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Institut za Europske i Globalizacijske Studije

Institute for European and globalization studies

Institute for European and Globalization Studies

THE UGLY SIDE OF GLOBALIZATION: Power play and the power of play

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THE UGLY SIDE OF GLOBALIZATION: Power play and the power of play

Second Modernity

Anđelko Milardović
www.andjelkomilardovic.com

1. Prologue

The trust in progress and continuation of modernization has led us into a new huge transformation of the world. Changes in all spheres of life have occured under the influence of highly developed information and communication technologies. They have paved the way for globalization as the process of connecting the world as well as reshaping it into a ''global village''. Romantic fervor and faith in globalization have gradually diminished. Political realism, as well as every other, currently abates such romantic fervor and optimism. Globalization is clearly affected by the postmodern idea of power forged by global players such as corporations, powerful countries, the World Bank, MMF, UN, transnational public and secret organizations as creators of the New World Order. Naturally, they do not follow wishes of people who would like such creation but rather those of global players.

It is evident now that anti-globalization movements have not been led by people standing on the other side of the barricade but by mighty structures which even finance movements to prevent them from crossing the line and putting everything in danger. And that is also part of the power play! The power play (technological, military, economic, informatic, media, cultural and metacultural) has indicated uneven effects of globalization, precarious balance in favor of heterogenous oligarchy, unequal distribution of wealth, uncontrolled global risk society, enormous demographic changes, mass economic and forced migrations.

Dimensions of globalization definitely include demographic and migrational components. World population estimates reveal a permanent growth. While I am writing this, world population clock has registered, on September 27, 7.3 billion people (http://www.worldometers.info/world-population). When you will be reading the blog the number shall be even higher. Estimates for 2050 predict 9.7 billion people (http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/news/population/2015-report.html). That will produce a fight, war for air, water, food, energy. Unequal demographic distribution displays surplus of population at some points and deficit at others. The latter refers to old and impotent Europe (http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/population-by-country/).

The fact is that western societies are getting weaker, the West has been destroying itself as civilization for quite a long time. At this point we should pay attention to pessimistic anthropology of Oswald Spengler in his book The Decline of the West (Der Untergang des Abendlandes – Umrisse einer Morphologie der Weltgeschichte, 1918.). Uneven effects of economic neoliberal globalization produce segregation on the global scale, disappearance of the middle class, growth of poverty and unemployment. As a consequence, we have the ongoing global migration of population. We are talking about globalization of migrations. Causes of globalization of migrations or global trends are demographic and economic inequality as well as technological revolution in communications and transport.

According to information gathered in 2013, there are 232 million of migrants. Migrant waves are mostly heading towards USA, Russia and Europe (more in: Global Migration Trends http://www.prb.org/Multimedia/Infographics/2014/infographic-global-migration.aspx). These are mainly economic migrants. Others are forced migrants or refugees affected by wars or deconstruction of countries due to export of democracy and search for vast oil fields in the Middle East and all over the world (more on global refugee trends for 2014 in: http://unhcr.org/556725e69.html). Refugee crisis in Europe encompasses economic, forced, illegal migrants and refugees although media puts them all into the category of ''refugees''. It is a heterogenous group on the move or a new Migration Period in the age of the second modernity. They are being currently used as a powerful biopolitical (biopolitics) and potential economic weapon in conquering space and transforming cultural identities in the long run, as it is the case in Europe. Europe is being confronted with an unexpected refugee crisis (European Migrant Crisis, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_migrant_crisis) which comes right back at her like a boomerang after 100 years of meddling in the Middle East (http://worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/me.htm). The case of refugee crisis, which exemplifies and shows the ugly side of globalization, has made Europe look like a bad tempered instrument of imaginary power in evident postmodern condition or ''globalization vertigo''.

2. Power play of global players. The dark side of globalization

Everything has been done to prevent an open discussion along the lines of political correctness on phenomena, processes, protagonists and events concerning the refugee crisis in Europe. Political correctness, as a type of discourse, serves to protect anatomy of power and its representatives. In discourse of political correctness you cannot call banana a banana. How do we describe banana according to political correctness? For example, we can say that it is a long yellow tropical fruit of curvy shape similar to semi-erect or fully erect phallus. Further description tells us about the family of tropical flowering plants divided in two genera (Musa and Ensete), but it is hard to explicitly state, in denotational sense, that it is just a banana because it can entail possible sexual and racial connotations. That is the reason why we avoid the word ''banana''. And it is the same in politics! In example of the refugee crisis! Or Migration Period! In the age of the second modernity!

Our discourse holds no political correctness in relation to essential components or generators of the refugee crisis. The logic of political correctness functions in a warped and perverted way because it avoids discussion on essential components of the phenomenon as a whole. It separates essence from phenomenon while the same phenomenon or collateral victims (in this case immigrants at the gates of Europe), the victims of such essence, have been presented in the media with sob stories full of dramatic elements and plots. GMO media, adjusted to this type of discourse, have been hiding the essential nature of the story. So, let us start with the location of the epicenter of the refugee crisis. Where is the location? The Middle East? Who has been meddling in that area for the last 100 years? The West? Or Great Britain, France, EU and USA? How do we call that? It is called orientalism, as western approach to the Orient (E.Said), with ideas of power and violent penetration of the West into the Orient. How does the West perceive the actual space belonging to the Orient? As magical realm for the export of western civilization, democracy, human rights and modernization. Why? Is it because of oil? What has been the final outcome of every political modernization started and done by the West? Partial success, which means that none of them fully succeeded, including the most recent manipulated or stolen Arab Spring (more: https://hr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arapsko_prolje%C4%87e), because the Orient cannot become the West and the West, especially Europe, can easily become the Orient in the long run. What should we do now? What are the consequences of partial modernizations of Middle Eastern societies? Establishment of puppet pro-western governments and oppositions on the one side and the rise of fundamentalist movements, as reaction to attempts of modernization, on the other one. Why does so many people escape from that part of the world and hurl towards Europe? Because their societies and countries have been destructed. Because the West, mostly USA, and corporations, under the pretence of non-democratic regimes, overthrow authoritarian/dictatorial regimes in their attempt to introduce (tank) democracy and gain power/control over energetic sources.

How are (tank) democracies actually being introduced? First, by denoting ''dictatorial regime''. The phase of identifying the target. It signifies the beginning of deconstruction of a country. Afterwards media starts demonizing such regimes in order to prepare the public for Western, or American, military intervention and confrontation with the regimes. Media serves to produce public approval for intervention. And finally we witness air raids, tenk movements and destruction.

At the same time, corporational forces enter the scene and start rebuilding damaged areas. They are supported by bank credits and opposition which is ready to serve American and Western interests. Deconstruction of non-democratic countries in the Middle East such as Iraq, Libya and nowadays Syria has produced opposition which is even worse than members of overthrown regimes. The dethroned Il colonnello and Mesić's chum, Muammar Gaddafi (Sirt, 7 June 1942 – vicinity of Sirt, 20 October 2011), the author of ''Green Book'', said before deconstruction of Libya that ''The Mediterranean will turn into a chaotic sea'' if that happens (http://www.index.hr/vijesti/clanak/gadafijevo-prorocanstvo-mediteran-ce-postati-more-kaosa-u-europu-ce-krenuti-milijuni-izbjeglica/842796.aspx). And it happened exactly as Il colonnello predicted! The Mediterranean, once the cradle of civilizations, has become blue graveyard of civilizations in which only happy refugees have good memories of ''sailing'' across it because they managed to survive (more on refugees across the Mediterranean: Refugees/Migrants Emergency Response – Mediterranean: http://data.unhcr.org/mediterranean/regional.php; Refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Europe. Overview of arrival trends as of 31 August 2015: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Refugee%20and%20migrants%20crossing%20the%20Mediterranean%20to%20Europe%2031AUG15.pdf). Consequences of such models of state reconstruction (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria) are visible in millions of refugees who search their happiness at the gates of Europe (Anđelko Milardović (ed.) Stranci pred vratima Europe. Iskustva Lampeduse, Zagreb, 2014.). They are merely collateral victims of global power and exporters of Western democracy which cannot be introduced by force of tenks because historical development of these societies is completely opposite to that of Western societies. That is the moment in which raping occurs, with oil being the main motif of rapists, the same as Europe is being raped so as to ''democratically'' become a cheap copy of USA. Some Europeans have been thrilled by American democracy, like Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville (O demokraciji u Americi. Zagreb, Informator, 1995.). That same democracy has been far more criticized by Noam Chomsky (Mediji, propaganda i sistem http://www.miljenko.info/news_files/Noam%20Chomsky%20%20Mediji,%20propaganda,%20sistem.pdf) with his famous thesis about nameless American masses being moulded by ''manufacture of consent'', a refined method of democratic simulation and brainwashing that shows full strength of a simulated democracy. Sheldon S. Wolin (Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism [Princeton University Press, 2008] http://grammar.ehclients.com/images/uploads/Notes_on_S._Wolin_.pdf), on the other hand, exposes American ''twisted democracy''. All of them are sons of America, critical in their interpretation of the same. That is what they have been saying. And not me, as such! American democracy, which introduces ''tenk democracy'' (Panzerdemokratie) in the Middle East, is truly paradoxical. It brags about open society while being the most fortified country in the world. A bunker wrapped in liberal democracy. Finally and honestly speaking, it is not stated in the American constitution (Ustav Sjedinjenih Američkih Država, Pan liber, Osijek, 1994.) that USA is a democracy. But it is stated that USA is a republic. Even Rome, in the second phase of its global power, had been a republic that turned into world empire. Modern America is a copy or simulacrum of Rome. And history of Rome is well-known to us! But nothing lasts forever! Everything must come to an end, one day or another. That is inevitable. What happens after? I will not say! Nowadays, Europe is being perceived as a fortress while USA is a true fortress which functions according to the model of rational-irrational fears of terrorism. Such instrumentalization of fear in function of the government is more adequate for an empire and not for democratic regimes. It produces violence in various parts of the world, it behaves in cowboy/Texan manner and it is ready, just like some outrageous Texan, to twist hands to those countries which do not follow obediently or do not want to become poodles of Americanized New World Order. We can grasp the essence of things if we avoid discourse of political correctness, in other words, if we perceive American cowboys as ''troublemakers'' and not solution to world problems. In the case of the refugee crisis in Europe, which I defend from the bottom of my heart as Croat, European and cosmopolitan, Americans are one of the main generators of the crisis, and they could end it immediately, only if they wish so. Only if they wish?! Oil is far stronger than wish while (tenk) democracy and export of human rights are just a plain masquerade and tricks of political marketing. That game produces troubles, destruction of societies in the Middle East and collateral victims (read: refugees) who rolled in Croatia and at the gates of Europe. America stands aside while media protects it in the meanwhile! Obama cynically speaks about accommodation and shelter for some ten thousand refugees while American administrations have produced millions of them. What a cynicism from Obama's part. If the refugee pressure continues in Croatia, I suggest to Zoran Milanović to put some of refugees in luxury buses and send them to Buzin (part of Zagreb), in front of the American embassy which looks more like a fortress or Guantanamo Bay, as I satirically call it, than like a normal embassy in Europe. Americans caused their misfortune, so let them change negation of happiness into its affirmation. Let them take such bulk of refugees.

Discourse on essence or meritum of things opposes violent political correctness in the example of banana. Call banana a banana and put it where it should be put according to its characteristics. In the center of things! Epicenter! Temple! In vaginal space of political power! In nerves of government! In a fine European manner! Hegelian! Because truth is the whole (G.W. Hegel). As educated staff! Where it hurts, where we enjoy in the game of deconstructing silly political correctness which cannot state, even in its wildest dreams, that der Kaiser is naked and that banana is just a banana. Political linguists and semioticians have done a good job in protecting powerful figures and villains so that we have become so disciplined and obedient in this democracy or sophisticated totalitarianism that even post mortem Iosif Visarionovich with his moustache, or communist emperor Baćuška from Moscow, would feel envious. In the end, we only live once! Brutal and unsympathetic game of global power should be opposed with intellectual power of game. It is important that our KGK, president of the Republic of Croatia, criticizes mother EU, namely Angela Merkel. Criticism directed towards Berlin is actually a lost message in a bottle in the same line with American guidelines. Because it should have been directed to Obama in Washington. Final destination Washington, not Berlin! But KGK cannot stand against employers such as USA, NATO, the Trilateral or global players. She clearly sees what employers and the Trilateral in Croatia (Frano Luković= money, Marijana Hanžeković= media and Kolinda= politics or magical triangle of global power in Croatia) need to implement according to the guidelines of the center. Or centers?! Finally, finalmente, in the end, let me make a conclusion.

Poodles of New World Order are dominant figures in this sad globalized world and its ugly side, its dark side. Actually a nightmare! This distorted world seems like a valley of tears based upon power, manipulation and game led by fishermen of human souls, related to media, or modern PRs/soft propagandists. They distort the reality of everyday life. They control human behavior using spin techniques. Media representation of the refugee crisis in Europe goes along the same lines of such distortion of reality, hiding of essence and meritum of things that we have dealt with here.

The logic behind such media representation is Orwellian. Truth is lie, lie is truth. Spin, as a concept, has sprung from Orwellian picture of total society of control. But let us go back to the main idea of the text or discourse on causes and consequences of state deconstructions in the Middle East, mass and biblical movement of people towards Europe and disorientation of the EU in this controlled chaos.

3. Cosmopolitan Europe?

When global players go too far in their games of reconstruction of certain world regions, such as the Middle East, and when they literally destroy societies existing in that region, than we have a surge of forced and economic immigrants who are heading in millions towards Europe. No one could even imagine such outcome. Strategy of keeping them apart and preventing them from reaching the heart of Europe has proved unsuccessful, for example in Turkey which hosts 2.2 million of refugees. The ''Balkan route'' has been activated, as one of those routes by which people rush towards Europe and we can see it on interactive Frontex map (Frontex | Migratory routes map, http://frontex.europa.eu/trends-and-routes/migratory-routes-map/). That route has gradually transformed the EU from the space of open society, freedom of movement, human rights, etc. to putting fences, wires and fortresses at borders, engaging army and police (as in Orban’s Hungary). If refugees and immigrants continue to come in such large numbers, the Balkans might become, in strategy of prevention, some sort of European detention camp (''Balkanlager''). The immigrant crisis in Europe has put to test all proclaimed values on which Europe and the EU have been based upon, from human rights, open society, hospitality and cosmopolitanism. And what has remained? How would we reread today the book Cosmopolitan Europe by Ulrich Beck and Edgar Grande (Zagreb, Školska knjiga, 2006.) or regard Kant's enlightment ideas about ''eternal peace'' and cosmopolitanism (Immanuel Kant: Prema  vječnom miru, Politička misao, Vol.33 No.1 Siječanj 1996.,pages 3-9.)? Europe is not the same after these fortifications and wired fences. Its identity is gradually changing. It experiences huge problems in facing the ugly side of neoliberal globalization. It does not understand that global, financial and nowadays immigrant crisis are all part of game of global players with domination of banking/financial oligarchy and casino capitalism, which have cleary shown that Europe is not able to act according to its own defined role. It shows that Europe is just a fragile global player.

4. Globalization risks and inability to tackle global risk society

From romantic and optimist phase of political theory of globalization, we need to point out postmodern or second modernity interpretation of politics which refers to the position of national states and participation model of sovereignity. Along the lines of modified Marxist political theory of ''withering away of the state'', liberal political theory highlighted its weakening due to huge influence and role of global players, inability to write its own political agenda, high level of globalization of certain societies, postdemocratic condition, important role of mighty corporations and weak governments and states as well as information-communication technologies. The clash of spatial dimension of national state (territory, borders) and discrepancy in relation to power of global players, corporations, technologies and their transnational game also count. The refugee crisis in Europe has significantly denied globalization of politics as denationalization. This crisis has led more towards renationalization, strengthening of national states, defence of its own interests, defence of territory from newcomers, etc. (strengthening of national states) than towards globalization of politics or denationalization of national states. It has also shown that the EU, as saggy and soft confederation of national states, cannot manage the risk society (Urlich Beck, Niklas Luhman, Anthony Giddens: Risikogesellschaft;Risk society) which is merely a product of continued modernization and globalization. We are witnessing painful discussions about division of Junker's refugee quotas (Junker = ''young lord'' and noble son of the EU. http://www.enciklopedija.hr/natuknica.aspx?id=29519), and loud talk or pushing away of numerous refugees from its own yard without valid intellectual solution or constructed model of finding a way out of this situation ''beyond control'' as well as refusal of some EU member states regarding hosting of refugees and immigrants.

Especially Great Britain and France which do not want to know anything about refugees and economic migrants in this Migration Period, the same as USA, although they are directly responsible for the Migration Period due to more than one hundred years of meddling into the affairs in the Middle East. It is hard to expect the activation of global governance model (global governance: Rosenau, James "Toward an Ontology  for Global Governance", in Martin Hewson and Timothy J. Sinclair (eds.), Approaches to Global Governance Theory, Albany, State University of New York Press, 1999) in the example of the refugee and immigrant crisis in Europe.

Media representation of the refugee crisis and human tragedy (representation of events) highlights humanitarian dimension of the story and neglects discussion on causes of such tragedy by trying to relativize security issues. This triangle presents a communication model or media strategy that hides two sides of the same triangle (those who caused events and security issue) and consciously turns causes and consequences upside down in context of programmed manipulation of the public or ''confusion of herd''.

Regarding media strategy, the world can be presented only according to the wishes of power structures via media as their transmission channels in function of manipulation, brainwashing and production of approval to all possible sick solutions. Chomsky wrote about that in many of his books. He elaborated on various strategies of manipulating public such as the strategy of ''distraction'' (inversion of problem), strategy ''create problems, then offer solutions'', ''gradual strategy'' in sense of gradual production of approval from the public, ''strategy of deferring'' or announcement of unpopular changes, strategy ''go to the public as a little child'' or wandering, strategy ''use the emotional side more than the reflection'' (manipulation by fears and emotions, what Hitler's and Stalin's propaganda had already done), strategy ''keep the public in ignorance and mediocrity'' in which less educated become vulnerable target for manipulation and production of approval, strategy of ''self-blame strengthen'' to induce emotion in an individual that he/she alone is responsible for his/her position and, finally, strategy ''getting to know individuals better than they know themselves'' to establish full control and power over human behavior. It all happens under the auspices of SIMULATED DEMOCRACY. This is what we call democracy or crawling totalitarianism on the global scale. In flagranti! Some of these strategies can be identified on the example of manufactured refugee and immigrant crisis or Migration Period that have not bypassed Croatia since it forms part of the globalized world. According to KOF Index of Globalization, Croatia reached in 2014 high 33rd position (http://globalization.kof.ethz.ch/media/filer_public/2014/04/15/rankings_2014.pdf).

Just month ago, it has been thought that Croatian eastern border would not be crossed. But situation has significantly changed since the first day of the arrival until now: ''More than 60 000 immigrants have entered the territory of the Republic of Croatia from 16 September, the beginning of the refugee and migrant crisis'', Croatian Ministry of the Interior announced on Friday (Source: http://dnevnik.hr/vijesti/hrvatska/brojke-sve-vece-u-hrvatsku-jucer-uslo-8500-migranata--409900.html). That number will permanently increase until winter comes. Winter can decrease the inflow of refugees in the Republic of Croatia via Balkan route because no one wants to leave the Mediterranean climate and move along the Balkan route under snow. This is not the end of the story! After temporary freeze of the Balkan refugee route during winter, the Mediterranean/Adriatic route might be activated (More:http://www.inegs.com/hr/article/72/sredozemno_%E2%80%93jadranska_izbjegli%C4%8Dka_ruta_u_zimskom_periodu_seobe_naroda_mogu%C4%87i_scenarij;http://data.unhcr.org/mediterranean/regional.php).

And that would be the beginning of the end of economic destabilization of the Adriatic.

If such scenario occurs, we cannot reject the possibility but it would be better if it does not occur, the number of refugees in the Republic of Croatia might increase to hundreds of thousands who may stay for a longer period. That would become economic and security burden to already highly indebted economy. That would be the scenario of the deep freeze.

The scenario of the deep freeze implies the idea of possible quantification of refugees in the Republic of Croatia and their longer stay if the EU blocks the entrance. That might lead to a human drama in which mass of refugees would not prefer to stay in Croatia but rather proceed to destinations of their choice in the West, but the West wants to block them and limit their freedom of movement while their lives are not being threatened in Croatia, which is also a member state of the EU. This leads us to a very ''dangerous'' and tense situation in which Croatian government/governments would have huge problems in outvoting the EU regarding refugees and the refugee crisis.

Model of the deep freeze might destabilize Croatia in the long run. The government must activate institutional mechanisms and manage the risk society. Serious countries write scenarios for such situations and foolish countries lose the game and remain amateur and loser countries from the very beginning because they do not know how to manage the crisis and risks of global society.

5. Instead of conclusion

The refugee crisis in Europe presents an ugly and dark side of postmodern situation. This crisis, which cannot be separated from the global economic crisis, has gradually transformed Europe from open to closed society. Europe before and after the refugee crisis is simply not the same. It is also a fact that the EU experiences significant problems in managing the risk society and faces tough times with the crisis because European system has not had strategies to tackle it from the start. Political theory inspired by ideas of Kantian enlightement, the idea of eternal peace and cosmopolitan Europe (Ulrich Beck and Edgar Grande) goes through hardship regarding experience and actual condition related to the refugee crisis or Migration Period.

Furthermore, it seems that the idea of political globalization has died in the EU which is being renationalized and radicalized with obvious tendencies of the rise of anti-immigrant parties and xenophobia, because these parties have achieved a conspicuous success in the last European elections. For example, ''French ustashi'' or Le Pen's family party National Front won the elections. Just like that! If the same happened in Croatia, the world public would condemn such outcome. But this is France!

The country of Diderot, d'Alembert, Montesquieu, Rousseau and the French revolution, but also the country of Le Pen's entrepreneurial National Front and Sarkozy, or Sarko, who deported Romani people from France. And that is the other ugly side of the EU and globalization which can, in this rush of foreigners in huge Migration Period towards Europe, become even uglier. We live in tense and interesting times that seminate history which has already begun. We are witnesses. The power play and the power of play continue.

[translated by Vinko Vego]

Institute for European and globalization studies
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