For globalization to work for America,
it must work for working people.
We should measure the success of our economy
by the breadth of our middle class,
and the scope of opportunity offered
to the poorest child to climb into that middle class
--John J. Sweeney
I've seen and done things I want to forget;
I've seen soldiers fall like lumps of meat,
Blown and shot out beyond belief.
Arms and legs were in the trees
--The Words that Maketh Murder,
Freedom comes into being only when we understand . . .
the fact of our brutality, our callousness and indifference;
it is to be actually in contact with our colossal selfishness
The KGB crowd (Kayaking - Granola - Birkenstock) often sport a bumper sticker that reads: "Think Globally, Act Locally". After years of observing this platitude, Ranger divined the falsehood therein (fortunately, he wasn't chewing gum at the same time.)
This should actually read, "Think Locally before You Act Globally". As a simple person, Ranger sees everything as local, and maybe even personal. Christianity defines itself by imputing to everyone a "personal relationship" with God, and if it is personal with The Big Kahuna, then it is personal with everyone.
Living in the South, church missions form a big part of many people's lives. While it outfits the missionary with trinkets and stories and plenty of feel-good vibes (after the ill-feeling from the multitude of vaccinations wears off), it does nada for the indigenous locals, who suffer any number of indignities in every hometown in America.
The missionaries are not thinking locally before acting globally. So it is with our military, which is tasked with nation-building and civilizing cultures diametrically opposite from our own.
Ranger recently finished, "Love and Hatred: The Stormy Marriage of Leo and Sonya Tolstoy" (William L Shirer), who included the following 1905 Tolstoy quotation:
"You want a constitution, they want a monarchy, the revolutionaries want socialism, and you believe you can fix things for the people. I can guarantee you that the lives of men in general will not improve until every single man strives to live well himself and not interfere with the lives of others."While most of us cannot live as hermits, it makes sense that we cannot export anything we do not already possess. The U.S. finds itself in 2011 convinced that it not only must think but also act globally, while the local goes wanting. The truth is, we must think locally before tromping about the world and acting globally.
There are plenty of thoughts and actions which are needed right across the street.