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The Destruction of a National Consciousness


 

The Destruction of a National Consciousness

The contradiction between a global manufacturing system and a local national distribution system is growing.  The manufacturing chain of a single product can involve the whole world, but the social control is local, namely, a tax is paid and used locally -- in the country of final consumption.

The tax is what is supposed to protect all participants of the manufacturing social process, redistributing part of the income from manufacture and marketing.  But in the majority of cases, the social activity of a nation state extends only to its borders.  This means that part of the tax, which should socially protect the participants of the manufacturing process who are located outside of the nation state, stays in the consumer state.

 In the modern world the "consumers" are the states of North America and Western Europe. From year to year, while accumulating wealth and light-heartedly thinking that one can live shut off from the world of poverty and its problems, the governments of the rich countries have loaned and do loan that same "social" money to the poor countries, to the extent that, guided by a national ideal, THEY ARE NOT ABLE simply to give it up as social aid less than their due, although this sometimes happens, too.  As a result, all of the developing world "owes" the developed world and is obligated to pay interest for credits received.  The majority of debtors doesn't have any hope of getting out of debt, but only to increase it, receiving less than their due for their labor from the redistributed wealth of mankind.

The chasm between the rich and the poor states is growing in an unprecedented way, threatening with an ethnical in form, and monetary in content, explosion or revolution of new times.  No supranational legal agency exists in world society that acts taking into account the social needs of the developing states, and all the international banks and funds per se are business organizations. The situation reminds one of early, cruel capitalism, with its wars, barbarous relationship to the environment and that very same relationship to the rights of man.  The distinction lies chiefly in the fact that if early capitalism were raging while getting on its feet, among the countries, then now, not restrained by rigid controls, it has been "moving without restraint" in interstate space.

    Instead of developing and alleviating the situation in the whole world in the social realm, the interstate social money not given up overheats the exchanges of the Western countries and, in any case, in the final analysis, finds itself in the third world, but in an already perverted, abnormal form:  through unwarranted high prices for energy resources, through endless loans or charity, causing corruption, protectionism and a deep chasm between the wealth of the elite and the poverty of the masses of these countries.

The most terrible thing in today's situation is the appearance of layers of population in a number of states for whom there just is nothing to lose. In particular, these layers most easily of all adopt extreme ideas of every stripe and hue.

 The events of 11 September 2001 are a direct confirmation of this. And just as 100 years ago, social shifts and the redistribution of abundant incomes are beginning from the powerful statements of the deprived layers. But not within countries, but at the interstate level.  It is no accident that the present supranational extremist trends and their leaders are similar in threat to those in Russia and Europe at the end of the 19th and the start of the 20th centuries. They are those very same raznochinetsi ((members of the professional class not drawn from the nobility)) and Narodnaya Volya ((People's Will)) members, the same well-to-do classes, but this time not with homemade bombs, but nearly with atomic, and with not local, but planet-wide slogans.

   The most alarming consists of the fact that it is not possible to resolve these problems by the usual intranational means. Trying to find new, efficient approaches, the developed countries put into their budgets expenses for the aid of the needy countries.  But they only insignificantly alleviate the situation, inasmuch as instead of a clear redistribution of income, at the legal interstate level it amounts to nothing more, per se, than charity.

Wishing somehow to improve their material and social situation, hundreds of thousands of people from developing countries by hook or by crook aspire to get into the wealthy countries, the incomes not reaching them there where they settle. Thousands perish in sunken ships and overturned boats, inside railroad containers and refrigerators.  But tens of thousands nonetheless reach their goal, and they somehow even are, figuratively speaking, an explosive mix which can at some time blow up from within the states that accepted them. Or too in the new place they are strangers, they are outcasts, in any event, in the first generation. Among them also are found the faithful followers of all stripes of extremist, although, it would seem, immigrants should be thankful to their new governments for the fact that they even took them in, gave them work, and provided them with minimum social guarantees.

 In particular therefore, many developed countries now are in a hurry to adopt the most rigid immigration rules possible.  Will it help?..

The conclusion can be found only via compromise. After all, any movement forward which is not of a revolutionary nature is possible only owing to the interests of the upper layers of society, who "distribute," and the lower, who do not have access to the distribution of the common wealth, but who "dislodge" either one or the other benefit or a more equitable payment for their labor.         

  The modern situation is unique in the fact that the "upper" and "lower" parts of the pyramid are separated, among other things, by state borders.  The "upper" already have formed:  transnational corporations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and so on.  And they are carrying out a policy of globalization of the world's economy. The time of the globalization of restrictive counterbalances, which create a balance of forces that do not allow destructive elements to "move without restraint" upon the planet has come.

In particular therefore, globalization of the trade union and social movement, that is, the self-organization of the global "lower" part - is the most important of today's tasks.  The advancement of the requirements for business to observe common social standards in the producer countries and in the consumer countries and the need for the observation of these standards will increase the standard of living in the developing countries and decrease the outflow of production from the developed countries. The constructive opposition of commercial activity of the International Monetary Fund will alleviate the acuteness of social inequality at the state level.

   The traditional thought of "we" and "they" today is a direct route to international terrorism, to bloody revolts. They are ripening in many countries. People are rising up against that position when even their unborn children, for example, in Brazil, already owe billions of dollars to some other states, or the external debt of the country is beyond the extreme. The generations to come will not pay it. In essence, this is a form of currency slavery, which at a certain moment will lead to an explosion and consequences worse than 9/11. Imagine for a moment that Texas owes Pennsylvania huge amounts of money, and anyone who was born in Texas or who lives there is obligated to pay back this debt and to receive correspondingly less than the neighbors.  It's an unpleasant picture, isn't it? Most likely, a border also would have to be introduced between the states, for in this case there are few who would want to live in Texas you see. That is, the border would become a form of economic constraint of the creditors on the debtors.

  It is difficult, but nonetheless necessary to realize that poverty and problems on any part of the planet touch everyone in the Western world as acutely as their own, domestic problems. It is impossible to say, "Let them sort out their own troubles," because it is not "they" and "we," because if somewhere there are whole nations who have nothing to lose, then their pain and despair will develop into the next bloody nightmare that overwhelms everyone. Neither an "iron curtain" nor nuclear weapons will help.

  For example, a whole group of Arab, African and Asian states has been left outside of the worldwide system of production.  They are in the situation of those out of work, they have a poverty-stricken budget, almost a zero level of education and the very same worthless prospects.  Only a unified worldwide government can find approaches to the resolution of their problems, and the only form of the creation of such a government is a global social movement.

In the meantime, the consciousness of the modern trade union and social leaders in any country is deeply nationalistic and hostile toward globalism.   Trying to resolve the problems of "home" by habit, the trade unions are losing because of the disassociation of national accommodations and the narrow-mindedness of local approaches. There is no comprehension of the fact that for the globalism of money, one must answer with the globalism of the social movement places the modern anti-globalist movement, which has in its inventory traditionalism, in the position of a player who has lost before the beginning of the game. The globalism of business as not an invention of the "sharks of capitalism," but an objective phenomenon, the next turn of world history, today's stage in the development of mankind, and to try not to give it motion is just the same as taking umbrage at bad weather.

   The movement toward an all-planet, socially responsible government is occurring and will grow from two sides:   as a globalization of the social and trade union activity in the developed countries and as a unification of the developing countries in the struggle for redistribution of the money flows. At the same time, both those and others will have to correct their ideological consciousness and their actions taking into account the interests of the opposite side.

   In the process of globalization, the modern national idea and the basis of a nationally-oriented history connected with it cease suiting whomever.  In essence, because the national model of existence won't allow the resolution of global social problems.

   The developing, poor countries begin to become aware of their own right to social support. But this realization comes into conflict with the idea of a national state and full sovereignty.  An ever greater independence from the outside compels the elite of these countries to support the somewhere gentler forms of religious or ethnic nationalism, creates international relations according to the "center-province" type and leads to the formation of supranational approaches. So you see, if money is demanded from someone, then on what basis?  For the fact that in order to receive help, it is necessary to realize yourself from the start as an indivisible part of mankind, with all the rights and with all the responsibility for other nations.

 In developed countries, the struggle for more effective methods of international business control, born as the anti-globalist movement, should have as its own result the creation of a unified government that assures fair taxation and social protection of the manufacturers throughout all the planet. One can consider the modern (2002) traditionalism of the anti-globalist movement as a reflection for people's primary, natural reluctance to changes. But with the development of events, it undoubtedly will be replaced by supranationalism:   inasmuch as business has become global, then also control will outgrow all national borders.

  What dangers await us along the way?

   The impact of the traditional developing economies depending on export and import causes structural rebuilding of the domestic economy and displaces the areas of influence and power in countries. The traditional national elite don't want to lose power and intensify the national idea, trying to defend against the economic onslaught of the transnational corporations. This phenomenon in the modern world is called "anti-Americanism," although the Americans, as a people, have no relation to it. It is all a matter of the fact that today's global business political problems are resolved with the help of the force structures of the U.S. Thus the term was born. The enemy should have a name, and it appeared.

 Further ideological development of "anti-Americanism" or, more correctly, anti-globalism inevitably will lead to the appearance of economic demands. But it is here in particular that the chief danger lies in wait:   the traditionalism of the consciousness of people in developed countries, manifested as an unreadiness of the rich countries to pay welfare on legal bases to poor regions will evoke a political victory of traditionalism in the developing countries and can lead to world war. Therefore, the distribution of supranational views in the developed world has a colossal political significance.

  The growing contradictions of American interests as a nation with the interests of the global government being formed, while appearing as the whole of international institutions, is defining the need for the formation of an independent worldwide political and military machine. Nationalism of the United States itself already has come into serious conflict with the essence of global problems which are being carried out by the American military machine. And already today it has become a chief irritant and cause for the actions for nationalists in all countries. A further deepening of the contradictions will lead to a total confrontation with America. The way out is concealed in the fact that the armies of the developed countries will be resubordinated to a single government. This will remove much of the dissatisfaction and protests. NATO is a fine prototype of such a structure. Distribution of a supranational consciousness in the U.S. has a special meaning.

  Thus, the most prospective solution of the arising worldwide problems consists of overcoming the national narrow-mindedness of people, in the formation of a supranational consciousness, especially in the developed countries that are ready economically for radical changes. But, essentially, the question arises about the methods for achieving this most important goal. In order to define them, we should ask ourselves:  what forms today's self-determination and what gives modern people a reason to call themselves by various names? National history. Every nation has its own collection of events of the past, often mythological, which proves the appropriateness of separating itself from all the rest. A review of the bases for national histories and the advocacy of these ideas in the media are the only way to prepare us for future shocks, when the energy of unification and the energy of dissociation will be coming into conflict on all the continents of the planet.

  Global self-determination and the ideas which unite mankind, often are expressed by businessmen who, having realized what is occurring, not infrequently become public figures, trying to accomplish one function or another of an absentee global government.  

  Today we are proposing to these people to define the priorities of the tasks which lie ahead of mankind and to concentrate part of their activity on the main ideological problem of modern time - the formation of a single supranational self-determination through the realization of our common past and present.

Vlad Melamed . 2002

2002 New Tradition Sociological society, All Rights Reserved.