cj#741> [resend] re: dialog across gulfs — why “Truth In Media” fwds?


Richard Moore

[apologies if duplicate: I didn't receive this the first time from the
listserv; note it was intended to precede cj#742 - rkm].

Dear cj,

The root topics I'm seeking to explore on cj (for the past year or so) are
Globalization and Democracy.  One might choose those topics simply because
of their obvious importance, but I came to see them as being centrally
important through a particular analysis of history and current events.

Democracy vanished in the West with the decline of the Greek city-states
and suddenly reappeared at the end of the eighteenth century, as part of a
Western revolution that installed democratic republics and ousted
monarchial, noble, and clerical elites.  School history books report this
advent of republics as a pure victory for popular sovereignty, under
consitutional restraints, but that's only part of the story.

The other part of the story is the victory of one particular elite -- the
economic elite -- over monarchy and the other elites which for centuries
had ruled in the West.  Western constitutions were structured so as to
moderate popular sovereignty; mechanisms (such as "upper" houses in
legislatures, or voting being restricted to property owners) insured that
the only remaining elite could protect its interests from the presumably
egalitarian-minded populace.

Western democracies have been in fact _partnerships_ between the elite and
the people; it was this partnership which ousted the old elites and which
provided the bones and tissue of the new republics.  The elite had the
major say in how economic development was to be carried out, and were able
to reap astronomical profits in the process; the people (many of them,
anyway) benefitted as well from economic development, and were able,
through the vote, to influence political decisions.  But the biased
constitutional mechanisms, together with the influence of money in
political campaigns and parties, has meant that elites have almost always
had the upper hand in the "republican partnerships".

>>From the perspective of popular interests, republics are like glasses that
can be considered either half full or half empty: one can rejoice that
democracy exists at all; or one can complain bitterly that capitalist
elites have largely decided the fates of so-called democracies.


Consider the concept of "nationalism", a term that one can give many
definitions to.  On the one hand, nationalism is simply the idea that
"citizens" identify with "the nation": that they think of the nation as a
kind of family writ-large, a family that every citizen has a stake and a
voice in.  Nationalism, in this sense, was a very important ideological
invention: through nationalism and citizenship a republic gained its
legitimacy -- these were the ideological means by which the divine
rights-of-man replaced (theoretically) the divine rights-of-Kings.  Until
this ideology was invented, most American colonists, for example, did not
favor independence: as much as they disliked British rule, they didn't want
to jump into an unknown political void.  Nationalism, as popularized
primarily by Thomas Paine, provided an ideology that people could accept as
the basis of a revolutionary new regime.

But nationalism has also had a more sinister definition: the belief by the
citizens of one nation that they are better than other nations, and that
they have the right to conquer and dominate other nations.

The first of these definitions I'll label "national solidarity", and the
other "national imperialism".  Many nations have had a strong sense of
solidarity (I think of Swizterland or Canada) without engaging in national
conquest: the two kinds of nationalism are not necessarily connected.

One can ask the question as to whether nationalism is a good thing or a bad
thing.  Given the horrible wars of this century, most of which have been
blamed on national ambitions, there has been a reaction among many
liberal-minded people to the effect that nationalism itself is a bad thing.
Such liberal sentiment provided popular support to the creation of the
United Nations and has been an ongoing force for stronger international law
and a restraint on national aggressiveness.

I myself was in this camp up until a few years ago, when I began to
comprehend what globalization is really about.  As it became clear to me
that the goal of globalization is the creation of an elite-dominated world
government -- whose power will supercede national sovereignty -- I began to
ask myself:  Why was the elite abandoning the nation-state?  Haven't they
always gotten their way in the nation-state system?

The conclusion I came to, and one which is re-verified daily in the news,
is that the nation-state has _too much_ democracy to suit elite interests.
While many of us citizens complain that the glass of democracy is _only_
half full, the elite feels that is entirely _too_ full.  Globalization is
the elite grabbing for the whole glass: there are no elected officials nor
any Bill of Rights in the globalist government; the WTO and the IMF are
_completely_ dominated by elite corporate representatives, and their
constitutional ideology begins and ends with the maximization of corporate
profits (ie, elite enrichment).

Globalization is a revolution every bit as radical as the democratic
revolutions that began two centuries ago.  Two centuries ago the
partnership of the economic elite and the people outsted the old elites;
with globalization the economic elite are breaking the partnership and
aiming to rule alone.  We the people have served our purpose and are to be
abandoned along with democracy and the nation state.

This radical intitiative launched by the elite calls for a radical
rexamination of our assumptions about nationalism.  For one thing, it is
now clear that all of our efforts in the direction of liberal
internationalism have failed utterly: it is the elite who are dominating
the direction of globalism, and they are dominating it even more decisively
than they dominated individual nations.

This observation alone is enough to cause liberal-minded citizens to
rethink nationalism: as our efforts to advance our interests by an
internationalist agenda have failed, it behooves us to re-focus on national
politics as an arena where hope may still exist for a resurgance of popular

And there is reason to have such hope: as the elite abandon the
nation-state partnership, they are abandoning their long-time loyal allies
-- the great Western middle class.  It was the overall satisfaction of the
middle class -- their belief that they would remain better off than nearly
everyone else in the world -- that allowed the elite to maintain their
political control, to manipulate the electoral process in their own favor.

This observation provides hope that nationalism can be redefined: our
common abanonment by the elite gives us an opportunity to build a majority
coalition around the re-etablishment of national sovereignty based on
popular rule.  If the elite want to abandon the nation state, then we the
people can take it over, much like steelworkers have sometimes legally
taken over an abandoned steel mill.  Instead of allowing the nation to
crumble, as the elite intend, we can step up to the challenge and rebuild
nationalism as the embodiment of popular sovereignty.

Not only is such a course possible, but I see no other viable strategy to
prevent the corporatization of the world and the coming of a new and worse
Dark Age.  At least Medieval Kings believed every peasant had the right to
minimal subsistence; our self-appointed globalist overlords have no such
sentimental beliefs.


This analysis leads me to a clear political/educational agenda, which I do
my best to promulgate as a writer/publisher:
    (1) People everywhere need to be awoken to the political reality
        of globalization, and the realization that the nation-state
        (despite its mediocre record) is the best hope of constitutional
        democracy and popular prosperity.

    (2) We need to collectively re-define nationalism as being the "people
        coming together in solidarity" to reclaim popular sovereignty and
        overcome elite domination.  Such a nationalism, when it achieves
        political power, will naturally ally itself with other nations which
        were also struggling against elite domination.  When nations really
        do represent popular interests, instead of elite interests, the
        common situation of people globally will be visible to all, and
        a cooperative internationalism will become possible.

    (3) In order to come together in solidarity, we need to rise above the
        ideological gulfs that separate us as citizens.  In the face of
        our common danger -- the globalist attack that threatens to impose
        a corporate-elite global dictatorship -- we need to identify a
        common agenda of democratic national sovereignty, and realize that
        this agenda is more important than the various special-interest causes
        that currently divide us.

    (4) In order to rise above our differences, we must begin dialog across
        the gulfs.  Liberals talking to liberals, feminists talking to
        feminists, conservatives talking to conservatives, etc., just won't
        do anymore -- such factions are all too easily manipulated by elite
        campaign techniques; indeed such factionalism is actively encouraged
        by the elite.


It is this need for dialog to occur across gulfs that has led to my
experimental cross-posting of materials between cyberjournal and Bob
Djurdjevic's "Truth In Media".   As expected, both my in-box and Bob's have
been overflowing with protests of outrage regarding some of the cross-gulf
sentiments which have been expressed.  I'll be posting many of those
protests over the next few days, but first I want to be sure the purpose of
this experiment is understood by everyone involved.

Of course everone's first reaction is one of knee-jerk annoyance: "Those
damn 'conservatives' with their selfish attitudes (or those damn 'liberals'
with their wish-washy humanitarianism) have always been 'the problem'!  I
don't want to listen to their diatribes."

The time has come, I claim, when we must take the time to listen, to
understand the humanity that underlies each of our positions, and to find
ways to communicate with one another about what is most important to us.
If we can't learn to "hang together", in the sense of comradarie, we'll
surely "hang together", in the sense of political execution, as the common
vicitims of elite globalist domination.

I picked Bob's list in particular, as being close enough for dialog to be
possible.  If we attempted dialog at this point with a militia group or a
right-wing Christian group, I think we'd get nowhere.  But Bob seems to
share enough of "our" concerns that the differences are worth working on --
it is worth the effort, I submit, to try to bridge them.

Bob seems to agree with me that national sovereignty, and a focus on
national economic prosperity, are critically important; he also seems to
agree that the elite globalist agenda needs to be exposed and opposed.

To that extent, he and I both agree that nationalism, in the sense of
national solidarity, is a desirable and necessary political agenda, the
only hope for freedom and democracy.

But Bob goes further, and embraces as well many of the aspects of
nationalism which those of us on cj, with our more liberal sentiments, have
long since rejected.  We don't want our nationalism tainted with elitism or
racism, for example, and some of Bob's posting seem questionable in those


As I publish the cross-gulf responses, I'll be commenting in the spirit of
seeking common understanding, and I hope the next round of reader responses
would be in that same vein.


Posted by Richard K. Moore - •••@••.••• -  PO Box 26, Wexford, Ireland
         www.iol.ie/~rkmoore/cyberjournal                   (USA Citizen)
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