Globalization and American Ignorance
October 3, 2006, 5:50 am
Filed under: uncategorized

As I read more about the economic, cultural, and religious aspects of globalization, I really struggle with the degree to which the western world in general, and the U.S. in particular seem to be perpetrating gross injustice on the rest of the world. Our “free democratic,” and especially our economic decisions as individuals are contributing to some horrible things.

Growing up in school I remember learning about the World War II era, and the rise of Hitler in Germany. I was flabergasted to think that a whole nation of smart, enlightened people could be so sucked in to a perverse message that they would condone the extermination of millions within their own borders.

Now I’m thinking that I’m one of those smart, enlightened people who has not just condoned, but participated in injustice. As a good consuming citizen of this country, I’ve worn my clothing, eaten my food, driven my car, and entertained myself endlessly on the backs of people who are simply just fighting to survive in this world.

At this point, I don’t even know where or how to begin resolving this stuff. But I hope that this gnawing dissatisfaction in me doesn’t go away.


2 Comments so far
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Although I don’t disagree with your statement that much of the American cultural excesses result in victimization, I think there is a positive response.

American consumerism can & should bolster the economies of the world around us… we have been given much. Having been given much, it behooves us to carry the heavy burden of responsibility… this means stewardship of our lives and awareness of the impact our decisions have on the world around us. Then there is the issue of moderation. Just because we are given much, that doesn’t justify excess…

We need to make an effort to understand what we are consuming & go out of our way (requires non-standard efforts) to buy free trade products, contribute to charity-based organizations, and reject products/services/corporations that victimize… all while maintaining a focus on moderation. This is a way that Americans can not only stop stepping on our global neighbors, but also turn it around into something that reaches out and helps them build up their culture through our affluence.

The bumper sticker is true (as cliche as it sounds): “live simply, so that others may simply live”. However, noone ever said living simply was easy… it takes effort, determination & intentionality.

Now, to your point of globalization in general… my above statement targets economic decisions. Religious & cultural globalization each need to have their individual responses on a personal level – but in the end, individual response leads to broad change.

Comment by jeremy

Good words Jeremy. I agree that there are some positive, constructive ways forward in all this. I say “I hope the gnawing dissatisfaction continues” so that I’m reminded to continuously own my decisions – especially the economic ones. How my dollars get spent is a very good first step. It’s a bloody lot of work, reading labels, etc., but my convictions have to be worth working for, eh?

Comment by Steve

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