Saturday, October 23, 2004
Even the President of the United States sometimes has to stand naked...
Martin Jaques (a man I don't have to try too hard to disagree with) argues in The Guardian that the concept of the nation state is still intact, despite all the predictions of globalisation, economic interdependence and the spread of the multi-national corporations. He cites the political weakness of the EU and the dominance of US imperialism in Iraq to justify his argument. I find it somewhat comforting to find that as usual I think Jaques has got it completely wrong again. The US example seems particularly weak. The imperialist aggression in Iraq is about extending economic power and influence... power and influence aimed at strengthening US capital, not extending 'democracy' or political influence over or on behalf of the Iraqi people. As Michael Moore ably demonstrated in Fahrenheit 911 the US governmental administration was effectively neutered in the immediate aftermath of the attack on the Twin Towers by the power of Saudi investment in the United States. When the brown stuff hit the fan, it was all too clear who was calling the shots and it wasn't the little fellah in the White House. The Multinationals and giant economic institutions have no nation, they have no concept of patriotism, they think that is for mugs. Unemployment in Detroit will not pull on their heartstrings if there is a bigger buck to be made in 'communist' China or the back streets of Thailand. The EU argument is easier to sustain, but the whole issue of the single currency is about centralising economic control to sideline the influence of the nation states... and in a true Orwellian way creating a European political institution to reflect the new economic circumstances. It is not all that new you know... this notion that the political instituitions change to reflect the economic organisation, why, an old German philosopher sitting in the British museum said as much about 150 or so years ago.
Posted by Bob Piper at Saturday, October 23, 2004