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More Than Just A KFC Or Two In Baghdad
Critics of globalization have a common misconception -- that it begins and ends with opening up McDonald's and KFC around the globe. Economic globalization is only a start. It really is a values thing -- global values instead of tribal ones. Well, I was reading about tribalism last night, and I came upon this piece on billsaysthis.com, which explains it from a very interesting evolutionary viewpoint:

The conflict between America and its allies and bin Laden and the other Islamic terrorists is really a battle between a new and an old adaptive strategy, tribalism and globalization. When the human race was young, small, widely dispersed, and challenged by basic survival, tribalism was an adaptive device that helped people cooperate to reduce risk. With tribalism you get an in-group/out-group mentality that is a liability in the current diverse and densely populated world. The Taliban represents this old adaptive model--tribal, closed, rigid--and they are railing against what are really evolutionary changes in cultural systems. When the tribes are separated with infrequent contact, everything's ok. Maybe a few skirmishes when they do come in contact. When the tribes are forced to live together, though, life gets complicated.

Globalization, and not just in the economic sense but rather meaning the interconnection and interdependence of groups across national and other boundaries is the latest and so far highest level of human cultural evolution. In this general sense one might call it one-worldism except that few voices are calling for a single world government. This development values the diversity of individuals and encourages the contributions such diversity brings; it finally rings down the curtain on the view that just because someone does not belong to "my" group that person must be bad, wrong, put down, converted, or killed. We see remnants of tribalism in the Western nations in the campaigns of the anti-globalization protesters and our own religious fundamentalists (Falwell, McVeigh, Farrakhan), so this is not just another name for the division between fundamentalist Islamists and the rest of the world.

...An anthropology professor at UC Santa Cruz once said that warfare was a form of rejection of the enemy's cultural values. Consider current and past wars, including terrorism, in light of this assertion and see if it holds up. The reasons why we went to war against Japan and Germany during WWII are clear, but Vietnam is less obvious. We went to war against Iraq to move them out of Kuwait because we had a treaty with them and because the flow of oil is strategic to us. We went to war against Panama because they were enabling the Medellin Cartel to flood us with drugs.

...Those cultures that accept diversity, in the most universal sense of the word, will survive. Those that do not accept diversity will be engaged in conflict and will not survive, or alternatively, if humanity does not have that capacity, none of us will survive. Thinking out loud, perhaps there will be conflict on such an enormous scale that population will revert to 2000 year ago levels with the whole process then to repeat until humanity is able to get past it.

If we don't learn to live together in a connected global community we will destroy ourselves.

Posted by aalkon at October 9, 2006 11:13 AM

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Comments

Excello-Voonderbar, until that last part:

> If we don't learn to live together in a
> connected global community we will
> destroy ourselves.

Not ourselves, the other ones who insist we have nothing in common. It's not the same thing! We're not all in this together. To dream of making peace is to beg the question. Our demands are non-negotiable.

Posted by: Crid at October 9, 2006 6:13 PM

I made the same point as this article, in this blog, some weeks or months ago - how intolerances survive by not being able to see that demonising the "other" is nonsense, and how the WWW is making that ignorance hard to sustain. So any organisation that depends on demonising is going to be fighting for its survival. What organisations would it be that tell their members they are special, chosen, favoured above all, and that non-members are at best misled, at worst evil pigs and dogs that should be destroyed? Hmm, that's a hard one...

Posted by: Norman at October 10, 2006 6:49 AM

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