Thursday, 13 May 2010
Opinions on where we're headed
Globalization : "Globalization (or globalisation) describes a process by which regional economies, societies, and cultures have become integrated through a globe-spanning network of communication and trade." - Wikipedia
Globalization is a fact of life in today's world, the internet connects us in a way our great-grandparents could not have dreamed of (most of them anyway). Look around you! Talk to your friends, you or probably somebody who either does Yoga, Martial Arts or practices some other kind of Eastern tradition, like Sufism or Buddhism. You probably own something that was made in South America, or Asia. The TV programming you watch or the XM Satellite Radio you listen to, beams down to you from a junkyard of human debris in outer space. It's the same content that is experienced globally. Odds are, you probably know a few nice people from foreign countries. All of this is Globalization at work. Even the religion that you practice, unless you made it up yourself, could be considered globalization if the above definition is applied in the context of society and culture. And that's just the tip of the iceberg, business moguls could probably tell you what it means from a economical perspective, and so on.
That being said, it is then quite obvious that world is changing, and evolving quite rapidly right before our eyes. Not just in this sense, but let's save other tangents for another post. See, I'm a young adult and this world looks completely different than it did when I was a young kid growing up. It's not slowing down or stopping either.
So what does that mean for "First-World" and "Third World" countries alike? What does this mean for you and me?
Can you define how you imagine your national identity will look like in 10 years? What about your personal identity? You are virtually no longer just citizens of any nation, you are world citizens. Virtually being a critical word in the previous statement, because borders are still not physically open and accessible to everyone. Are you comfortable with that statement about open-borders or does it make you feel afraid, if you are afraid then why? Does globalization on a whole give you the shivers? If so then you're probably not the only one, but the question still stands, why?
Remember progress (as in being progressive,) means to move forward, not in a retrograde motion or to hold on to traditions that no longer serve us, and in fact impede and cripple us. Progress means moving ahead. So what is the inevitable conclusion of progressive strides forward, of advances in technology, of the inter-mingling of races, cultures, classes and faiths? Is there even such a conclusion, and what part do you see yourself playing as the story unfolds? Do you imagine a Utopia or a Prison, do you see freedom, and growth as cultures merge and presumably learn from each other or are you unable to see past the conflicts of today? Can national identity coexist with an ever expanding global consciousness? Some people choose to see globalization as part of an agenda put forth by ubiquitous shadow governments to somehow enslave our minds. I'm personally leery of such theories because sooner or later someone starts pointing the finger at reptile shape shifter aliens from outer-space whose ambitions are to enslave humanity so we could mine gold for them, and everyone from the Queen of England to Jay-Z and Lindsay Lohan is accused of being a subversive alien mastermind, or something to that effect. To me that is a fanciful distraction and distortion of the facts. The truth of the matter is most of us are already slaves to the media, slaves to corporate advertising, and product branding, BUT worse of all slaves to our own unbridled passions and undesirable emotions. The truth of the matter is that there are indeed bad people in the world, and some of them are rich and powerful, and some of them probably do get up to some pretty nefarious things, but uniting the world, and raising our overall consciousness was never their idea or concern. I'm not about to let some hysteria-causing, fear-mongering self labeled "Paleo-Con" (Name withheld) tell me what to think. But what about you?