Like many people, I found the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference a little unsettling. And yet, unlike many people, my concerns had little or nothing to do with the issue of climate change itself. Whether global warming is actually happening or not, and whether, if it is happening, it is caused by manmade pollution, is an interesting and indeed an important topic. Yet there is another danger that the UN Conference highlighted which it is perilous for us to overlook, and that’s the danger of an embryonic World Government taking shape before our eyes. The more political muscle and leverage the United Nations is given, or takes for itself, the closer we are coming to a world in which we, as individuals, have no political freedom.
One of the greatest threats to freedom is the problem of progressive centralization of power into bigger forms of government which are further and further away from the people, and less and less answerable, in practice, to the will of the people. In other words, to put the matter bluntly, the world in which we live is becoming progressively less democratic as its government becomes progressively bigger. Thus, for instance, the progressive centralization of power into supranational bodies, such as the European Union or the United Nations, represents a move away from genuine democracy towards globalist tyranny in which the plebianized masses are effectively powerless, regardless of whether they have a token vote at increasingly meaningless elections.
The same principle applies closer to home in the progressive centralization of power into the United States’ burgeoning Federal Government, which continually and habitually usurps the rights of families and local communities in its manically obsessive quest to impose its one-size-fits-all ideology on everyone.
To make matters worse, these monstrous governments are being aided and abetted in their usurpation of power by supranational economic bodies, such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and global corporations, each of which work with the supranational political institutions to “harmonize” the world in a manner in which Big Government and Big Business rule the roost to their mutual benefit and at the expense of the political freedom of ordinary people.
Faced with such an unholy alliance of megalithic power it would be easy to wring our hands in despair or raise them in surrender. And yet there is really no need to do so. The enemies of freedom might be powerful but its friends are not by any means powerless. Instead of wringing or raising our hands, we should simply begin to put them in our pockets so that we can unleash the power that we keep in our pocketbooks. We need to educate ourselves and others to see that every dollar that we spend in the right way is a vote for the sort of world in which we’d like to live, whereas every dollar we spend in the wrong way is a vote for the sort of world in which we actually find ourselves. In fact, each dollar we spend is more powerful than a mere vote because the dollar guarantees that we get what we pay for whereas a vote does not guarantee that we get what we vote for. In other words, every time we dig our hands into our pockets we are either digging our way to freedom or digging our own political graves, depending on whether we are spending wisely or foolishly.
So how do we learn to unleash our pocketbooks in a way that will turn them into weapons in the fight for freedom?
First and foremost, we need to fight the centralized power by restoring the power of our own local communities. We can do this by spending our dollars on locally produced products. Buy local produce. Buy local beers. Buy products produced by local artisans. Go to locally-owned restaurants. Avoid the restaurant chains. Break the addiction to the latest technology, produced by global corporations, spending less on the gadgets or “godgets” that we don’t need, and more on revitalizing our local economies through spending a larger portion of our income locally and prudentially. Throw away the TV and start attending local events which interest you.
There is so much that we can do on a daily basis to build our local communities into vibrant economies, thereby increasing our independence from globalist megaliths. Once our communities are healthy, i.e., economically self-supporting, they will start to demand political freedom from the encroachments of Big Government, thereby beginning the restoration of strong local government, which is the only government genuinely of the people, by the people, and for the people.
The sobering fact is that we are either part of the solution to the problem of Big Government and Big Business or we are part of the problem. Freedom is in our own hands, in the contents of our pocketbooks. If we learn to change the world for the better with every dollar that we spend, and persuade others to do likewise, we will be helping to build a better world for ourselves and for our children. If we fail to think about the dollars that we’re spending, we will only have ourselves to blame for the world in which we find ourselves.
Originally published in The Imaginative Conservative.