On Wisdom: Modern World: Globalization

Music: Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor.
By J.S. Bach. Sequenced by George Pollen.

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Nicholas Gordon

1. In the inexorable movement towards one world, much will be gained and much lost. For example, on the positive side is the end of war; on the negative, the slow disintegration of difference.

2. Once people are free to live and work anywhere in the world, traditions, languages, and cultures will slowly disappear over generations of intermarriage and dispersal. Those who love beauty will devote themselves to preserving what can be preserved.

3. The elimination of barriers to the free movement of goods and people is a goal that ought not be opposed on grounds of national self-interest. For no life is more or less precious according to which side of a border it is born on. And all are equally entitled to the goods of the earth.

4. Thus both equity and freedom argue for globalization, and those who oppose it should argue against only the manner of it, and not the thing itself.

5. As water freed from barriers seeks its own level, so will commerce, raising the wealth of some and lowering that of others. Yet freedom increases productivity, which will cause the general level of wealth to rise for all, though not immediately to the levels once protected by privilege.

6. The task of those who care about the good of humankind is to manage globalization well, so that the one world that results be free and democratic, in which every human being has equal opportunity for health and happiness, and in which the natural legacy of the earth is preserved.


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