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The New Imperialism

Gary JohnsMay 29, 2024

There is a new imperialism afoot, and the West is paying for it. Think of the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice, the World Health Organisation, and all the human rights bodies hanging off the United Nations behemoth.

There are spinoff intergovernmental bodies on climate, trade, space and endless others. The nation-state - the only reasonable guarantee that citizens will gain a better life - is lost in this internationalism.

What started as a gift from the West, following the West’s WWII victory (and settlement with the USSR) is now used both as a weapon by its enemies (‘Evil empires’ and ‘Islam’) to smash the West and, by the enemy within, the international bureaucrats who carry in their heads a prescription for every ill.

Yoram Hazony sums up the result in The Virtue of Nationalism-

We are watching the growth of a generation of young people that, for the first time in four hundred years, does not recognize the national state as the foundation of our freedoms.

And yet, who do Australians rely on to feed, clothe, and protect? The nation-state and its alliances—ANZUS, the Five Eyes, AUKUS, the Quad, and more—are the real deal. Nation states run their taxation, legal, and administrative regimes in response to citizens. They band together for a common cause.

But in the last week alone, the ICC, ICJ, and WHO each moved against the nation-state, democratic ones at that. The ICC is a criminal court that seeks to establish individual criminal responsibility for the most serious international crimes. The ICC Prosecutor made applications for arrest warrants in ‘the situation in the State of Palestine.’ Palestine is not recognised by all states and only has observer status at the UN. Infamously, the prosecutor made applications to the court for the arrest of Hamas leaders and Israeli leaders.

He suggested that Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel is responsible for war crimes, arguing that, like the UK in its fight with the IRA bombers in the 1970-80s, it should have less far-reaching means of dealing with Hamas. I am sure Hamas would be delighted to carry on as the IRA did for decades, killing Jews and fading into the background when it suited. I await the time Netanyahu alights at Sydney airport and Federal officers are there to arrest him on behalf of the ICC, of which Australia is a signatory.

On the other hand, the ICJ is concerned with state responsibility. A judgment of the ICJ can determine whether a state party has breached international law and order reparations. In the case of South Africa v Israel, the ICJ requested measures to prevent Israel’s alleged continued violations of the genocide convention.

The World Health Organisation is meeting in the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly this week to develop a first-ever pandemic ‘agreement, convention or other legal instrument’. WHO Director-General wants the world ‘better prepared for the next pandemic’. Good idea: maybe next time, nations should ignore the panic imposed by WHO, which ignored its longstanding advice about the stupidity and greed of lockdowns.

The UN will exceed WHO scares with its climate conference, COP29, held in Azerbaijan in November. As Bjorn Lomborg said of the last one, the clue is in the number. Twenty-nine years of meetings where the West pays developing countries to ignore ‘the problem’ when fast becoming the biggest emitters. Trillions of dollars have been wasted on polluting renewables, and no ‘solution’ has been found to the problem that ranks low in the pantheon of threats to ecology and society.

A further observation by Hazony is apt:

Educated men and women can now find employment within a vast array of projects that assume a liberal construction of the world is coming: the political program of European unification; the expansion of unfettered free trade and the free immigration of populations; the transitioning of business enterprises into ‘multinational’ corporations that serve the global economy rather than any particular national interest; the subjugation of nations to an ever-expanding body of international law; the agitation for a universal regime of human rights through non-governmental organizations.

Hazony, who heads a conservative think tank, The Edmund Burke Foundation, is not necessarily the font of all wisdom. Still, he has important insights on the nationalism v imperialism (internationalism) that has infested the elites. Many people have suffered because they refused the internationalist liberal paradigm and have been starved of attention and government funds.

Gary Johns is chair of Close the Gap Research

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