My task today is to compose a panegyric to the globalist world order. Not here in this post, but in the manuscript I have just now pushed aside, feeling the need for some fresh air. The panegyric is part of an application for the certification of certain geography courses as satisfying certain requirements in the education of a global citizen. This education touches on the origin and operation of the globalist world order, but really dwells on what I would call personal devotion to that order.
Like so many words, devotion is caked with sentimental sludge. But at its core, the word indicates a promise, pledge or vow. A “devoted son” is not simply a son who looks after his mother, since sons may look after mothers for any number of reasons, including avarice, timidity, personal fondness, and guilt. A “devoted son” is, properly speaking, a son who has made a solemn pledge to look after his mother, and will consequently do so even when there is no prospect of profit or pleasure.
Personal devotion to the globalist world order likewise means a resolve to serve its interests, no matter the personal expense and pain.
Education always has this devotional element, and geography always plays a part in it. Until quite recently, the emphasis was on devotion to one’s country, and geography was a staple of patriotic education. The first American geography textbook was Jedidiah Morse’s Geography Made Easy, published in 1789, and written in the hope that
“youth of both sexes . . . might imbibe an acquaintance with their country, and an attachment to its interests; and . . . begin to qualify themselves to act their several parts in life, with reputation to themselves, and usefulness to their country.”
If I replace the words “their country” with the words “the globalist world order,” Morse’s line would fit very comfortably in my panegyric. “These course are designed,” I might say, “so that
“youth of both sexes . . . might imbibe an acquaintance with the globalist world order, and an attachment to its interests; and . . . begin to qualify themselves to act their several parts in life, with reputation to themselves, and usefulness to the globalist world order.”
And so they are. But it should be noted that many geographers have warned against devotion to the transnational system. Writing in the first century A.D., for instance, the Greek geographer Strabo deplored the destructive and demoralizing power of international trade. The Levantine commerce of which he speaks is, of course, our globalist world system in embryo. The passage is well worth reading, especially if you take the word “us” as referring to, you know, us.
“The manner of life customary among us has spread almost everywhere, and brought about a change for the worse, effeminacy, luxury, and over-great refinement, inducing extortion in ten thousand different ways; and doubtless much of this corruption has penetrated even into the countries of the nomads, as well as those of other barbarians; for having once learned to navigate the sea, they become depraved, committing piracy and murdering strangers; and holding intercourse with many different nations, they have imitated both their extravagance and their dishonest traffic, which may indeed appear to promote civility of manners, but do doubtless corrupt morals and lead to dissimulation, in place of the genuine sincerity we have before noticed. (Geography, 7.3.7)