BY NIALL McCRAE
The Davos set, those progressive politicians, corporate bosses, bankers and sanctimonious celebrities who meet in the Swiss Alps every spring, have plenty of power and privilege. They talk of ‘smart cities’, digital currencies, radical action against climate change, internet safety and social justice. These assorted concerns may not readily make a coherent and realistic prospectus, but Covid-19 showed that where there’s a will, there’s a way to change the world.
What makes and motivates a ‘globalist’?
Several books have been published on the phenomenon of global leaders – people who have changed the world for better or worse. Ian Kershaw’s Personality and Power selected twelve famous figures, while Henry Kissinger chose six for his book Leadership. An interesting character study is From Silk to Silicon: the Story of Globalization Through Ten Extraordinary Lives, by economic policy journalist Jeffrey Garten. Only one person is featured in all three books – can you guess who that is? (answer below).
Garten’s ten catalysts of globalisation begin and end in the East, with Genghis Khan and the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, but let’s begin in Frankfurt in the late eighteenth century. A cramped ghetto street named Judengasse was the humble home of Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812), founder of the global banking empire. With his mastery of accounting and accrual, and ability to form relationships with powerful people, Rothschild established himself as an intermediary between German princes and London banks. Amidst wars and uprisings, he devised win-win situations by secretly supporting both sides in a conflict. Rothschild transcended borders and trading barriers, undermining the jealously guarded control of kings and emperors. He thus began the process of overriding national autonomy with supranational finance.
While not whitewashing his chosen characters, in discussing the Rothschild legacy Garten omits legitimate criticisms of the dynasty and its disruptive influence on hitherto stable societies. For example; the American Civil War is a suspected case of the bankers’ divide-and-rule strategy: agitation between North and South was provoked for a preferred settlement of incorporating the northern states in Canada, then a financial fiefdom of Lionel Rothschild (while his brother had controlling interests in the Confederacy).
The Rothschilds are often mentioned alongside the Rockefeller family as shadow governors of the modern world. John D Rockefeller (1839-1937) had a modest background in a Baptist family in New York state. He joined the oil rush in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and went on to buy all the major refineries in Cleveland, Philadelphia and West Virginia. He steadily built the Standard Oil company, using his purchasing power to quash competitors, and he manipulated the railways for his commercial ends. His predatory practices eventually got him in trouble, and in 1911 his firm was broken up by a federal court ruling.
His reputation tarnished, Rockefeller turned to social causes, using his massive wealth to fund educational reform. In 1901 the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research was founded. At that time (before mass motoring), medicine was a potential market for petroleum. His father was literally a snake-oil salesman, but under Rockefeller’s direction the American medical profession banished natural remedies. The seed was sown for the Big Pharma takeover. Half of the training schools closed, as funding concentrated on prestigious institutes lubricated by Rockefeller grants.
Long before Bill Gates, Rockefeller monetised philanthropy. Garten, though, regards Rockefeller’s investment in medicine as wholly benevolent. In his conclusion Garten honours Gates as ‘the great global philanthropist’, with no scrutiny of the motives of these two men, who some believe to be enthused by eugenics. David Rockefeller, like Bill Gates’ father, was a known advocate of depopulation, and it is surely significant that the younger Gates began his health campaign in contraception. Gates moved into vaccines, which have potentially broader uses through artificial intelligence and transhumanism.
Margaret Thatcher and Jean Monnet (1888-1979) appear in neighbouring chapters. Although Thatcher opposed Monnet’s European federalism, Garten sees a common theme of overcoming time-honoured structures to drive change. Thatcher strove for smaller government, and globalists today are doing the same but for very different purpose, their aim being to replace elected parliaments with a new world order. Monnet, of course, wanted to transfer power from national parliaments to a superstate. Unsurprisingly, Garten regrets Britain’s departure from the EU, a nationalistic reversal to global necessity:-
Another pairing is two men who made the world smaller through advances in communication. Cyrus Field laid the first transatlantic telegraph cable in the mid-nineteenth century, enabling messages that took two weeks to cross from New York to London to be transmitted in a few seconds. Like the dramatic advent of the internet, this was a boon to humanity, but technological process is a double-edged sword.
Andrew Grove, born Andrós Gráf in Budapest in 1916, is not a household name like Steve Jobs, but Garten credits him as a key figure in Silicon Valley. Conventional corporate culture on the eastern seaboard, with its bureaucratic hierarchy, frustrated Grove. In 1968 he left Fairchild, the largest semiconductor producer in the world, for the new venture of Integrated Electronics. In San Francisco a dynamic environment was created for the rapidly developing and precisely produced Intel microchip. Grove ensured everybody in the company stayed on their toes. Like Rockefeller, he crushed competition.
Big corporations and countries need a firm hand on the tiller. China, in the wake of Mao Zedong’s death in 1976, was in a vacuum. Deng Xiaoping (1904-1997), a revolutionary contemporary, was the eventual successor. He opened China to international commerce, unleashing tremendous economic growth and raised living standards. Yet he kept a firm grip on Chinese society, resisting relaxation of the communist system. In 1989, when student protests erupted, Deng invoked martial law. Tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square, and hundreds were massacred. Like millions of Falun Gong followers and Uyghur Muslims have found, only one truth is permitted – that decided by the Chinese Communist Party.
As Garten records, Deng ‘calculated that if Beijing kept improving the material lives of the people, then they would not object to tight political control’. Under current leader Xi Jinping, ‘economics and politics are moving in opposite directions – the former in a relatively progressive way and the latter toward ever tougher authoritarianism’. Arguably, both are oppressive. The convenience of information technology makes lives seem easier, but freedom and privacy are negated. If the populace is constantly monitored and confined to a menu-driven illusion of choice, how will leaders know whether the people are happy? Perhaps they do not care.
The Great Reset, a project of the World Economic Forum, appears to be modelled on China, whose combination of social control and rapacious capitalism is developing as a fully-fledged technocracy. The social credit system, whereby citizens are rewarded for good behaviour and punished for voicing awkward opinions, was until recently excoriated in Western media. Now it is subtly promoted.
Global institutions such as the World Health Organisation are increasingly under Chinese influence. By 2007, Garten notes, 1.4 million Chinese students were studying abroad. These young men and women are used as foot soldiers for Beijing’s propaganda, aided by Confucius Institutes in Western universities. Clive Hamilton, in Silent Invasion, described how China has infiltrated academe in Australia. The Chinese government’s Belt and Road infrastructure scheme has trapped many countries in debt. The centre of gravity has moved east.
‘The best is yet to come’ is the title of Garten’s concluding chapter. The benefits of globalisation, he opines, are obvious. The Great Reset, however, entails the biggest ever transfer of assets from poor to rich. Climate change was already used to control ordinary people, and Covid-19 accelerated this process. When Garten wrote ‘hunger continues to decline’ the movie Hunger Games would have seemed nothing but science fiction. But as farmers are put out of business on the excuse of reducing nitrogen emissions, and energy bills go through the roof, pain may be part of the plan.
Garten laments a leadership deficit and insular thinking. He didn’t quite say it, but bring on the Young Global Leaders! Garten blames populism (from the Right) and identity politics (from the Left) for democratic malaise – not the megalomaniacs who undermine faith, flag and family. Each of his characters was a force for far-reaching change, but none tried to rule the world. The hubristic leaders of today really strive for global domination, unabashedly identifying themselves as the ‘elite’. Oligarch and cultural Marxist George Soros, vaccinator-in-chief Bill Gates, millennial moderniser Tony Blair, architect of the fourth industrial revolution Klaus Schwab know what’s best. David Rockefeller, in his autobiography, responded to conspiracy theories about his family’s motives: –
Historical determinism was a flaw of Karl Marx, but we are certainly on a path. Unless we resist, it will be sunny uplands for them, and dark valleys for us.
Niall McCrae is a Registered Nurse and officer of the Workers of England Union.
Answer to question in second paragraph: Margaret Thatcher