The New York Times, The NAU, And The Burden Of Empire
Published on the
Fourth of July, a New York Times op-ed
Center Shouldn`t Hold" by British author
Andro Linklater largely slipped through under the
radar. Apparently, the NYT felt that his
prediction of a North American
superstate would warm the patriotic hearts of
Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America,
which was created in 2005 by President Bush and
counterparts in Mexico and Canada."
Well, is there an
official plan to cede sovereignty to a North American
version of the
I don`t know. If
there were, I certainly wouldn`t be invited to any
government has long publicly called for a North American
Union, or, at least, for the cash handouts
that Spain and other lower-income countries got when
joining the EU.
[President Vicente] Fox essentially wants, the type of
resource transfers that occurred in Spain and, before
Spain, in Ireland, and, after Spain, in Portugal and
Greece. The Germans were willing to build highways in
Spain. Somebody else has to build our highways. We don`t
have the money." ["Jorge Castaneda: Mexico`s Man
Abroad," LA Times, August 12, 2001, By Sergio
ramshackle Mexican economy, with its surprisingly
profitable government-protected private monopolies (such
as the one that has made telecom mogul
Carlos Slim the new world`s richest man), tantalizes
American business interests. The most lusted-after
Mexican property remains the most important monopoly
that has yet to be privatized:
dilapidated government oil company. Texas oil man
Robert Mosbacher, who was the elder President Bush`s
Treasury Secretary, reportedly said that he wanted to be
first CEO of a private Pemex.
Mosbacher is now
Chairman Emeritus of the U.S. Council of the Mexico-U.S.
Business Committee. In 2005, his organization issued a
report entitled "A
Strategy for Building Competitiveness Within North
America." Its Executive Summary says that it`s
time to move beyond NAFTA:
"At the heart of
the Compact lies a grand bargain: the United States and
Canada will work closely with Mexico to mobilize
additional public and private sector resources to
advance Mexico`s development. In exchange, Mexico
will commit to a robust program of second-generation
reforms in regulatory harmonization, the
rule of law, and
infrastructure improvements …"
Where have we heard that phrase since?
Needless to say, "a
robust, enforceable temporary worker program that will
match willing workers with willing employers" is one
of the four main planks of the Mosbacher group`s
So, clearly, people close to the Bush dynasty, such as
Mosbacher, who was in charge of
raising money for the elder Bush`s 1992 re-election
campaign, have been thinking hard about
integrating America and Mexico further.
Now, it`s not wholly ridiculous for America to consider
shelling out some cash to pay for good government
reforms in Mexico. Things like
better education. More honest
tax collectors. At minimum, it makes more sense for
us to try to fix Mexico than to try to
fix Iraq … although that`s setting the bar for
making sense awfully low!
However, the obvious problem with Mosbacher`s scheme is
that billions handed over to Mexico as part of a
proto-North American Union would likely just be stolen
Mexican elite. In turn, that would encourage more of
the sleaze that drains the
Mexican economy of jobs.
So, unless somebody can come up with a solution to the
corruption conundrum, going down the EU route should
be a non-starter.
And, indeed, that what the Bush administration claims it
is. Linklater notes that, officially, a North American
Union is not even being dreamt about:
administration dismisses such claims as `conspiracy
theories,` `myths` and lies.`"
Naturally! Who could imagine that the powers-that-be in
Washington would ever try to fundamentally alter America
behind closed doors and then ram it down our throats
in a rush?
(Oh, wait; they just did try that with
amnesty, didn`t they? Never mind.)
Linklater`s NYT op-ed reported something quite
"All of which would
seem clear enough — were it not for the intriguing
issued in February by the partnership`s entirely
official North American Competitiveness Council, made up
of leaders from the region`s largest companies,
United Parcel Service. Among some 50 proposals, the
council recommended a common “North American customs
clearance system” by 2010, a “trilateral tax treaty” and
the establishment of a “North American standard” as the
“default approach” for regulations in all three
countries covering food, agriculture, manufacturing,
transport and intellectual property rights. Their
recommendations are expected to be taken up when
President Bush, President
Felipe Calderon of Mexico and Prime Minister
Stephen Harper of
Canada meet next month."
You see, the United States would be the 800 pound
gorilla of any North America Union. Linklater pointed
"It is significant
that even at this early stage, all Security and
Prosperity Partnership agreements have involved the
United States, although often excluding one of the other
two partners, and that American regulations are the norm
for most of the partnership`s 24 existing bilateral and
trilateral agreements covering trade and security."
To Linklater, quantity is more important than quality
when it comes to defining America:
"In other words, folks
Mr. Dobbs and
Representative Goode are facing in the wrong
direction. The partnership is increasing rather than
diminishing the scope of United States sovereignty.
History is resuming its normal course. It may be slower
than invasion or purchase, but the regulations and
agencies needed to enforce them will pull Canada and
Mexico within the reach of United States jurisdiction …"
Well, swell …
But what if we
don`t want to be responsible for Mexico? Do we get a
Of course, there is some positive economic logic to
greater North American integration, which means that
business interests will lobby for it, and it will
tend to advance quietly.
developing synthesis of North American into a trilingual
confederation would hand ever more power over to
This has already
been the trend over the long history of our battered
2Blowhards culture blog recently summed up Gore
Vidal`s famous series of historical novels:
question is `How did a freewheeling, human-scale jumble
of a republic turn into a top-heavy, empire-building
behemoth run by self-serving, world-hungry, militaristic
elites accountable to no one at all?` What he shows are
elite groupings each going for the gusto. The
political class, the old-money
media crowd: One after another they detach
themselves from a modest, serving-the-republic role and
let fly with the raw self-interest.
They collude too: They
reinforce each other, they marry into each other, they
provide cover and money for each other. Why? For the
pleasures of ego and power. Because they can. And
they`re doing it at the
expense of the American public, clearly understood
to be a bunch of clueless rubes …"
Brenda Walker noted last year, Czech President
Vaclav Klaus has cogently pointed out: "You cannot
have democratic accountability in anything bigger than a
nation state." [Czech
warns Europe of `dream world` woes By Arnaud de
Borchgrave Washington Times November 25, 2003,]
language problems are fundamental. A
single language unifies a country into a shared
"information sphere." When citizens can understand
each other, they can monitor politics across their
society and intelligently participate in debates.
contrast, multiple languages make political awareness
difficult for the non-elites. In the EU, power tends to
drift into the hands of the
self-perpetuating Eurocrats of Brussels,
professional Europeans who are either multilingual or
can afford translators.
C. Bennett, author of The Anglosphere Challenge,
explained to me, "No one person can really follow
European politics as a whole, since that would require
reading and speaking such a wide variety of languages
with subtlety and ability to understand context, which
only a handful might even try. A `European` politics
outside of the corridors of EU headquarters in Brussels
does not and cannot exist."
older word for "superstate" is "empire."
The rigorous demands of running an empire naturally tend
to undermine a republic, as the
Romans discovered after
absorbing Gaul. The complexity of governing
multilingual domains is so great that more and more
power flows from the
legislature to the
executive and the
democratic controls are tolerated since the people are
deemed not well-enough informed to vote on the many
esoteric issues that come up.
other words, just because you are paranoid about the
North American Union doesn`t mean you don`t have
anything to worry about.