[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he western worldview has dominated for the last 200 or so years and hence their idea of “modern man” is accepted as the “idea”. It is supposed to transcend territories and cultures. It assumes that “one size” fits all and enunciates that “one model” works for all. In many seminars I am asked by foreigners about India becoming “Europe” or USA after a few decades and how it will impact Indian “values”.
Christianity and Islam wanted to spread all over the world by sword or colonies or deceit.
Basically it is assumed that the whole world needs to have or follow one model since all humans are the same “rational” animals. The main Abrahamic faiths like Christianity and Islam evolved out of this belief. So they went around conquering the world to fashion it in their own mirror image. The Marxian model also believes in the same.
The concept of sovereignty evolved as Westphalian consensus in 1548 after the Thirty Years’ War, in which the major continental European states – the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, France, Sweden and the Dutch Republic – agreed to respect one another’s territorial integrity. This obviously did not include later colonies. Christianity and Islam wanted to spread all over the world by sword or colonies or deceit. Both wanted to be global religions.
Hence there was a fierce battle between these globalizers for “converting” people to their way. Something along the lines My way or the Highway. The colonization project was justified since it was to “civilize” the world and converting faiths/ religions of people was encouraged in the name of “freedom to choose”. Of course that freedom should be exercised to choose the desert faiths, sometimes with the sword and other times with subterfuge and inducement.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]F[/dropcap]rom the Church evolved the modern corporations which in the Post 2nd World War wanted to be “global” and institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank were created to facilitate the process. These institutions reinforced the theory of One-size-fits-all.
Hence, it is a medieval Christian Anglo-Saxon construct that says that `corporations’ are more evolved forms than, say, joint families or cooperatives or trusts.
Modern Globalization project got accelerated in the seventies by the Multinational corporations which tried to formulate theories that are applicable to all societies with perhaps some local variation – as a concession.
Ernst Kantorowicz, in his well-argued and celebrated essay The King’s Two Bodies: A study in Medieval Political Theology, analyses how the mystical body of Christ, which is central to Christian liturgy, acquired sociological meaning in the later Middle Ages. The corpus mysticum became the organised body of Christian society and created, in due course, the greatest of artificial persons, namely, “The State.” Out of this modular structure or building block, Western capitalism emerged, along with other fictional entities such as the `Joint Stock Company’ and `Public Corporation’ (Princeton, 1957).
Hence, it is a medieval Christian Anglo-Saxon construct that says that `corporations’ are more evolved forms than, say, joint families or cooperatives or trusts. One is not sure why India should continue to accept this European medieval evolution, which was essential for colonial conquests, driven by joint stock companies such as the East India Company, which considered India `unorganized’ and went about organizing it, with results known to us. So Church handed over the idea of “Globalization” to corporates.
In these days of political correctness, perhaps the so-called Un-organized sector can be termed as being “Corporate challenged”, while corporates themselves are “Disclosure-” and “Transparency-challenged”. They even propounded an idea of “Glocal”. This is essentially a global model but will try to take into account local sensibilities. Whether it is market efficiency or asset valuation every human being in the world should behave as per the western models. If not there is a problem with that person or group. They were to be identified as “deviants” from the norm.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he entire edifice of Modern Economics/ Finance assumes that the market will solve all problems since all men are “rational” — in the western sense – and profit maximizers. They have homogenous expectations etc. The poor segments when they become rich behave exactly similar to the current rich people. That assumption helps in “forecasting” income and consumption growth.
Hence we have Christian globalizers/ Islamic globalizers/ Multinational corporates/ Marxists. All using the premise of a global man and one size fits all.
Societies were expected to behave as per the model rather than modeling societal behavior.
Wounded civilizations like India suffered a double whammy. Its youngsters were taught about the superiority of the Renaissance rationality and they began to fully imitate the homogenous model. Most got educated in Western Universities and this helped a lot for the globalizers.
Hence we have Christian globalizers/ Islamic globalizers/ Multinational corporates/ Marxists. All using the premise of a global man and a one-size-fits-all theory. All of them can be called homogenizers. Among them Marxists are on the retreat after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
But there is a problem. All these Homogenizers are run by a clique or elites who look down upon masses with contempt. Why so? Because they are confident that they have the solutions available in their books or models. The modern corporations have modeled academic institutions to suit their requirements. Recruitment/ Promotion etc. are dependent on reinforcing the belief system through research and training. Within this the so called Left Wing and Right Wing have evolved. Both are homogenizers. One is State based and other is Big Corporates or so called “market” based.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]B[/dropcap]ut of late the Left Wing has got bent out of shape due to being politically right — it became friendly to Radical Islam and also to other “modernities” like LGBTQ groups. Interestingly the Soviet Model of Stalin shunned these categories.
Church is in retreat in Europe since many are becoming agnostic.
The globalizers also created categories such as economically “conservatives” but socially “liberal” or socially conservative but economically liberal – but all within their framework of homogenizing. Also the Christian leaders would accept “Islamic Contribution” and nothing more than that.
For instance Obama claimed in Cairo (June, 2009) that Algebra, the decimal system and printing technology were the inventions of the land of sands[Arabia] when these accomplishments owe as much to India and China.
Assertion of the Average: But the globalizers are on the retreat. One is the conflict or rather war waged by Radical Islam which would like to establish a Caliphate in Europe. Church is in retreat in Europe since many are becoming agnostic. Modern versions of Church getting active – in the form of Evangelicals like the Pentecostal Church etc. Post the Economic crisis of 2008, the big corporates are on the retreat. The average school educated person is unhappy and angry. He is unhappy about unemployment which is running high in G-7 countries—more so in Europe. He is angry about mass migration and what he perceives as Islamic invasion of Europe and even USA. EU which is one of the earliest “Project Europe” to bring together “globalization” within Europe is under threat. The Rural / School-only educated / unwashed in Britain rejected the rule from Brussels. The Sophisticated elite of London wanted to be in the EU. In France and Italy a similar situation is developing. In the USA the assertion of average was extra-ordinary. All elites and the financial system supported Hillary but she was defeated again by the High School-only educated / poor segments.
The Globalization crowd is getting desperate. Davos meet this year had of all persons Chinese President Xi and he was requested to “lead” the concept of globalization. Homogenization/ One-size-fits-all and Western model is The Model – is the major mantra of globalizers. Radical Islam says the same thing except it uses its own book.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]ony Blair, the then Prime Minister of UK in his famous Chicago Address – 1999 – suggests “The most pressing foreign policy problem we face is to identify the circumstances in which we should get actively involved in other people’s conflicts. Non – interference has long been considered an important principle of international order… But the principle of non-interference must be qualified in important respects”. The NATO intervention in Kosovo and Afghanistan as well as US intervention in Iraq provide recent examples of breakdown of the idea of Westphalia.
On the other side we find global corporations transcending sovereignty in search of global profits. For this they use tax havens as a tool.
Interestingly Radical Islam also considers that the world order based on Westphalian consensus will collapse. “In the aftermath of the 11 March 2004 Madrid attacks, Lewis Atiyyatullah, who claims to represent the terrorist network Al-Qaeda, declared that “the international system built up by the West since the Treaty of Westphalia will collapse; and a new international system will rise under the leadership of a mighty Islamic state.”
The spread of ISIS across countries and activities of Boko Haram based in Nigeria in Kenya and Chad re-emphasis this point. Radical Islam does not accept territorial boundaries since it works for a global regime for a global Ummah. The talk about Caliphate indicates that they are trans-border organizations.
On the other side we find global corporations transcending sovereignty in search of global profits. For this they use tax havens as a tool. Tax havens – numbering more than 70 jurisdictions – facilitate bank facilities with zero taxes and no-disclosure of the names and in many cases anonymous trusts holding accounts on behalf of beneficiary. In the case of Bahamas one building seems to have had tens of thousands of companies registered there.
USA is literally waging war with major giants like Amazon/ Google/ Microsoft etc. for not paying adequate taxes in the US of A in spite of being US based companies. Most of these companies have moved their profits to other Tax Havens.
A simple method of trade mis-invoicing by global companies using tax-havens have impacted developing countries to the tune of nearly 730 Billion USD in 2012 says Global Financial Integrity. There is an increasing clamour in USA and EU about closing down these tax havens.
Most of America’s largest corporations maintain subsidiaries in offshore tax havens. At least 358 companies, nearly 72 percent of the Fortune 500, operate subsidiaries in tax haven jurisdictions –
All told, these 358 companies maintain at least 7,622 tax haven subsidiaries.
The thirty companies with the most money officially booked offshore for tax purposes collectively operate 1,225 tax haven subsidiaries.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]F[/dropcap]ortune 500 companies currently hold more than $2.1 trillion in accumulated profits offshore for tax purposes. Just the Thirty Fortune 500 companies account for 65 percent of these offshore profits. These thirty companies with the most money offshore have banked $1.4 trillion overseas for tax purposes. Only fifty-seven Fortune 500 companies disclose what they would expect to pay in U.S. taxes if these profits were not officially booked offshore. In total, these fifty-seven companies would owe $184.4 billion in additional federal taxes. Based on these fifty-seven corporations’ public disclosures, the average tax rate that they have collectively paid to foreign countries on these profits is a mere 6 percent, indicating that a large portion of this offshore money has been booked in tax havens. If we apply that average tax rate of 6 percent to the entirety of Fortune 500 companies, they would collectively owe $620 billion in additional federal taxes. Some of the worst offenders includea: Apple/ Nike/ American Express/ PepsiCo / Pfizer/ Morgan Stanley/ Citigroup/ Walmart/ Bank of America / Google/ Microsoft/ Goldman Sachs etc.
BREXIT we saw the Left supporting EU and part of Right opposing it.
So Globalization is stuck between Tax havens and Terrorists.
The middle class in UK revolted against EU – seamless borders and trade and in US the victory of Trump is a big blow to globalizers. He is unenthusiastic about Davos. The rise of Le Pen in France and Geert Wilders in Holland hark back to national sovereignty. Le Pen recently said in Koblenz that the “Nation State” is back.
In this, the traditional division of Left and Right has lost its meaning. In BREXIT we saw the Left supporting EU and part of Right opposing it. Now, the new divisions are globalizers versus Nation-States both from the Left and the Right.
There was an agitation by supporters of Gorbyn the rabid left wing leader of Labour party in UK against the most venerable left wing intellectualism personified “New Statesman”.
In the USA the divisions are becoming interesting with large number of Trump supporters viewing Russia favorably while as Democrats are upset with Russia.
Actually this extreme left-winger Corbyn opposed BREXIT and wanted Britain to be in the EU!
While as the conservatives in large numbers supported Brexit and from that point the calling of a referendum by Cameron was even questioned. Corbyn was supposed to be part of “Remain and Reform” EU group. Anyhow Britain and labour force of Britain overwhelmingly voted for going out of EU which is perceived as a “Globalizing menace”.
Le Pen in France wants to come out of EU since it is impacting “French” charecteristics. She is considered “extreme” right by the Mainstream Media (MSM) in France. She wants France to come out of EU; opposed to Radical Islam; opposed to immigrants and against a large French Govt. Interestingly one of her opponents Melonchon who is considered as left extreme also wants to re-negotiate EU and possibly pull out. He is also against large central French Govt. and surprisingly not for the “veil” for the women!! Both the Extreme Right and Left are against large global corporations and Globalization by the Davos crowd.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap]n the USA the divisions are becoming interesting with large number of Trump supporters viewing Russia favorably while the Democrats are upset with Russia. Trump supporters view Russia as a good ally against radical Islam. Not that Russia is any more “socialist”. Trump is as unhappy as Obama was about large US companies like Google/ Amazon/ Microsoft etc. not paying adequate taxes in the USA but showing large profits in Tax havens like Cayman Islands.
The current conflict is between the Globalizers wing [GW] and Localizers Wing [LW].
Large portions of left in Europe are split regarding its attitude to Radical Islam. One segment arguing for total “understanding” of Islam while another segment wanting to uphold traditional values of Europe on women issues, on Homo-sexuality and contraception.
This single model groups are being opposed by smaller “National and Community” sovereignty groups. For instance in Britain poorer rural segments / less educated segments and working class segments voted for BREXIT since all of them felt big Government at Brussels is trampling on their sovereignty. Similarly School educated / older aged/ less income segments supported Trump. Both cases it is against “globalization” and “large corporate”.
Similarly one witnesses the rise of such political forces in Holland/ France/ Italy and Germany. All these will have far reaching impact in the coming year due to elections in France and Germany.
Hence today the world is divided between globalizers – be it corporate or Radical Islam or evangelists and “localizers” both Right wing and Left wing. Globalizers wants homogeneity – all wear Jeans and all drink Coke or all women have Burqa and all men pray 5 times. Localizers want variety and pluralism. Respect for local tradition and customs and recognition of small businesses.
The current conflict is between the Globalizers wing [GW] and Localizers Wing [LW].
Hence do not use the old clichéd RW/ LW paradigm – it is dead.
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.