Eleven years ago this week, BBC Radio 4 aired an incredible documentary, an investigation into European anti-Americanism. The journalist behind this project, Justin Webb, travelled to France to meet some of the most influential voices of the hate America fad. One of them was Hubert Vedrine, the former French foreign minister and the intellectual grandfather of modern day globalism.
"Within globalisation," Vedrine said, "we need a set of rules which contain American power at the social level, the environmental level. That will become the real threat. It’ll even become a geopolitical tragedy if we don’t do anything. So my first reply is more rules within the international system and the multilateral system, which apply even to the US. It’s not against them, not against the United States, but a general containment strategy."
Vedrine greatly feared the grand “hyper-power” that was the United States, and he gave his reasons why:
I think the American people think they’re exceptional. They’re different with an exceptional destiny, a manifest destiny, not like the others. To a certain extent, it’s true, it’s a unique country, so they have this universalist pretension, this Messianic pretension, the sense that providence has chosen this American people to lead the world, to enlighten it. For a long time in the 18th and 19th century it was rhetoric, but since at least 1945 it was no longer rhetoric; it was a reality. The American people believe they have this special role to play and because of that the American people believe they can forget all the lessons of history, the real politik, the psychology of other nations. In addition, they are people with a mission. They believe they have a particular mission to convert the whole world to democracy, to human rights, to the market economy. So it’s a colonising people like the British and the French, but as a result of history the British and the French have learned it doesn’t work. They learned it was very complicated. They became more reflective. The United States believes in its message. That’s the big difference with Europeans. Europeans today no longer know what they believe. They’re gnawed by a sense of doubt. The Americans believe in themselves, but the world is more complicated than that.
It is difficult not to notice that these sentiments are the very same sentiments expressed by those who call themselves anti-Globalist: the fringe isolationists, the conspiracy nuts, the alt-right, the pro-Putin crowd — who collectively fall under what Mark Levin calls "Code Pink Republicans."
Globalism is not, as "Code Pink Republicans" would tell you, the exercise and expansion of the power and influence of the United States. Globalism is a strategy to contain and mitigate the role America plays in the world.
To counter what Vedrine said, Justin Webb sought out his opposite — an American who is everything the Globalists fear, personified. And what this man said was:
Our legitimacy comes from ourselves. The United States was founded on the proposition that the only real form of legitimacy in the world is the consent of the governed and we were the first to believe that. Others believe it now too, but we don’t require external validation of our legitimacy. ... If Europe spends its time distinguishing itself from the United States, it will weaken the collective power of pro-democratic, pro-market countries around the world. And I know there are plenty of people in Europe who spend a lot of time doing that – I’ve seen them in action. They’re entitled to that point of view, but I think it’s ultimately harmful to those interests we do have in common.
When Mr. Webb told him that some "very prominent" Europeans see it as their role "to hem in the United States, to make sure that it isn’t able to use its power nakedly around the world, that we need this counterbalance, this counterweight," it evoked laughter. Mr. Webb later returned to that point, explaining — "What they say is that they have a historical perspective that allows them sometimes to correct the over enthusiasms, if I can put it that way, of some people this side of the Atlantic." To this, the man replied:
You remind to me why we declared our independence in the first place.
All who care for American sovereignty, all who wish to remain free of the shackles of foreign dictation, all who believe that we shall not be told what to do or how to do it, can celebrate the appointment of our new National Security Advisor. Congratulations, Mr. Bolton.