“We are aware that globalization doesn't mean global friendship but global competition and, therefore, conflict.”
Globalism is one of the most over-sold notions of our time. We read about it in the newspaper. We hear about it in the workplace. The march of globalism is inevitable, we are told. Buckle up, bucko. Globalism is the extremes of big winners and big losers. Such pronouncements have the gleeful ring of triumphalism, as if globalism is something to inflict on others by those who have the power to do so.
Globalism is painted as a wonderful thing. The global village. See? We are like everyone else else. That is supposed to be of comfort. What it actually means is that you are not as special as you think. The group is more important. They assume you will get on board with what the group thinks. And what does it think? Read the news. They will tell you. It’s called narrative journalism.
One recurring theme - we are reminded that people are not all that necessary. With so much technology, cyber can replace the real thing. In a world curated online, physical things don’t matter so much. Some, (like the extreme nature people) consider Mother Earth to be more important than human beings. I have news, there are just too many of us. Some had better hurry up and die so that the earth can live. Time to cash in your carbon footprint, people - love, Greta.
Enter 2020, the year when it became clear, that global may not such a great idea after all. All those open borders and lack of constraints spread a very vicious disease. Expendable is not very fun, whether you are young or old. Being at work does not matter as much as staying alive. What happens far away, not so important as the world we know up-close. As spoken by the prophet Dorothy, “Toto, there’s NO place like home!”
I am old enough to remember a time before internet and in that, I count myself fortunate. It means I have seen a way of life that is not so dependent on technology. Time spent with my grandmother has a new meaning. She had little upgrades in her life, No electricity, a wood stove, and water from a well, no internet, and no TV. But she enjoyed a wonderful life in a small community. When night fell, you lit the oil lamps and sat back in the warmth and the glow, bathed in a world that had become very small and very present.
It gives me faith in people. We have been around a long time, and many zeitgeists have come and gone. Maybe this turn of the wheel will usher in a real understanding that human beings are more resilient than we have been told. That annoying God-spark just keeps on going. It’s what makes us truly human, and in times such as these, we come to realize how beautiful it is, to be human to the core. It’s peculiar to Christianity, the notion that every human life is fashioned after the image of God, that we enjoy some kind of divine significance.
Recurrent in the science fiction genre, is the notion that the world will some day be take over by aliens, yet it never occured to anybody that the alien among us might be ourselves. That third rock from the sun is still spinning, for now at least. There have been many ages of man, and none where we were positioned to be so self-aware as now. It boggles the mind that people seem to become less important the more we are supposed to know. It’s what Neil Postman predicted about a busy busy world. The probem is not that people won’t know. It’s that they won’t care. We have a lot of knowlege at our fingertips. Science is king. We have been to the moon and back, but - if knowledge is not applied to living, it is simply information. Maybe what we are lacking is wisdom and perspective.
I was telling my kids of the days when the number 2001 (space odyssey) seemed impossible and far away. We imagined that the future would unfold as one of ease and comfort, facilitated by science. We would be served prepared meals grown on space farms, and our dishes would be whisked away on a conveyer belt to be washed by robots. The home speaker (now come true) would tell us what kind of a day we would have. Hand and glove walking together into the future, we never considered that knowledge would do nothing to cure a basic problem - human evil, and greed.
The shots of the earth from outer space make it seem so small, and yet human beings have such potential. David mused in Psalm 8, “ When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, ... what is mankind... that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honour. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet...”
The theme of return echoes throughout scripture. It sticks with us because it insists that sooner or later mankind will realize what is important and comes to his senses. In Ezekiel chapter 37, God pharases is like this: “I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land.” Like G.K. Chesterton mused in Orthodoxy, the land most sweet to discover might be the one you already inhabit. It might be time to take back the planet, for people. For you and for me, and for the sake of humanity. Come to think of it, that seems to be God’s plan from the very beginning. Meanwhile, he’s looking for those willing to be part of the resistance.