Michael Battalio

Friday, February 08, 2013

Serious conversations (part 45):

        This series is a continuation of my conversations with an atheist friend of mine. These are my edited responses from that conversation. The forty-third through forty-fifth entries deal with globalization, peace, and war.

        Last time I covered globalization. Is it good or bad? What do we lose from globalization? Could it lead us to peace? Here I chat about it preventing war.

        At this point, I think the globe has become homogenized enough that WWIII is unlikely.  However, oblivion is always an option.  Some new faction might arise very quickly somewhere.  We know very, very little about the power structure in China, for example.  I also don't see the dark ages reoccurring.  The dark ages were a result of one large empire, the Romans/Byzantines collapsing.  There are too many countries on separate parts of the globe for that to happen again:  US, Europe, Australia, Korea/Japan, China, South America, Russia.  What could happen is a global economic collapse.  That definitely could set us back, but some region would make it out.  We aren't so interconnected that if one regions falls everything falls.  See how well the US and China are doing despite the Eurozone crisis.  Even though Germany is a member of the Eurozone, it is doing quite well.  In stock investing, diversification is important to minimize losses.  I hope that those that wield the power to affect globalization recognize this and prevent the global from becoming so economically interdependent that there is no diversification.

        One bad thing globalization has brought us is the sweatshop and exploitation of workers. I would hope that technological achievement will allow us to the pass the threshold of sweatshops.  Eventually, robots will be able to perform all of these mundane, physically  demanding tasks (Let's just make sure they don't become sentient.).  Hopefully this will happen sooner rather than later.  However, I think that there will always be a class system; there will always be someone on the bottom having to perform the tasks that are just too complicated enough for the most sophisticated robots.  As long as the world is driven by money instead of some grand ideal of betterment (a la the Star Trek universe), there will always be the workers separate from the power holders.  [Presently, it really disturbs me how much money is involved getting elected (I thank many of our logically incompetent Supreme Court justices for that.), and it gets worse every year.]

        It concerns me, and has for quite a while, how dependent the economy is on growth.  Growth is what makes the world go.  This is clearly not sustainable as economic growth can only be achieved as long as the population is growing. And this is partly why I think leaders ignore our population problem because if we face it we have to rethink how economies work.  I am no economist, so I don't have a clue how to go about retuning our economic system to something other than growth.  

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