Story and Globalization

A story remains true so long as it works for all of its participants, and isn’t effectively challenged by non-participants. The stories of Native Americans held for thousands of years because it worked up until Western civilization actively suppressed and wiped out the full adoption of these stories, undermining Native American stories until they were fictions rather than realities. Now, our global culture has been attempting a reconciliation of a single story: That, despite the naysayers’ thoughts, all human action has been leading up to this moment, and that there is only one way to live. Because there is only one way to live, we are transforming our culture, our government, and ourselves to maximize one’s access to this single way to live: Free from the constraints of Nature, dependent on a global economic system.

This story rang true for civilizational peoples around the world for more than two thousand years. This is why China’s story focuses on the uniting of all its people under one flag. This is why America’s story focuses on uniting all of its people under one flag. This is why the European Union prides itself on uniting all of its people under one organization: The unite more people under one story. With globalization, we are attempting to undermine the stories of nations in order to enact a narrative that applies to all people under the sun. The “citizen of the world” appeals to the story that borders don’t matter anymore. What matters is the assumption that makes all these nations exist because of a greater idea: That there is only one way to live, and that is globally, without the constraints of Nature, and dependent on a global economic system.

The participants of our global story have been trying for decades to reconcile the distant qualities of a “global community” with the traditionally local one. A portmanteau was invented: “glocalization”, or the ability to still have local community in a global economic system. The challenge of the “world citizen” and the “glocalized” community is that they assume that this story truly works for every single person in the world. Unfortunately, I believe that the story of globalization has been a repeated failure that turns people into “human capital”, hides waste in poorer nations, and demands obligations beyond the scope a single person or community can handle. In other words, I believe that globalization is not conducive to a healthy community because it can only work based on the demand on how people should be, not as they are.

The story to enact for the global economic system is the striving to be an agent perfected for the system. This results in all the edge cases—and more accurately, a majority of people—to be alienated for they can’t adapt themselves to the moral framework of the global economic system.