No new issues, just a distinction without much difference. People fear unknowns, then welcome, embrace and own them.
First, they fight. Blood in streets is hardly new. Horrible isn’t new. But now, it’s ‘social’. That’s new, too soon to see if it alters civilization as know it – or perhaps it already has.
Take refugees for instance. Seriously, take refugees. Someone has to …
Time is measured in millennia. The history of humans is just few moments in time. Give it another million years and humans will figure it out. But we don’t. We are born, live our own century (my goal is now revised to 115!). Yet, each babe born must learn everything – and what if they never read Burke’s words or appreciate their importance.
Edmund Burke wrote: “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”
We don’t know history. We are repeating. But what about our envy-economy today? What are we wishing for? What is the world wishing for?
Is it about trade, or immigration?
Thinking back, worrying forward. Trump comparisons to despots past. Brits exit perceived failed EU trade deal driven by hype-fueled fears (perhaps throwing their baby out with their bathwater …) losing valued credibility in marketplaces. By-product. Maybe fatal. Likely not. There will be politics, there will be change, there will be after-shocks.
Flavour of the month are Syrians – camped around Europe, more painfully visible to the world and their hosts than if they were nearer their home. Are they different than any other wave from somewhere else? Are they different from Mexicans who moved illegally into the U.S.? And how do we separate thinking about what they are fleeing, from what (and where) they are wanting to do, or why?
Refugees, opportunists, enter foreign lands, often scarcely a shirt on their back – no proof of their past. Some hide/escape dodgy history – but most, just happy to leave with their skin intact and their family members safe. Bringing work ethic and an appetite for freedom, they alter the landscape of their new country. Demographics change. People fear that. Ask the Turks, the Greeks. Ask the Germans, ask the Brits. Ask Americans.
I was watching a series recently on PBS, about the Greeks. First I thought it was connected to the upcoming Olympics. It wasn’t. Glad I looked in. Fascinating. The had so many firsts, and failings. Before establishing democracy. And after. Greeks and Phoenicians and other ‘ancients’ did a lot of trading. You know, that Marco Polo type of trading, that took knowledge with it – populated the world with ideas, the import of goods and the export of cultures, the envy-economy of the ancients. Trade relationships were as powerful in generating new grown as bees taking pollen from flower to flower – and traders took ideas and goods and money from place to place …
We can buy any product with a mouse-click of phone call, get any information we need without getting on a boat or a ship – we can send interest, our money and our inclinations anywhere. But the flip side is that we import something in the bargain. We export ideas and products – and with it a desire is implanted in others – they want freedom too, they want our peace and our quiet. Yes, many are simple escaping a despot. Or the next falling mortar shell. Or beheading because they didn’t say or believe the popular thing …
Watching our British friends, and our American ones. Their interpretations of democracy – the ‘everybody can vote’ vs. choose between two. The Greeks turning over in their graves …
It is amazing to me, in a society where intelligence, knowledge and experience is so prolific – that tried and failed fears are trotted out again in an ultimatum blame game. But here’s the thing, new generations don’t know the ancient history – and our parenting and education have only prepared each generation well enough to repeat it without understanding it …
Just old fears?
The kind we get over, again and again?
written / published from Calgary, AB
morning walk with Gusta: 13C/55F, clear and calm – we found no critters, just one golfer heading out … the city sleeps – yesterday was first day of yee-haw festivities. Gusta seeming stronger and moving faster than usual – which is a good think, because it keeps me moving faster …
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