by David C. Grabbe
CGG Weekly, August 27, 2004
"When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice."
Is the globalist dream fading?
Forces have long been at work to unite the world—economically, militarily, religiously, educationally, technologically, and governmentally. The astounding advances in technology have allowed the free flow of information to every corner of the world. This information is more than just technical data, though. The West has been broadcasting ideas, concepts, philosophies, and ways of living. Democracy and free-market capitalism have been exported wholesale—sometimes they have been received willingly, other times only at the point of the sword. The human efforts to unite the nations of the earth are largely driven by economic considerations: the need for natural resources, cheap labor, and willing consumers.
Advanced communications—especially the Internet—have served as the backbone of the efforts to bring people together. Communication, whether political, business-related, or personal, is now immediate virtually everywhere. Ideas and plans can be instantly transmitted thousands of miles away. People and businesses are no longer geographically bound. Opinions are expressed with dizzying speed, and everybody is given a voice in this global chorus.
At the core of the globalist perspective is the idea that with enough communication anything can be accomplished. Any obstacle can be overcome simply by bringing everybody to the table. If everyone can just be properly understood, they say, and if all ideas are given equal weight, then all political, religious, cultural, and social ills can be solved.
But the truth on the ground—and the irony—is that the advanced communications, which have allowed globalism, are also bringing about its opposite: tribalism. Rather than uniting everyone, the free flow of ideas is bringing about disintegration.
Consider something as simple as getting the news of the day. Where does one turn? Network news? Cable news? Newspapers? Online sources? News outlets based in America? Europe? Australia? Asia? Africa? The communications networks have supplied far more choices for news than can be reasonably assimilated. So rather than attempting to read all of the news for the day, we have to discriminate—we screen out the sources according to individual criteria. A typical farmer in Iowa, even though he is living in a "global society" with a "global economy," simply does not care what is happening in rural China—or vice versa. He will look for news that relates to him, to his environment, to his country, to his industry—to his view of the world.
But even in finding news sources that give relevant information, further choices must be made. Does he prefer a liberal news source or a conservative one? We choose the information we ingest based on the perspective we already hold. A typical conservative American will shun the network news, NPR, the New York Times, and the Washington Post because of their obvious liberal slant. A typical liberal American will eschew the Washington Times, Fox News, DrudgeReport.com, WorldNetDaily.com, andmost talk radio because of the conservative bias. A liberal American will no more listen to Rush Limbaugh in the interest of "diversity" and "open-mindedness" than a conservative American will listen to Al Franken's "Air America" in order to get "the other side of the story." Rather, each one will seek information from sources that have already been judged "correct" or at least "acceptable." Each one gravitates toward those things with which he already agrees.
The open communication and technology used to foster globalism is not bringing about unity. It is bringing about polarization and disintegration. There is no need to search out objective truth to which everyone should agree when an individual can more easily find "truth" he already agrees with. And finding other individuals, groups, movements, and communities that espouse this "personal truth" simply reinforces the belief and emboldens the believer because now he has a community behind him that will support him.
The present order of things is breaking down. Lines are being drawn in the sand. People all over the world are edging closer to their "tribes"—the ethnic, cultural, or moral groups with which they identify. As the disintegration continues, the stage is being set for a final, desperate, human-based unity. While a lack of communication can certainly cause disunity (e.g., the Tower of Babel), communication by itself will not magically create unity. Unity comes through leadership (e.g., Nimrod). While the Beast and the False Prophet are not yet on the scene, this process of disintegration is preparing the way for them to step up and "solve" the "crisis" through their Satan-inspired leadership.
But we are assured that that final, terrible, human-based unification will suffer ignominious defeat. Finally, true unity—based on God's leadership—will cover the earth.
And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. . . . And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (Revelation 19:19-21; 20:4-5)