something topsy-turvy about this whole situation. Because it’s been precisely the left that's been the biggest critic of globalization over the past twenty-five years, arguing that the neoliberal global world-system was harming nations and communities and the local. This is what the 1999 Seattle WTO protests were all about. It was about stopping the barrage of “profit over people”, to cite the name of a Noam Chomsky book. It was out of this milieu that the World Social Forum and the 'alter-globalization' movement were born. But now the anti-globalization movement has suddenly “switched from a left to a right wing issue”, as a 2018 article in The Conversation put it. And in reaction to this sudden inversion, there are increasing calls from the left for fully open borders, such as seen in this Huffpost article by a Ryerson University professor, or this op-ed in the NY Times. A Google search brings up many more like them.
This is a messy and strange situation. In this article I’m going to attempt to pull apart some of these entangled pieces and look at them from different angles. My argument is going to proceed like this- 1) There is a genuine religious impulse towards human unity (ie. globalism); 2) This genuine impulse has been hijacked and steered by people who do not have the best interests of humanity in mind; 3) These globalists are intent on dissolving the nation state, and immigration may be a weapon they’re using; 4) These globalists smear any critique of their operations with the label racist, or ‘far-right’, or populist. This form of censorship should be categorically rejected; 5) Both the right and the left should currently be supporting a return to nationalism, as a pragmatic bulwark against these destructive globalist forces; 6) But we must not fall into ethno-nationalism and xenophobia in the process. We need to discover the delicate both/and balance between retaining healthy smaller units of identity and organization (such as the nation state), while also expanding our concern for the health of the global whole.
Bind In One The Hearts of All Mankind
There’s a core dimension found within virtually all religions that calls for the love of all peoples. For instance, in Hinduism, "I look upon all creatures equally; none are less dear to me and none more dear” (Bhagavad Gita 9:29); in Jainism, "Have benevolence towards all living beings” (Tattvarthasutra 7.11); and in Buddhism, "As a mother with her own life guards the life of her own child, let all-embracing thoughts for all that lives be thine”. (Khuddaka Patha, Metta Sutta).
This is also true in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Several of the prophets have visions of a future human unity. Isaiah has a vision of the last days where “all the nations” stream to the Lord’s mountain together. After this, “Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (Isaiah 2:1-4). The author of Revelation has a vision of a future where, “A great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, [are] standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Rev. 7:9). The figure of Jesus (the Lamb) is seen as the catalyst that brings the nations of the world together in peace. In the gospels Jesus himself teaches that if you take care of the “least of these”- those who are truly downtrodden, poor and oppressed- then you have you done it for him, a truly non-dual identification with all other beings (Matt. 31:40). And this theology of human unity makes its way into Christmas hymns as well, such as O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, which says, “Oh, come, Desire of nations, Bind in one the hearts of all mankind; Oh, bid our sad divisions cease, and be yourself our King of Peace”.
The Indian philosopher and yogi Sri Aurobindo wrote a book called The Ideal of Human Unity, where he interpreted all of human history as the slow working out of this ideal. Sigmund Freud was no friend of religion but he recognized this same impulse nevertheless. In Beyond the Pleasure Principle Freud began postulating that two powerful forces were at work in the cosmos, and thus in human life- Eros (a binding and uniting force) and Thanatos (a destructive unbinding force). He had this to say about Eros in Civilization and Its Discontents- “I may now add that civilization is a process in the service of Eros, whose purpose is to combine single human individuals, and after that families, then races, peoples and nations, into one great unity, the unity of mankind. Why this has to happen we do not know; the work of Eros is precisely this”.
So we can see that there appears to be a strong human religious impulse towards human unity. With Freud we can say that we don't know why this is the case, or how it works. I’d personally imagine that there are metaphysical dimensions to this, such as an omega point type strange attractor that's alluring the cosmos in this direction. But we can leave aside that kind of speculation for the sake of this article and just observe exhibit A- that there’s an inner human drive toward the unity of all peoples.
The Rockefellers and the Social Gospel Movement
The Social Gospel movement was a radical Christian movement born in the late 19thcentury. Unlike more individualistic streams of Christianity that were focused on a personal relationship with Jesus or God, and personal salvation, this movement directed its attention toward the liberation of the social- meaning it focused on achieving justice for society as a whole. The Canadian Social-gospeller (and future member of Parliament) Stanley Knowles declared, “I believe that we are members of one another, that we are our brother’s keeper, that to tell each individual he must fend for himself is to deny the message of Christianity and is to prefer isolation to civilization” (1). This was a movement that foregrounded the ideal of human unity found in the Christian scriptures, and it did a lot of important work in the roughly sixty years or so (1880-1940) that it was active.
It was only recently that I discovered that David Rockefeller Jr. was a major funder of the Social Gospel movement. Not only that but he funded the founding of Union Theological Seminary, bastion of liberal theology, and built Riverside Church in Manhattan, another liberal stronghold where the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., Jesse Jackson, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and many prominent theologians have spoken. Rockefeller also funded the Interchurch World Movement (IWM) that began in 1919, the Federal Council of Churches (FCC) when it began in the early 1940s, and had a hand in the UN related World Council of Churches, which began in 1948.
What was the arch-globalist David Rockefeller doing involving himself with so many of these ecumenical church movements? Well lets look at the conclusions the Federal Council of Churches came to in the early 1940s, about what would promote a "just and durable peace" at the end of WWII. This might give us a clue. These were reported in a 1942 Time Magazine article called “American Malvern”. Some highlights are:
"Ultimately, a world government of delegated powers"
"Strong immediate limitations on national sovereignty"
"Worldwide freedom of immigration"
And the ultimate goal would be: “A duly constituted world government of delegated powers: an international legislative body, an international court with adequate jurisdiction, international-administrative bodies with necessary powers, and adequate international police forces and provision for enforcing its worldwide economic authority”.
The church was a great vehicle with which to promote globalism and global government, because the impulse towards human unity is already baked into its DNA. Having huge federations of churches serve up your message was a rather wily move in the quest for global government. By the way, who chaired that 1942 Federal Council of Churches meeting? John Foster Dulles! That’s right, the friend of Woodrow Wilson who supported the creation of the League of Nations, and whose brother was former CIA director and ultra deep state honcho Allen Dulles. John Dulles wrote this in his 1950 book War or Peace- “The United Nations represents not a final stage in the development of world order, but only a primitive stage. Therefore its primary task is to create the conditions which will make possible a more highly developed organization".
As we can see from these examples there are people who for a long time have been attempting to push humanity towards global government beyond the rule of the nation state. And they’ve been pretty open about it too. Jay Dyer, author of Esoteric Hollywood 1 and 2, co-host of Hollywood Decoded, and proprietor of the website Jay’s Analysis, has done a great service with his “Globalist Book Series” (also available via his podcast). He’s now done twenty-six books, from authors such as H.G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, Julian Huxley, Carroll Quigley, Jonas Salk, Jacques Attali (the “Kissinger of France”), Arthur Koestler, Bertrand Russell, Zbigniew Brzezinski and much more. Dyer reads these books chapter by chapter and basically lets us hear what the authors say in their own words. And these global elites have been openly talking about the plan for global government, and the dissolution of national sovereignty, for a very long time. They also talk a lot about reducing population size and implementing various eugenics programs, as well as building a future technocratic society that sounds pretty damn dystopian (not for them of course, they'll be ruling it). But those nefarious aspects aside, there’s no doubt after listening to this series that there is such a thing as globalists who desire world government, and who have been involved in a very long and complex game to bring it about.
Here’s just one more example of this quite open agenda. This is from Strobe Talbot, Bill Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of State, in a Time Magazine article from 1992: “I'll bet that within the next hundred years (I'm giving the world time for setbacks and myself time to be out of the betting game, just in case I lose this one), nationhood as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. A phrase briefly fashionable in the mid-20th century -- "citizen of the world" -- will have assumed real meaning by the end of the 21st”.
I'm assuming that it was all more or less going according to plan until those dastardly Brexiters and those annoying Yellow Vesters and that goon Trump began ruining the last stages of the globalist plan! Quick, call everyone a racist or a dirty populist nationalist who disagrees with the forms of globalism being forced upon them. And especially go after anyone who is critical of immigration policies. That kind of ‘racism’ cannot be tolerated, and according to the UN Compact on the Global Migration, criticism of migration should be criminalized as hate-speech. Something stinks in this whole realm of migration and immigration. Why is this such a strongly protected subject by the elites?
Weapons of Mass Migration
In 2011 Kelly Greenhill, professor of political science at Tufts University, wrote a book called Weapons of Mass Migration- Forced Displacement, Coercion, and Foreign Policy. There are several articles out there as well as YouTube clips of Greenhill speaking on this book and her thesis, and they’re worth checking out. He’s how she summarized her thesis in a 2010 journal article:
"I begin by outlining the logic behind the coercive use of purposefully created migration and refugee crises and discuss its relative, if under-recognized, prevalence. In the second section, I briefly describe the kind of actors who resort to the use of this unconventional weapon as well as highlight the diverse array of objectives sought by those who employ it. I also show that this kind of coercion has proven relatively successful, at least as compared to more traditional methods of persuasion, particularly against (generally more powerful) liberal democratic targets. In the third section, I propose an explanation for why democracies appear to have been most frequently (and most successfully) targeted".
Greenhill shows how forced migration and refugee crises have been used for a long time as a weapon of war. Could it be, as many on ‘the right’ claim, that the globalists are using mass migration to disrupt and dilute the social identities of nation states, so that old cultural identities will eventually fade away and a new ‘global’ identity can be introduced? Is it possible that the globalists are using the mass immigration of peoples from Islamic cultures as a weapon to create instability and chaos in European countries, justifying the (problem-reaction) solution of more police and surveillance presence, and maybe even a European army to quell the unrest? Thus paving the way for increasing top-down authoritarian control, thus installing a piece of the new global order? What’s with all those stand-down orders that Admiral Lyons spoke out about?
Greenhill’s book says we should at least ask ourselves these questions. And in a truly free society we’d be able to have a discussion on these questions without immediately being labeled a racist or an ‘Islamophobe’, or immediately risk the ire of cancel culture. The racist/Islamophobe slurs smell far too much like a ploy to block any criticism or exposure of deeper plans. And the suggestion from the UN Compact on Migration that any criticism of migration should be called hate speech and criminalized, and that media promoting such criticism should be deplatformed, seems to starkly reveal the globalist hand. It looks like they pushed too far too fast on that one, and the response was swift, and not only from the right as the MSM tried to tell us. Criminalizing basic rational discussion on any topic is to subvert the basic Enlightenment values upon which modern civilization is based. It’s extremely dangerous territory to be wading into, and the backlash at this attempt by the UN was strong. One writer in The Spectator called it, “A sinister globalist ploy”. More and more people are becoming suspicious that something alarming is going on there.
In 2nd Corinthians Paul says that, “Satan masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). Could it be that the push for globalization beyond national identity is something nefarious masquerading as an angel of light? Has our genuine impulse toward human unity been hijacked by dark forces, steering us towards an endgame that won't be “good for everyone” as we’re so often told? How would we know? Jesus gives us a hint when he warns of false prophets “who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matt. 7:15-20). How will we know them? Jesus says we’ll know them by their fruits. Do they bear fruit, or do they bear thorns and brambles?
So what have the ‘fruits’ of globalization been? Over the past four decades we’ve seen extreme and increasingly wealth inequality. We’ve seen soaring personal and student debt, while austerity is forced upon populations. We’ve learned that trillions of dollars are missing from the economy, while other money is hidden offshore in tax-free havens. We’ve seen bailouts of banks ‘too big too fail’, while millions pay the price for financial corruption and collapse. We’re increasingly learning that the elites love to partake in degenerate and criminal activities in private. We’ve seen jobs shipped around to poor country and then poorer country in a constant search for cheap labor, while cities deteriorate in the wake. This list could go on indefinitely. This all looks a lot more like a bramble bush full of thorns than a tree bearing fruit, and I don’t think the people leading the globalist push are anything close to angels of light. I think we’ve been had, and people everywhere are waking up to this fact. More and more people know deep down that they must now reject the globalist push, and a resurgence of nationalism is an understandable response. It’s also an important one, because nationalism is actually a remarkable achievement of human evolution, and to obliterate it in the name of globalism only once again shows that those masquerading as light do not have our best interests in mind.
Deep Time and the Miracle of Nationalism
If those who are pushing for globalism did have the best interests of humanity in mind, they would understand that the process must be a slow and gentle one, not rammed through as it's being done now. And they would allow for the retention of various levels of local identity and autonomy. Why? Because it took a long time for humans to develop a circle of moral care large enough to organize at the level of nation states. It currently represents the stretched peak of our evolution. Historian Yuval Harari captures this well in a recent podcast interview with Sam Harris:
"The strength of nationalism is a sign to be hopeful, because a lot of people think that nationalism is natural to homo sapiens. And you hear it a lot these days, that it’s in our genes, that nothing can be done about the strength of national emotions. But this is nonsense. Humans are social animals, this is true, but evolution adapted us to identify with a very small group of people, whose chief characteristic is that we know everybody intimately. We are adapted by millions of years of evolution to feel loyal to a hundred people we actually know intimately. Nationalism developed only over the last few thousand years, which is yesterday morning in evolutionary terms. And nationalism asks something almost impossible of these apes, of us. To feel loyal to millions of strangers that we have never met before, we know nothing about as individuals, and we’re never likely to meet. And nevertheless, feel so connected to them, so loyal to them, that we are willing sometimes to risk our lives for them in war, or at the very least pay taxes, in order that people on the other side of the country whom I’ve never met and who I don’t know anything about, will have a good education and good healthcare. And nationalism managed to do that. To make you care about a hundred million people you never met. And if we can do that, I think the distance from here to caring about eight billion people that you’ve never met, is much smaller than the distance we’ve already covered. If you manage to get from a hundred people you know, to caring about one hundred million people you don’t know, from there to eight billion people you don’t know, it’s still a distance, but it’s a much shorter distance”. (49:10-51:44)
Nationalism- or the moral identification with a very large body of people- is a significant achievement of human moral evolution, and to just demolish that hard fought evolutionary plateau in the name of globalism is deeply unwise. It’s too much too fast, and the kind of backlash we’re seeing is the inevitable result. And again, it shows that the forces pushing for globalism are not the benign stewards of the human whole that they claim to be. There are clearly other agendas at play, and a new nationalist resurgence is precisely the bulwark needed to hold back the current strong-arm push for global governance and identity. And this could be an issue that unites the left and the right.
Unity-and-Difference: The Future Both/And
Many progressives on the left have been spooked by the rise of ‘right-wing’ nationalism, and the fear mongering of the MSM on this topic. Suddenly a critique that was once the bastion of the left has been tossed overboard in fear of being called a racist or a populist. In the toxic call-out/cancel culture of the postmodern left, getting labeled such a thing can mean ostracization or the loss of one’s livelihood. Fortunately there are increasing calls from the left that caring about the health of nationalism and nation-states should also be a platform of the left. This is good news, because when the left pushes the polarity with the nationalist right, and moves toward views like open borders, we see extremist views gain traction like truly racist ethno-nationalism. Having a left that also cares about national health should help short circuit this dangerous feed back loop.
But as we collectively hold off the globalist push to dissolve nation-states, I think it’s important for conservatives or those who identity most strongly as a national patriot, that we also continue to grow our circle of care for the global whole. We mustn’t allow a group of ravenous wolves to permanently stain the word globalism, or our love for our fellow man. There’s strength in unity, just as there’s strength in diversity. It seems that a combination of the two creates an anti-fragile resiliency that we could use going forward. This is how the French philosopher and complexity theorist Edgar Morin put the situation in his 1999 book Homeland Earth (p.12): “The idea would be to move toward a universal society based on the genius of diversity (homogeneity lacks genius), which would lead us to a double imperative, inwardly contradictory but fruitful for that very reason: (a) everywhere to safeguard, propagate, cultivate, or develop unity; and (b) and everywhere to safeguard, propagate, cultivate or develop diversity”.
That ‘universal society’ only becomes possible when we simultaneously safeguard differing identities and autonomies at the local and national levels, not destroy them in the name of the mushy ‘global citizen’ that we find in globalist propaganda. The family of nations may fruitfully use markets and free trade as mechanisms for mutual enrichment, but only if those trade deals are negotiated in a transparent and democratic way, unlike the TPP and other deals orchestrated behind closed doors by faceless elites. And it should never be called racist to suggest that flooding countries with migrants might be disruptive to the healthy flourishing of local identities. This globalist Kafka-trap needs to be categorically rejected so that mature and rational discussion might actually occur on the topic.
We’re stronger when we uphold diversity and cultivate unity at the same time. May we safeguard both as we move forward into our unwritten future.
(1) Gerry Harrop. Advocate of Compassion- Stanley Knowles in the Political Process, (1984). p.13.