Introduction by LifeSiteNews.com:
In this essay, Canada’s best known Catholic novelist, Michael O’Brien, the author of the highly acclaimed Father Elijah: An Apocalypse, begins a serious reflection on the emerging new world order with a whimsical tale demonstrating that the present debate over world government is not an abstraction.
(a hint to comprehending the tale—religion and culture are often considered cheesy)
Globalism vs Ultra-nationalism (a fairy tale)
Âor: The State of Cheese: How too many kinds of Cheese nearly destroyed Mankind
by Michael D. O’Brien
“Many people die from consuming bacteria on poorly made cheese,” declared the Chief Biologist at a dramatic moment in the Summit Conference of the Future of Humanity.
“Absolutely true,” said the Chief Sociologist, “with the resulting demographic disruption to geo-economic equilibrium and the general well-being of the masses.”
“Sparking irrational forces that can spiral out of control causing even greater losses in the infrastructure of global prosperity,” said the Chief Economist.
“And global peace,” added the Chief Political Scientist.
And so it went until everyone had had his say. And none could disagree with the analyses offered by the great minds in this gathering of the best and brightest of mankind.
At last, a very learned and powerful man rose to his feet, and a hush fell upon all present.
“Clearly, there are too many kinds of cheese in the world,” he said in tones of profound wisdom and vast understanding. “The production of these cheeses lacks a universal paradigm of monitoring and quality control; their marketing creates disparities between the cheese producers of Switzerland, France, Holland, North America, and the underdeveloped nations; the rivalries between cheese producers contribute to poverty, class systems, domestic violence, and wars. A world state would ensure that all of these grave problems would be solved in one stroke.”
One unpleasant note, however, marred the otherwise congenial proceedings. In the interests of democracy, a small gallery had been provided for the general public, containing forty sparsely populated seats. On a brass plate affixed to the barricade that separated them from the famous personages was written: The Voice of the People. The Facilitator of the session invited forward those among this group who wished to make their concerns known to all.
A child stepped up to the microphone, adjusted it to his level, and said with a trusting smile, “I love cheese-and-jam sandwiches. Mum makes them for me every Saturday.”
“What kind of cheese?” asked the Facilitator with a condescending smile.
“Strong cheddar with peppercorns in it and lots of grape jelly slathered on top.”
“I see,” said the Facilitator as his smile faded. “Thank you for your input.” The child returned to his seat.
Next, a wizened old woman stepped forward, adjusted the microphone upward to her height, and said, “I love my Gorgonzola. I could not do without it, you know. And my cat likes a nibble now and then too.”
“Thank you for your input,” said the Facilitator with a slight roll of the eyes.
Next, a portly gentleman of indeterminate years approached and said, “As for me, I love my Limburger. It is my chief pleasure in life, a smear of Limburger on buttered toast every night before bed, with a nice cuppa tea beside the fire. It’s a small thing but it means much to me.”
“Thank you for your input,” said the Facilitator raising his eyebrows with barely constrained irony.
“If I may intervene for a moment,” said the Biologist in an objective tone. “Limburger has no distinguishing biological benefits that could not be provided by a less offensive cheese.”
“Offensive?” mumbled the Limburger man, bowing his head with embarrassment and returning to his seat.
Now the Sociologist spoke up: “Limburger cheese has a noxious odor similar to rotting flesh, or in milder forms like socks repeatedly worn by construction workers without being washed—the socks, I mean, not the workers—well, maybe both. A special-interest group of Limburger-eaters has burdened society from time immemorial. The historical moment has arrived for the State to intervene for the common good of all.”
“Limburger-eating is pathological,” interjected the Chief Psychologist.
“I think you mean sociopathic,” corrected the Political Scientist.
At which point the Limburger man leaped to his feet and approached the microphone once more.
“It is very clear to me,” he declared in a shaking voice, “that the duck-billed platitude is proof that the socioscientific evolutionist did not evolve from a more primitive species. He was created!”
This was met by puzzled looks among the great personages.
“You are anti-idiosyncratic and thus you are homogenized!” he roared in summation.
The Facilitator glanced at the security staff and said, “Please conduct this gentleman to the exit.”
The guards grabbed the gentleman’s arms and, not without a little struggle, ejected him from the Great Assembly Hall of the Democratic Peoples of the Planet. The other “voices of the people” left of their own free will.
This was followed by a general shaking of heads among the prestigious personages within the hall, who chuckled and murmured comments in the most reasonable of tones. The proceedings continued. Shortly after, thunderous applause broke out when it was agreed by all present, among whom were the most powerful people in the world, that every effort must be expended to bring about a world-state, for the universalization of cheese production and the consequent preservation of “Humankind.”
Ten years after the creation of the World Government, every person on earth had all the cheese they needed. It was neither hard nor semi-liquid. In consistency it was like butter, though rather bland, homogenized, augmented by artificial flavour, and perfectly safe. It was the only kind of cheese available on the planet, though there was now an inexhaustible supply of it. The people were very happy. Really, they were.
However, in a small remote valley in a mountain range on an unnamed continent, there lived a family who owned a few acres of land and a cow. For generations they had produced a flavourful, unique, and quite healthy form of cheese that was not only nutritious but contained certain enzymes that helped reduce the effects of rheumatism, arthritis, and diabetes, as well as various other lesser ailments, including hunger.
It was, of course, illegal. When the Unity Police discovered their activities, the father was imprisoned, the mother assigned as a laborer in a factory dairy farm, and the children placed in foster homes for proper care and re-education.
[end of fairy tale]
John Paul II often spoke about the dangers of certain kinds of globalist agendas that would reduce or eliminate the unique “genius” or character of each race and nation, and he urged us to work diligently to preserve this genius. I am sometimes asked, usually whenever I quote the Holy Father in this regard, whether or not I am a Nationalist. And by this term some of my inquirers mean a proponent of ultra-nationalism, and possibly the murky under-text of vicious right-wing xenophobic racist. To set the record straight, I’m not an “extreme right wing” anything, except perhaps an extreme kind of Catholic, which until our times was really no more than an ordinary Catholic.
I do not believe in promoting (nor would I like to live under) any form of ultra-nationalism. I am a “nationalist” in the sense that I strive to be a responsible citizen of the country where I live. However, I am not so naive as to believe it is any longer a healthy nation. Though I love my native country, and also the country from which my ancestors emigrated, I think that both Canada and Ireland have lost their wisdom and their once-common good sense.
I am not against other races and I am not against them immigrating to this continent. I must admit, however, that I would prefer to see a greater number of Christians immigrate to North America from the persecuted churches on the other continents, say, China, India, Sudan, northern Nigeria, and other such countries. I feel quite at home with these people, love them really, for love is a mutual recognition (and reverence) on the level of the spirit.
For example, one of our beloved God-children is a Vietnamese Catholic. Though her family is in some ways culturally quite different from my family, they are very dear to my wife and me, and I must admit that I feel more in common with them—and more in communion with them—than with the vast majority of my fellow citizens.
When you get right down to it, just about everybody on the North American continent is an immigrant. Even our native peoples, apparently, came over the ice-bridge from Siberia. As far as race goes, I’m basically a personalist in the line of John Paul II. If you’re human, you’re my brother. If you want to eliminate my brother, you’re anti-human.
Back to political structures: I believe that the greatest danger in these times is not fanatical nationalism, as bad as that may be. While it is true that here and there on the planet small nations, the good, the bad, and the ugly alike, strive to preserve some kind of independence, by and large the rapidly emerging global culture is coming to dominate everything, influencing mightily what it does not yet control.
It is very busy about reshaping the human order not so much in the direction of genuine peace but rather in the direction of passive dehumanization. It is, in a word, anti-personalist. It powerfully neutralizes the unique spirit and character of various peoples of all races and lands. Most worrisome, it does so in the name of humanity.
Clearly this idealism is a facade, because millions of people are being murdered (abortion, abortive contraception, euthanasia, eugenics) by the very advocates of this supposedly peaceful new world order. To paraphrase Orwell, they declare that all humans are equal-failing to add their unspoken corollary that some of us are less human than others
Is this far-fetched? I wish it were so. I would be the first to rejoice if it turns out that I’m all wrong on this. But notice how the theoretician-globalists have increased their rhetoric about the need for diversity even as they undermine the real thing. Notice how modern governments have become local agents for unelected powers.
Notice how the developed nations have lost much of their frame of reference for sensible lawmaking. They punish those who adhere to the laws of nature (traditional families, fertility, sacrificial love), and punish those who do not adhere to the laws of nature (those who toss beer cans and candy wrappers into forests). At the same time they reward self-imposed sterility with financial and social benefits. This can be confusing. But it’s really very simple.
The subliminal message from your governments: At best people are a disposable asset, and at worst we are litter.
By contrast, true nations are about the genuine good of their peoples. They tend toward preserving their histories and their character, thus helping to maintain a richness of diversity in mankind, a wide range of strengths needed by the human race.
A global governance would wipe out some of these resources. It has already done so. It has proved itself to be remorseless and relentless in doing so. The minds behind it despise the Catholic Church, and regard her as a major stumbling block to world government (read their documents, read the interviews with their officials). Moreover, they are fostering a nasty stepchild of world government, an emerging world religion that is dangerously close to the spirit of Antichrist.
Globalism, lacking true personalism and opposed to the full meaning of human dignity, cannot fail to become a kind of ultra-nationalism inflated to planetary scale, without the safety measures of cultural and religious diversity. In contrast to a world full of nation-states, a global state would offer us no alternatives. Unlike our ancestors, we would have no place to go in search of freedom. Throughout the world, everyone would have all the “freedom” they needed, but the concepts of “freedom” and “need” would be redefined by those who rule.
The warnings of the Pope’s about the grave flaws in globalism must not be dismissed as merely one side of a two-sided political issue. We are not facing an either/or choice here—as if there were only two options: either one is a rabid nationalist or a benign globalist.
There is a third way, and it is the truly Christian way. What is this “third way,” exactly? I won’t spell it out here. I merely raise the question. But let me at least point out a few key insights the Popes have offered on the matter: Globalism itself cannot solve the problems of fallen human nature, but the emerging reconfiguration of global commerce and communications can be humanized—truly humanized. However, this is possible only if it is built on moral absolutes and true justice.
In his just-published book, Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures, Pope Benedict examines Europe and the entire Western world poised on the brink of a new Dark Age, and offers profound insight into civilization’s present struggle.
As did his namesake fifteen hundred years ago, the Holy Father teaches that faith in Christ makes all things possible, despite the apparently overwhelming odds against it. With his characteristic integration of brilliant intellect and spiritual discernment, he elucidates the only possible path into the new springtime of hope for mankind. He tells us that the dictatorship of moral relativism which now dominates the entire West is the flowering of all that was erroneous in the Enlightenment, and that we must recognize the destructive nature of these errors if we would build a civilization of love.
“These philosophies are characterized by their positivist—and therefore anti-metaphysical—character, so that ultimately there is no place for God in them. They are based on a self-limitation of the positive reason that is adequate in the technological sphere but entails a mutilation of man if it is generalized. The result is that man no longer accepts any moral authority apart from his own calculations. As we have seen, even the concept of liberty, which initially seemed capable of expanding without any limits, leads in the end to the self-destruction of liberty itself. . . .
“Above all, however, we must affirm that this Enlightenment philosophy, with its related culture, is incomplete. It consciously cuts off its historical roots, depriving itself of the powerful source from which it sprang. It detaches itself from what we might call the basic memory of mankind.”
(Pages 40-41, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2006)
When men of power either forget or deliberately destroy the connections to the “basic memory of mankind,” they lose in part or whole their ability to govern wisely for the genuine good of their peoples. They lose their place in the continuity of Time and thus become dependent on social forces—forces that are always vulnerable to whim, propaganda, and various other forms of manipulation. They become capable of destroying a part of mankind in the name of humanity, and they can sound eminently reasonable while doing so. They will offer “peace” at the cost of betraying the foundations of peace, “unity” where there is only uniformity, “freedom” while they undermine the very principle which they exalt.
It is ever-encouraging for me to see the younger generation listening in growing numbers to the voice of moral authority, and resisting any collectivist ideas that present themselves as solutions to “the problem of man.”
In conclusion, let me say again that the new globalists’ model of what is now called “universal governance” is in fact a colossal form of collectivism. As all ideologues do, they offer us superficial either/or choices. They do not understand that globalism will not change the fundamental human condition.
World-shapers (rather, world-reshapers) are long familiar to those who have lived through radical political experiments, and we would do well to listen carefully to what the survivors have to tell us. Their experience is a crucial part of “the basic memory of mankind.” And they are consistent in their warnings that beneath the experimenters’ mental constructs, and even beneath their supposed humanitarianism, you will always find a killer.
It is a fact that in the 20th century alone 170 million people were murdered by their own governments (this figure does not include human lives terminated through abortion and euthanasia). It is a fact that the majority of the murderous states were impelled by idealistic visions for solving the problem of man.
Regardless of whether a killer is brutal and repulsive or whether he is altruistic and attractive (as he speaks with reasonable tones about the lives that must be subtracted from the human community), he is a killer. Presumption and arrogance over mankind always bring forth, in time, the fruit of death.
See Michael D. O’Brien’s website: