also Government, Military, Taxation

“Hey, who shot that arrow over my head!?”  “It just missed me.”  “Sorry, was trying to hit the deer behind you.”  “Didn’t see you.”  “Great camouflage.”  “Thanks.”  “Where are you from?”  “Two mountains over.”  “Oh yea, heard about you people.”  “Great hunters.”  “Guess so. And you must be the farmers.”  “Yea, we stay pretty much in one place.”  “That must be nice.”  “Hey, why don’t you come meet my parents?”  “Have a nice bowl of greens.”  “Mmm, ok.”   “Have any sisters?”  “Sure, you can meet them too.” 

So it begins. People unite. Common interests bring them together, keep them together. They start talking alike, looking alike, developing a heritage. They gradually take control of more land. Indigenous peoples are assimilated. Finally a natural barrier halts their expansion. They become more stable. Religion and government form to provide direction and order. Now you have a nation that is formidable. With vast resources it can sustain a growing population, defend itself and consider forays into other lands. Perhaps trade with other people or maybe even conquer them.

For thousands of years this has been a common phenomenon. Pick just one country, France for instance, and review their history. Amazing. Their cohesiveness has remained intact for 1,200 years. Certainly there has been divisiveness within their borders but language, religion, threats both human and biological and a shared culture … all have meshed into a lasting unity. The French along with many other societies tenaciously hold onto what is familiar. And why not? They can travel a distance and still feel comfortable. They can deal with likeminded people, do some business and maybe even find a mate. Pretty good arrangement. But will it last?

Today countries are being assaulted like never before. How? The commerce of product and ideas. From all over the globe. Never before in the history of the world have barriers been disappearing with such alacrity and without struggle or consternation. Try to find a place in the world without ‘oriental’ imports. Go anywhere and you will most probably find someone who speaks English or at the very least watches English speaking movies and television. This is a monumental development. One that is insidiously challenging traditions and age-old cultures. Is there any hope for the aborigines in Australia and the Amazon? Probably not. And what about France? They are now part of a European ‘union’. Many ‘Frenchmen’ are not happy about this.

So what will the future hold? What will the demographics of nations 300 years from today be? Certainly there is strong resistance to change. Clashes are common today. And they will continue as countries try to protect and sustain their identities. But gradually they will be assimilated. It is inevitable. And yes it can be ‘terrifying’ to consider an homogenized world. As cola drinks, chocolate, blue jeans, televisions, cel phones and the internet become ubiquitous in the world is there any wonder that divers peoples will start thinking alike? It is only a matter of time before everyone in the ‘third’ world wants what is available elsewhere. As multi-national companies employ the citizens of India do you think for a minute they will not want the ‘standard of living’ that is enjoyed in Europe, America? The drive to improve is relentless. All people will want all things … sooner and sooner. And despite the aesthetic qualms of religious zealots the average ‘world’ citizen will be drawn to the attractive, attainable goods proffered in the media. Try to stop that!

But perhaps the ‘coming together of the world’ is for the best. Warring factions will disappear. A more ‘enlightened’ generation will formulate a mechanism for a more humane world, one in which all people can live in peace. The alternative, devastation, is unthinkable. Yes there will be growing pains. And yes there will be violence and tragedies. But these problems can be mitigated with kindness and understanding. Pollyanna you think? Not really. Having experienced horrific loss of life the world will come together in a commitment to eliminate barbarity from the world. ‘Weapons of mass destruction’ will become anathema along with the primitive barbarians that wield them. Likeminded people who embrace tolerance, growth and prosperity will work together. It may take several hundred years and needless carnage but the unity of a will for peace will triumph. For all people in all times have the same goal:  To live in peace, to love in peace, to grow uninhibited by fear.



©2007-2008 Edwin O'Shea and All or part of only one topic, including all definitions and essay, may be used without written permission. Please see full copyright notice on home page.