Capitalism and Globalism: How it started and how it’s going
By Carlotta Crespi
The Industrial Revolution: fleeing from the countryside
With the advent of the Industrial Revolution, in the 18th century, the face of the West changed forever: The economy went from being based on agriculture to being mainly composed of industry and large-scale production.
People started to escape from the countryside toward the cities to work in factories and become useful workforce to serve the new economic system.
We all know how it ended (or started): overpopulated cities, overcrowded slums, unhealthy environment, child exploitation, hunger, poverty, crime; people started to become more and more alienated, isolated and depressed, which caused a worrying increase of alcohol and drugs consumption to temporarily escape from the disappointing reality.
A life in contact with nature started to become the prerogative of few privileged people, “real life” by then only took place into the grey cities.
The rise of Capitalism had begun.
The myth of the “big city”: the God-like desire for greatness
As the West changed so rapidly and the cites got bigger and more modern, a new way of thinking began to take hold among the people, a sudden urge to overcome limits, to push further, to challenge God, an unprecedented desire for greatness.
In fact, even if man by his nature has always sought glory, until that moment he had always respected the divine figure that rules upon us all.
In the second half of the 19th century, the philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, seemed to explain this concept using a provocative phrase: “God is dead and we have killed him”.
Nietzsche wanted to explain that, after the Enlightenment, “reason” was the only way to investigate the world, the West no longer needed God to be the source of morality and value. The idea of God in itself was dead and gone and we were the only accountable for that.
Great big cities with their comforts, provided by progress in science and mass production, had become the new religion for all social classes.
The Internet era: selfishness and loss of traditional values
In the cities progress was running fast and soon the Internet era, which forever revolutionized our way of conceiving the world, arrived.
The Technological Revolution hit us hard and since the 2000s we began to communicate with the whole world through our technological devices, with all the problems that this entails.
In fact, although it has obviously brought numerous advantages, it is as if the alienation that once was experienced by working in factories, now is felt by being connected all day to the network, with the consequence that the rate of depression is at an all-time high and it seems like we have lost human connection.
We are constantly bombarded with commercials and pop culture products that always seem to carry the same message: the individual is all that matters, individual desires and aspirations are more important than any collective thinking, we no longer need traditional values because they are old stuff, we just have to consume more and more.
We have officially fallen into the era of selfishness and loss of values.
Globalism and cultural relativism: The point of no return
The last topic I would like to touch on is the strange paradox for which the more the West seems to reject its own values, the more it seems to want to seek others.
The explanation is that in a world without any reference point, we tend to look for it, even though we deny it, because as human beings we need to make sense of the world, if we are not able to find this sense in our home, we just look elsewhere.
Right now we are approaching the point of no return: we seem to want to see our culture die and we are falling into historical revisionism so that history is cleaned up and made politically correct, but at the same time we are increasingly interested in knowing and celebrating other cultures as unique. In the era of extreme globalism and cultural relativism, the message that passes is that the West is accountable for every bad thing that happened in the world and we must feel guilty and ashamed, the tragedy is that many of us westeners agree to that.
Seeing the direction in which the world is going, I think it is our duty to defend our home and embrace our culture and traditions with pride and honor, rejecting a total globalization that is turning us into a shapeless mass that thinks and acts alike, because always remember that a tree without roots dies.