This is the second of nine articles that lay out guiding, foundational principles for this project.
Globalism: People are basically the same, traditions and cultures are barriers that deter humanity from reaching a new point of synthesis. Progress has inevitably been leading up to this moment. Now that we can all communicate, the old ways have no relevance. Markets, goods, and peoples need no borders, worldwide governing bodies will keep things in check and humming along.
Chauvinsim: Since no other people are quite like us, no other people can be trusted, respected, or considered. We have our ways of doing things. Too much self-reflection or trying to learn from outsiders is for the weak and foolish. We’re great, we’re us, to hell with the others. Or–we know what’s best for other cultures, better than they do.
Plenty of current events, and the narratives constructed to try and understand them, drive people to the either of the extremes described above.
As an introductory and foundational article, a close analyses of this phenomenon lies beyond this post’s scope. Suffice it to say that this website and project certainly advocates for and practices the following:
-a culture/people charting its own path of self-determination
-appeals to the most noble and heroic aspects in both individuals and cultures at large
-the balancing of individual liberty with communal duty and contribution (there are no rights without responsibilities for able adults, or freedom without discipline).
-order, truth, virtue, justice, beauty, goodness, freedom (an alignment with what one is, not a reckless acting out) and free inquiry, love; positive, life-affirming virtues. All the while being able to look plainly into the abyss, into the apparent chaos and dark spaces of life.
-a robust questioning of modern perspectives, and especially a repudiation of nihilism.
-a holistic approach to life, and a critique of the de-naturalizing process of partitioning off parts from the whole. Whether it’s processed food or morality, we get in trouble when we synthetically separate things that need to be ingested, understood, and considered as whole systems.
-following that theme of balance stated above: the ability to use the range of human emotions and expressions to communicate, which of course certainly includes humor, fun, and light-heartedness.
-that a culture can be understood as a collective people’s way of orienting itself towards higher principles. This is how a people understands its past, experiences a meaningful present, and thrusts towards its future. Any economic activity serves as a means to support the people in their material lives, as a way to help them live out their story. The economy is not an end in itself.
Now, to return to this article’s subject: our world is too interconnected for everyone to just go back to their own corners and forget about one another.
The term globalism, defined strictly in one sense, could be understood as a positive. That is, as a recognition that we all share this beautiful planet and mysterious experience of life, and thus it behooves us to cooperate and share regarding what’s working, and what isn’t.
To take advantage of the unprecedented communication currently available.
To look first and foremost to what unites us all as humans, while at the same time honoring the richness and variety that dwells within and among us. Also, the understanding that defense is necessary when groups are being undermined.
Unfortunately, globalism as it is largely propagated usually represents a motion to render human life into a neutral and obedient flatness. It regards individuals as interchangeable units, defined primarily by product consumption, shallow lifestyle signaling, and the jobs that prop these up.
Real cultural differences become reduced to superficial theater. We’re now supposed to view cultures as if they are nothing more than their cuisine, dress, dance, etc. As if we’re all just attending a planetary Halloween party.
Globalism wants us to hide our heads in the sand about real differences among cultures regarding views and practices on life, death, the relations between men and women, child rearing, personal property and rights, role of government, education, freedom of speech and expression, economics, technology, how we interact with the natural environment, the role of violence, and all those other big things that matter.
If we all go the “Halloween party route”–the passive and superficial route–then eventually everyone will just drop the costumes all together, forgetting our roots, because we’ll no longer experience those roots as real and vital. This makes people much more susceptible to control, and their lives much less meaningful.
It also would never actually happen without coercion, as variety is a principle of life and will always assert itself, described further below.
However, the attempts towards creating a nefarious version of globalism, whether subtle or overt, are very real. Again, it starts with cutting people’s roots, manipulating their understandings of their history and selves.
The other problem with the theoretical Halloween party model is that to be “successful” it would require every culture, everywhere, at the same time, buying into the Halloween party idea. A psycho-cultural equivalent of nuclear disarmament.
What we can more readily imagine, a more viable reality, is the violent route taking hold, where cultures are thrown together and then turned against one another. Eventually, under this tactic of globalism, the herds will end up thinned out and exhausted.
No matter the means, the desired result is the same: the majority of people end up working on the globalist plantation for multi-national corporations, banks, and non-government organizations that have become stronger than nations.
Globalism also increasingly has demonstrated technocratic underpinnings with talk of humans “merging with machines.”
If it seems I’m focusing more on globalism than chauvinism in this article, it’s because in the current climate, the dangers of globalism are not as evident.
For a fair number of people it seems like the ideologies propagating globalism function as water does to a fish; they don’t realize that they’re swimming around in it every day. That so much of mainstream media, popular culture, and academia enables and serves the march of globalism.
The dangers of chauvinism are more widely acknowledged, though currently they are greatly exaggerated and manipulated in order to attack healthy instincts to protect and cherish one’s own culture, people, nation. The pitfalls of xenophobia and unfettered tribalism will be addressed a bit more in the following article.
However, I will generally spend more of my time analyzing the crucial distinctions between actual chauvinism/xenophobia versus a natural desire for nationalism/ honoring one’s home culture. Clearly, making such distinctions is what this moment in history demands.
The two extremes of globalism and chauvinism actually feed each other and depend on each other, as extremes tend to do.
Charles Upton explains:
…’pandemic ethnocentrism and xenophobia, parochialism, tribalism, and group solipsism,’ which can so easily be portrayed as a purely negative and reactionary resistance to the wonders of planetization, is actually inseparable from it. Given the metaphysical truth that manifestation, considered in its form rather than its essence, is not Principle, it must reveal the Divine Unity in multiple mode; a multiplicity of cultures and religious revelations, like a multiplicity of human individuals, is metaphysically necessary.
Therefore any attempt to homogenize world culture and religion must be compensated for by fragmentation and conflict; when an organic multiplicity is suppressed, the principle on which it is based must re-assert itself, but in negative form. (1)
In other words: Planet Earth is a garden. There’s going to be variety, and we have to deal with that variety. We can attempt to artificially suppress that variety, but it will always sneak back in and pop back up, as the expressions of true principles always do.
Flowing from the dichotomy of globalism and chauvinism, and inseparable from it really, are considerations of identity, which will be dealt with in following foundational articles.
This concludes the second of nine foundational articles for this project. The next article in this series is The Tyranny of “Should.”
(1) Upton, Charles. The System of the Antichrist: Truth and Falsehood in Postmodernism and the New Age (2001, Sophia Perennis, Ghent, NY). P. 456 (ebook) ISBN 9781597319515
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