United We Fall?

A film by Bryan Law and Dan Dicks United We Fall is a documentary about the North American Union that is being developed right now between Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

For years this topic has been debated in the news and in political circles as being a possible future for North America. In recent years, the mood has shifted and a rift is developing between those who want a Deeply Integrated North American Community, and those who wish to retain their national sovereignty. This film takes a look at both sides by interviewing both insiders and activists who have been at the heart of this heated debate. The film also looks to the broader agenda of building a world government and its implications.

Source: Kitchener Truth

I have mixed feelings about this film. While it presents both sides of the argument to some extent, it is clearly weighted towards to the thesis that incrementally deeper integration of the North American economy is merely the first step towards the establishment of a nefarious “New World Order” or domination of all countries under the rule of “one world government” of some kind which is essentially nothing but a front for oligarchic fascism. Once it veers into the territory of Alex Jones and his kooky, conspiracy-minded ilk in this way, the film loses much of its credibility – for me at least.

Perhaps I’m mistaken, but it seems that the fears engendered by those who dread an incipient “New World Order” are predicated on the assumption that its advocates are villainous “evildoers” (for lack of a better word) bent on nothing short of the enslavement of people throughout the world. And yes, this is a word dropped frequently during the film, along with literal expressions of the concept by way of the repeated depictions shown of slaves building the Egyptian pyramids (which we now know to be an inventive falsehood, it should be noted). Not only does this appear to be a ridiculous notion on its face, but also one that has no tenable foundation in economic reality (i.e., historically, slave economies are unsustainable and prone to catastrophic collapse).

Another contention that is fundamentally absurd is the idea voiced by a number of the activists in the film that a “one world government” would somehow beget “one religion”… It is simply inconceivable that such a development could ever take place. People may be willing to gradually surrender political or economic rights to supranational organizations for practical reasons of economic necessity, but it’s highly doubtful that the profoundly irrational tenets of their particular creed’s faith would be relinquished to a homogeneous secular authority without an epic fight to the death.

This, above all, perhaps reveals most clearly the fantastic, completely unrealistic nature of the fears expressed by those agitating against an imagined “New World Order” or some other lurking phantasm of global oppression.

Which isn’t to say, of course, that there doesn’t already exist a vast array of self-serving Corporatist forces busily seeking to consolidate their power and influence over governments around the world, to subvert so-called “democracies” in any way possible through various quasi-legal means of graft and corruption, or to intricately manipulate the exercise of legislation to their profitable advantage… But the idea that there exists a well coordinated conspiracy to achieve their ends on a global basis through the permanent establishment of a NWO is more than a bit far-fetched.

If anything, paranoid extrapolations of this kind serve as detriments, undermining what are otherwise quite legitimate concerns about water and energy rights, the negative implications of issues such as the “Security and Prosperity Partnership” or for that matter, the comprehensive free trade in goods and services with the EU currently being negotiated by the Harper government, amongst other things.

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13 Comments

Filed under Conspiracy Theories

13 responses to “United We Fall?

  1. The problem that thinking Nationalists like me have with North American integration goes beyond the very real desire to insist that Canadians are different than Americans, and should be – and remain – so.

    You really should read George Grant’s “Technology & Empire”. Back in the late 1950’s Grant saw clearly that liberalism was an universalist creed – in that it assumes that humans all want the same thing: namely, Liberty and Commodious Prosperity. Now, liberalism will pay homage to concepts like diversity, but it is somewhat of a trick that pulls in disparate groups into thinking like universalist liberals.

    Once these groups start thinking and assuming the liberal (in the classical sense) ethos, they are lulled into becoming mass consumers of the technological society. In doing so, they lose the very characteristics that made them unique (diverse).

    Thus, the notion of the “particular” becomes a sin, in light of the grace that is the universalist assumption. Those who try and remain particular, or not part of the universalist mind-set, are seen as dangerous deviants – who must be economically isolated until their communal power is dispersed & destroyed within the technocratic society. Again, social and cultural diversity is reduced – and we add more homogenous consumers to the society.

    If you want to understand what this means, consider what has happened to (real) Tories, artists, classical musicians, and writers in the last 30 years. Only that which is commercially popular is supported by the economy – and thus, the culture suffers by a lack of diversity and informed dissent from the norm of mass technocratic society.

  2. I just checked the WPL online and they have the book, so I’ll definitely make a point of checking it out next week when I’m down there.

  3. Traditional conservatism and socialism seeks dissent from the universalist liberal hegemony. Once Toryism and Socialists are expunged from mainstream political society, then the body politic becomes a homogenous mass of consumerism – a la the United States.

    Does anyone really believe that the United States is currently a place where dissent and difference is accepted and allowed to exist within the culture?

    The beatnik counterculture could not exist in contemporary America.

  4. It’s a matter of degree. I don’t think you can say that dissent isn’t allowed to exist, but it’s largely ignored by the corporate media. Which of course isn’t surprising in the least given their compelling incentive (i.e., profit) to consistently appeal to the lowest common denominator and dumb things down for mass consumption.

  5. That’s the point with the liberal/technological mindset – it ignores that which is not mainstream and mundane, as the profit lay with the masses. Dissenters are not the same as the lowest common denominator.

  6. I’m certainly not in disagreement with you. I’m reminded of this passage from one of Chris Hedges’ recent books:

    “As we devolve into a commodity culture, in which celebrity, power and money reign, the older, dimming values of another era are being replaced. We are becoming objects, consumer products and marketable commodities. We have no intrinsic value. We are obsessed with self-presentation. We must remain youthful. We must achieve notoriety and money or the illusion of it. And it does not matter what we do to get there. Success, as Goldman Sachs illustrates, is its own morality. Other people’s humiliation, pain and weakness become the fodder for popular entertainment. Education, building community, honesty, transparency and sharing see contestants disappeared from any reality television show or laughed out of any Wall Street firm.”

  7. I really like Chris Hedge’s work – and this coming from a Classical Tory perspective. He has something very real to say about the eradication of decency and the commodification of life. There is something very Kantian in his perspective. Of course, he would not fully realise that he is channeling Grant, but that is OK.

    Not to be a broekn record here, but I really see Ellul and Grant as the two most prescient thinkers of the last century.

  8. should have read as Hedges’ …. my bad.

  9. I’m currently reading his “I Don’t Believe in Atheists” book and finding it quite a pleasantly challenging experience. He certainly takes Harris, Dawkins and Hitchens out the theological woodshed. I also greatly enjoyed “Empire of Illusion” which is a marvelous thrashing of the mainstream media and vacuity of our celebrity/pop culture (amongst other things).

  10. Which is why we need a strong CBC ….

  11. Try telling that to the slobbering chuckleheads passing themselves off as ‘Tories’ these days.

  12. jkg

    That is one of the difficulties of being opposed to North American integration: You get the “New World Order” types coming out of the woodwork with whatever narrative strikes their confirmation bias.

    ATY has already touched upon this concept: The deep integration of neo-liberal economics is supposed to be this magnificent force by which innovation and individualism is unlocked, pouring out and resulting in a fluid and free society where the individual can exist with little worry of homogenization.

    The irony of course is that neo-liberal ideals when adhered to with increased zealotry are in fact stabilizers, homogenizing different value systems because if certain philosophies stand in contradiction or friction to the overarching neo-liberal ideals, it is simply ostracized, eliminated, or co-opted.

    I think that is greatest specious trick by neo-liberals of today: That the primacy of the free market and staunch individualism can survive inequalities and ultimately and persistently correct the collective problems arising from it. This thinking has crept so much into the general consciousness that critiques of this general concept is met with reactionary condemnation and calls for its expulsion from the discourse. Somehow, communitarianism has become a dirty word or epithet.

    Of course, it is only when the neo-liberal ideals grate the personal philosophies that its adherents start making arbitrary disclaimers and concessions. Take the birth rate debate for example: The same Neo-Conservatives who champion liberty against the tyranny of government in almost virtually every other discussion will then invoke ‘personal responsibility’ when admonishing individuals who choose to be single or women who decide not to have kids. Here, for whatever reason, the language and the implicit acceptance of arguments for limiting or presrcribing human action in the name of the collective good get a free pass. As to not to confuse, I have absolutely no problem with people making these types of arguments in other contexts. Catholics, in fact, make this argument quite often, but it is entirely consistent with their religious and political views, especially since they are generally staunch supporters of social justice. But I find it rather disjointed when such callings come from the same camp who are willing to rail against other arguments based on communitarian premises in praise of the often elusively-defined “Liberty.”

    ATY is also right in identifying that the scope for recognizing and sustaining uniqueness and other views is remarkably narrow if one is to adjust the resolution appropriately. I am not surprised really. Anyone who has to gain from winning in the free market (politically, socially, economically etc) will not simply resign the power so quickly and adhere to the same rules: They will actively change them while still drawing benefit from the supposed free market’s ability to ‘weed out’ that which contains no value (read generates capital and profit). This, of course, creates a very limited space in which very few actors can exist and its membership involves excluding any ‘innovative ideas’ that would seek to upset whatever current hierarchy or status quo.

  13. You make a most excellent point about the intellectually fraudulent hypocrisy of conservative fundamentalists when it comes to the matter of individual choice concerning the issue of procreation. As is so often the case, their ideological absolutes turn out to be quite surprisingly relative when push comes to shove.

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