Friday, February 5, 2010

"Could - and should - English win the "language war" in regional integration? NAFTA and EU experience"

Must have been about a year ago when John from Stop Common Purpose UK asked me what I know about the influence of a man named Antonio Gramsci on Communitarian thinking. I was unfamiliar with Gramsci, and planned to look him up sometime later. The next time I saw his name was in Malachai Martin's Keys of This Blood, again I thought I better spend some time looking into this guy's ideas. Now here he is again, this time in a Jean Monnet Working Paper.

Hopefully by now most readers here know that all global-to-local political changes begin with regional trade integration. The EU began as a Soviet idea for a European trade agreement and expanded into a regional government with its own currency and constitution. The EU is held up as the "model" for all other emerging regional unions. And maybe by now most US readers also know that the very idea of regional integration violates our entire constitutional justice system and that if the FBI was doing their job these regional integration activists would be investigated and based upon the abundance of evidence, charged with sedition and treason.

The war is against our sovereignty and existence as an independent nation. Every new regulation and requirement works toward this purpose.

The North American Model Legislature, Querétaro (México), May 30th to June 4th, 2010

Dear friends of the Jean Monnet Center,

We are pleased to announce the online publication of the thirteenth paper in the 2009 Jean Monnet Working Paper series. We include the abstract of this paper below:

Stephan Sberro, "Could - and should - English win the "language war" in regional integration? NAFTA and EU experience"
(JMWP no. 13/09)

Whereas the linguistic governance of the European Union and its institutions is the object of a heated political debate, there is no such problem yet in North America. This disregard for a "linguistic balance of power" is likely to be temporary. In the case of a deepening in North American Integration such a political debate is bound to emerge. In such case the experience of the ongoing debate in Europe could be invaluable.

It is a highly political as well as a highly technical debate which has not much to do with purely linguistic considerations and more with political ones. Although it is often considered as inevitable, choosing English as the only regional communication language in Europe or North America is neither neutral nor costless.

To frame these discussions, the notion of "soft power" was developed both in the United States and in Europe, although with different approaches. As theorized by Joseph Nye, "soft power" describes the ability of a State to influence directly or indirectly the behaviour or the interests of other actors through cultural or ideological means.

These ideas are an adaptation in International Relations of A. Gramsci's notion of hegemony where dominant ideas are particularly powerful because they are assumed as implicit aspects of a more explicit ideology. It is also related to P. Bourdieu's ideas about the symbolic value and thus domination of one particular language over others, based on misrecognition (méconnaissance).

To us, language is the most concrete, measurable and should we say scientific way to observe the diffusion of soft power. In this regard, the main focus will be made in three languages that can still be an instrument of power in international relations: English, Spanish and French.

Is a regional linguistic regime desirable and possible in North America? Is the European linguistic policy successful and is it a useful reference? These are the questions we shall consider in this article.

We invite you to access this Working Paper on the Jean Monnet Center website at (all external links and red font added by me, N.R.)
Guess it's time to get started:

North American Integration
? As in NAU? So it wasn't just a silly conspiracy theory after all?

"The North American Integration and Development Center was created to conduct ongoing research concerning North American integration and to assist communities and governments with policies and investment projects for sustainable and equitable development across borders."

"The governments of Canada, the United States, and Mexico face thorny challenges as they decide whether and how to accelerate smooth, and institutionalize the integration process. Pastor, Rozenthal, and Beatty encourage greater dialogue among the three governments and their citizens, as well as more systematic thinking among policymakers and citizens about the promise and challenges of further North American integration." The Future of North American Integration Beyond NAFTA, Trade, Global Economics, Peter Hakim and Robert E. Litan, eds., Brookings Institution Press 2002 c. 129pp.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gramsci;: We come on to this stuff from different angles. I first learned of Gramsci while learning about the rotten government school system. Dean Gotcher is a man who writes and lectures about DIAPRAX which is: A Diverse Group people, Dialoguing to Consensus, Over a Social Issue, manipulated by a Facilitator. He introduced me to the knowledge about Gramsci. Erica Carle and Charlotte Iserbyt and Lynn Stuter are three others who educated me. Then there's REGIONAL GOVERNMENT/METRO GOVERNMENT. Nixon installed that in the government. There's a constant call for Regional Government in my local newspaper.