Ending Nations Will Not End War

By John Vinson
Volume 27, Number 5 (Summer 2017)
Issue theme: "Malthus Revisited - The Perils of Overpopulation and Globalism"


Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill and die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace... You...
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one.

    Imagine
    —John Lennon

The idea of a one-world government or federation admittedly has some appeal due to the scourges of war and human conflict. Many harken to the words of John Lennon’s song “Imagine” and believe that if nations ceased to exist, or were at least greatly subject to a central authority, national warfare would end. From this viewpoint it would be just as unlikely as states of the United States going to war against one another. Indeed, can anyone imagine Minnesota and Wisconsin deciding to settle what disputes they have on the battlefield?

The key to world peace, in this view, is getting nations to surrender or at least reduce their sovereignty by erasing their differences as much as possible. If people everywhere see themselves as basically the same, this thinking goes, they will have no flashpoints of division for conflict. Two factions of the globalist movement seem to have strategies for reducing division to sameness.

One is a set of international capitalists who strive, through free trade and other measures, to forge a global economy where human beings become interchangeable units of production and consumption. Economic man will supersede every other identity, and all will share a common commitment to material gain. Some diversity will remain, such as those who prefer Pepsi to those who prefer Coca-Cola. But who is going to fight over that?

The other faction consists of multicultural leftists, with their professed goals of tolerance and equality. They maintain that divisions among people stem primarily from hatred, ignorance, and fear. As morally sensitive people, they will not tolerate these ethical failings in others. Their task — as they see it — is to break down divisions and usher in a new age of world equality.

The chief barrier to their goals, in their view it seems, is the Western World with its numerous distinctions from the rest of the world. The remedy they propose is mass immigration to Western lands which will submerge and dilute their character and composition. With the West and its divisive influence out of the way, a global pan-humanity can emerge, unencumbered by former loyalties to nation, tribe, and kindred.

At that point a bloodless multiculturalism will replace culture, and provide the appearance of diversity — a goal championed by the left — but a diversity without real substance. It would amount to no more than people dressing in various ethnic costumes to attract tourist dollars, and everyone pretending to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Such diversity could never be cause for conflict.

The alliance of the money-minded right and the multicultural social left seems odd at first, but it makes sense as a symbiotic relationship. The money power needs the moral justification that the left provides, while the left needs the money power’s money. The left in effect serves as a priest class for the economic princes. This deference to capitalism may grate on some of the clerics of equality, but most seem to take it in stride. Equality, they may reason, cannot come about without the authority and guidance of superior people. With that self-justification, they embrace elitism.

The combined factions of globalism work for peace by engineering a humanity pacified with hedonism—mindless media entertainment, consumerism, touchy-feely multiculturalism, and a culture obsessed with sex. As they proclaim that their cause is peace, it is hard to notice that a docile population is most useful for those whose foremost aim is power.

In any case, it is by no means clear that trying to make people the same will make them peaceful. Indeed some of the bloodiest wars in history have been civil wars involving people of the same race, language, and culture. The American struggle of North and South comes to mind (when American states did indeed fight one another), as does the Taiping Rebellion in China.

Perhaps our modern globalists think that their version of sameness will work better, specifically with its emphasis on making people as bland and innocuous as possible. But could it be that they have overlooked human nature? Something inside people might just chafe against engineered deracination, and they might just cling to their old identities with more fervor than ever. This seems to be happening in America and Europe with the rise of populist candidates and parties.

A seething global anger would not make for a peaceful world. Perhaps the globalists believe they can manage it anyway. But if they do it will point to a key question: Are globalism and freedom compatible? With all the diversity in the world today, would it be possible to control and manage it without an authoritarian government, or more likely an outright dictatorship?

This issue is emerging in Europe, as the EU moves to consolidate power over its member states. When the different nationalities complain about the loss of their sovereignty, the standard reply of EU advocates is that this loss is worth it for the price of peace. They credit the EU for preventing repeats of the world wars that ravaged the continent. And once the EU creates its own military force, which it apparently aims to do, conflict among member states will be less likely than ever.

But would having everyone under one government ensure peace? Not necessarily. The warfare of one state against another is not the only kind of warfare. Another variety, perhaps even more horrific, is a government waging a war of extermination against its own largely unarmed citizens. The history of communist and fascist regimes in the twentieth century bears gruesome witness to this kind of warfare. One researcher, R.J. Rummel, has calculated that more people during that century died at the hands of their own governments than the total who died in warfare among countries. Would anti-globalists become the “kulaks” of a global regime?

Another point to consider is that strife could easily arise from contending factions of globalists. Currently the globalist project is one advanced primarily by Western elites under their banner of secular liberalism. The power they have derives mainly from the still-considerable might of the West. Yet paradoxically, their globalism—particularly through immigration—is consistently undermining Western cohesion and power. As that power wanes, can they assume that the rest of the world will passively submit to their globalist agendas? Will a billion-and-a-half Muslims do so when they have a very distinct and different global vision of their own? Will more than a billion-and-a-quarter Chinese yield to what they might well perceive as a new kind of Western imperialism? If we are to have globalism, one might wonder just whose globalism it’s going to be and how might a winner emerge without intense conflict, if not warfare.

Even if globalism could somehow ensure peace, would it really be worth the price? Is peace something to be sought above every other value? In answer to John Lennon’s Imagine, one might reply that if there is nothing worth dying for, then there is nothing worth living for either. Among the things that a lot of people wish to live for are homelands where they feel at home, where their heritage and culture are secure. They also cherish the liberty to make that choice. They prefer a world with genuine diversity where different peoples can pursue different policies and visions. This diversity can reveal what is successful and what isn’t by comparison. Alas, there can be no comparisons in a one-size-fits-all mono-tone globe.

A most eloquent expression in favor of nationhood was that of the renowned Russian dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who experienced the globalist regime of Soviet Communism. He affirmed that “The disappearance of nations would impoverish us no less than if all people were made alike, with one character, one face. Nations are the wealth of mankind, they are its generalized personalities: the smallest of them has its own particular colors, and embodies a particular facet of God’s design.”

Harmony among nations is a worthy goal, but it must presume that nations will exist. The attempt to abolish nationhood is war against humanity’s deepest sentiments and aspirations, and the waging of that warfare will not bring peace. ■

About the author

John Vinson is president of the American Immigration Control Foundation.