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President Obama's Last UN Speech Is Steeped in Globalism

President Obama
President Obama gave his final speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, calling for greater international cooperation and globalism. (Reuters photo)

During his speech Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, President Obama suggested "powerful nations" like the U.S. should subordinate themselves to the U.N., coming just short of outright calling for a one-world government.

"This is the paradox that defines our world today," he said. "A quarter century after the end of the Cold War, the world is by many measures less violent and more prosperous than ever before, and yet our societies are filled with uncertainty, and unease and strife.

"Despite enormous progress, as people lose trust in institutions, governing becomes more difficult and tensions between nations become more quick to surface. And so I believe that at this moment we all face a choice.

"We can choose to press forward with a better model of cooperation and integration. Or we can retreat into a world sharply divided, and ultimately in conflict, along age-old lines of nation and tribe and race and religion."

Obama urged the world's leaders to "go forward" on the "existing path of global integration," in spite of the challenges, which he blamed on "religious fundamentalism," "aggressive nationalism," and "crude populism." Signifying those were code words for conservatism, he said those who share conservative values are seeking to restore "a better, simpler age free of outside contamination."

"We cannot dismiss these visions. They are powerful," he said. "They reflect dissatisfaction among too many of our citizens. I do not believe those visions can deliver security or prosperity over the long term, but I do believe that these visions fail to recognize, at a very basic level, our common humanity.

"Moreover, I believe that the acceleration of travel and technology and telecommunications—together with a global economy that depends on a global supply chain—makes it self-defeating ultimately for those who seek to reverse this progress. Today, a nation ringed by walls would only imprison itself."

After laying out four proposals for how the world's nations can advance globalism—ending "wage inequality," combating "climate change," embracing cultural integration and ending fundamentalism, and sustaining international cooperation. To do that, he said, it was time for the whole world to "put its money where its mouth is."

"And we can only realize the promise of this institution's founding—to replace the ravages of war with cooperation—if powerful nations like my own accept constraints," he said. "Sometimes I'm criticized in my own country for professing a belief in international norms and multilateral institutions, but I am convinced that in the long run, giving up some freedom of action—not giving up our ability to protect ourselves or pursue our core interests, but binding ourselves to international rules over the long term—enhances our security. And I think that's not just true for us."

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