Tuesday, November 29, 2005

One World

Coming to a Planet Near You

I had an interesting conversation with a colleague about China recently that made me think about the "One World" dream and the One World dreamers. This gentleman had spent a serious amount of time in the PRC in two stints, one in the 90's and the other more recently. In the 90's no one in China dared to talk about politics or world affairs. During his last visit everyone was excited to talk openly about politics. It was as if their eyes had been opened. In China there is a growing middle class in a society of increasing wealth (I speak in relative terms here...). China was once a backward looking nation self-isolated by an intransigent government and a hopeless population. Today, despite the hardline communist government, the future is brighter for China and the credit goes to the most unlikely hero.

What I find so ironic is that the usual crowd cooing over the concept of one big happy world without borders and nationalities is not likely to accept the force behind this dream as it literally comes true. Instead of the kumbaya crowd bringing the world together with the power of happy thoughts and karma delivered by NGO's and cultural affairs officers, it is business that is creating world harmony. Not just business in general, but big business, in fact, more precisely multi-national corporations.

All over India and China, Taiwan and Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico and South America multi-national corporations are bringing jobs and progress to people who had no chance of upward mobility before they came. In the process some Americans and Europeans will suffer, but in the long run the short term pain will make us stronger (or we will wither and die) . If government corruption can be held in check in all these places the world will be a better place.

There are places so inhospitable to "business" as we know it that it will take great change before the promise of "One World" ever comes true. The Middle East (sans Israel), Russia and parts of South America come to mind. These places are so bad for legitimate business transactions that some companies that do business in these countries have a spot for bribes on the expense report that their salesmen turn in at the end of the week.

What are the kool-aid sipping marxists and their anarchists minions going to think about a world where it is free market business that is the unifying force for world peace. Gone are the days of the people's revolution against rich capitalists. Communism as a viable transport to world harmony is dead, let's face it, as the last great communist power in the world the Chinese are the world's best capitalists right now. Hugo Chavez may be trying to revive marxisim in the western hemisphere, but he will find little traction against the tide of multi-nationals sweeping over the globe.

It is global communications, via satellites and fiber optic cables along with transportation that is the driving force behind the shrinking world that has leveled the playing field for billions of people formerly trapped in a cycle of hopeless poverty. These innovations were brought to us by... you guessed it... big multi-national corporations.

I don't even buy into this One World crap since it is eminently clear that people are not at all the same. The average American has nothing in common with a jihadist terrorist or a Tibetan monk. The average American has less and less in common with most Europeans these days. Still, if a harmonious world is possible at all it is more likely to happen at the point of pen signing a business contract than it is at the point of a gun or at the urging of the kumbaya crowd singing around the campfire spewing happy thoughts.


Anonymous said...

"likely to happen at the point of pen signing a business contract"

But, But, I thought we had only to understand how they "FEEL" to make it a better world. I'm so confused...

Timothy Birdnow said...

Great point, Static!

The screwballs who protest the G8 Summits and the like are not right-wing John Birch Society members, but one world type liberals. Go figure!

Money has always been the true international language.