By Wayne Allensworth
A few years ago, researchers at something called the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP) bragged–because they thought this was a good thing–that my old hometown was now a “global city,” something much more like the international hubs in New York, Paris, and Los Angeles. The researchers pointed out that, judging from its “global connections” and the city’s “domination” in the energy sector, Houston had a high level of “connectivity” to the “global economy,” something enhanced by airports serving seventy countries around the world. Just last year, the GHP, citing a report by Resonance Consultancy, rated Houston as “one of the best cities in the world,” and “no. 1 in Texas.” Indeed, the consulting firm called Houston “the American city of the future.” Why? Among other things globocrats value (like “innovation,” and “dining”), because of its “population growth,” and, not surprisingly, its “diversity.”
Stephen Klineberg, a professor at Houston’s Rice University and co-director of the Institute for Urban Research, went a bit further, calling Houston “a microcosm of the world,” with a massive influx of immigrants over the past twenty five years being largely responsible for the city’s transformation from an American–and Texan–city into an outpost of a post-national global empire. Klineberg gushed that Houston was special in that it hosted a number of “strong immigrant communities from all over the world.” Klineberg was pleased that Houston now boasted of not one, but two “Chinatowns,” and he pointed out what he apparently considered more good news when he noted that in the last four decades, Houston’s Anglo population had declined from around 63 percent to a far more “diverse” 36 percent.
The point is that Houston is a “city of the future” precisely because it is far less American than it once was. It is also far less livable. The social decay, ugly urban sprawl, massive traffic jams, and anomie we have come to expect in post-American metropolitan areas are much in evidence. The cacophony of foreign languages and sub-cultures, along with the usual mainstream media “diversity” triumphalism, is also much in evidence.
That’s a bitter pill for yours truly to swallow, as I recall a much different Houston that has been paved over, overrun, and, to a significant degree, erased. I was raised in a working-class neighborhood that was distinctly Texan, one that still spoke in an accent I could recognize, one that was proudly American. Those of you of a certain age know what I’m getting at–it was home, and the one thing I cannot imagine any “global city” being is a real home to anyone.
Indeed, as my wife and I had lunch in a café one afternoon, I noted the complete absence of readily identifiable Americans, and that if I hadn’t known this was the town I had grown up in, I would not have been able to tell where I was at all. It could it have been anywhere, but it was definitely nowhere. This type of chaotic, and paradoxically, homogenized globo-Blob formation writ large is precisely what the Davos Politburo and its minions want for the world.
The end of community and social trust
In the home I once knew, a web of relatives and families provided us with a solid sense of who we were, what our loyalties were, and what was expected of us. Our neighbors shared a common identity, values, and culture, in short, everything that is required, as Dr. Putnam reluctantly pointed out some time ago, for community and civic life. At the base of that community was a foundation of mutual trust, something that a mega-dose of “diversity” cannot produce. There can be no real self-government or self-determination without it. If the “global city” model prevails, the deracinated, essentially homeless, masses will be on their own, the perfect clay a global managerial system believes it can readily mold according to its own designs.
I had watched with horror over the years as Houston moved closer and closer to the “global city” ideal. During our recent visit there, I felt at times as if I were exploring a strange and distant planet. Run down areas (proto “favelas,” perhaps) surrounded wealthier enclaves. I’m reasonably sure those enclaves house as many real Americans (and real Texans) as you might expect in a global landing pad where post-national technicians ply their trades while “based” in a certain locale. “Based,” that is, until they hear of some other place with better ethnic restaurants, better weather, better scenery, and more “opportunity.”
Rootlessness is a prerequisite for “success” in the “global city.” But I think those of us who have not given in to the globalist siren song intuit that rootedness, a sense of boundaries, status in an organic community, and social trust are precisely what human beings need most to find purpose and meaning in their lives. Such social structures and constraints are how children are socialized, for instance. There can be no civilization without them. Globalization entails disorientation, as it cuts the common ground from under us, the ground that provides a steady platform for a fulfilling life. It’s no accident that “deaths of despair” are decimating the American Remnant as it is steadily displaced.
The Church of Globalism and the post-national empire
A bloodless, directionless, free-floating Tower of Babel is exactly what a chaotic “global city” is and the only thing it can be. Patriotism and other loyalties most of us once took for granted are not only passe, they are anathema in the Church of Globalism. Thus, the attacks on the symbols and history of the American ethnos. De-legitimizing that ethnos and the country it created is what “Critical Race Theory” is all about. It all must go, slated for replacement by the “global city.”
There is a reason our megalopolises are dominated by technocratic post-Americans, unassimilable minorities, and the Left. It is part of the genetic makeup of globalism. The further this cancer advances, the less likely that anything other than coercion can hold our chaotic “diversity” together–or that we can salvage anything for our posterity.
James Kirkpatrick recently described the world the globalists want. In sum (adding some flourishes of my own), they anticipate and desire an inter-connected “global city” made up of a mass of atomized, obedient, under or un-employed (because many jobs will be made obsolete by robotics and artificial intelligence), UBI-collecting drones. Global oligarchs will be able to transfer their money and shift “base” locations as they wish to maximize profits and control. The Davos crowd is counting on maintaining an underclass of potential labor, constantly replenished by waves of “migration,” one it can exploit for low wages and otherwise keep in line with a digital version of bread and circuses. Members of the nomadic global proletariat of the future will likely own smart phones and have internet access (indeed, they already do). The globalist utopians envision a cashless society, one which can be monitored and controlled by computerized “social credit” systems (“vaccine passports” could surely be a first step in that direction) and ubiquitous surveillance mechanisms. How else could the global hive operate efficiently?
That dystopian future is materializing at this moment, and proponents of such a future, far from hiding their intentions, are telling us what they have in mind. “The Great Reset,” propelled by the COVID-19 panic, was just an opening declaration of intent aimed at preparing the ground for what is projected to follow: a propertyless (“You’ll own nothing and you will be happy”) mass of herbivores (“You’ll eat less meat,” which is supposedly better for the environment and our health), citizens of a borderless world (“We’ll have to do a better job of welcoming and integrating refugees”), living in a society where energy consumption is controlled and regulated (by a “carbon tax”):
As Kirkpatrick pointed out, the usual suspects, such as BlackRock (“the largest asset manager in the world”), which is buying up homes it will likely rent out, and Bill Gates, who is investing heavily in farmland (plant-based “meat,” anyone?), stand to gain enormous wealth and leverage over the inter-connected “global city” of the future.
The end of history and the realm of the last men
Globalists have been anticipating the “end of history” for some time. They apparently see themselves as the avatars of the final earthly kingdom of “liberal democracy” and “free market capitalism,” one that not coincidentally, requires the dispossession of actual distinct peoples, (rather than abstract “populations”). At times, they seem to have succumbed to an ecstatic religious vision of what they foresee as a perfect world. The chief theoretician of “the end of history,” Francis Fukuyama, for instance, has lamented that we are not moving faster toward heaven on earth, and he has denounced the forces that Donald Trump, however imperfectly, represented in terms we have come to expect from the post-American elite.
Yet Fukuyama himself has acknowledged the dangers of an existential trap in the globalist vision. Fukuyama, for instance, has warned that in the materialist nirvana the globalists claim will be the result of their efforts, one free of want and privation, “People will not be satisfied with endless consumerism…because they actually want to be recognized for something.” A world of materialist lotus eaters will be one that does not address the question of “people’s feelings of dignity.” Striving and accomplishment, not simply abundance and consumption, are absolute necessities for the sense of dignity Fukuyama referred to, and that striving requires a degree of friction, conflict, and sacrifice that is at least theoretically slated for erasure. “Happiness” is not equivalent to the end of suffering.
Fukuyama has also acknowledged that the globalist “liberal democratic” model’s being predicated on radical individualism (“Markets,” he noted, operate more efficiently if individuals are not “constrained” by “obligations to kin and other social networks.”), is a major problem. As he noted, radical individualism is at odds with humanity’s “social proclivities.” In short, Fukuyama sensed that globalism undermines the very social structures–family, church, community, nation–that set cohesive parameters for human beings to constructively strive for fulfillment as individuals in the first place. Thus, globalist liberalism undermines the sources of human capital, evolved over millennia, that make civilization possible.
Indeed, Fukuyama’s central work on “liberal democratic” globalization as the endpoint of human social, political, and economic evolution, The End of History and the Last Man, carries a warning in its very title. The “last man” referred to is borrowed from Nietzsche, who described a “last man” society as one inhabited by passive creatures dedicated only to consumption, comfort, and security. The last man is risk averse and, thus, incapable of achieving anything or becoming a fully realized human being.
Dostoevsky, who was much admired by Nietzsche, had already anticipated Fukuyama’s concerns in Notes from Underground, in which his protagonist mused that if man enjoyed a level of economic prosperity “such that he should have nothing else to do but sleep, eat cakes and busy himself with the continuation of his species,” he would revolt “simply in order to prove to himself…that men still are men and not the keys of a piano,” “keys” controlled so completely that they can desire nothing “but by the calendar.”
Endgame: Organic communities vs. “last men” societies
The globalist endgame will not yield a perfected human society, but a post-modern Wasteland inhabited by men without chests. It is a flawed dream as old as Nimrod’s attempts to construct a tower to heaven on the plains of Shinar and de-throne God.
Despite the connection of their material interests to the process, we should not dismiss the leading globalists as mere cynics, anticipating only greater profits or increased status. The fervent attachment they display to their vision, their hostile dismissal (as heretics of a sort) of globalism’s critics, and their hubris, the fact that people like Bill Gates and George Soros actually believe that they can re-make the entire world according to their own preferred precepts, betrays something else.
If the leading proponents of globalism were only cynics, then perhaps a ceasefire could be negotiated with them, their energies and ambitions re-directed elsewhere. They are more than that, however, and they propagate a very human point of view that is as attractive as it is shallow and destructive. Their followers are not all bad people driven by cruelly tempting visions. The dream of equality, of the end of want, of ending human suffering, is not something that can be dismissed easily. In fact, the narcotic attraction of “liquid modernity” and its promise of limitless becoming (“transgenderism” being the current fad) at times seems irresistible.
A genuine, effective anti-globalist movement will have to combat globalism’s philosophy as well as its proponents. And that counter punch must be based on some very realistic assumptions, including a serious, mature assessment of life, of the boundaries of what limited, flawed human beings can achieve, and on what social, political, economic, and cultural structures (and they will vary somewhat from place to place) are the best that can be managed for containing and directing human striving, and fulfilling human potential in an often harsh and unforgiving world.
We have no pretensions of perfecting that world. We acknowledge that life is often unfair and tragic. All problems cannot be solved, and as the 20th Century showed quite clearly, efforts to solve humanity’s problems by forcibly engineering a new world (rather than ameliorating such problems as can be), will end in the resentful, the vengeful, and the tyrannical elements of our nature coming to the fore, as a simplistic and aggressive desire to fix everything by razing what has been built to the ground will surely dominate us.
Another point we have to grapple with is that the globalized world is a product of technological advances. The desire to be our own gods, to reshape reality according to our desires, and to freely indulge our baser appetites has always been a beast within that has gnawed at us. But that vision, which is culminating in the bizarre cult of “transhumanism,” could not have been even partly realized without scientific and technological advances that have made such nightmarish schemes seem attainable.
Fukuyama has also been wary of the notion of genetically engineering superior human beings, something that he has recognized flows from “end of history” reasoning (with humanity taking charge of its own evolution). He has acknowledged the existence of human nature that differentiates us from animals, a nature that is the basis of human dignity. Thus, the chief ideologist of globalism understands natural limits. Fukuyama has further acknowledged that utopian visions like communism have failed largely because they refused to account for such limits, and he has recommended political controls over biotechnologies, just as controls have been established for managing nuclear power and nuclear weapons, biological and chemical warfare, and genetically modified foods.
We are in for a long, perhaps endless, struggle. It seems doubtful that the globalist genie in all its iterations can be put back in its existential bottle. At the same time, counter forces in various forms, ranging from religious traditionalism to localism and varying brands of nationalism, aren’t going away, either. As Fukuyama has noted repeatedly, the “end of history” does not mean the end of conflict, only that all possible forms of human organization have already been developed. Even if a “black swan event” of epic proportions brought down the emergent global system in its present form, the addictive ideas of, and technological advances associated with, the vision of a self-perfecting humanity would remain. Those dreams are as old as humanity, and as fragile as civilization itself.
Anti-globalists will have to be ready to offer an alternative that is not merely a strict replication of the past, which is, in any case, impossible. Yet the constants of human nature will also remain. Human structures that have been evolved and have stood the test of time themselves represent a certain “end of history.” We counter the “global city” of “last men” with hometowns, families, and nations.
If there is one point that stands out in highlighting the “global city’s” ultimate failure, it is that deracinated, globalized post-nations are failing to reproduce themselves. They are sinks of despair incapable of continuing. In the end, the last man, who is all belly, will die a hopeless death, or rage against his fate, and the truth of the old myths, the old fables, of the cherished parables we have tried to live by, will be borne out once more.
Wayne Allensworth is a Corresponding Editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia (Rowman & Littlefield) and a novel, Field of Blood.