The Wuhan Virus, Globalism and the November Election
They say that truth is the first casualty in war. Surely, the Covid-19 battlefield is littered with as much hyperbole and misinformation as any other “war.” A crisis also tends to test conventional wisdom, theories of governance like globalism.
Surely, the utopian global model has always suffered from pre-existing conditions. The problem with schemes for universal control is that they require a system of universal coercion. Historically, empires and utopias are usually undone by excess and unaccountability.
Few notions of universal culture or governance survive for long. Europe and other cradles of civilization are littered with the bones of empire from Alexander to Stalin.
According to scholars, the late great Soviet communal experiment died from “internal contradictions,” a polite historian’s euphemism for corruption. Nevertheless, human experience also instructs us that notions of global community die hard. No sooner does one system collapse, when another quickly asserts itself.
For the global left, “pie in the sky” is a perennial worldview.
The “one world” chimera is today embodied by the United Nations and the European Union. If responses to the Covid-19 crisis provide any measures of effectiveness, the UN and the EU were next to useless, if not colossally incompetent, in the fast moving 2020 “crisis.”
Calling the Covid-19 the Wuhan Flu was not a racial slur. It is now a medical fact. Personal and national culpability and accountability are necessary to redress any global fail.
The World Health Organization, a UN appendage, actually misled the world and thus enabled the viral spread of the new bug by pandering to China’s political sensitivities. The o
pen borders policy in Europe also, in retrospect, now has all the earmarks of a death wish. Five of the eight worst Covid national victims are in the Schengen Zone. If Turkey and Russia were included in the EU totals, seven of eight European countries would top the global infection rate and fatalities list.
Ironically, the United States, the biggest monetary contributor to WHO, now leads the world on the Covid infection and death charts.
Morbidity totals, however, are also the leading misleading data points of 2020. Deaths per million of population tell a different story. If we rank nations by death “rate” per million, the US doesn’t even make the top eight worst countries.
Europe is still the global hot spot.
To date, national, not transnational responses to Covid-19 have produced the best results; polities like South Korea, Taiwan, and New Zealand are examples. The 2020 global health crisis may usher some fresh air into the nationalism debate. If we assume that all politics are in the end local, nationalism and national models might be seen in a new light.
Globalism was under fire long before Covid-19 came along. The British exit from the EU and the election of Donald Trump are symptoms of a growing skepticism. At the moment, having an open border is a little like leading with your throat in a knife fight. Prominent scholars like Israeli political theorist Yarom Hazony had been insisting that the Virtues of Nationalism needed to be reevaluated long before Covid came along.
The 2020 health crisis has exposed the vulnerabilities of globalist economics, too, where countries like the US become dependent on bad actors like China for essential medical supplies and drugs. Somewhere along the way, Americans seem to have forgotten that health is a national security issue. In hindsight, securing the supply chain for medical equipment and pharmaceuticals is now obviously as important as securing the arms supply chain.
The globalist trope has always suffered from all the historical debits of empire building and colonialism. Modern utopian models, however, like the UN and EU, have a unique twist. Contemporary international institutions and NGOs are staffed by out-of-office, or failed, politicians from member states. In short, the globalist community is a dumping ground for the political detritus of member states, a new class of overpaid, unelected, unaccountable international apparatchiks.
Pandemic politics, alas, now cut both ways. Aftershocks from Covid-19 in America could resuscitate the globalist meme.
Europe might be the “geographic” hot spot, but senior citizens are the global “demographic” hot spot. Predictably, most of the media special pleading is focused on racial minorities. Concurrently, political ghettoes right and left, are weaponizing Covid-19 for the November US presidential election. Beyond using the economy as a bludgeon, the morbidity total among seniors, a reliable Trump demographic, make charges of “soft euthanasia” more credible.
Deliberate local policies of concentrating and warehousing the most vulnerable demographic have been ignored or minimized by the national media and Trump’s national crisis team.
More seniors than any other category of victims are now lost to poor policy choices, not just disease. Governor Cuomo, Trump’s new BFF, and New York State take a bow here. Alas, seniors and Covid positive survivors could make the difference between victory and defeat in November.
You might rationalize remedy as the handmaiden of science, but policy choices are another matter. The House, the Senate, the White House, and the vectors of Globalism are all now in play for 2020.
G. Murphy Donovan writes about the politics of national security