Globalization and St. John’s Apocalypse

It is men who drive history, not something outside us.   Technology is just the storehouse of men’s tools. And men make tools to, first, survive, and then, to get the life they want.   So when I say technology is driving globalization all I mean is that what men want is in the direction of globalization, and men will go through the dissolution of national borders to get what they want, no matter what.

The real interesting question is not “what entity is driving events?” but “what do men want?”    This question is nothing more than Aristotle’s question of the final cause, or destiny.

The first, the root assertion of the New Testament happens also to be one with which we can empirically agree or disagree, using all the data of human culture.   That first assertion is:  men want things they shouldn’t want.   The “heart”, which is the organ which WANTS, is broken.

Note:   If you find the New Testament reliable in an area where you can look around you and either agree or disagree (is the wanting organ in man broken or not?)   then you proceed to trust it in further areas where you cannot look around and test it (i.e. God sent His Son to deliver us).

So, what do men want? Answer: They want pleasure.   After they have solved the problem of survival, from that moment on they start making tools to get pleasure.   Money is a shorthand symbol of convenience for pleasure.   A free-market economy is simply the most efficient means to allocate resources to produce maximum efficiency, and efficiency is defined by the end, the final cause, the destiny, which is itself chosen not by economics but by the heart of man:   pleasure.  So, economics is the system of efficient production of pleasure.

This system is the force of human history.     (I don’t mean to say that all men are like this, nor that most men seek pleasure at every waking moment, nor that all pleasure is bad. Just that it is strong enough that the general tendency of mankind is governed by it.)

How did we get from a discussion of manufacturing to this theologizing, you ask?   Simply because I look around me and see “globalization” as the logical and predictable course derived from the laws of economics , facilitated by technology — all driven by men’s wants,   which cannot be thwarted by any other human force.

Those among us who want to argue about “globalization” as if it is purely a question of economic pragmatism (“is it good economics in the long run?”) are missing the depths.

“Globalization” is a process predictable by anybody who happens to have the twin interests — odd twins, I admit — of economics and the New Testament.

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Many would argue We should somehow protect the typesetting industry. Then you could pass on obsolete skills to your children.

Those who are railing about sending our jobs overseas simply do not understand the revolution we are in the middle of.   “Globalization” has many shades of meaning, depending on who is ranting at the moment. But the root phenomenon is technological; technology (computer and broadband) is driving everything we are seeing.   GloGThe debate at the political level is a reflection of the anguish at the grassroots level which is, in turn, a simple effect of the ongoing information revolution, which will not peak.

“Globalization” is inevitable. It cannot be stopped. It is, at the root, science in the service of wealth, which is itself just a symbol for comfort. This is not a moral position, nor a political position. It is simply an observation. Technological advance can be paused, but it cannot be arrested.

I do note that the picture of the world system at the end of time in the Revelation of St. John is of a single system, based on trade and commerce, which has subsumed all other values, including all political divisions. This one world system traffics in every thing, including “men’s souls”.

You don’t have to be an evangelical prophecy loon to observe the teleological force of the information revolution is to subsume EVERYTHING under the power of technology-seeking-wealth.

It will happen. It is happening. It is Man, imposing the condition of his heart onto his external world, inexorably, over the course of 5,000 years, and it was observable in seed form in Palestine in 30 A.D.

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