BART: The Second Hand, The Nation-State And The Global Elite

Sheldon Bart Contributor
Font Size:

Why have the global elite aligned with the leftist agenda? The question has generated ample speculation, but a little history and a little help from a forgotten writer may clear up the matter. 

First, the history. 

Centuries ago, the planet was divided into feudal domains ruled by kings. The people subject to their rule could not have conceived that monarchs would one day lose power and prerogatives, and survive, if at all, as figureheads. It happened, nevertheless. A new commercial class arose and evolved new, deliberative institutions that represented their interests. At the same time, philosophers promoted the concepts of liberty and equality, advancing the ideological subtext that would supplant the doctrine of the divine right of kings. A new technology — the printing press — made possible the popular dissemination of these ideas.

Monarchial fiefdoms were eventually aggregated into nations governed by parliamentary or presidential systems, but history didn’t stop there.

The commercial entities continued to evolve and today have shaken off the constraints of the nation-state. They no longer identify with territories and borders. Some are even more powerful than nation-states. Most have the resources to purchase the votes of lawmakers and collusion of functionaries here and abroad to impose policies favorable to their interests. We’ve seen this reality play out during the COVID years when it became apparent that Pfizer was regulating the Food and Drug Administration, not the other way around.

Now, the writer.

Ben Hecht (1894-1964), an astute, if cynical author, journalist, playwright, and screen writer, once observed that “[t]rying to determine what is going on in the world by reading the newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock.”

Although today’s digital timepieces generally lack hands, Hecht’s observation remains valid. Our perspective is ordinarily narrow and constricted. We see things piecemeal, day to day, headline by headline. But to understand what’s really going on in the world, it’s necessary to grapple with the bigger picture. 

Actually, it’s more than necessary; it’s critical. Because the media are not chronicling arguably the most tectonic shift in the politics of the modern era. 

The commercial entities have begun to usurp the sovereignty of nation-states, just as their early incarnations usurped the sovereignty of kings. New institutions have been fashioned to represent their interests. The most prominent is the World Economic Forum. Two simultaneous trends have abetted the ambitions of the transnational commercial class. One is information technology which has enabled the instantaneous transfer of capital around the globe. Another is the advent of radical ideologies whose tenets — mass immigration, multiculturalism, transgenderism, etc. — have the effect of weakening the traditions and cohesion of the nation-state.

No wonder then that the multinational globalists are in bed with the multiculturalists. 

The assault on the nation-state from within and without should concern us all. As wonderful as it might seem to imagine, along with John Lennon, that “there’s no countries,” humanity remains an immature species. Human behavior ranges from the most selfless gestures of benevolence and generosity to the most brutal and bestial acts of depravity. Rule of law is entirely absent from some societies, functions precariously in others, and, in certain instances, may temporarily recede from our own communities. Foreign adversaries obey no law other than that of the jungle. We need the nation-state for protection. 

We also need the nation-state for the preservation of our freedoms and way of life. Thomas Jefferson wrote the mission statement of the nation-state. “Governments,” he avowed in the Declaration of Independence, are “instituted” to secure “certain unalienable Rights,” among them being “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Accordingly, the Constitution of the United States, as stated in the preamble, was “ordained and established” to “form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

That’s the American creed. The Union may not be perfect, but can you seriously conceive of Goldman Sachs, BlackRock and Meta securing the blessings of anything other than market share and dividends?

Although we live in the day-to-day, we have to shift our attention now and again from the second hand to the clock. Whether we’re electing a school board or a president, or contributing to an alumni fund, we’d better consider our choices in the context of the forces arrayed against the nation-state.

Otherwise, the usurpation of sovereignty by the commercial entities will continue apace, and we’ll eventually secure for ourselves and posterity nothing but second-hand lives.

Sheldon Bart is a trustee of the Foundation to Illuminate America’s Heroes.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.