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One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. -Nietzsche

  December 30, 2011

Globalism as Renewer

Though it is easy to mock the United States as a nation thrusting headlong into third-world status at an increasing rate since the 1950s, there are also a few curiously independent rip currents separate from the mass. When we see cycles of hopelessness, we cherish death for its gift of renewal. Something dies, good or bad, and something else takes its place. In preparation, we who desire positive outcomes work against the illusion of "progress" and instead attempt to create conditions to allow quality and sensibility to guide the future.

Culture starts simply and organically, developing as it gains footing. When most people talk about culture they can put their finger on nothing, so babble about differences in clothing or food. This is stupid, but a sufficient beginning, for culture is subtle and as long as we believe that fast food, drug consumption, and entertainment are not our true goals and peak attainments, we remain free agents not yet enslaved to mediocrity.

One must be aware enough to realize dissatisfaction with poor offerings. Someone noticed twenty years ago that American beer was terrible but had been mainstreamed and thus made normal. No one else dared say it, because no audience would have appreciated the truth, but most people had never tasted good beer, so the situation continued. Enough critical mass eventually gathered from people who had sampled a drastically different reality that a few daring brewers ventured to create excellence of their own. Friendly competition between aspiring experimenters followed, and soon the best of these brews spread throughout the locality, region, nation, and then were exported to joust against beer that originally seeded the effort.

Wine took a long time also. The Beringer brothers established their vineyard in 1875 after being the first to recognize the features of the wonderful Napa Valley climate and topography. It was not until the 1990s that California wine became competitive on the global market, but now is available throughout the world.

Coffee also just emerged. Not that coffee chain offerings are good, but they are a modest average that stand against the complete lack of effort that was previously an agreed upon standard. Discovered over 500 years ago, made excellent in Europe for centuries, but the U.S. only became aware of the possibility of good coffee ten years ago. Late to the party also means fresh eyes not exhausted -- maybe they will push old peaks further, as a new tide invigorating an old river, stirring paths gone dry, pushing resting sediment in unexpected directions.

It is possible Americans might soon discover cheese or bread, and learn how to make them. And from there? In time, perhaps music, fashion, design, literature, movies, or something else that remains lacking, mediocre, and unknown except to those who venture outside the bubble to taste better attempts made in other countries.

For as large, powerful, and active a trader as the U.S. is, it remains cut off from the world because its people are loathe to travel and explore, taught to turn inward to consume highly efficient assembly line gruel. Soft propaganda tells citizen comrades that the world is dangerous, backwards (i.e. Unamerican), inferior (especially France, a nation to hate because they insist upon excellence from life as a standard), and all forms of narcotics are kept readily available to tranquilize passion.

American films and fast food are everywhere spreading low quality, but in return a few daring travelers smuggle in demonstratives alternatives that are then shown to friends. The idea starts to build. Conspirators throughout the world have learned English and make daring efforts to communicate to free inmates what the rest of the world has seen and knows, fomenting a jailbreak that steers consciousness to better choices.

Globalism has always been disparagingly dismissed as a destructive leveler of culture, rushing the excellent to become inferior, and making the inferior greedily desirous. That is undeniable, but globalism is also a back channel secret passage through which old seeds can take root in new lands. We can always decide one day to stop descending into third-world values and people -- that is easy, but having an infusion that forces the consciousness to become aware of what has been standard for centuries in civilized nations, and then to create that standard here -- that is precious and its effects will not cease if a country changes course and decides one day to remain a first world nation.

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