First in Seattle and now in Washington DC, left and right have come together to trash globalism. Strange bedfellows or just bedfellows? An answer can be found by looking at the word “globalism”.
Widely used -ism words give a sense of how public opinion interprets the flows of contemporary history. The wide usage of the word globalism suggests public opinion believes there is a driving force that is replacing the US with one world.
Both left and right now see globalism as their main enemy. Noam Chomsky freely uses the word as does Pat Buchanan. That means they believe there are powerful forces driving the globalisation. Both agree it is the multinational corporations and agencies like the IMF that promote multinationalisation.
Not so long ago left and right used very different -ism words to describe their ideological enemies. For the left the main enemy was capitalism and for the right it was socialism. The two were irreconcilable opposites.
The root word of capitalism, “capital,” meant money to acquire means of production in order to reap a profit. The suffix -ism made it an ideology that operated through free markets.
The left called for an eventual abolition of capitalism and its replacement by socialism. Under socialism strong government representing the working class would bring equality and equity into the country’s economic life.
The right regarded socialism as an ideology that stunted economic growth. Look at the Soviet Union, they said. It has a strong socialist government but can’t feed its own people. Bring freedom and free markets to Russia and soon enough prosperity would arise.
The main ideological code word for the left was class; for the right it was economic freedom. But now with globalism their common foe both code words have been left behind.
Left and right agree the multinational corporations that dominate the New World Order undermine the power both of the working class and of God-fearing patriotic citizens.
Over the last two decades both left and right have been moving in new ideological and political directions that have narrowed the gap between them.
By advocating diversity and multiculturalism, the left has taken over a key concept of the right: identity. Identity implies identity groups. And identity groups are those marked by racial, ethnic and religious differences.
The right has always believed in differences. It rejected the left’s contention that regardless of identity differences, in the end we are all human beings. The only differences that remain, the left contended, are those of class.
Yet now various right-wing groups have been moving in directions once advocated by the left.
The religious right, which historically was racist and exclusionary, has lately been proselytising among people of every race, culture and language.
For example, people of colour from all over the world have been flocking to the Mormon Church which not so long ago had racial restrictions. And for years now, Pat Buchanan has been courting the working class. In Washington the Teamsters are among his most ardent boosters.
At the same time the left has been moving towards nationalism. Leftists call for a strong government to not only protect the rights of workers but also protect the environment, advance human rights, and broaden entitlements.