Globalism preaches international trade promoted by government intervention. Establishment economists prophesy that Globalism is the Future. Libertarians are told not to complain, because Globalism merely facilitates the natural evolution of the free market.
Libertarians must question these claims.
If Globalism brings universal prosperity, why are so many national economies burdened with crushing debt? Why have millions of middle-class Americans lost their jobs to overseas competition? Why is the global economy in the worst economic crisis in history?
These are typically leftist-populist complaints that blame the free market, but maybe it’s time that libertarians questioned the premise of the debate. Is Globalism a genuine manifestation of the free market, or just another guise for government intervention?
That answer is easy. Just look at the expanse of public institutions required to support Globalism: the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, NAFTA, the European Union, the G-Pick-a-Number Summits, and the not-so-hidden hand of the Federal Reserve — with the United States Armed Forces aggressively acting as World Policeman.
Globalism is simply imperialism with a "progressive" face, and the unmasking of its hypocrisy is why it’s failing — and why the real world is turning once more to economic life on a more personal, localized level.
Globalism’s failure has become glaring with the collapse of the world financial system. The central bankers promised stability but have wrought a planet-wide inflationary bubble instead.
Now the world’s finance ministries are seeing that global bubbles lead only to global crashes, and any nation which breaks inflationary ranks to independently pursue sound monetary policies will escape destruction and prosper as investors rush to its door. Globalism’s centerpiece ideology of central banking may survive this crisis, but it can no longer pretend superiority over localism.
Nonetheless, still in denial, Globalists are attempting to salvage the dollar as world reserve currency. Technology itself is working against them, however. Today the dollar is used as world reserve currency only because oil is traded exclusively in dollars, an unnatural but quite intentional consequence of US military occupation and intimidation of oil producing nations. In the future, alternative energy sources will render the oil economy obsolete, and the reign of the petrodollar will follow into extinction.
Indeed, someday archaeologists will marvel at the abandoned artifacts of our globe-straddling oil economy — the derricks, pipelines, tankers, refineries, power plants, and distribution networks of gas stations that will rust across the landscape as the ruins of a lost empire. Instead of relying on a global supply chain maintained at gunpoint to meet their energy needs, future households will simply plug into their rooftop solar panels.
That will be localism’s technological deathblow to Globalism. And good riddance, for Big Oil has caused enough human misery through its imperialist wars and puppet tyrannies to rival the evils of the slave trade.
Yet Globalists bemoan the passing of the petrodollar, claiming that nothing can effectively take the dollar’s place as an international medium of exchange. Of course there is gold, but the Globalists despise gold because it won’t allow them to inflate.
Also, unlike fiat currencies, gold doesn’t require the bureaucratic overhead of a lavishly subsidized aristocracy of pseudoexperts — bureaucrats, academics, consultants, lobbyists, militarists, quasi-public corporate executives, etc. — to sustain the illusion of intrinsic value. Unlike Globalism’s Special Drawing Rights, which are accessible only to an arcane priesthood of financial technocrats, the international gold standard can be accessed by any ordinary person who visits a neighborhood coin shop.
With the restoration of gold as the primary medium of international exchange, Globalism once again falls to localism — because that’s what the market wants.
Globalism’s vision of a world forced to be hyperdependent on dollar-denominated international trade is doomed, if only because the Chinese won’t take IOUs forever. The future will still have international trade — tourists will still go to Europe and bananas will still come from South America — but once the dollar devalues, the practice of dispatching freighters halfway around the globe to fetch tee-shirts and running shoes will cease to be cost-effective. Globalists may then suffer unemployment, but millions of middle class Americans will benefit when manufacturing jobs come home.
To bring manufacturing back to America, we don’t need tariffs. We need to end the Globalist interventionist policies that distort economic incentives into driving away the bulk of our manufacturing base.
When the Globalist Dollar Bubble has its final pop, there will be hard times. But then the economies of the world will at last be able to evolve naturally in accordance with true free market principles. And on more local foundations, we can build a genuine prosperity to celebrate the end of the Globalist Empire.
Joe Schembrie [send him mail] is a writer who lives in Bellevue, Washington.