In the latest The Republic, an East Vancouver-based newspaper, Kevin Potvin links globalization to terrorism. And it is not the ﬁrst time these two concepts have been connected—earlier this year, I came across an Iranian news agency that advanced similar arguments, from the point of view of a host country.
The argument is not without merit: globalization, or at least the abuse of host nation workers resulting from global economic forces, has caused resentment, and a widening gap between rich and poor nations. Norman Macrae predicted as much years ago—and it is coming to pass, albeit expressed in non-economic events.
I have been a supporter of globalization in terms of sharing, operating as a single planet, spreading ideals and high standards—but not everyone looks at it this way. But there are plenty of idealists who see globalization in terms
Ask around: most people say they want world peace. Not just beauty queens. And most people believe unity is something we should strive to achieve, even if the UN doesn’t seem to be the body through which this can be done. I believe the internet is, or at least the foundation for a greater global movement, linking people together. You are reading these words because of the internet. If so many of us believe this, then why doesn’t the world begin to shift? Well, I say the world is shifting—we just need to make sure it shifts in the right direction, with our values intact.
As we become more aware that people are helping one another across the ’net—from funding schools in Africa to campaigning for the release of journalists—then the smaller these once insurmountable problems seem. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, buoyed by Warren Buffett’s funds, is signiﬁcant not just for solving some of the world’s poverty-related issues, but for showing that the few can change the lives of many.
It wasn’t that long ago that people said Bill Gates was the anti-Christ, dissing him because Microsoft was too big. The chorus is still there, but it is quieter, because he and his wife’s foundation has proven to deliver more than empty promises. It wasn’t too long ago, either, when we believed that we had to go to a bank or Western Union to send someone some money. In 1995, most of us got the news through printed newspapers or TV programmes, restricted to our domestic media.
The optimistic view can still be achieved, and if there is a silver lining to all of the current conﬂicts on this planet, it is its exposure of the forces that globalists like us have to encounter and ﬁght.
Fifteen years ago, they would have looked impossible—had we even known about them. Now we just think they look hard, and we have to make a plan of attack. In another 15 years’ time, they might be problems we can solve by clicking a button online and having a conversation.
If we don’t lose sight of the idea that we all mostly want the same thing, that we can achieve them together, and that our real, shared values are going to be the drivers.
Del.icio.us tags: globalization terrorism unity world peace values humanity charity internet conversation dialogue change time Posted by Jack Yan, 07:30
"World Peace!" This always reminds me the movie Ms. Congeniality. It's quite funny actually. I am a sheer believer in unity. Since united we stand divided we fall.
It reminds me of it, too! My friend Amber, who was Miss World New Zealand 2003–4, once used it in an interview we did (after we became friends), as a gag! It was very funny!
Jack, very good piece. I have to say, I blame America almost entirely for the majority of failures of the UN, its without teeth because, like the League of Nations beforehand America has refused to play fair, pull its weight and be bound by its descicions. I do however think with reform the United Nations could still play a large part in a more peaceful Globalised world.
I think one sad problem with the possibilities of people power online however is that even if a hundred million bloggers all think something should be done, say, relieving third world debt in the 25 most destitute sub-saharan nations. Say we all made a huge petition, we all demanded it of our leaders. Won't our leaders still stick their fingers in their ears and say no? I love the idea that the mass of people can make change, and I think movements such as Make Poverty History have shown that, however we will always have other terrible problems that no one wants, yet our leaders refuse to act upon.
Sorry, I'm feeling cynical and I'm not even sure that made any sense...
# posted by amillionpieces: 7/22/2006 04:17:00 PM
Take any history book we were subjected to and look at any current conetnt about world news -- and you see war plans and war talk. It has literally wired our brains for war as a solution.
What about the same number of pages covered in brilliant and doable peace plans? That beginning would literally rewire our brain for some of what you raised as possiblity here! Foreign... because we have yet to risk the brilliant activism of peace -- when it is done well.. What do you think?
Ellen, I totally agree, though I believe initially these positive items need to inﬁltrate traditional media, or the mass media sources that people go to ﬁrst.
Pete, the issue is troublesome. UN reform could indeed save the organization, and you are right that politicians (and, therefore, the business establishment) do not have it in their own interests to carry out some of the people’s wishes—at least not till it is (nearly) too late. Hence, we need to do something, in my view, that bypasses government. There are more of us than them—the immediate task is ﬁnding enough people to lead these initiatives in the online world.
Jack, I have serious doubts that the UN can be reformed. In my opinion, the UN may be seriously flawed from the get go. The reason is because they allow the crooks to be members as well as the good guys. Take the UN Human Rights Council for example. Human Rights is a noble cause but there are a number of countries that don't want to allow their citizens such rights because it might cause problems for those in power. To prevent such problems for their regimes, these countries work to get on the council so they can protect themselves from censure. The result is we have some of the worst violators on the council and no action is taken against them. This makes the council a total joke. The only way that the council could be somewhat effective is if these countries could be prevented from serving on the council but the UN can't or won't do that. As long as this situation continues, the UN will be a total joke as far as human rights are concerned. This same situation exists for other situations.
It is why I feel we need to bypass the UN and all governmental organizations, Ron. It is possible to reform the UN, but it will take a herculean effort. Plus, it needs to be accountable, something that you highlight is not happening right now.Post a Comment
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