- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 4, 2005

“The left has always hoped for globalization without the market — an ideologically correct world government.” (Jean-Francois Revel) Therefore, it might seem inconceivable to hear conservatives speak of promoting globalism unless the listener is aware that, in addition to this first characterization, there can be an entirely different connotation if you consider “Globalization simply means freedom of movement for goods and people.” (Jean-Francois Revel).

I believe having two completely different meanings has produced much confusion about which is inferred by use of the term. From a leftist perspective, globalism entails working toward a global world order. Under this circumstance, this country’s unique governing principles along with the confluence of rich cultural and ideological views continually churning and evolving would be replaced by one artificial philosophy that suppresses individual ideas and the initiative to act on them.

According to authors of the Index of Economic Freedom, “The countries with the most economic freedom also have higher rates of long-term economic growth and are more prosperous than are those with less economic freedom.” It should not then come as a surprise that developing countries want more globalization, not less. Therefore, when conservatives discuss promoting globalization, they try to export liberty and the free market that promotes it.

Not knowing which frame of reference is used in discussions of globalism is a pretty serious problem. The late Fred Gwynne (Herman Munster) made a name for himself as a writer of best-selling children’s books by playing with homonyms; words that sound or are spelled the same but have different meanings, in “The King who Rained” and “Chocolate Moose for Dinner.”

Any teacher who reads these books aloud in a first grade classroom quickly discovers even 6-year-olds can understand the difficulty posed by misinterpretation.

Whether you can take a pro-globalism or anti-globalism stance really depends on the accepted meaning of this idea. This needs to be clarified when world leaders discuss free trade and the need to open markets. This is obviously much different than collectivizing land and setting up cooperatives. This needs clarification in discussing the value of advanced placement courses, which challenge high-school students with college-level curricula in contrast to the International Baccalaureate program that, while promoting a global world order, does not encourage America’s unique circumstances that allow capitalism to thrive.

If the byproduct of globalization erodes our national sovereignty, it can be judged antithetical to freedom, and in the long run will destroy our way of life. One need only look at the number of aliens entering our country and seeking our wealth of opportunity, to understand that the motives of those who seek to destroy these very same freedoms should be seriously questioned.

NANCY SLAVATO

Director of education & research

Americans for Limited Government

(Ms. Slavato is an experienced educator.)

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