Whenever I’m feeling blue about domestic politics – there is plenty about which to despair – something great happens that reminds me of the long-term case for optimism, which is all about the astonishing expansion of the division of labor globally and in ways that weren’t even possible just a few years ago.
The world has changed to permit ever more people in all corners of the globe to cooperate to their mutual betterment. The very prospect is inspiring people to claim their freedom and use it to make their lives better. By comparison to this activity, the disgusting behavior of nation states appear like a ridiculous anachronism that will be streamrolled by the forces of history.
And when these examples hit home, it is all the better.
So, for example, I was preparing dinner two night ago, and the skype plugin on my iPhone rang – in video mode like the Jetsons – and it was a young man from some far-flung rural area of Australia. He had a charming accent that I could barely understand but he was full of smiles and exuberance. I showed him around my house and he showed me his rather barren room, full of computer stuff.
After pleasantries, we got down to business. I was contracting with him to fix one small module on our Academy software, the one that generates certificates of completion. He he already answered an email requesting an expert. He was the last person I would have expected to be on this job.
Just ten minutes ago, he delivered his repaired module, and it is beautifully done with elegant code, along with an invoice for his work. I never would have imagined this possible, and the truth is that it would not have been possible even a few years ago. But with communication technology dramatically improving, the possibilities for international collaboration, in surprising ways, are more readily at hand. I don’t have to move there and he doesn’t have to move there. We found each other through a tiny mention on a social networking site. And like magic, he had an opportunity for exchange. Everyone is better off. The world is a more beautiful place.
The same happened with some developers in India, who are now doing our eBooks at a very low price and with great expertise. This would have been unthinkable only a few years ago. But technology is making happen.
Never underestimate the implications of global economic relationships. This is the stuff that makes the world go round. It is the engine of progress, and the producer of peace and understanding. Together we can cooperate to make the world a better place. Expand this model 100 fold, 1,000 fold, a million fold, and we create a glorious force for the betterment of the whole human race. It is mankind’s method of peaceful resistance.
How can some stupid government program or regulation compare to this? All the activities of the nation state pale by comparison to the significance of the globalization of communication and commerce. In the digital age, we are discovering that all people of the world have more in common with each other than any of us has in common with the states that rule us. That’s why revolution in one country is a revolution in all countries. The cries for freedom by one man are the cries for freedom of us all.
These advances are taking place right under our noses. They are the most significant since the industrial revolution, and our grandchildren will look back in history books on these times as the turning point. We are truly blessed to be living in them and experiencing them.