Sunday, September 30, 2012

Harper's World Statesman Award

How gauchely self-aggrandizing of Canada's Prime Minister to avoid the UN General Assembly but to travel to Manhattan to pick up his "World Statesman Award" from the enormously self-important Appeal of Conscience Foundation.

Harper's award was presented by Henry Kissinger, a former recipient of the prize, and a man wanted for crimes against humanity on three continents, a fact that his Wikipedia entry wryly notes sometimes complicates his travel plans.

The awards ceremony represents the intersection of Big Politics, Big Capital, and American Empire. It's an opportunity for the plutocrats to bestow favor on the political hacks who have been good to them. It's also an opportunity for the plutocrats to praise one another for their humanitarian endeavors.

This year the CEO's of those well-known humanitarian organizations, IBM and Citibank, were honored for their contributions to humanity.

One can well appreciate why Harper might feel more at home among the plutocrats than at the UN. As his increasingly irrelevant foreign policy shows, he is a leader far more comfortable with empty platitudes about freedom and democracy than with an agenda that actually engages with the world. He eagerly enters into free trade agreements with the most anti-democratic regimes in South and Central America while closing Canada's embassy in Tehran.

Word Statesman indeed.

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