Global Governance Is a Threat That Must Be Resisted

“…since the nation state has proved to be a stable foundation of democratic government and secular jurisdiction, we ought to improve it, to adjust it, even to dilute it, but not to throw it away.”

Many of the left attack transnational bodies such as global corporations and the like. The very words “multinational corporations” or “transnational corporations” easily provoke them. In this area, they think things ought to be smaller and more decentralised. But they do not feel the same way about transnational global governments. More on that in a moment.

As to big business versus small business, it would be nice to preserve both. In a place like Australia where you have a near monopoly on things like airlines and supermarkets, adding a bit of stiff competition is always a goer. Genuine free markets are anathema to monopoly powers.

But there are always trade-offs. Many years ago in a class on Christian ethics, one student complained that his dad, who made cabinets and other wooden goods, was always being underpriced by big retailers such as Kmart. I replied by saying that while I and many others would likely much prefer the sorts of neat things his dad was making, we turn to places like Kmart simply because we can more easily afford mass-produced desks or chairs or cabinets. Few of us could afford to pay for this guy’s unique items.

Let me get back to government monopolies. As I say, the left hates such things when it comes to business and finance, but they seem less concerned about the political equivalents. They quite like and prefer transnational bodies, be it the UN, the EU, the WHO, or some global government being planned by the Great Reset mob. The leftists look down on the nation-state and hope they will all soon disappear.

Writing a few decades ago the great Roger Scruton penned a piece called “Conserving Nations”. It is the first chapter of his A Political Philosophy (Continuum, 2006). In the 31-page essay, he makes the case for nationalism and weighs against the globalists. The chapter is certainly worth quoting from. Early on he says this:

We in Europe stand at a turning point in our history. Our parliaments and legal systems still have territorial sovereignty. They still correspond to historical patterns of settlement that have enabled the French, the Germans, the Spaniards, the British and the Italians to say ‘we’ and to know whom they mean by it. The opportunity remains to recuperate the legislative powers and the executive procedures that formed the nation states of Europe. At the same time, the process has been set in motion that would expropriate the remaining sovereignty of our parliaments and courts, that would annihilate the boundaries between our jurisdictions, that would dissolve the nationalities of Europe in a historically meaningless collectivity, united neither by language, nor by religion, nor by customs, nor by inherited sovereignty and law. We have to choose whether to go forward to that new condition, or back to the tried and familiar sovereignty of the territorial nation state. p.1

He goes on to say this:

My case is not that the nation state is the only answer to the problems of modern government, but that it is the only answer that has proved itself. We may feel tempted to experiment with other forms of political order. But experiments on this scale are dangerous, since nobody knows how to predict or to reverse the results of them. The French, Russian and Nazi revolutions were bold experiments; but in each case they led to the collapse of legal order, to mass murder at home and to belligerence abroad. The wise policy is to accept the arrangements, however imperfect, that have evolved through custom and inheritance, to improve them by small adjustments, but not to jeopardise them by large-scale alterations the consequences of which nobody can really envisage. The case for this approach was unanswerably set before us by Burke in his Reflections on the French Revolution, and subsequent history has repeatedly confirmed his view of things. The lesson that we should draw, therefore, is that since the nation state has proved to be a stable foundation of democratic government and secular jurisdiction, we ought to improve it, to adjust it, even to dilute it, but not to throw it away.

The initiators of the European experiment—both the self-declared prophets and the behind-the-doors conspirators— shared a conviction that the nation state had caused the two world wars. A united states of Europe seemed to them to be the only recipe for lasting peace. This view is for two reasons entirely unpersuasive. First, it is purely negative: it rejects nation states for their belligerence, without giving any positive reason to believe that transnational states will be any better. Secondly, it identifies the normality of the nation state through its pathological versions. As Chesterton has argued about patriotism generally, to condemn patriotism because people go to war for patriotic reasons is like condemning love because some loves lead to murder. The nation state should not be understood in terms of the French nation at the Revolution or the German nation in its twentieth-century frenzy. For those were nations gone mad, in which the springs of civil peace had been poisoned and the social organism colonised by anger, resentment and fear. All Europe was threatened by the German nation, but only because the German nation was threatened by itself, having caught the nationalist fever. Nationalism is part of the pathology of national loyalty, not its normal condition—a point to which I return below. Who in Europe has felt comparably threatened by the Spanish, Italian, Norwegian, Czech or Polish forms of national loyalty, and who would begrudge those people their right to a territory, a jurisdiction and a sovereignty of their own? pp.2-3

He looks at citizenship and then discusses the place of membership in nations:

It is because citizenship presupposes membership that nationality has become so important in the modern world. In a democracy governments make decisions and impose laws on people who are duty-bound to accept them. Democracy means living with strangers on terms that may be, in the short-term, disadvantageous; it means being prepared to fight battles and suffer losses on behalf of people whom one neither knows nor particularly wants to know. It means appropriating the policies that are made in one’s name and endorsing them as ‘ours’, even when one disagrees with them. Only where people have a strong sense of who ‘we’ are, why ‘we’ are acting in this way or that, why ‘we’ have behaved rightly in one respect, wrongly in another, will they be so involved in the collective decisions as to adopt them as their own. This first-person plural is the precondition of democratic politics, and must be safeguarded at all costs, since the price of losing it, I believe, is social disintegration. pp. 8-9

The current debate over things like borders and walls is explained in terms of the bigger picture here:

Nations are composed of neighbours, in other words of people who share a territory. Hence they stand in need of a territorial jurisdiction. Territorial jurisdictions require legislation, and therefore a political process. This process transforms shared territory into a shared identity. And that identity is the nation state. There you have a brief summary of American history: people settling together, solving their conflicts by law, making that law for themselves, and in the course of this process defining themselves as a ‘we’, whose shared assets are the land and its law. p. 12

He returns to the concerns about global government:

Accountability, in short, is a natural by-product of national sovereignty which is jeopardised by transnational governance. The same is true of civil rights. Although the idea of human rights is associated with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights incorporated into the UN Charter, this universalism should be taken with a pinch of salt. Rights do not come into existence merely because they are declared. They come into existence because they can be enforced. They can be enforced only where there is a rule of law. And there is a rule of law only where there is a common obedience, in which the entity enforcing the law is also subject to it. Outside the nation state those conditions have never arisen in modern times.

Societies of citizens enjoy political freedom; but it is not this freedom that guarantees their rights: it is their rights that guarantee their freedom. Rights in turn depend on the web of reciprocal duties, which binds stranger to stranger under a common obedience. That is why the invocation of universal rights—so often made in the name of transnational governance—is so dangerous. Rights are not secured by declaring them. They are secured by the procedures that protect them. And those procedures must be rescued from the State, and from all who would bend them to their own oppressive purposes. p. 20

And a final quote on the threat of transnational rule:

We have reached the stage where our national jurisdiction is bombarded by laws from outside—both from the UN and the EU—even though many of them originate in despotic or criminal governments, and even though hardly any of them are concerned with the maintenance of peace. Even so we, the citizens, are powerless to reject these laws, and they, the legislators, are entirely unanswerable to us, who must obey them. This is exactly what Kant dreaded, as the sure path, first to despotism and then to anarchy. And it is happening. The despotism is coming slowly: the anarchy will happen quickly in its wake, when law is finally detached from the experience of membership, becomes ‘theirs’ but not ‘ours’ and so loses all authority in the hearts of those whom it presumes to discipline.

The UN Charter of Human Rights and the European Convention of Human Rights belong to the species of utopian thinking that would prefer us to be born into a world without history, without prior attachments, without any of the flesh and blood passions that make government so necessary in the first place. The question never arises, in these documents, of how you persuade people not merely to claim rights, but also to respect them; of how you obtain obedience to a rule of law or a disposition to deal justly and fairly with strangers. Moreover, the judicial bodies established at the Hague and in Strasbourg have been able to extend the list of human rights promiscuously, since they do not have the problem of enforcing them. The burden of transnational legislation falls always on bodies other than those who invent it. pp. 22-23

He closes his chapter by offering some practical steps to regain our sovereignty and to be set free from the shackles of the globalists. That includes things such as restoring immigration control (which has all but collapsed in so many Western nations); returning the education of our children to their parents, not activist bureaucrats; and pulling out of some of these things such as the European Convention of Human Rights; and so on.

Scruton acknowledges that such moves will be difficult to achieve, but things are not (yet) hopeless. What we do know is that if we do nothing about the loss of national sovereignty, it will be just a matter of time before the Great Reset mob gets its way.

In that case, the fat cats will own things, they will be happy, and they will rule. And the rest of us peons will own nothing, will be unhappy and will learn how to eat insects without complaining in order to save the planet.

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