There is scope for debate – and innumerable newspaper quizzes – about who was the most influential public figure of the year, or which the most significant event. But there can be little doubt which word won the prize for most important adjective. 2009 was the year in which "global" swept the rest of the political lexicon into obscurity. There were "global crises" and "global challenges", the only possible resolution to which lay in "global solutions" necessitating "global agreements". Gordon Brown (pictured left) actually suggested something called a "global alliance" in response to climate change. Some of this was sheer hokum: when uttered by Gordon Brown, the word "global", as in "global economic crisis", meant: "It's not my fault". To the extent that the word had intelligible meaning, it also had political ramifications that were scarcely examined by those who bandied it about with such ponderous self-importance. The mere utterance of it was assumed to sweep away any consideration of what was once assumed to be the most basic principle of modern democracy: that elected national governments are responsible to their own people – that the right to govern derives from the consent of the electorate. The dangerous idea that the democratic accountability of national governments should simply be dispensed with in favour of "global agreements" reached after closed negotiations between world leaders never, so far as I recall, entered into the arena of public discussion. Except in the United States, where it became a very contentious talking point, the US still holding firmly to the 18th-century idea that power should lie with the will of the people. – UK Telegraph
Dominant Social Theme: Rolling back to the global tide.
Free-Market Analysis: This is one great article (the Telegraph being head-and-shoulders above other mainstream publications from time-to-time in the subtlety of its analyses and the clarity of its conclusions.) In this case the writer, a brilliant leftist turned "to the right" – Janet Daley – has picked up on the third level of the Copenhagen promotion and has actually written about it (see other article today, click here now).
What is so interesting about Daley's article – in our opinion – is that she has internalized the promotion without being quite able to put her finger on the larger ramifications. She has her own frame of reference, in other words, but it is not ours (or perhaps yours, dear reader). Having come to the conclusion – the epiphany really – that the underlying theme of the conference was a metaphor for the inevitability of globalization itself, she turns to the relatively mundane task of explaining why global solutions are NOT the way to tackle urgent, international crises.
From our perspective, of course, what is missing is a full explication of the amount of predetermination that is involved. She has analyzed a problem – globalism doesn't work – and proposed a solution (later in the article) that large problems of this sort be solved by groups of nations most affected rather than grand global conferences. But she stops there, where we believe we (and you) would begin.
For a mainstream commentary to pick-up on the underlying metaphor of Copenhagen is wonderful. It is not so easy it seems, by the way, because these metaphors are integral to the promotion. It is hard, in fact, to write about Copenhagen as a global promotion because that is what it exists to be. And what it is. Once you have written the lead – Copenhagen is a global reaction to a global problem – you don't have many places to go. And thus most reporters, at least mainstream reporters, will focus on the "real story" – the high stakes of global warming, who won and who lost, where the money trail really leads, etc. Congrats to Daley for reporting on the nub, the root. But, say, if you want to climb higher, you can read about it here.