Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Hello, China

Zhou Enlai

1972, with U.S. President Richard Nixon

...and I think this idea of a more worldwide economy and more worldwide experience of capitalism is probably -- actually going to be good.  (I used to think -- why does our govt. let all those factories flee to other countries taking the jobs with them?  It's ruining America!)  But I think I see it, now.

The internet and other technology make our planet more like One World, and less like a bunch of different, warring countries and factions.

We can picture this:
With less disparity between different countries' standards of living (and hence, value systems), then terrorism decreases, because Middle Easterners are busy creating a good standard of living for themselves.  They have hope, and begin to value their own lives and existences, and do not feel compelled to throw mad, senseless "tantrums" like 9-11.

With more of the earth's population being able to work and make a good living, and participate in a positive manner, in capitalism, then there will be less likelihood that nations, regions, groups of people will become so frustrated, discouraged, despairing, and desperate that they commit terrorism, or start terrible wars.  Across the globe:  fewer (and ideally, no) populations of benighted, unreasonable people.

Instead, they will be reasonable.  And --

be-day-ed ...

The importance of not having any more huge wars is compelling.  When we read about wars or hear about them from our relatives and friends who served in them, we feel pride in their sacrifice, risk, and service -- but really, it's easy to feel that way if we ourselves were not there.  The true horror and unacceptable-ness of modern warfare comes home to us in small moments when we are jolted by the unbelievable realities.

By the time I was 17, going into my senior year of high school, I'd heard stories of Nazis and World War II and the death camps and the 6 million people killed -- just in those camps, I think....  I had seen photographs in books of skeletal people being liberated from concentration camps in Europe.  And you were horrified, but at a distance.  (But -- it was 30 years ago.  And -- the Good Guys Won!...You could comfort yourself, and avoid really thinking about it....)

And then that summer, when I worked as a live-in baby-sitter (a "summer girl") for a Jewish family in a nice Midwestern suburb, the little children's mom's Uncle Tony and Aunt Bess came for a visit. 

(There was a big "build-up" to this...Uncle Tony and Aunt Bess are coming!  All this preparation and anticipation...) 

When they were there visiting, in the family room one day, somehow the subject of the second world war came up -- maybe something on TV...and Uncle Tony was in the war.  I told him my dad served in the Pacific, building the Burma Road; Uncle Tony had been in Europe.

And he reaches for his wallet, and Patti and Aunt Bess chorused, "Oh no Tony (No Uncle Tony) -- not the pictures!"  In his wallet, in 1976, were these worn, thin, black-and-white snapshots of the people in a concentration camp that was liberated by Uncle Tony's group of soldiers -- (platoon?)...

He carried those pictures with him for three decades --

Because he had been so horrified and he thought, "Nobody is going to believe this."

I wasn't as shocked by the pictures themselves -- I'd seen photos just like them, in books.

What really made a groove in my brain that day was that this man had been carrying those photographs around for thirty years.



That was his way of responding to the horror and sorrow, and dealing with -- or "managing" -- his feelings.

He carried the proof with him.

For as long as he lived, I imagine.

Communism and fascism are both equally evil
because both are totalitarian systems.

And we have to try to avoid totalitarian systems, in the world, at all times.

I think the architects of globalization -- from Reagan to Obama and the others in between -- were betting, and are betting

that this is the time for opportunity and education and freedom
for all mankind
to get a good foot-hold. ...


No comments:

Post a Comment