Christian Misunderstandings of Globalism

On the left is an article opposing globalism. On the right is our analysis.



By: Al Cronkrite

“We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.”
  --- Albert Einstein
In a recent article George Reisman raised the Globalist flag for the Ludwig Von Mises Institute with a detailed affirmation of the New World Order entitled “Globalization: The Long-Run Big Picture”. In this myopic piece Reisman details the economic benefits that will accrue to the world through the implementation of a free global economic system. To call Reisman's article "myopic" defies understanding. It is a broad-ranging, far-sighted, brilliant article.

Cronkrite is right to label Reisman's proposal a "free" global economic system. It is in no way tied to governments, either national or international.

Reisman ignores national sovereignty and impending world tyranny basing his polemic entirely on the assumption that sacrificing the economies of the more affluent nations on the alter of the group will provide economic benefits to world citizens. He writes, “beneficial results are often hidden from view by the fact that at the same time globalization implies a substantial decline in the relative or even absolute nominal GDPs of today's advanced countries”. (Gross Domestic Product, GDP) Cronkrite misunderstands Reisman. Reisman does not "ignore" national sovereignty or world tyranny. As pointed out above, he defends a "free" system of global trade. Reisman is an individualist, not a collectivist, and does not in any way "sacrifice" anything on "the alter [sic] of the group."

Cronkrite fails to understand that globalism will radically increase the standard of living of the U.S. and other advanced countries, as well as the standard of living of the now-underdeveloped countries. I have highlighted two key words in Cronkrite's review which he misses entirely. Our standard of living will be vastly increased, but relative to today's poorer countries, our GDP will be smaller. And "nominally" speaking, that is, denominated in today's dollars, our GDP will be lower. But Reisman makes clear what Cronkrite misses: that one of today's dollars will buy 4, 5 or even 10 times more than it does today in a future world of global free trade.

Would you rather get a paycheck of 1 million dollars in an economy where a loaf of bread costs $100,000, or would you rather get a paycheck of $10,000 in an economy where a loaf of bread is one penny?

This result has been pointed out by Paul Craig Roberts and other patriots since the United States Government began foisting free trade and open markets on the American people. Globalization is siphoning off wealth from the more affluent nations and transferring it to the less affluent. Kudos to Reisman for acknowledging this result since the perpetrators of this tyranny attempt to hide it. Reisman does not "acknowledge" what Roberts is saying; Reisman refutes Roberts. Globalization, when truly free, expands wealth, it does not "transfer" it.
The collectivist theory that all decisions must be made for and by groups without regard for the individual is being carried over into international relations as individual nationhood is sacrificed on the alter of globalization. Reisman denies collectivism. As Cronkrite admits, Reisman has a soft spot for American nationalism, but individual freedom trumps nationalism. The American government is largely an enemy of free trade, despite its multitude of mis-named "free trade agreements." Individual nationhood should be "sacrificed on the alter [sic] of globalization," if the nation is an enemy of individual freedom to do business with individuals and businesses around the world.
Though rooted in the enlightenment, Libertarianism seeks a number of Biblical tenets. Among these are free markets, individualism, limited government, individual liberty, private property, and self ownership. These beliefs have attracted Christians and some have joined the movement.  
When Christians join the Libertarian Movement it is something akin to a married man bedding down with a prostitute. Both the prostitute and the wife provide sexual intercourse but one is legitimate while the other is not. Why is a movement/ideology/political party (Cronkrite is unclear when he speaks of "joining" the "Libertarian Movement" [capital M]) which "challenges the cult of the omnipotent state" illegitimate? If there is a "Christian" candidate who supports the cult of the omnipotent state, and a Christian candidate who has "joined" the "Libertarian Movement" and opposes that statist cult, why is the Christian libertarian illegitimate?
Libertarians counterbalance the principles of individual freedom and limited government with an amoral social agenda which has been fostered and supported by some of the biggest stars of the Movement. Is a "moral social agenda" one in which the "omnipotent state" regulates individuals? Can a Christian have a moral social agenda of creating Christian schools and pursue that agenda by eliminating government control of education? The Libertarian Movement would guarantee to Christians more freedom to pursue a moral social agenda than Christian presently have. Under a libertarian government, there would be more self-government and more morality -- provided Christians step up to the plate and start governing themselves and the institutions they would be free to create without a secular government in Washington.
At one point Murray Rothbard, who was Jewish, associated himself with Christian organizations. He did not affirm Christianity but briefly joined in supporting proscribed government and fixed moral standards. His subsequent writings were known for their support of limited government but not for God’s immutable Laws.  
In an almost worshipful article promoting Justin Raimondo’s book “Enemy of the State”, Llewellyn Rockwell specifically denies that Murray ever sold out to Christianity describing his association as a purely pragmatic affiliation.  Cronkrite misreads Rockwell as badly as he misreads Reisman. Rockwell said Rothbard did not sell out to the "Christian RIGHT" -- a huge difference, since the Religious Right  seeks to expand the power of the federal government to advance its own agenda, in a way that is not consistent with the genius of Christianity itself.
Inscribed at the top of the Mises internet page is the Latin motto “tu ne cede malis” which translates “do not give in to evil”. Sans and overarching, immutable legal code, evil is in the eyes of the beholder. One has to wonder what the Mises Institute uses as a basis for defining evil. They have a passing association with Christians but fail to openly espouse God’s Laws . Too often those who claim to "espouse God's Law" are actually espousing more government power. The Mises Institute, on the other hand, does not boast about its inside line to God, yet its moral position is more Godly than that of the GOP/Religious Right. Is it more important to "openly" espouse God's Law while denying God's Law, or to implement God's Law in a relatively quiet way
It is difficult to understand why God’s people would find it necessary to associate themselves with an organization without specific Christian roots whose major proponents have written from an entirely amoral, secular perspective. Gullible as they are, many have. It is necessary for God's People to associate themselves with organizations that defend God's Law in an un-"open" manner and without "specific Christian roots" because the party that makes the loudest boast about being Christian (the GOP) is, in practice, worse than "amoral" and "secular."
Libertarian economics can be divided into two major categories:  One would shun federal control depending on each individual to respect the personal and property rights of other individuals while the other would allow basic governmental services. Libertarians are a diverse lot spanning the gamut of world views from Ayn Rand’s humanistic, free sex agenda to the legally based Christian Reconstructionist outlook of regular columnist Gary North.  
Libertarian support of absolute free trade provided the first red flag. International free trade without regard for national sovereignty supports the One World Order by forcing the economies with the highest standard of living to compete with those with the lowest. Support for FREE trade is utterly inconsistent with support for "the One World Order."

When I trade with someone, I am not "competing" with that person. We are both serving each other's interests. I gain what I want, my trading partner gains what he wants. Reisman advocates FREE trade, not "forcing" anyone to trade with anyone else. If businesses in economies with high standards of living want to trade with businesses in economies with the lowest, they should be free to do so. Reisman shows how both businesses will benefit, and ultimately both economies will benefit.

I have written about this in a previous essay. Read it here. A fairly incoherent essay.
Reisman provides logical scenarios that support the benefits of global free trade. With perfunctory loyalty to his country he writes, “I confess to being something of an American nationalist“. He claims benefits from the loss of our automobile industry writing, “this is a gain to buyers of automobiles in the United States and throughout the world, and one which ex-American automobile workers too can share once they find new ways to earn their living.” He goes on the denigrate belief in autarky (independence, self sufficiency) and in the economic perspectives of Paul Craig Roberts, and Gomory and Baumol. Why is Reisman's confession "perfunctory?"

The claim of benefits made by Reisman is never refuted by Cronkrite.

One of the flies in Reisman’s carefully reasoned argument is the importance of the industries that are being lost as opposed to those that are being created. United States is awash in restaurants but is losing its manufacturing base. Manufacturing produces wealth; service industries do not. Another, is the rise of monopolies which are a by product of free competition. Economic competition tends to create winners, winners tend to enjoy monopoly, and monopoly tends to end competition. Cronkrite misses Reisman's point that if poorer nations are engaged in manufacturing consumer goods, Americans can be engaged in manufacturing capital goods, that is, the tools with which poorer nations manufacture the goods Americans buy. And why is the manufacturing of automobiles more desirable than finding a cure for cancer? If we can buy things cheaper from poorer nations, does this not free up money to invest in cancer research, or an unlimited array of things that Americans believe will increase their standard of living.

On monopoly theory, click here. The only kind of monopoly we need to worry about is government-created monopoly.

Reisman contends that eventually all the nations of the world will be brought up to current United States standards. Included in his polemic are these facts: The United States GDP will be substantially reduced; families will be stressed and uprooted by having to seek and learn new vocations; and “the world's rogue states to be deprived of the ability to inflict harm on their neighbors or in any other significant way to harm the further development and maintenance of the global division of labor“. Cronkrite completely misunderstands Reisman. U.S. GDP will be substantially increased. The rise in our standard of living as a result of globalism is mind-blowing. What opponents of globalism harp on is a relative decline in our GDP as compared with an expanding GDP of the poorer nations -- which is a good thing! Families will only be "stressed" in the same way manufacturers of horse-drawn carriages were "stressed" by the invention of the automobile, and the way manufacturers of cars will be "stressed" by the invention of StarTrek-style transporter beams. Should we erect barriers to transporter beams and the ease and rapidity of transportation they promise in order to prevent short-term stress for those whose backward industries are replaced by this wonderful advance? Yes, says Cronkrite and the anti-globalists.
One has to be astounded at the near sightedness involved in these contentions. Reisman is maintaining that the United States will benefit by allowing its autarky and its position as the worlds wealthiest nation to be sacrificed under the theoretical idea that it will all come out alright in the end. He also appears to support world empire by urging the captivity of “rogue states”. Reisman's view is breathtakingly long-term. His analysis is not "theoretical," but rigorously calculated in terms of expanded markets and higher standards of living which will result when barriers to trade are eliminated.

To charge Reisman with support of "world empire" is just silly.

Lew Rockwell edits an excellent page on the internet and allows several Christian writers regular access. However, this token acceptance of the Christian ethic does not erase the blatant humanism and support for world government that seems also to be a part of the Libertarian Movement.

"Published originally at : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."
"Support for world government?" Preposterous! A complete misreading of Reisman. He cites as an "essential prerequisite" of his model of globalism "respect for private property rights" and "substantial economic freedom in the various individual countries."

Here is the opening paragraph of Reisman's article:

Globalization, in conjunction with its essential prerequisite of respect for private property rights, and thus the existence of substantial economic freedom in the various individual countries, has the potential to raise the productivity of labor and living standards all across the world to the level of the most advanced countries. In addition, it has the potential to bring about the radical improvement in productivity and living standards in what are today the most advanced countries, and to provide the strongest possible foundation for unprecedented further economic advance everywhere.

On down he writes:

This article shows that by incorporating billions of additional people into the global division of labor, and correspondingly increasing the scale on which all branches of production and economic activity are carried on, globalization makes possible ... the very substantial increase in the number of highly intelligent, highly motivated individuals working in all of the branches of science, technology, and business. This will greatly accelerate the rate of scientific and technological progress and business innovation.  [I]ts potential is nothing less than the elevation of the productivity of labor and of living standards all across the globe to the level of the most advanced countries, and at the same time the radical improvement in productivity and living standards in what are today the most advanced countries.

Why would a Christian oppose this? Why would a Christian advocate use of state compulsion to prevent it?

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Al Cronkrite is a free-lance writer from Florida. He a is regular columnist for Ether Zone.  
Al Cronkrite can be reached at: Questions?    send mail to: question[at]
Published in the November 28, 2006 issue of  Ether Zone.
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