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Globalization: A Prose Poem

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Globalization is conquest and surveillance.

The exuberance, greed, curiosity, cruelty, racism, ignorance, and sundry lusts for power, wealth, and sex drove Western man across the face of the earth without pity but not always without some form of grace.

Empire building however was not exclusively his alone. Assyrians, Moguls, Sassanids, and many other nations and peoples, all were impelled throughout history to force the outside world and its diverse inhabitants to become domesticated and bound to the various homelands of the conqueror. If the adoption of language, custom, and religion were sometimes optional for the defeated and the humiliated, tribute was not. Resources whether drawn from native labor or natural wealth or strategic position were always the true objective of empire. Empires that gave death new sounds and colors sometimes calling it glory, more often than not, duty.

Make no mistake about it. The world we inhabit today is the product of decisive and calculated brutality. The modern world was sown together by heaving seams of blood, guns, and ships. The desperate cries of men, women, and children recuperated in part within learned tomes bounded by words of careful guilt by the very descendants who committed those very same acts of great suffering and grief.Therein recorded are but tiny paper tombs standing sentinel but not high scattered around a world of immense and present commerce, steel, and science.

Yet, now, the slaughter bench of history stands gleaming in the sun.

A world, misdreamt of by Futurists of a century ago, languidly beckons to the capricious wants of a new populace vaguely aware of an unclean past, Janus-like present, and intimations of an irreversible future.

Is the world a juggernaut unmanned and careening? Is the world a web freely woven by sinuous dreams of connection? Or is the world a hideous half-hidden spider spewing black oily fire demanding new forms of life to sustain its never satisfied maw?

To whom should we lament? To whom the blame?

Watched by sky, surveyed by land, circumscribed by city, road, and vehicle not even the once mighty seas offer an exit into pure incognito.

Global indeed is this cage opulent and ferocious, Argus-Eyed and Mercurial of foot.

Speed, efficiency, and production are its household Gods.

And we do obeisance, for we are weak and tired and terrified of the name of difference in a world where all has seemingly been tried and too much has failed.

From within the bowels of this global society Techne is born again and again supreme and supple, no modern day Odysseus can withstand her calm ingenuity. We stand close, eye to eye. All of our masts and rigging we have thrown overboard. There are no more companions that will counsel restraint, remembrance, or regret.

The beast must be fed, the labyrinth maintained.

A circle of power holds the secret of connection.

All is betrayed. There are no actual saviors for Pontius Pilatus is the true author of this world play. Small, careful, somewhat humane, but always the seal of Caesar ready to burn the requested Pergamum made of the skin of thieves, dreamers, and widows. Give unto this Global Caesar our daily bread. Amen.

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PhD in Continental Philosophy. Teach Political Philosophy at Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen, Germany.

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