HomeManifestoWMail ezineEssaysSolutionsFree eBooksQuotations

Working Minds Philosophy of Empowerment homepage

The WMail Newsletter Essays
Volume VI - Issue #50: January 2005


        Globalization is neither good nor bad. In contrast, global warming is bad (anti-survival), reactionary politics is bad (anti-freedom), and SP*AM email is bad (the use of force).
        Canals and steamboats opened up river valleys, then railroads opened up the interior of North America. Telegraph and telephone and wireless technologies opened up communication to greater distances. Container shipping is one of the most important innovations of the XXth Century – load a new container and it might travel a million miles between six continents before returning to its original base.
        Globalization is just fine because it is a natural progression of commerce, from the farm to the city or town, to nation states and to planet-wide commerce.

        Globalization of commerce benefits all – in theory. Chinese farmers have new markets for their rice and sorghum, American films sell on PAL videos & DVDs around the world, and Starbucks buys half the coffee crop in Africa.
        New standards have appeared to manage this commerce – I.S.O. maintains & enforces many such standards, the U.S./Canada & PAL televideo standards work just fine, and Windows can be downloaded in a score of languages, etc.
        The internet itself is global. (Maybe bigger: Do the astronauts in space have access to Google?) The reach of the internet is anywhere there is a telephone system, and if that is difficult you can log in over cable or via satellite. A blogger in Paris reaches readers immediately in every country on the planet, and on all the ships at sea. Soldiers in Iraq – on either side – can get emails in an instant, including digital photos of a newborn child before he/she has even left the operating room.

* *          * *          * *          * *

        So why is there any need for discussion of globalization? Where is the controversy on the matter?
        Well, first of all, there is the usual reaction to anything new. If it is innovative, the promoted benefits are suspect, seen as a source of problems. But those perceived problems are not caused BY globalization: What happens is that the Culture-Structure contaminates globalization (and all else) with intentional dis-empowerment.
        Nothing wrong with creating jobs overseas, that is potentially Capitalism. The big problem is that the global manipulations by the Oligarchy result in slave labor under reprehensible conditions – dangerous & unhealthy work environments, anti-union policies, and government apathy. The Oligarchy reaps their profits from workers who will never be able to afford the product made from their labor.
        Organized crime has become global: The Cali Cartel delivers to local drug lords, the Russian Mafia operates in New York City, and Al Qaeda ships their videos for broadcast on Al Jazeera and around the globe. Terrorism itself now disregards national boundaries.

        What must happen is the globalization of the principles of democracy and empowerment. But America has so little Freedom left that there is none to export. The election charade in Iraq will result in any number of outcomes: the predictable ones are unlikely, and the likely ones cannot be predicted. (My guess: another Dubya-sourced farce.)

        Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that "Until all are free, none are free." Let's globalize THAT!

        This revolution that is a-building begins in America. We, here, must develop skills of Reason and apply them to our Individual Lives, our everyday interactions. Then (and concurrently) we must export what we have done in empowering ourselves. Not fantasies of freedom, as in Dubya's inauguration speech, but the real thing. If America magically installs a government process based on Reason (Objectivism) and the rest of the world remains in subjugation, then we have only reverted to a state like the Cold War of the XXth Century – America against totalitarianism.
        Right now the neo-conservative factions in America seem to be winning in their quest to implement totalitarianism here. So the first order of business must be restoration of Constitution-based Freedom in America. Once that is accomplished, we can and will export.

* *          * *          * *          * *

        Or maybe principles of globalization can forward the Revolution more directly. The U.S. fostered automobile manufacturing in Japan and Korea, now they are doing better than Detroit, whose auto-makers are now largely owned by or merged with Europeans anyway. The same may work for the globalization of Empowerment. Build a 'factory of Reason' in underdeveloped countries or small municipalities and their success will provide competition to the tyrants of the Oligarchy. Think Galt's Gulch, but without the secrecy and camouflage.
        This ezine has readers across the planet, including three on the tiny Isle of Man. A spark of Empowerment, a Stand For Empowerment could set Freedom ablaze anywhere.
        The free market can indeed prevail – the first step is to construct one! Economic freedom leads to opportunity; opportunity leads to thought (less time spent on survival); and Reasoned Thought is the only route to progress.

* *          * *          * *          * *

        I've not been able to nail down who first said "Think globally and act locally." And I remember one letter to the editor from a blockhead who missed the point: "The only way anyone CAN act is locally." Duh! The concept has been used and mis-used a lot, and comes with a certain amount of baggage.
        But the reach of the Oligarchy is now global. Daimler-Benz owns Chrysler. Every major book publisher in America is foreign-owned. Sony owns Columbia & TriStar & now M.G.M., and the Australian pommie Murdoch and his Fox conglomerate steadily lowers the threshold for bad taste. I still cannot figure out who owns Texaco – one petrol/gas card says Shell-Texaco, but my Chevron card bill says Texaco-Chevron. (At least I know that Shell is Dutch.)
        The Oligarchy gets whatever they want because they are ACTING globally. They close a factory in Nebraska and open a slave-labor operation in Myanmar, ship the products in Panamanian-flag ships to Europe and use the profits to pay bribes in Africa. The Oligarchy is beholden to no laws, they make their own, and they dictate policy to nation states.

        Meanwhile, most of you are not even acting locally. Who is your Congress-person? (Or similar official in whatever system of representation exists in your country.) Did you vote for or against Dubya, or did you and those around you cop out and avoid all responsibility in the matter of your future? Do you buy imported goods at Wal-Mart and complain that your town or state is losing jobs? [News item last month: California lost 25,000 net jobs in 2004 – and no mention was made of the replacement of higher-level positions with menial labor openings in that counting.]

        Globalization is a natural function of progress, to be used for expansion of benefits to all on the planet. Both economic improvement and political: a free people will thrive and practice free trade with other free people.
        It is unconscionable for America to expect respect on the world scene while our elected officials make sweetheart deals with despots, while we invade oil-producing countries based on bare-faced lies, while we ignore genocide and epidemic disease because there is no profit in halting the horror, and while we pollute all seven continents and all seven seas.
        The N.I.M.B.Y. principle – 'not in my back yard' – must apply to the entire planet. Cleaning up the Chesapeake is not an accomplishment if the solution includes dumping toxic chemicals in Haiti. Exporting Starbucks and McDonald's franchises is not an accomplishment if it is based on clear-cutting forests to raise cattle in Brasil or to build slave-labor plantations in Sumatra.
        If it is a bad idea in Colorado, then it is a bad idea in Tanzania or Irkutsk.
        (I have long thought that the solution to disposal of nuclear waste is to bury it under the mansions of the executives who created it and profited from it: They keep telling us how very ‘safe’ it is, so we'll put it underneath their kids' bedrooms.)

        Globalization is the evolutionary force that makes the entire planet YOUR back yard, not just the playground of the Versailles-clone jet-set Oligarchy. Paris Hilton will never sweat thru her clothes behind a fast-food grill for days on end at minimum wage with no benefits, and why should anybody else? The jobs disappear and there are less options and one third of Americans live below the official poverty line.
        A globalized economy can yet bring the lifestyle offered by the defunct American Dream – stable employment, good health, free time, making a difference as an Individual – to every single human on this planet.
        But first it has to be done where you are.

        Empowerment begins with the Individual; the Individual generates Empowerment by giving it away to others.
        I cannot legitimately rephrase Rev. King's phrase to "Until all are empowered, none are empowered" because that is just not true. I like this though: "Until you empower your Self, nobody else will be empowered; once you empower your Self, then others around the globe have a chance."

        The job of prisoners-of-war, as in "Stalag 13" and "The Great Escape" and Jean Renoir's "Grand Illusion", was to escape their captors and return to active service to their country.
        That too is YOUR job: Escape from indentured servitude under the Oligarchy and man the barricades in the planet-wide class wars against tyranny and for Empowerment.

[copyright 2005 by Gary Edward Nordell, all rights reserved]

        For the full contents of this issue of the free 'WMail' exine, click here.

jump to Essay #51
back to WMail Essays Page

Index of All Issues of the 'WMail' philosophy ezine

back to 'WMail' Newsletter main page
back to Working Minds Philosophy homepage