Ever since the conservative tendency kidnapped Levitt’s globalism and Friedman’s shareholder irresponsibility ideas thirty-five years ago, the process of ‘framing’ has been increasingly active. First coined in the US during the late 1970s, the term means not to set-up an innocent person, but to force-fit spokespeople into a frame from which they cannot escape.
Thus, a believer in the FOI Act becomes a killer of US agents in the field. A community mutualist becomes a tree-hugger. A supporter of the NHS is “a Leftie”. Someone keen to leave the EU is “a swivel-eyed little Englander”. And so on. Andonandonandon.
Today, it’s more commonly referred to simply as a smear, because a personally insulting and nasty edge to the descriptor becomes an inferred accusation. Newscorp has consistently used this to accuse its enemies of foul sexual perversion. David Cameron used ‘hooligans’ to describe a bunch of rough-area kids of feral behaviour…as unforgivable examples of his ‘Broken Britain’ riff. As a result, one innocent blind kid called Jordan Cunliffe is still languishing in prison. But Cameron became Prime Minister – and broke Britain at an accelerated rate, having forgotten about his Big Society along the way.
Framing does three things: it sells newspapers, neuters opposition and divides that which it cannot neuter. Those without the insight to see it going on write silly (but allegedly influential) columns in the conservative and business press; those doing it eschew articles in favour of the continuance of their important work, via the invention of idiotic terms like Non-Violent Extremism (NVE) to replace the more traditional and accurate term, contrarians.
Gideon Rachman comes under the former category. He seems to see little or nothing wrong with globalism as a concept, but smears any form of what he calls ‘nationalism’ as somehow getting in the way of progress.
The frame-and-smear merchants in the second camp read his stuff, and are well-pleased that the world is still rich in published mugs – or smugs, as I am wont to call them.
Rachman’s specialism is sticking a few harmless liberal vapours into his pieces – so as to appear ‘reasonable’ – before going on to write acceptor drivel of the worst kind. He’s been doing this for years, as a result of which for some reason he is seen as eurosceptic and critical of US foreign policy. But closer examination suggests otherwise. The piece he wrote at the FT yesterday was a classic of its kind.
This is a précis of what Giddy had to say:
‘Marine LePen thinks globalism and climate change are all bollocks and part of the battle between her preferred (nasty) nationalism and the (glorious) globalism that the rest of us want.
Although the COP21 accord isn’t perfect, it was a giant achievement, and holding a successful conference in Paris shows French resilience in the face of terror attacks. Nationalists rubbish climate change theory because it requires global action.
Rabble rousers like LePen and Trump prefer simplistic, violent solutions to patience and compromise. Globalism is all about the human race getting together and agreeing what’s best for everyone’.
Rachman’s penultimate paragraph was a pearler:
‘The climate deal and the defeat of the National Front signified a good weekend for the globalists. But the victory of internationalists over nationalists cannot be assumed. On the contrary, nationalist forces are still gaining strength in Europe, Russia, the US and east Asia. The forces that feed the nationalist narrative — economic stagnation, terrorism and the fear of immigration — are not going away.’
You see, for all that it’s blind-acceptor poppycock, it is very clever poppycock, because it gives out by subterfuge and without protest:
- the impression that GR is sensible and decent
- the conclusion that ‘internationalism’ is better than ‘xenophobic terrorism’
- the assumption that globalists are peacekeepers whereas as nationalists are militarist
- the absence of any further alternatives to Nation States or Global Government – for example, the deconstruction of both as being blatantly dysfunctional, and their replacement by power devolved to mutually run communities.
Ultimately however – returning to my original point about the purpose of Rachmans generally – it makes liberal-minded people recoil from Viktor Orban, it says Brexiters are dinosaur retards and closet Nazis, it plays the ‘geopolitics equals peace’ card (straight off the bottom) and by inference it dismisses any alternative as flakey. (To Gideon Rachman, a lifelong capitalist like myself would be framed as ‘a fluffy tree hugger’.)
In a nutshell, his stuff conjures certainty from chaos, and both divides and neuters those who disagree. But the content of his FT piece simply doesn’t bear interrogation.
COP21 is a triumph for going faster in what may well be a flawed and even irrelevant dimension. Science is never settled, and it isn’t democratic: the contrarian minority nearly always becomes the mainstream in the end.
As for Parisian resilience, let’s be blunt for once: there were five attacks, two of them failed and none of them disabled any administrative infrastructure. COP had already arrived in Paris when the attestats took place. People were horrifically murdered, but then Syrians are murdered in those numbers almost every day.
The outcome of this ‘global unity’ has been an Emergency Powers Act, loss of internet freedoms, and the creation of a European security force with the unaccountable power to nullify a nation’s sovereignty without any recourse to any elected body anywhere.
The likes of Trump, Wilders and LePen arise because hypocritical lip-service politicians fail in their objectives, ignore the citizens, suck up to the pc media and sell out to Mammon….over and over and over again.
I’m sure Giddyman would like to lump Farage, Orban and the new Polish leadership in with the above group – doubtless with Golden Dawn thrown in for good measure – but it simply will not wash: on the dangers of Islamism, American commercial colonialism and Syrian refugees, all three have been ahead of the game for years….especially Orban.
The ‘conclusion’ that US hegemony and globalist suprastates have been in any way whatsoever forces for global accord and peace is so daft as to make the reader wonder what grasp on empiricism Mr Rachman has, if any.
Economically, fiscally and financially, the global neoliberalist model has slashed real wage values, pushed megawealth into a tiny group….and is about to deliver the world into the worst debt-based ‘flationslump’ in recorded history. American middle east diplomacy has left a trail of unrest, migration, doublecross, economic failure and extremism behind it. EU diplomacy among its members has ruined Greece, decimated the wealth of ClubMed, and directly produced what GR sneeringly refers to as ‘nationalism’ – but is in reality the death of stable, consensus politics.
But look at the results achieved by the smugs and the smears: a Labour Party split in two, its leader reviled by the conservative press; a federal neo-Third Reich in Europe, but still no clear majority in Britain for exit; a Greek political class equally riven in the face of clear austerity-driven failure and sell-off; and Spain divided by Left, Right and regional aspirations.
It is a massive victory for corporacrats, technocrats, diminished liberty, increasingly indirect democracy and those who would abolish the Rule of Law in favour of the destitute poor.
Gideon Rachman sways opinion because he has no genuine ideals, and those opposed to global fascism make his job easy because they will not step beyond their archaic ideology. The one thing they have in common is a complete lack of original ideas.
What a perfect tragedy it is that they coexist in the same era.
In 2010, Rachman published his first book, “Zero-Sum World”. It argued that the thirty years from 1978-2008 had been shaped by a shared embrace of globalism by the world’s major powers that had created a “win-win world”, leading to greater peace and prosperity. The New York Times called it ‘perhaps the best one-volume account now available of the huge post-Communist spread of personal freedom and economic prosperity.‘