Global citizenship, world government 4

When the time comes – is it not coming? – to ask, “Who killed Western civilization?” there will be certain names to speak; names of a few individuals who must be held more responsible than any others.

We quote from an article by Bruce Bawer in the October 2019 issue of Commentary. (The article rewards reading in full). 

On September 24, Donald Trump told the United Nations General Assembly, “The future does not belong to the globalists. The future belongs to the patriots.” Four days later, as if in a rebuke to his assertion, the Great Lawn in New York’s Central Park was the site of the “Global Citizen Festival”.  This event brought together “top artists, world leaders, and everyday activists to take action” (in the words of its website) and offered free tickets to “Global Citizens who take a series of actions to create lasting change around the world”.  Those “actions” included writing tweets and signing petitions affirming their dedication to “changing the world”. …

The Global Citizen Festival was organized by a group called Global Citizen in partnership with firms such as Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, and Cisco Technologies. Rarely have so many heavyweight corporations described their activities in such benign language: Verizon stated on the event’s website that “we focus our business and resources to uplift people and protect the planet”. Who knew?

Covering the festival live, MSNBC hosts kept insisting—between interviews with Democratic politicians and recitation of DNC talking points—that it was “not about politics”. Hurricane Sandy, Central American drought, and the fall of Venezuela, we were informed, were all caused by climate change. … Politicians from Norway, Barbados, and elsewhere waved their globalist credentials, while America’s withdrawal from the Paris accords was cited as a sin against globalism and thus against humanity itself. …

In the past decade, the very concept of citizenship has become not only passé but déclassé. We should all be global citizens. …

Ironically enough, the contemporary enthusiasm for global citizenship has its roots in the historical moment that marked the triumph of modern national identity and pride—namely, the World War II victory of free countries (plus the Soviet Union) over their unfree enemies. Citizens of small, conquered nations resisted oppression and, in many cases, gave their lives out of sheer patriotism and love of liberty. As Allied tanks rolled into one liberated town after another, people waved flags that had been hidden away during the occupation. Germany and Japan had sought to create empires that erased national borders and turned free citizens into subjects of tyranny; brave patriots destroyed that dream and restored their homelands’ sovereignty and freedom.

And yet a major consequence of this victory was the establishment of an organization, the United Nations. Its founding rhetoric, like that of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, was all about the erasure of borders, even as it hoisted its own baby-blue flag alongside those of its members.

On December 10, 1948, the UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. …

Among the UN “rights” are:  the right to food, clothing, medical care, social services, unemployment and disability benefits, child care, and free education. 

Whose duty is it to supply all those goodies? And to what power will those appeal whose “rights” of this sort are violated? 

The chief force behind the Declaration was Eleanor Roosevelt, the chair of the UN’s Human Rights Commission. In a 1945 newspaper column, she had had some interesting things to say about patriotism and what we would now call globalism. “Willy-nilly,” she wrote, “everyone [sic] of us cares more for his own country than for any other. That is human nature. We love the bit of land where we have grown to maturity and known the joys and sorrows of life. The time has come however when we must recognize that our mutual [sic] devotion to our own land must never blind us to the good of all lands and of all peoples.”

So Eleanor Roosevelt, sentimental and manifestly unable to think clearly, was a source of our civilization’s rot.

“Willy-nilly”? “Bit of land”? Didn’t America deserve better than that from its longtime first lady? Didn’t America’s armed forces, who had fought valiantly for their own “bit of land”? One part of Mrs. Roosevelt’s testimony was ambiguous. When she referred to “the good of all lands and of all peoples”, did she mean that Americans should care about what’s best for other peoples? Or was she saying that all lands and peoples are good? She couldn’t possibly be saying that, could she? Hadn’t the Holocaust just proven otherwise? It’s striking to recognize that Mrs. Roosevelt wrote this only months after the bloody end of the crusade to restore freedom to Western Europe—and at a time when our erstwhile ally Joseph Stalin’s actions in Eastern Europe were underscoring precisely how evil our fellow man could be, and just how precious a gift to the world the United States was. …

Another would-be global citizen was Wendell Willkie, who had challenged FDR for the presidency in 1940. In 1943, Willkie published One World, an account of a round-the-world trip he had made and a plea for the nations of that world to accept a single international order. Willkie wanted more than just a UN: he wanted world government, based on the Atlantic Charter. It is said that his book was the biggest non-fiction bestseller in history up to that time, inspiring an international One World movement to which both Albert Einstein and Mahatma Gandhi belonged.

Gandhi, yes, he would. Einstein’s political opinions are irrelevant.

Like Eleanor Roosevelt, Willkie was determined to build a new world founded on specifically American notions of rights and freedoms. Like Mrs. Roosevelt, too, he was convinced that postwar feelings of goodwill toward the U.S. by other governments would lead them to embrace those notions. On his world trip, wrote Willkie, he had discovered that foreigners knew that America had no desire for conquest, and that the U.S. therefore enjoyed their respect and trust—a respect and trust, he argued, that America must use “to unify the peoples of the earth in the human quest for freedom and justice.”

Needless to say, the world didn’t end up with Willkie’s One World. But it got the UN—where, from the outset, there was more talk of peace than of freedom and where the differences between the West and the Soviet bloc were routinely glossed over in order to present a façade of international comity.

Behind the Iron Curtain, captive peoples weren’t citizens, global or otherwise, but prisoners. Yet in the West, the UN’s language of what we now call global citizenship started to take hold, and the UN began to be an object of widespread, although hardly universal, veneration.

In reality, the UN may be a massive and inert bureaucratic kleptocracy yoked to a debating society, most of whose member states are unfree or partly free; but people in the free world who grow starry-eyed at the thought of global citizenship view it as somehow magically exceeding, in moral terms, the sum of its parts.

Sentimentality began the rot and keeps it going.

You can’t discuss the UN and global citizenship without mentioning Maurice Strong.

Christopher Booker wrote in the Telegraph in December 2015:

A very odd thing happened last weekend. The death was announced of the man who, in the past 40 years, has arguably been more influential on global politics than any other single individual. Yet the world scarcely noticed.

What Strong, an extremely rich Canadian businessman, did—almost single-handedly—was to create, out of the blue, the global-warming panic that is now a cornerstone of left-wing ideology.

Although he never was secretary-general of the UN, Strong wielded massive power within that organization and innumerable other international bodies, serving, for instance, as a director of the World Economic Forum and as a senior adviser to the president of the World Bank. He also played pivotal roles in a long list of programs and commissions that were nominally dedicated to the environment—among them the UN Environmental Programme and World Resources Institute, the Earth Charter Commission, and the UN’s World Commission on Environment and Development.

But although he was nicknamed “Godfather of Global Warming”, Strong didn’t really care about climate. His real objective was to transform the UN into a world government—a permanent, unelected politburo composed of elders such as himself.

At first, indeed, climate played no role in his plans. To fund the all-powerful UN of his dreams, in 1995 he proposed a 0.5 percent tax on every financial transaction on earth—a scheme that would have netted $1.5 trillion annually, approximately the entire annual gross income of the United States at the time. When the Security Council vetoed this move, Strong tried to eliminate the Security Council. The failure of such stratagems led Strong to focus increasingly on climate.

By promoting the idea that the planet was in existential peril, he was able to argue that a looming disaster on the scale he predicted could be solved only by vesting in the UN an unprecedented degree of authority over the lives of absolutely everyone on earth.

To this end, Strong concocted Agenda 21. Formulated at the 1992 UN Earth Summit (or Rio Conference), of which he served as secretary-general, Agenda 21 proposed a transfer of power from nation-states to the UN.

Strong opined:

It is simply not feasible for sovereignty to be exercised unilaterally by individual nation states. The global community must be assured of global environmental security.

What kind of regime did Strong wish to establish? Suffice it to say that he disdained the U.S. but admired Communist China, where he maintained a flat—to which, incidentally, he relocated after being implicated in the UN “oil for food” scandal in 2005. Another one of the many financial scandals in which he was implicated (but for which he repeatedly managed to get himself off the hook) involved funneling massive sums to North Korea, of whose regime he was also fond.

The intention from the beginning of the climate hoax was to use it as a pretext for imposing world communist government.

After the UN came the European Union. As a free-trade zone gradually morphed into a would-be superstate, the EU’s supposed raison d’être was that nationalism had almost destroyed Europe in World War II. But this was wrong. Europe had been torn apart because of two totalitarian ideologies, one based on racial identity and the other on a utopian universalist vision. Communism’s end goal was, indeed, nothing more or less than a kind of global citizenship under which everyone except for a handful of elites would be equally controlled, spied on, and oppressed.

The concept of global citizenship now pervades our politics.

During her 2016 campaign, Hillary Clinton envisioned a Western hemisphere, and ultimately a world, without borders.

Barack Obama, in reply to a question about American exceptionalism, said that, yes, he saw America as exceptional, but that people in other countries, too, saw their countries as exceptional. The last sentence of his Nobel Peace Prize citation contained the word “global” not once but twice: “The Committee endorses Obama’s appeal that ‘Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges’.” What U.S. president had ever been more global? A Kenyan father, an Indonesian boyhood: his bestselling autobiography conveyed his affection for both of those countries; it was the U.S. for which his feelings were ambivalent. …

Global citizenship is also big at America’s most prestigious colleges. …

The author proceeds to give many examples of universities pushing the idea of globalism hard on their students.

Decades ago, American curricula included a subject called “civics”. Students learned about responsible citizenship—understanding how government worked, knowing one’s constitutional rights, following current affairs, and voting intelligently in elections. Describing these courses was not problematic; students weren’t “invited” or “challenged” to “figure out” what citizenship means. They were told. They were given specifics. They experienced something known as education. Alas, those civics courses have long since disappeared. The contemplation of global citizenship has filled that vacuum. Its apparent purpose is to undo any sense of responsible citizenship that a young person might have acquired and to replace it with a higher loyalty. …

A “higher loyalty”?  To what?

Global citizenship is a luxury of those who’ve reaped rewards earned by the blood of patriots. Global citizens pretend to possess, or sincerely think they possess, a loyalty that transcends borders. It sounds pretty. But it’s not. By the same token, to some ears a straightforward declaration of patriotism can sound exclusionary, bigoted, racist. It isn’t. To assert a national identity is to make a moral statement and to take on a responsibility. To call yourself a global citizen is to do the equivalent of wearing a peace button—you’re making a meaningless statement because you think it makes you look virtuous. …

To be American is to partake in the benefits that flow from American freedom, power, wealth, and world leadership. Very few Americans who call themselves global citizens ever actually back up their proclamation by relinquishing any of these benefits … No, they gladly embrace the benefits of being an American; they’re just too virtuous, in their minds, to embrace the label itself. They’re like young people living off a generous trust fund while sporting an “Eat the Rich” button.

One way of looking at the aftermath of 9/11 is to recognize that many Americans who were simply unable (for very long, anyhow) to dedicate themselves to country were thrust by that jihadist assault into the arms of the only alternative they could imagine—namely, global citizenship. Instead of being usefully dedicated to the liberty and security of their own country in a time of grave threat, they have bailed on America and have found, in global citizenship, a noble-sounding illusion of freedom from patriotic obligation.

And in fact they are floating free, hovering above the earthly struggle between good and evil and refusing to take sides—and, moreover, presenting this hands-off attitude as a mark not of cowardice but of cultural sophistication and moral superiority.

To a large extent, the project of global citizenship is about trying to replace the concrete with the abstract, about exchanging the real for the idealistic. It’s a matter of trying to talk Americans into rejecting the pragmatic and industrious patriotism that, yes, made America great, and pushing on them, instead, yet another pernicious utopian ideology of the sort that almost destroyed Europe in the 20th century.

It’s a matter of endlessly talking up ideas for radical change on every level of society—from ecological measures that would bring down the world economy to a neurotic obsessiveness with hierarchies of group identity that threatens to destroy America’s social fabric—instead of implementing practical reforms that enjoy popular support and would improve everyone’s life.

It’s a matter of trying to persuade ordinary citizens, in the name of some higher good—whether world peace or world health or protection of the planet’s environment—to relinquish their freedom and obey a small technocratic elite.

In the final analysis, global citizenship is a dangerous dream, a threat to individual liberty, and an assault on American sovereignty—a menace not only to Americans but to all humanity, and one that should therefore be rejected unambiguously by all men and women of goodwill and at least a modicum of common sense.

“Should” be rejected, yes, but will it be? All the Democratic candidates for the presidential election in November 2020 call for “open borders” – the first requisite for One World government. If the electorate rejects the “dangerous dream of global citizenship” by not voting the Democrats into power, the rot may be stopped and our civilization may be saved. It will be a decisive election. It will be a decisive battle in “the earthly struggle between good and evil”.

 

PS: Essentially, for the saving of civilization,

the UN must be destroyed!

Thirty-six arguments for the existence of God 1

Very interesting is this extract from a novel titled 36 Arguments for the Existence of God, consisting of Chapter 1 and an Appendix in which the 36 arguments are set out and systematically demolished.

It is the work of an atheist philosopher and novelist named Rebecca Newberger Goldstein.

The 36 arguments are all worth examining to a greater or lesser degree. They have all been examined many times, often at great length. Goldstein’s presentation of them and her neat counter-arguments constitute a masterpiece of precise sufficiency. Only thorough familiarity with the subject matter and long and deep thinking can produce such conciseness and such clarity.

In the counter-arguments, listed as ‘Flaws’, she occasionally reinforces her case with an apt quotation. Having knocked down Argument 11, for instance, The Argument from Miracles, she adds an observation from David Hume which I like: ‘If the spirit of religion join itself to the love of wonder, there is an end of common sense.’

Number 25 is The Argument from Suffering. This is how she gives it and deals with it:

1. There is much suffering in this world.

2. Some suffering (or at least its possibility) is demanded by human moral agency: if people could not choose evil acts that cause suffering, moral choice would not exist.

3.Whatever suffering cannot be explained as the result of human moral agency must also have some purpose (from 2 & 3).

4. There are virtues — forbearance, courage, compassion, and so on — that can only develop in the presence of suffering. We may call them ‘the virtues of suffering’.

5. Some suffering has the purpose of our developing the virtues of suffering (from 4).

6. Even taking 3 and 6 into account, the amount of suffering in the world is still enormous — far more than what is required for us to benefit from suffering.

7. Moreover, there are those who suffer who can never develop the virtues of suffering–children, animals, those who perish in their agony.

8. There is more suffering than we can explain by reference to the purposes that    we can discern (from 7 & 8).

9. There are purposes for suffering that we cannot discern (from 2 and 9).

10. Only a being who has a sense of purpose beyond ours could provide the purpose of all suffering (from 10).

11. Only God could have a sense of purpose beyond ours.

12. God exists.

To which she answers:

This argument is a sorrowful one, since it highlights the most intolerable feature of our world, the excess of suffering. The suffering in this world is excessive in both its intensity and its prevalence, often undergone by those who can never gain anything from it. This is a powerful argument against the existence of a compassionate and powerful deity.  [Bold added here and throughout]

While I agree with her that every one of the arguments fails to prove the existence of God, I do not agree with all her contentions. For example, here is number 27, The Argument from The Upward Curve of History:

1. There is an upward moral curve to human history (tyrannies fall; the evil side loses in major wars; democracy, freedom, and civil rights spread).

2. Natural selection’s favoring of those who are fittest to compete for resources and mates has bequeathed humankind selfish and aggressive traits.

3. Left to their own devices, a selfish and aggressive species could not have ascended up a moral curve over the course of history (from 2).

4.Only God has the power and the concern for us to curve history upward.

5. God exists.

And here is the ‘Flaw’ as she sees it:

Though our species has inherited traits of selfishness and aggression, we have also inherited capacities for empathy, reasoning, and learning from experience. We have also inherited language, and with it a means to pass on the lessons we have learned from history. And so humankind has slowly reasoned its way toward a broader and more sophisticated understanding of morality, and more effective institutions for keeping peace. We make moral progress as we do scientific progress, through reasoning, experimentation, and the rejection of failed alternatives.

The sentence I have italicized is more a description of civilization than of moral progress in the heart or mind of the species. The idea of moral progress through human history is dubious, even when seen as a learning process rather than an evolutionary one. She does not discuss what it is that makes us behave morally. While she implicitly rejects the idea that God does, she does not introduce enlightened self-interest. Of course, such a discussion is not her immediate purpose. But it is a more efficient destruction of the argument to deny that there is any ‘upward curve  of history’ in the sense that mankind has become nicer, and she makes no convincing case that there is such a thing.

She makes a very good argument against Pascal’s Wager in number 32, The Argument from Decision Theory, ending with this analogy:

Say I told you that a fire-breathing dragon has moved into the next apartment and that unless you set out a bowl of marshmallows for him every night he will force his way into your apartment and roast you to a crisp. According to Pascal’s wager, you should leave out the marshmallows. Of course you don’t, even though you are taking a terrible risk in choosing not to believe in the dragon, because you don’t assign a high enough probability to the dragon’s existence to justify even the small inconvenience.

Number 32 is The Argument from Pragmatism, William James’s ‘leap of faith’.

1. The consequences for the believer’s life of believing should be considered as part of the evidence for the truth of the belief (just as the effectiveness of a scientific theory in its practical applications is considered evidence for the truth of the theory). Call this the pragmatic evidence for the belief.

2. Certain beliefs effect a change for the better in the believer’s life — the necessary condition being that they are believed.

3. The belief in God is a belief that effects a change for the better in a person’s life.

4. If one tries to decide whether or not to believe in God based on the evidence available, one will never get the chance to evaluate the pragmatic evidence for the beneficial consequences of believing in God (from 2 and 3).

5. One ought to make ‘the leap of faith’ (the term is James’s) and believe in God, and only then evaluate the evidence (from 1 and 4).

Of her refutations here the one I like best (though I’m not saying it is stronger than the others) is this:

Why should we only consider the pragmatic effects on the believer’s life? What about the effects on everyone else? The history of religious intolerance, including inquisitions, fatwas, and suicide bombers, suggests that the effects on one person’s life of another person’s believing in God can be pretty grim.

An important case is made in number 33, The Argument from the Unreasonableness of Reason, that ‘our belief in reason cannot be justified by reason, since that would be circular’ so ‘our belief in reason must be accepted on faith’.  Of her counter-arguments here, I particularly liked these:

[T]o justify reason with reason is not circular, but rather, unnecessary. One already is, and always will be, committed to reason by the very process one is already engaged in, namely reasoning. Reason is non-negotiable; all sides concede it. It needs no justification, because it is justification. A belief in God is not like that at all.

And:

If one really took the unreasonability of reason as a license to believe things on faith, then which things should one believe in? If it is a license to believe in a single God who gave his son for our sins, why isn’t it just as much a license to believe in Zeus and all the other Greek gods, or the three major gods of Hinduism, or the angel Moroni? For that matter, why not Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy? If one says that there are good reasons to accept some entities on faith, while rejecting others, then one is saying that it is ultimately reason, not faith, that must be invoked to justify a belief.

And then there is the most interesting argument of them all to atheists, number 35, The Argument from the Intelligibility of the World – ‘Spinoza’s God’.

Whenever Einstein was asked whether he believed in God, he responded that he believed in “Spinoza’s God.” This argument presents Spinoza’s God. It is one of the most elegant and subtle arguments for God’s existence, demonstrating where one ends up if one rigorously eschews the Fallacy of Invoking One Mystery to Pseudo-Explain Another: one ends up with the universe, and nothing but the universe: a universe which itself provides all the answers to all the questions one can pose about it. A major problem with the argument, however, in addition to the flaws discussed below, is that it is not at all clear that it is God whose existence is being proved. Spinoza’s conclusion is that the universe that is described by the laws of nature simply is God. Perhaps the conclusion should, rather, be that the universe is different from what it appears to be — no matter how arbitrary and chaotic it may appear, it is in fact perfectly lawful and necessary, and therefore worthy of our awe. But is its awe-inspiring lawfulness reason enough to regard it as God? Spinoza’s God is sharply at variance with all other divine conceptions.

The argument has only one substantive premise … which, though unproved, is not unreasonable; it is, in fact, the claim that the universe itself is thoroughly reasonable.  Though this first premise can’t be proved, it is the guiding faith of many physicists (including Einstein).  It is the claim that everything must have an explanation; even the laws of nature, in terms of which processes are explained, must have an explanation. In other words, there has to be an explanation for why it is these laws of nature rather than some other, which is another way of asking for why it is this world rather than some other.

She points out that:

Spinoza’s argument, if sound, invalidates all the other arguments, the ones that try to establish the existence of a more traditional God—that is, a God who stands distinct from the world described by the laws of nature, as well as distinct from the world of human meaning, purpose, and morality. Spinoza’s argument claims that any transcendent God, standing outside of that for which he is invoked as explanation, is invalidated by the first powerful premise [‘all facts must have explanations’] that all things are part of the same explanatory fabric. The mere coherence of The Argument from The Intelligibility of The Universe, therefore, is sufficient to reveal the invalidity of the other theistic arguments. This is why Spinoza, although he offered a proof of what he called “God,” is often regarded as the most effective of all atheists.

There’s a feast for discussion here; not just dishes but whole courses. Bon appétit!

Jillian Becker    November 24, 2009

Einstein was an atheist – of course 0

One often hears religious persons assert that Einstein ‘believed in God’. When challenged for proof they cannot produce it. The only thing Einstein ever said which could possibly be interpreted as a belief in God was his statement: ‘I believe in Spinoza’s God’ – and then only by the ignorant, for ‘Spinoza’s God’ was the Laws of Physics.  

Now there  is proof positive that the greatest thinker in history was not a believer.  Read what he wrote in a letter here.

Posted under Uncategorized by Jillian Becker on Friday, May 16, 2008

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