Matthieu Creson on Globalisation: A Comment
By Duncan Whitmore
In a recent essay posted on this blog, Matthieu Creson decried the apparent retreat from globalisation in the wake of COVID-19 and “the withdrawal of countries into themselves”, risking the loss of “what has been for more than half a century one of the main growth drivers” in rich countries and poor countries alike. While Creson is right to be concerned by the possible return of protectionism and economic isolationism, his monolithic conception of globalisation is unlikely to prove helpful when defending its beneficial elements.
Creson is more than keen to explain to us what these beneficial elements of globalisation are:
Extreme poverty affected more than a third of the world’s population in 1990; today it only concerns 10% of this same population, even though the world has seen in the meantime an increase in population of 2 billion human beings. What is more, there has been a drop in infant mortality of more than 50% […] Every day, and in spite of the increase in world population, 140,000 people are able to escape from extreme poverty.
He does not, however, detail specifically the precise qualities of globalisation that produce these marvellous results. Quite a few times, Creson complains that problems caused by the state and statism, such as environmental disasters, are blamed for being “intrinsically linked to globalized capitalism alone”, and that “whenever a world crisis breaks out, they always blame it on globalized liberal capitalism, which they see as moribund”:
Globalization has always functioned as a convenient scapegoat, which saves us from having to acknowledge the (often statist) origins of the evils for which we make globalization unduly responsible.
But he offers no reason as to why academics, pundits and commentators are seemingly able to get away with this blame game so easily when, as he rightly recognises, it is usually states that cause these problems whereas the kinds of economic progress brought about by globalisation can and should ameliorate them. Continue reading
Globalisation – the Baby and the Bathwater
By Duncan Whitmore
If the liberal-left was hoping that the recent state visit to the UK by Donald Trump would provide the perfect opportunity to (once again) castigate him for his supposed “racism”, “misogyny”, and a fervour for “nationalism” that apparently puts him on par with Hitler, they have probably been left disappointed. In fact, the visit seems to have come off rather well for the 45th President. Sadiq Khan, London’s leftist mayor, succeeded only in burying himself in a Twitter spat that began before Air Force One even touched down on the tarmac. The anti-Trump protests in Parliament Square – at which, for want of imagination, the Trump “baby blimp” was re-deployed (and subsequently burst by a Trump sympathiser) – failed to attract the anticipated attendance. Instead, news reports of Trump being received warmly by the Queen, behaving graciously and courteously at the state banquet, and delivering a positive and optimistic joint press conference with the Prime Minister about the future of the US-UK relationship, have most likely lent him an air of statesmanship that he has previously lacked. Even the BBC was forced to concede that the trip has, somehow, “normalised” Trump, and that, rather than banishing the orange-faced “fascist” from our shores forever, we should probably recognise that he is “here to say and [so we] had better get used to him”. Continue reading
Look, people: I’m pissed off with this sort of puerile stuff now. It only occurs when States get involved in distorting markets. If only they’d bloody keep out of it, and inefficient French kumquat-growers were buggered out of the market temprarily by less-inefficient Spainsh ones, the whole caboodle to be overtaken by even cheaper Ethiopians who have got rid of “Bob Geldof and the effing money (which never arrived)” then everybody would be happy.
FRANCE: FRUIT GROWERS HALT SPANISH LORRIES AT BORDER
(ANSAmed) – ROME, AUGUST 20 – About 150 French fruit and vegetable growers have today set up a partial roadblock of highway A9 along the border with Spain, in order to stop Spanish lorries transporting fruit from entering France. The producers began protesting after an appeal from the National Federation of Farmers and Young Farmers Unions and will be handing out, as part of the protest, peaches and nectarines to car drivers going by. “No Spanish lorry will get past the border this morning,” warned Michael Pntier, head of the farmers unions, who spoke out against the unscrupulous Spanish competition on fruit and vegetable products and urged French citizens to only eat national products in order to help the sector get through the crisis. (ANSAmed).