Any radical that tells you that their particular flavor of utopia would have been possible had it been created a few decades ago… is copping out. It is useless to base one’s political beliefs on a parallel universe that does not exist to us.
Those of us that see the future as doomed are making a prediction, which has nothing to do with offering the best possible solution that will provide the best life for the most people (utilitarian thought), allow for the most personal freedom (libertarian thought), disperse remaining resources equally (communist thought) or make sure they and their family survive as long as possible (selfish bastard thought). These are not all mutually exclusive and may merge and change over time (over the course of two minutes in some cases).
Those of us that do not see Peak Oil/The Apocolypse/End of the Long Count Calendar/World War 3 (This time w/nuclear bombs! Stay tuned, folks!)/The Robot Holocaust/The Age of Aquarius killing us in the coming decade or two are split in terms of priority between the future and the present, themselves and others, the advancement of technology and its destruction in favor of a simpler lifestyle, and the completion of total world Globalization or its swift dismantlement.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines globalization as:
“The act or process of globalizing : the state of being globalized; especially : the development of an increasingly integrated global economy marked especially by free trade, free flow of capital, and the tapping of cheaper foreign labor markets“
Globalization is a term that means different things in different contexts. Culturally, it is the “It’s a Small World” phenomenon in which ideas, families and individuals interact and merge. People are able to pick and choose what their values and lifestyles will be from a larger pool of options.
In the economic sense, it is the removal of national and regional boundaries to trade and labor markets… it is the reason that your clothes are from China, your coffee is from Colombia and that telemarketer you’re talking to is calling from India. American business owners take one look at the minimum wage laws over here and take their business elsewhere… leaving us to create jobs that are largely unnecessary for our own growing, ever-poorer working class.
There are some leftist theorists that see opportunity here where others see defeat. A fellow WordPress blogger who I admire greatly has posted on this in vast detail and I would like to share a quote from them:
“The american economy is weak. the middle class is shrinking. class inequality is greater now than ever before in the 20th century. most importantly, american capitalism has recently implemented a campaign of globalization, joining the world’s economies into one megaeconomy without borders. this I believe to be a potential death knell of modern capitalism. perhaps not in my lifetime, but eventually, if globalization continues to unite the world’s economies, it will lay out a foundation for global revolution like the world has never before been afforded.”
I personally, for what it’s worth, am of the opinion that the human race has had a good run and is not likely to live much longer, but that our priority nevertheless must be its survival and quality of life (These do not always have to be contradictory ideals battling each other… a doctor, for example, indeed prioritizes both). That might sound racist (In the sense that I care more about the human race than all others), but trust me, your dog feels the same way about you. We also need to take care of the ecosystem and all of the plants and animals that are a part of it to insure our own survival, so really this arrangement benefits everyone.
I read a very interesting article on Al Jazeera the other day called The Globalization of Revolution. It explores the recent actions that have taken place in the Middle East, as well as past revolutions and the role of global support networks. An important issue that it brought up was the seemingly insurmountable challenge of trying to maintain an anti-capitalist economy within a globalized capitalist economy.
“It is no joke that revolutionaries face their greatest challenges after the revolution, and usually fail to meet them with sufficient humanity. Having broken from the international order in their struggles for freedom, revolutionary countries have proved unable to negotiate a re-entry into that order on terms that allow them to flourish, while remaining true to their principles.”
So do not despair, or develop the political schizophrenia common amongst many of our peers that causes one to act, dress and talk like it’s the dawn of the industrial revolution once again and we can wish it all away. We are an inflated population of superconsumers living on borrowed energy and therefore borrowed time and that will not go away no matter how cool your beard is.
What are you going to do about it?