Which is better — globalism or nationalism? That’s one of the major themes of this election year campaign.
The answer: neither one.
The only answer is individualism. Individualism refers to a social-political system where the rights of the individual are paramount. The rights of the individual matter most whether we’re talking about economics and private property, or “political’ rights such as free speech, the right to own weapons of self-defense, and the right to control over one’s private and personal decisions, so long as no force or fraud is involved.
Here’s an example:
A coalition of technology groups and conservatives wants Congress to sue to stop the Obama administration from handing over control of Internet domain names to an international board, charging it could give authoritarian regimes power over the web.
Since 1998, an arm of the U.S. Commerce Department called the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) has handled domain names. However, in September, the Obama administration plans to allow the U.S. government’s contract to lapse so the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will be run by a global board of directors with the domain-naming responsibility.
The fight here is whether the national government of the United States should control domain names, or an international body where countries like Iran, China and Russia may have equal (or greater) control over Internet domain names.
In reality, such matters should be handled by private entities. The Internet is, or should be, private property. Government should only exist to play a role in enforcing those property rights, not determining who wins and loses.
However, since the United States still has (at least nominally) a Constitution which respects the rights of individuals, while no other country in the world has quite the same thing, it’s clear that given a choice, we’d rather the government of the U.S. be involved in Internet domain names than an international body run by the likes of Iranian mullahs, Chinese Communists, Russian fascists or banana republic dictatorships paid off by the Clinton Foundation.
The same applies to issues of trade. What the entire world — not just America — needs is a private property system of unhampered capitalism, grounded in individual and property rights. No government in the world really has such a system, and even the United States does not have much of one, not any more. We still have it nominally, but it’s fading fast, and the Obama administration has done its part to make sure this happens. That’s what Obama means by “transforming” America; it means getting rid of individual rights and private property, most of all, so that government may control everything through its own priorities and politically correct ideologies.
Nationalism puts America first. That makes sense, so long as America is a country which respects the rights of the individual, as embodied by our Constitution and Bill of Rights, most of all. But if we pursue nationalism for its own sake, we’ll end up no different from the rest of the world, whose Communist or fascist or religiously totalitarian governments put their energies into squashing the rights of the individual.
The whole reason America matters is its historic and unprecedented commitment to the rights of the individual, based on the morality of individualism. Without those two things, America is finished. Obama and Hillary Clinton understand this, which is why they want to proceed as if there’s no distinction between America and any other country, whether the subject is Internet domain control or anything else.
I wish like anything there was a movement, not for nationalism but for individualism in America. Get individualism right–and the nation will take care of itself. And only individualism can save us.
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