Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Good Will Prevail

My absence here has been about holiday deadlines and family and friends. It is not disinterest. I apologize for not responding to comments, particularly to those who are always here and supportive; you know who you are.

Stopping in to look at comments I saw Enemy had addressed the idea that a shrinking world implies a theoretical concept that is positive and yet hold hazards in its misapplication. I agree with that assessment.

However, I agree with a positive slant and when I wrote that post I was in a positive frame of mind.

What the Cold War victory produced is a global recognition that successful acquisition of economic wealth is based on free market capitalism and not the centralized top heavy, minimal information frameworks of communism, marxism or fascism. Withholding information from the masses, as practiced by these doctrines is no longer possible. The rage against America is precisely because it is our system that has proven the winner and this free market determinism is now at work across the globe. There are winners and losers, and the losers are upset. This will change. The free exchange of information through cell phone, satellite television and internet has made the world at large aware of its oppression and poverty under systems of centralized control.

The decentralization of the world’s capital into the hands of individual investors around the globe and out of the hands of the centralized banking systems of the Cold War era has created a capital and investment pool of money available to all developing nations that does not award its favor based on political connection but is instead based on the performance of the nation’s economy. Credit investors with knowing the truth; truth derived via information available in an instant. Fail the test of the new era of the diverse investor and the money will abandon you. It is capitalism at its best, demanding performance and competition that ultimately generates wealth. The non-performing countries and totalitarian regimes fall further behind. See the former Yasser Arafat and his regime for an example of such failings. Picture his people throwing rocks at Israeli tanks for a vivid reminder. They remain 100 years behind the Israeli’s, stuck in economic hell.

This I think is Enemy’s point about the dual between theory and practice as the world grows smaller. She can correct me if I misunderstood.

This is indeed the focal point of many of the nations that wage psychological and cultural warfare against the US. They are failing in the fight for economic survival because they are late to the game or refuse to play. Witness the French limiting its economy by placing socialistic legal barriers on the amount of hours an employee is ‘forced’ to work. The effect of the legislation tied the hands of the French entrepreneur in tight knots as they tried to compete with the industrious Indians, Japanese or Americans. Capital fled, industry failed or at best struggled to compete. The ultimate failure of such an idea in the shrinking world was completely predictable. Failing to recognize the new era of information sharing, investor diversity and the performance demands of free market capitalism is a ticket to national poverty.

This is not the only reason much of the world hates us. To imagine there is but one reason is to delude ourselves about the complexity of the world. If you listen regularly to NPR radio they will flesh out all their mantra-nized details and invent a few others for good measure for those inclined to hate and blame their own country. It is my opinion however that economics is the major force behind the rage. The Cold War ended with one economic super-power because our system has proven itself to be the one known dependable model for producing wealth and a modicum balance of the wealth for any nation. This will end in time. America will not always be the super power of today precisely because the world grows smaller and a world that wishes for economic success measures itself against the competition. We will have to continue to compete. It is the nature of the system.

With these beliefs of mine, how would I address Enemy’s concerns about duality of good and bad?

I was actually working that point in the previous post. In a new era where digitization of information creates a shrinking world of new opportunity, how do we attend to the spiritual and cultural aspects of the changes? I sat in a seminar recently about the digitization of my profession of architecture. Remarkable and eye opening changes for the practice of designing buildings waits right around the corner. In the seminar one remarkable thought caught my attention. The lecturer asked, “What are the 3 things that our economy cannot produce by digitizing information?”

The answers were leadership, relationships and creativity. With this we start to zero in on Enemy’s question a little.

I can’t say how we as a nation or collection of people bring the have-nots to the table. It may be as harsh as understanding they must bring themselves. Apart from that question of economics, here is what I hoped to convey in the previous post.

As the world grow smaller as a result of the sharing of information and capital asset we inherit the remarkable opportunity to spread what we believe to other hearts around the world. You might call it leadership or relationships. It is the thing we cannot digitize inside another’s heart. And so I asked the question, “What will we teach the little ones at our feet?”

You see, I believe the natural law of good can prevail as long as we are willing to promote it within ourselves and within our underlying generations. And yes, unfortunately there will be times when we are forced to fight for the natural good we believe in. A terrorist will suffer under the truth exactly as a totalitarian regime will suffer. Each is doomed by the free flow of information in an open world. It is a matter of time for this failure to occur with the terrorist. This is the positive message I want to spread among you. Money and economic power will come and go as competition and the influences of the marketplace divine. Values, beliefs and the power of natural good will not vacillate when used properly. It is our responsibility to win this war using the opportunity that a shrinking world lays at our feet. Opportunity knocks.

This was my question of yesterday. What will we teach the little ones at our feet? My answer is that we teach the natural law of good. Terrorism is temporary. It is transient in the way that communism and marxism were transient, doomed by its own inability to honor mans natural inclination toward freedom, self-determinism and the natural law of good. Darwin was not wrong.

Diligence is required. Teaching is required. The careful and sensitive use of bandwidth as we communicate our values to the world is required. Hating and blaming America is a fool’s game with no identifiable goal.

The good will prevail.

What will we teach the little ones at our feet?

What will we teach the little ones across the globe?


Jenn said...

That question is much harder to answer...not in the "what" but in the "how".

I remember reading something about an, if I recall correctly, Afghani mother who was full of disgust for American mothers because we don't have very many children. Her point was that they would always have more warriors because they had more children to teach the war. And that, to her, was how they would defeat America. That has haunted me - not in fear of war - but for the children who are taught to hate.

In my mind, the only way we might teach others is to have them walk a mile in our shoes. America can be full of materialism and the media doesn't paint a very serious picture of us. But we're not all Bennifer or Paris Hilton. We're not all highly paid athletes who misbehave. We're not all crooked politicians. I think those things might be easy to hate - if one doesn't see the whole picture.

The picture that includes families loving and helping each other. The picture that includes strangers helping strangers. The picture that includes people working hard to succeed. The picture that includes a government that is by the people and for the people. The picture that includes people allowed to protest that government and speak freely.

And even the picture that includes us not being satisfied with the way things are - but living with it and doing what we can to make changes that don't include killing or violence.

In my rambling - I haven't answered the question. I don't think I have an answer to the question. I do think those that are "losing" need to learn to play a different game. And they have to make that decision.

Enemy of the Republic said...

Thank you for mentioning me. It's a tough one. I too, get annoyed at the hate veered toward us; I may have said as much before. Yet we were not always hated. Read history to see how grateful Europe was to us for our help in WWI. We saved Britain's behind in WWII--the Nazis were so close to victory. We rescued the French from German domination. And we rebuilt Europe. We showed the generous side of ourselves--sure, the cynics can reply with talk of Cold War domination, the necessity of control, and of course, we did horrible things from the 50s on in Latin America. I don't want to say that we once represented freedom, because I don't believe much in that word, but we represented choice and opportunity. The America that now is known is the lowest common denominator, generated by Ronald McDonald and the Whopper. That isn't the America my father and husband chose to serve in the Armed Forces. I know the bad of our history: Native American genocide, Manifest Destiny, Slavery, Jim Crow Laws--yes, it is an ugly manifestation of power and fear. But I love every speck of dirt of this land, and I only wish I knew how to share what I love about my country with the rest of the world. If people want to judge a nation by its GNP or government, then you forget its essence: the people. Americans can be ignorant fools, but so can the most sophisticated professor at Oxford. I don't know if this addresses what you say, but it is something that causes me great sadness, and yet I always hope.

Seven said...

That was not rambling but rather a beautiful expression of what we all should love about America. Unfortunately we have a media fixation and far too many Ward Churchills in our midst. By this I mean the small minded intellectual that is all to ready to wear his 'badge of hating America' as if it were to immediately paint him as a sophisticate. This is the intellectual quicksand that is too predominant in our culture. It is also just too easy and available for the mentally lazy. You express a counter argument beautifully. Thank You.

Yes I hear you about our history. As my father counseled me many times, "no deal is perfect." There are sad things indeed in America's history. In the post I am taking a forward and (hopefully) progressive position. We have won, perhaps by accidental application of capitalism, but we have won. We can all hate the winners around us, but would it not be more prudent to study what produced the win and both emulate and improve the formula rather than merely hating with no end game in mind?
My point is less about the leadership of economics and more about the leadership of spirit and the application of ultimate good expressed through action. That is why terrorism is doomed; but we must fight the fight of the good hearted and the righteous soul. Good triumphs through application. It fails in non-expression and cowardice. I encourage courageous expression.
Like you, and your always good heart, I hope and look forward.

patti_cake said...

As i've said before I can only teach my daughter to be kind to others and to try to stand in their shoes for just a moment.
I am appalled and horrified by Jenn's mention of the Afghan mother who states "they have more warriors". How chilling and cold. Sometimes I look around and think "Oh the younger generation is a)lazy b)apathetic c)too self-entitled etc... then sometimes something will happen that makes me think "Yeah they do have a grasp of old fashioned good manners and values etc". I like to think somewhere, somehow down the line it all balances out. I'm a believer in the positive also.

Anonymous said...

I wrote a long comment but it didn't publish for some reason. Well, mainly it was about living the teaching. For me, following a path in life that is my highest dream is what I would dare to do for me that might end up teaching others better than I could do with words alone. I am thinking about being in the classroom. I prefer usually to work while they are working, not just flapping my mouth at them the whole time.. one of the benefits of teaching art. I've decided to move on from my present job teaching, not sure where, but I've realized my excitement about teaching, particularly to children. So as I go on the road I've mapped but have been afraid to follow, I wish that if teaching is meant to continue for me, it will someplace more suitable to my needs and wants. All that to say, experience is the best teacher?