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News Link • Philosophy: Anarchism

In Praise of Parallel Institutions

• by by Wendy McElroy, December 8, 2011
by Wendy McElroy, December 8, 2011

“Globalization” has been a buzzword for decades. The word has competing definitions: It can refer to the reduction of barriers to trade and travel, which allows goods, ideas, and people to act as though the world is one free-flowing community. But it can also refer to the centralization of power into a nexus from which policy decisions are broadcast into all corners of the world.

Real world politics favor the latter definition, and so organizations such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank have prospered. The arguments for centralizing power vary from the need for social harmony to the preservation of human rights to the provision of greater efficiency. Parallel institutions that compete with the global system are said to be disruptive, prone to injustice, or inefficient.

Thus, globalization (as the centralization of power) presents social harmony as imposed control, human rights as defined by one agency, and efficiency as a one-size-fits-all process. Globalization is the ultimate in social engineering.

Implicit here is the notion that competition is wrong or wasteful. Absent here is the idea of freedom or personal choice.

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