Beijing Fears COVID-19 Is Turning Point for China, Globalization | RealClearPolitics

https://anglophilicanglican.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/504073_6_.jpg

While the world fights the coronavirus pandemic, China is fighting a propaganda war. Beijing’s war aim is simple: shift away from China all blame for the outbreak, the botched initial response, and its early spread into the broader world. At stake is China’s global reputation, as well as the potential of a fundamental shift away from China for trade and manufacturing.

Source: Beijing Fears COVID-19 Is Turning Point for China, Globalization | RealClearPolitics

“More broadly, the pandemic of 2020 has brought doubts about globalization into the mainstream. Decades of open borders, unceasing intercontinental travel, study abroad, just-in-time inventory systems, and the like have created unexpected vulnerabilities in populations and economies thanks to unfettered openness. To worry about such weaknesses is not to adopt a Luddite reactionary stance, but to try and salvage the bases of the post-World War II global economic architecture.  

“Those who assumed that global markets were the optimal economic model and would always work, now have to consider whether globalization is the best system for dealing with pandemics like coronavirus, let alone old-fashioned state power plays like China imposed on Japan back in 2010, when it blocked the export of rare-earth minerals over territorial disputes in the East China Sea. Perhaps the biggest long-term economic effect of coronavirus will be on long-standing assumptions about global supply chains. 

“Because of the way the global economy has developed since 1980, to question globalization today is in large part to question the world’s relationship to China. As Sens. Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton have pointed out, America and the world have a prudential responsibility to reconsider their dependence on China.”

Empty shelves: a rant on coronavirus and globalism

In which the Anglophilic Anglican goes off on a rare political rant. Rare on video, anyway! I do often rant in writing… *wry smile* My apologies in advance for the length and rambling nature of this!

 

Coronavirus reveals the weakness and danger of the “global economy”

Image result for us reliant on china for drugs

I certainly hope and pray that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic does not end up having the kind of global impact – and especially, is not as damaging and deadly here in the US, and in other Western countries, where cases have so far been few in number – as some doomsayers seem to take perverse pleasure in predicting.

But if nothing else, I hope it does point out the weakness and danger of globalism: both open borders, and the off-shoring of major chunks of our economy, especially manufacturing. Cheap consumer goods (and cheap – not to say exploited – labor) are not the only things that can circulate freely, in such an environment.

Perhaps most sobering is the fact that we are reliant on China – China, the source of the outbreak, and the country hardest-hit by it – for many of our drugs!

As this article from last month points out,

“Everything from antibiotics to chemotherapy drugs, from antidepressants to Alzheimer’s medications to treatments for HIV/AIDS, are frequently produced by Chinese manufacturers. What’s more, the most effective breathing masks and the bulk of other personal protective equipment — key to containing the spread of coronavirus and protecting health care workers — and even the basic syringe are largely made in China.”

Another article notes that “the Food and Drug Administration estimates that at least 80 percent of the active ingredients found in all of America’s medicines come from abroad – primarily China,” and asks us to “imagine if China turned off that spigot.” Or if we are forced to turn it off ourselves, due to issues like coronavirus! A third article points out the hazards of contamination of generic drugs manufactured abroad:

“What’s responsible for the repeated drug safety lapses? The offshoring of the American drug supply to China and, to a lesser extent, India during the past couple of decades.”

It continues,

“China and India now manufacture about 80% of the drugs consumed in the U.S. This figure understates China’s dominance because many of the active ingredients in the Indian manufactured drugs come from China. The U.S. doesn’t even manufacture vital drugs like antibiotics anymore [emphasis added], with the last penicillin factory closing in 2004.”

That is chilling, or should be.

Particularly in the face of the current situation, in which reliable supplies of drugs are critical! But unfortunately, as USA Today notes,

“The coronavirus outbreak is sparking fears of drug shortages in the U.S., largely due to its disruption of pharmaceutical supplies from China and India.  The Food and Drug Administration has warned of shortages in one drug due to the coronavirus, while penicillin shipments to the U.S. from China have dried up [again, emphasis added]. The FDA said it expects the outbreak of COVID-19 to cause ‘potential disruptions to supply or shortages of critical medical products in the U.S.'”

And to make matters worse, as yet another article points out, “the U.S. is woefully unprepared to address even minor disruptions in the supply of these drugs.” This article continues,

“Medicines can be used as a weapon of war against the United States,” Rosemary Gibson, a senior adviser on health care issues at the bioethics-focused Hastings Center and co-author of China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine, told lawmakers last month. “Supplies can be withheld. Medicines can be made with lethal contaminants or sold without any real medicine in them, rendering them ineffective.”

Then there is the whole issue of “just in time” logistics, a primary feature of the modern economy. This may have cost and efficiency advantages when everything’s working smoothly, but it leaves us highly vulnerable to disruptions in overseas sources of manufacture and supply, whether these originate in pandemics like coronavirus, international conflicts, other forms of social or political disruption, rising fuel prices, or other causes.

While the issue is obviously most vital in the fields of pharmaceuticals and medical technology, the reality is that we need to seriously rethink our entire approach to the so-called global economy, starting with a clear-eyed understanding that independence and sovereignty begin with being able to supply our own needs from our own resources and manufacturing capability, here at home.

Anything less leaves us dangerously vulnerable to disruptions abroad.

 

“They’re Trying to Wipe Us Off the Map” – Small American Farmers Are Nearing Extinction | TIME

Mary Rieckmann with her son Russell tending to their cows on Nov. 20, 2019.

A perfect storm of factors has lead to the biggest crisis for American farmers in decades. Here’s what it’s like to be an American farmer in 2019.

Source: American Farmers Are in Crisis. Here’s Why | Time

Read this article. It’s important. Yes, it’s filtered through the requisite anti-Trumpism and climate alarmism of the mainstream media. But the reality it describes, for small family farms in America, is one which needs to be understood:

“In the American imagination, at least, the family farm still exists as it does on holiday greeting cards: as a picturesque, modestly prosperous expanse that wholesomely fills the space between the urban centers where most of us live.

“But it has been declining for generations, and the closing days of 2019 find small farms pummeled from every side: a trade war, severe weather associated with climate change, tanking commodity prices related to globalization, political polarization, and corporate farming defined not by a silo and a red barn but technology and the efficiencies of scale. It is the worst crisis in decades.

“Chapter 12 farm bankruptcies were up 12 percent in the Midwest from July of 2018 to June of 2019; they’re up 50 percent in the Northwest. Tens of thousands have simply stopped farming, knowing that reorganization through bankruptcy won’t save them. The nation lost more than 100,000 farms between 2011 and 2018; 12,000 of those between 2017 and 2018 alone.”

That is dismaying, to put it mildly. Indeed, for those of us who can see past the surface numbers to understand the implications, it is deeply frightening.

While there are a number of factors contributing to this crisis, I believe that the threatened demise of American small farms is at base an attack – and I would argue that it is in large measure a concerted and intentional one, by an unholy alliance of convenience between Big Government and Big Corporatism – on food sovereignty.

Every single one of the factors listed in the article – “a trade war, severe weather associated with climate change, tanking commodity prices related to globalization, political polarization, and corporate farming defined not by a silo and a red barn but technology and the efficiencies of scale” – can be traced directly to one of the two entities mentioned above, in some cases both.

So, where does food sovereignty come in – and what is it, anyway, and why does it matter?

Well, food sovereignty is defined as “the right of peoples to healthy and culturally-appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems.” It is in its essence localized and dispersed, rooted in family farms and local communities.

Big corporations hate this because it interferes with their profits, and big government hates it because it interferes with their control – thus the alliance-of-convenience mentioned above.

And yes, some of the factors that affect small farms are (presumably) unintended consequences of other issues – but the responses, the proposed “solutions,” by government and corporate interests alike, are always in the direction of greater centralization (“get big or get out,” or variations on the theme), greater industrialization and automation, more control, less human input and contact with the land, less local sovereignty.

The underlying reality is that food sovereignty is the basis of sovereignty, period. It doesn’t matter what your system of government is – capitalistic, communistic, or anything in between – you are not sovereign if you cannot control your own food supply: if you have to rely on someone else, state or corporation, to provide your food and to control what food is provided, and when, and how.

Now, obviously, most of us (by choice or necessity) are willing to trade a little sovereignty for convenience – we are no longer (for better or for worse) a nation of farmers. But the further we get from local agriculture, rooted in small family farms that are closely tied in with their local communities, the less sovereignty we all enjoy, and the more we are at the mercy of Someone Somewhere Else turning off the tap.

In other words, the demise of small, local, family farms is not just a shame – although it is! very much so – and it’s not just less healthy for consumers, communities, and the environment, although that is also true. It’s also dangerous, for our rights and freedoms, for liberty, sovereignty, independence.

Who controls the food, controls those who rely on it for survival. That’s the bottom line.

QOTD: Turley on tradition, moral obligation, and harmony

While traditional societies believe that every person born into the world is born into a world of divine obligation, where we’re morally obliged to conform our lives into a harmonious relationship with the divine meaning and purpose of the world around us, globalistic secular societies reduce the human person to a sovereign individual who has no moral obligations apart from that which he or she chooses for his or herself.”

– Dr. Steve Turley

Secular, globalist, and Left-wing partisans would not see that as a reduction, of course; they see it as an elevation: the individual human being enjoys god-like sovereignty, and the ability to re-make the world around him or her (or “they,” or “xe,” or whatever…) in his/her/its own image. But they are wrong. The world is as it is, not as any of us would have it be, be we traditional or “progressive.”

The thing is, though, reality favors the traditional. It’s pesky, that way! If you jump off a roof, gravity kicks in, and you’ll likely break your leg (or worse). Men are better at some things and worse at others; and vice versa for women: traditional gender roles are not, contra the progressives, entirely cultural constructs; and the cultural norms that do exist are rooted in biological reality. Birds of a feather really do flock together. And no matter how badly you want to be a different “gender,” you are what your genes make you: you can fight them, but you can’t change them.

And you know all those dratted moral standards that so interfere with our freedom, from the Ten Commandments, to the fable of the ant and the grasshopper (and its analogs in other cultures), to the universal human norm that one should be very cautious about trusting those who aren’t part of one’s “tribe,” and especially those who have a known history of causing trouble?

Yeah, those: they’re there to keep you safe and secure, doing what needs to be done to in order (emphasis on “order,” since lack of order leads to chaos and destruction) to survive and thrive within a relatively close-knit and homogeneous community… which is the only kind you can be sure has your best interests at heart. In other words, moral standards don’t exist to make your life difficult; quite the contrary: they exist for your own good. Continue reading “QOTD: Turley on tradition, moral obligation, and harmony”

QOTD: Globalism and insecurity

“Cornell sociologist Mabel Berezin has identified… three insecurities inherent in globalized dynamics. Berezin notes that the nation-state historically promised to provide secure borders, a stable economy, and the space for celebration and perpetuation of a population’s customs, traditions, and religion. But as Berezin observes, these three securities have eroded as the result of dynamics in globalization.”

Stephen R. Turley, PhD: The Triumph of Tradition: How the Resurgence of Religion is Reawakening A Conservative World

“Eroded” is perhaps a gentle word, under the circumstances! As Turley points out in this excellent little volume (available via the Amazon.com link above, or as an e-book download directly from his site – I get no kickbacks from either), all three of these securities – border (e.g., territorial integrity and national sovereignty), economic, and cultural – are under sustained and aggressive attack from the forces of globalism.

While no one really likes to think in these terms, we are in a cultural and civilizational conflict, a low-grade, “soft” war which will prove to be – as Turley comments in some of his videos – as significant and far-reaching in its implications as the Cold War… perhaps even more so, as it has the potential (already partly realized) to radically reshape not only the political and economic, but the cultural and demographic map of the globe.

The Leftist media, and its allied academics and politicians, like to characterize those of us who are not only skeptical of, but downright opposed to, this “brave new world” as racists, xenophobes, bigots who blindly cling to the past rather than embrace the (so they believe, inevitable) future. In truth, it is they who are blind.

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The current situation in the West – including the United States – reminds me of nothing so much as an old Fur Trade-era freight canoe hurtling toward the precipice of Niagara Falls, with the steersman shouting “Keep paddling! What’s wrong? Don’t you want to embrace the future?” Those of us who would prefer survival are digging in our paddles, and striving to back and turn the canoe, before we reach the brink.

God grant us success!

Battle for the West: Hungarian PM Says ‘Silent Majority’ Will Prevail Over ‘Globalist Elites’ and ‘The Soros Empire’

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Hungary’s Viktor Orbán has launched a stunning denunciation of globalism, declaring that the “true spirit of the age” points to a resurgence of conservative values centred on country, family, and tradition.

Source: Battle for the West: Hungarian PM Says ‘Silent Majority’ Will Prevail Over ‘Globalist Elites’ and ‘The Soros Empire’

Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary, is not to everyone’s taste. He can be brash and blunt, has a disdain for political correctness that I by-and-large share, and like many or most politicians, does not seem to be averse to taking actions and making deals that benefit himself or his party. But unlike many – again, perhaps most – European politicians (and many American ones, also), he is committed to his country and his people.

And in a world where billionaire globalists like Soros and his ilk – the “globalist elites, the bureaucrats who serve them, the politicians in their pay, and the agents of the… networks that embody their interests” Orbán mentions – are attempting to inaugurate a “post-Christian and post-national era,” dedication to one’s own people and nation cover a multitude of sins. At least in my view!

Orbán said NGOs tied to George Soros, the billionaire open borders campaigner, “have penetrated all the influential forums of European decision-making.”

He described how they “operate like the activists of the Department for Agitation and Propaganda of the old Soviet Communist Party.

“We old war horses recognise them by their smell. Although the Soros troops use somewhat more refined methods, they nonetheless want to tell us what to do, what to say, what to think – and even how we should see ourselves.”

The former anti-communist campaigner explained: “Migration is not the goal of the Soros Plan, but merely its means.

“Millions of people … are being encouraged to come to Europe; indeed they are even being transported here, in order to debilitate nations and deliver the coup de grâce to Christian culture.”

Looking at the situation from my point of view, as an interested observer here in the U.S., I cannot disagree. Whether it is an organized plan, or merely opportunistic exploitation – or, most likely, a bit of each – the mass migration of the present era is clearly being viewed by corporate globalists, plutocrats, and modern-day robber barons as a golden opportunity to disrupt the ties of nation, culture, social and ethnic unity, and religion that have heretofore stood in the way (though less emphatically, in recent decades) of their desire to transform the world into a hive of drones – producers and consumers, “whose god is their belly” (Philippians 3:19), with the aforementioned plutocrats on top.

As a side-effect of this – collateral damage, if you will – Orbán accurate points out that

“the Soros Plan also seriously endangers the security of our everyday lives… In Europe’s [multicultural] countries, acts of terrorism have become regular occurrences, crime rates are increasing, violence against women has escalated, and anti-Semitism is emerging again.”

“This is what we must prevent, and this is the threat against which we must defend the country. So when we say that we must defend Hungary, we declare that we must defend work, our families, security, the authority of our laws, our achievements … we must also defend our future.”

And not only in Hungary, or even Europe! But he also offers hope:

“We see tens of millions of Europeans working hard and struggling day in, day out to keep themselves and their families afloat.

We see how they yearn for security and order.

“We see how they cleave ever more firmly to their cultural identity, and fight every day for every square metre of their normal European life,” he said.

“Reality, flesh-and-blood people, real-life instincts, real human desires, dreams and hopes will conquer the globalist elite still ruling Europe today. And they will make Europe – and within it Hungary – great again.”

That is an outcome earnestly to be hoped for, in my opinion!