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Globalism vs. Nationalism

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Times, they are a changin'. You can take the terms "Republican and Democrat," "left" and "right," "progressive" and "conservative," along with "socialism" and "authoritarianism," and at least temporarily disregard them. These and perhaps a few other political designations are now meaningless if we are to understand the complex and chaotic world of today. We have arrived at a point where there are but two immediate choices for the stewardship of the planet. As we are currently subject to the malicious machinations of evil forces in the world, compelling us to choose between a nationalist or a globalist fate, the question of our very survival is at stake. Make no mistake, these two ideologies, forging a division between east and west, now represent a colossal struggle for the future of mankind.

Globalism is the belief that nations must act to benefit everyone, even if it comes at the detriment of the nation enacting policy, whereas nationalism is the belief that a nation's interests must come first, regardless of the effects on other people or nations. In terms of choice as to where you come down, it seems that there is very little wiggle room. It's a black and white situation. Or is it?

It is argued that globalism implies selflessness, caring, compassion, benevolence, humanism, egalitarianism, and empathy, all of which are most positive traits and virtues of human nature, whereas nationalism, given the definition above, implies selfishness, egoism, self-interest, chauvinism, jingoism, superiority, exceptionalism and xenophobia, all of which are most negative attributes and sins when taken to extremes. Again, it would seem that either choice would be obvious. Should you lean more toward altruism, globalism would be more your cup of tea, but if you tend to be self-centered, nationalism would be your seemingly obvious choice. But before you commit to one or the other, it may be well to look more closely at both.

A question that should be explored before making a choice in this regard is what the consequences might be, should either of these most antithetical ideologies hold sway in terms of what we as the human race might be trying to achieve. It is a question most succinctly stated in the shortest poem in the English language: "I . . . Why?" What is the purpose of life? I've searched through philosophers and priests, prophets and psalmists, sages and seers, but I have yet to find even a hint of what that purpose might be. Is it not strange that none of the religions I've encountered even addresses the question? They do nothing more than to set down guidelines and regulations as to how to live, with rewards for those who heed and punishments for those who do not. It is, however, in the nature of man to seek a purpose for it all. So, until we have an answer (assuming that there is one), I must conclude that the only realistic reason for our being is simply to survive as the human race. That being the case, let me set forth my reason for dismissing globalism and opting for nationalism.

It is argued that with a globalist governance, with no borders to defend, no resources to pillage and no way of life to envy, there would be no need for war. Who could argue against such a promise? It's true that nationalism breeds war and war is a curse, but what kind of a world would eventuate with globalism? It would have to be regulated by some form of government. Democracy would be out of the question. A government of, by and for so far-flung a people with such diverse interests would be unthinkable. All that would be left would be a king, a dictator, or an oligarchy of some configuration, most likely a plutocracy or rule by those who seek chiefly status and personal gain at the expense of the governed. It might better be described as slavery for the masses. Before you reject such a premise, search your mind for another alternative. Neither the League of Nations nor the United Nations could be considered a dazzling example of anything nearing Utopia.

Thus, when we examine the choices between nationalism and globalism with survival in mind, nationalism (which at first glance appears to be the more negative of the two) may in fact prove to be comparatively positive. It would be difficult to deny the fact that, based on more than any other requirement, diversity is mandatory for survival of the many and varied forms of life. When we consider this undeniable truth, what better than each country's diverse culture inherent in nationalism to ensure human survival in a world that finds itself on the unimaginable brink of annihilation? As for the sins of nationalism, a recovery of our democracy (as the light emanating from the "City on the Hill") might bring about the exposure of all the worldwide corruption of the despicable, loathsome and evil kleptocracy to which we have been subjected.

As Sean O'Casey, in the curtain line of his play Juno and the Paycock, says, "Th' whole wor's in a turrible state o' chassis" (meaning chaos). While this statement cannot be denied, and though a renewed America may not bring about a worldwide Utopia, it could, among a wide variety of diverse nations, make for all a more rewarding life. If I may quote another play by another Sean (this time my son), in his play Wine to Blood,"I don't know if there is a Utopia, but I am certain that we must act as though there can be."

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Hal O'Leary is an 88 year old veteran of WWII who, having spent his life in theatre, and as a Secular Humanist, believes that it is only through the arts that we are afforded an occasional glimpse into the otherwise incomprehensible. As an 'atheist (more...)
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