The world can become better with more connection
By Greg Waldock, Staff Writer
“Globalism” is a scary word. Some see it as a group of wealthy elites using international organizations like the United Nations to make profits at the expense of the working class. Others see it as the result of colonialism and Western intervention over the past centuries in countries around the world, encouraging modern slavery and political instability. While I believe that these both contain elements of the truth—especially the latter—I also believe they completely miss what globalism really is: Humanity’s greatest opportunity to improve itself.
On an international scale, the most notable impact of globalism isn’t violent coups or assassinations—it’s interdependency. All nations in the world rely on other nations in some way to survive and progress. Take creating a microscope to study bacteria for developing cures for example. The glass of the microscope must come from certain regions in the Middle East, refined into glass in factories in Western Europe, using foundry parts made efficiently in China, shipped using boats constructed in India, and delivered to American buyers who need to have hands in all these countries. That interdependency for materials is an analogy for global trade as a whole. Miss one part, and our ability to make cures for diseases and advance the sciences halts completely. If we can refine this process with time, it’s entirely possible to have global trade systems that don’t use sweatshops to cut costs or treat their workers inhumanely.
On a personal level, globalism opens the door for new and vibrant forms of self-expression. The 20th and 21st centuries have been golden ages of artistic expression, with entire new art forms emerging every handful of years through cultural interpretation and fusion. For example, Pablo Picasso fused Spanish and African, Greek, and American styles into his own unique vision, creating entire genres. Art like this creates a common ground for people to share experiences and worldviews; through globalism, people were able to connect with each other on a more metaphorical level than mass communication.
Ultimately, globalism will be what we make it. We’re far better off embracing it and working to correct its wrongs than we would be dismissing it as mere elitism or colonialism—while it is both, it is also so much more.