This might be impractical, but I really think students should be required to see the world and the diversity of cultures. Travel and tourism remain luxuries apparently and based on the comments that people make on comments sections when it comes to global politics and other societies, they (especially US-based posters)need a global perspective. There's so much ignorance that it makes me shudder to think that it borders on idiocy. Some of the comments are so offensive and divisive that I am surprised how a society, which prides itself on cultural diversity, could harbor such racists, bigots, and warmongers. It's a new world out there and people should give the time to explore it sometime and learn the ways of the world.
Okay, maybe instead of just dancing in one spot, explore the country =D
No wonder other countries look at the US as an oppressor just look at how they abuse other people/nations verbally.
*Image from http://www.davidduke.com/images/ching_chong.jpg
It's all jokes and games though until they eventually become stereotypes and start bordering on racism.
This is what I personally recommend for all students of educational systems around the world. After emerging victorious over the USSR, the US has gone on a tear in preaching the benefits of free markets, free trade, and capitalism. For much of the influence it has infused and invested on the Pacific Rim, Asian countries have caught on to this economic framework and everyone seems to be playing the game taught to them. There is a paradox, however, in all this arrangement. While the US continues to preach about global economic integration and interdependence, a portion of its citizenry now seems to harbor isolationist tendencies and are displaying xenophobia. How is it that the world is coping with what the lead nation is endorsing, while its own populace grows ever more disconnected from the realities of the world?
I remember the days (after the dissolution of the USSR) when Asians would protest against "free markets" and globalization. How they feared that they would be crushed by foreign money and become enslaved to big foreign corporations. Ironically, most US companies have opted to ship their operations out of the US and to the hands of foreign labor, leaving the American labor force without any jobs to take. It's fair game, I suppose. They can't be backing-out from this arrangement they've laid-out after insisting on it.
Unfortunately, however, China has been actively manipulating its currency to keep it cheap, so that Western companies keep on building more factories on their land to give more jobs to their people. This has a direct impact on other competing countries. The minimum wages of countries, excluding China, can't be kept low enough to attract foreign money in. They are all choosing China and its cheapness regime. That's why I think the perceived quality of Chinese-made products remain iffy.
With the things panning-out, however, I truly wonder where the inflection point would be wherein sweatshops in America would be making goods for Chinese citizens. Looking at the sheer economic dominance of these two, though, it is likely that us citizens of the smaller Southeast Asian nations would be picking-up the slack.
Through-out history, empires seem to have thrived with a set-up wherein the dominant state (from where the empire has its roots) provides benefits for its own people as first class citizens and imbues in them a sense of privilege and entitlement, while the "conquered" ones settle for whatever they are allowed to reap. The embedding of democratic ideals, however, when paired with the economic framework of free markets, provides people with the opportunities (if they are born blessed enough with the talents and/or lucky enough to get the right roll of the dice) to move ahead.
As what Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke once said (by writer Kyle Higgins and editor Rachel Gluckstern of DC Comics), "But the world has changed and there are no longer 'kingdoms' worth serving. Except one. It controls everything. It drives and motivates nearly every person on the planet. In the modern era, it's the greatest 'kingdom' of them all. Money. And in a world controlled by economic currency, where money is so important to so many people, the greatest respect for a warrior...is what someone is willing to pay him."
A person's fealty isn't easily defined or limited anymore to one's race, nationality or origins. The fact that the economic framework of currencies runs on global integration seems to show that there is a lag in the educational system on how it should make the younger generation understand that they belong to the world now. Given the right circumstances, they can make their fortune anywhere (barring the lingering, existing or institutionalized discrimination of people based on their origins of course). Whether the idea of the world being run by money is evil or not, is up for debate, but it certainly promotes cross cultural interaction of people, if not a need for the powers that be to facilitate this. Figuratively speaking, it is as if the body is already primed and ready to do the job, but the mind is simply unprepared to understand how the world has become a smaller place.
*Image from http://cl.jroo.me/z3/h/O/p/d/a.aaa-Money-can-do.jpg
Today's world has most states' territories defined and international borders demarcated. Notwithstanding any military aggression or bullying by one country against another, of course, the equilibrium is defined (at least from the thriving economies' perspective) and they can work with and fend for themselves with what they have. For me, however, I cannot reason beyond what I see as the acceptable equilibrium. Are states that stand as the devil's advocate in the world's political stage (such as North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, sometimes China and Russia) healthy for all nations? Do they help throw the regular monkey wrenches on the mechanisms and arrangements devised by the dominant nation, i.e. the United States? Do they prevent any one state, like let's say the US, from having its way with what it wants outside the realm of free trade and the existing economic framework of capitalism (hypothetically and as an example: going to war to invade a country and impose its influence in it)? If these "rogue states" are eventually subdued and if the US experiences a gradual loss of global influence, would the US of A exit gracefully as what the British had done? Would they allow the next superpower to emerge and takeover? Is this the reason why the US is hammering and pressuring the Chinese government to promote civil rights and create a sociopolitical system patterned after the liberties premised upon the US Constitution? How can a world properly thrive with a dominant state (hypothetically China) that seems to operate outside the accepted norms of American culture (and/or what it wishes to inculcate to other nations' cultures/people as the responsible enjoyment of freedom, as broadcasted through American media)? Again, the body is prepared (with the right system and the money), but the mind is disconnected from the reality when basing on the requirement of the framework (FREE and FAIR trade and treatment under a mindset of democracy and equality).
*Image from http://www.markorton.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/us_vs_world-miltary-spending.gif
It's how the entire system "churns" itself from within. People carving out a place and taking their share of the whole pot of available resources, while understanding that the basic premise is that resources will be scarce. While minerals, materials, technology, and livestock are inputs to how the world works, people too are indispensable resources. Would one think that the island states of the Polynesian Islands in the Pacific are to be pitied? Are they worse off? They certainly aren't resorting to piracy or unscrupulous dealings (at least to this blogger's knowledge). They still thrive with what they have, especially their human resources. This is one way that they get by. This is how they fend for themselves
All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2012. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.