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!

In defense of hate speech 23

Islam does its utmost to make us infidels afraid of it – and then complains of our “Islamophobia”, our (irrational!) fear of Islam. If we do not fear it, we haven’t been paying attention. We are wise to fear it. We are wise to hate it. It is an evil creed.

Still, it ought not to be silenced by law.

We quote from our post, It’s better to be free to hate than to be free of hatred (April 30, 2014):

When Britain was a free country (ah, yes, I remember it well!), you could insult anyone as much as you pleased short of slander (such as accusing him of a crime). It was called “common abuse”, and there was no law against it. Nor should there have been. Now, in Britain, it’s okay for you to insult white males as much as you like. And Jews. If you insult them loudly and often enough you may get a grant to do it professionally. But if you insult Muslims you will be arrested and charged with a “hate crime”.

It should not be the business of the law to monitor and censure personal opinion.

It is precisely when someone says something you don’t agree with – something you consider stupid, abominable, ugly, offensive, wrong – that you must uphold his right to say it. Argue with him, call him a cretin and a villain; despise him, hate him But do not call for him to be gagged.

Allowing people to say what you don’t like and don’t agree with is the whole point of constitutionally guaranteeing free speech.

The idea of “hate crime” is at the root of this nonsense. Nobody can know what another person feels. If a person  commits a crime, punish him for the crime, not  for the supposed emotion behind it. Such an arrogantly puritanical concept as “hate crime” was  bound to distort the law and threaten liberty. As it does. …

People must be free to be petty, to be prejudiced, to be malicious, to be insulting. They cannot be stopped by the law. To make a law against bad behavior won’t change it, and can only make a mockery of the rule of law itself.

Now that vast bureaucratic tyranny, the European Union, decrees that what it judges to be expression of hate on the social media is to be illegal, and punishable.

Although it insists that “freedom of expression is a core European value which must be preserved”, it also insists that if you say something it doesn’t like, you must be gagged and punished. And it is co-opting “social media platforms” to assist in its policy of repression:

The Framework Decision on Combatting Racism and Xenophobia criminalises the public incitement to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin. This is the legal basis for defining illegal online content. …

In order to prevent the spread of illegal hate speech, it is essential to ensure that relevant national laws transposing the Council Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia are fully enforced by Member States in the online as well as in the offline environment. While the effective application of provisions criminalising hate speech is dependent on a robust system of enforcement of criminal law sanctions against the individual perpetrators of hate speech, this work must be complemented with actions geared at ensuring that illegal hate speech online is expeditiously reviewed by online intermediaries and social media platforms … [Our emphasis]

The real, unspoken, pathetic purpose of the ruling is to protect Islam from criticism. It is not likely that a Muslim will be censored, let alone prosecuted, for publishing such typical statements as these:

“The Jihad for Allah is the way of the truth and the way for salvation and the way which will lead us to crush the Jews.”  (Yasser Ghalban, Hamas leader, in 2006.)

“The Jews deserved their annihilation by Hitler.” (Dr Wafa Musa, psychologist, in 2009.)

“Jews are bacteria, not human beings.” – (Al Aqsa TV, Deputy Minister of Religious Endowments, Abdallah Jarbu, in 2010), and “The Jews are the most despicable and contemptible nation to crawl upon the face of the earth.” (‘Atallah Abu al-Subh, in 2011.)

And (we repeat), nor should they be censored or prosecuted! Indeed, it would be an excellent thing if the media of every kind displayed such statements prominently as often as they were made (which is every day). Muslims might be pleased at first. But after a while the effect on public opinion could be to provoke contempt and hatred of Islam. And then they’d raise their habitual noisy and violent objections, calling the display of their own words a manifestation of “Islamophobia”, of course.

The following comes from an article at Spiked, by its editor, Brendan O’Neill:

Hatred is an emotion, and the state has no business policing emotion.

“The internet is a place for free speech, not hate speech.” This spectacularly Orwellian comment was made last week by EU commissioner Vĕra Jourová, as she unveiled a new EU code to tackle hatred on the internet. Following three or four years of agitation by officials, politicians, hacks and feminists, all of whom insist that hateful “trolling” online is turning the internet into a cesspool of foul ideas and rotten comments, the EU has decided to take action. It has got web giants YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft to sign a promise that they will hunt down and extinguish illegal hateful commentary, especially racist and xenophobic comments.

Which is to say, they will “hunt down and extinguish” criticism of Islam, warnings of its jihad, objection to the spread of its cruel sharia law – as some have already started doing with zeal.

Some have responded to the new code by asking if it represents overreach. There’s a danger, they say, that angry speech, or just zany speech, will be swept up in the clampdown on hate speech. This will no doubt happen. But we should take our critique of this new code, and of 21st-century censorship more broadly, a step further. We shouldn’t only say “relatively normal speech might be destroyed alongside hate speech” — we should call into question the whole idea of “hate speech”. The category of hate speech is as ridiculous, and abominable, as the idea of thoughtcrime. It represents the criminalisation, not only of racism and xenophobia — which would be bad enough — but of certain ideas, moralities and beliefs. We should bristle and balk as much at the idea of “hate speech” as we do at the idea of thoughtcrime.

Hate-speech codes are an ideological tool disguised as a force for moral good. Consider the recent history of the idea of hate speech … After the Second World War, the keenest proponents of controls on “hate speech” were the Soviets. There were various international gatherings in the 1940s and 50s to hammer out postwar international treaties, and at these the Soviets pushed for a global commitment to repressing “hate speech”, in particular far-right speech. They wanted stipulations against “hatred” and “incitement to hatred”. Amazingly, the West resisted. Eleanor Roosevelt represented the Western powers at some of these debates. She argued that it would be “extremely dangerous” to outlaw hate speech, since “any criticism of public or religious authorities might all too easily be described as incitement to hatred”. Indeed.

Eventually, the Soviets won out. In 1965, the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination was adopted, and it included a proposal to criminalise “ideas based on racial superiority”. The keyword here was ideas. From the outset, treaties and laws against hate speech were about controlling ideas: obnoxious ideas, yes, but ideas nonetheless. It was clear very early on that the category of hate speech was an ideological tool for the repression of bad ideas, of certain convictions. Post-1965, Western countries introduced into their national laws this new commitment to repressing ideas based on racial thinking.

What’s more, the category of hate speech is an extremely elastic tool for the repression of ideas. It has spread from curtailing ideas of racial superiority to suppressing expressions of religious hatred. Some Scandinavian countries want to outlaw misogynistic speech. On campuses there are clampdowns on transphobic speech. Anyone who says that a person with a penis is a man can now be branded a “hate speaker” and find himself No Platformed. So even saying ‘men are men and women are women’ has been encapsulated in the ideological category of hate speech.

Normal, widely held beliefs are casually rebranded “hatred”. Criticise religion too harshly and you’ll be accused of religious hatred; oppose gay marriage and you’re homophobic; doubt gender dysphoria and you’re a “transphobe”. Shouting “that’s hatred!” has become the preferred means for suppressing beliefs we find difficult or uncomfortable. That’s thanks to hate-speech laws. They have sanctioned this rush to rebrand beliefs as hate and to try to crush them. Once you accept that some ideas are beyond the pale … then ultimately no idea is safe

Under the banner of tackling “hate speech”, people are being punished for their moral convictions. … We should feel as angry about state restrictions on hate speech today as we would have done about the Soviet Union’s arrest of political dissidents 40 years ago, because in both cases the same thing is happening: people are punished, not for anything they’ve done, but for what they think.

Hatred is an emotion. … And when we allow figures of authority to control emotion, to fine people for their emotions, to imprison people for their emotions, then we enter the realm of tyranny. It completes the state’s control of the individual. It expands state power from the public sphere of discussion into the psychic sphere of thought and feeling. It invites policing not only of political sentiment but of deep feeling. It is a profound assault on the freedom of the individual.

It’s time to get serious about freedom of speech. It is unacceptable to repress the expression of ideas. It is unacceptable to repress the expression of hatred. “Hate speech is not free speech!”, people say. But it is.

By its very definition, free speech must include hate speech.

Speech must always be free, for two reasons: everyone must be free to express what they feel, and everyone else must have the right to decide for themselves whether those expressions are good or bad. When the EU, social-media corporations and others seek to make that decision for us, and squash ideas they think we will find shocking, they reduce us to the level of children. That is censorship’s greatest crime: it infantilises us. Let us now reassert our adulthood, our autonomy, and tell them: “Do not presume to censor anything on our behalf. We can think for ourselves.”

orwell-freedom-of-speech

Posted under Commentary, liberty by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, June 14, 2016

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