In the era of kingdoms, the common people cared not for who their owners were. They cared only for their own prosperity. Rulers waged wars on the basis of religion, ideology, race, and resources to continue their selfish reign. And when the rulers changed, the common people were indifferent. No...not indifferent. Because not only did the rulers wage war on others, they also waged war on their own citizens, forming an exclusive identity based on the same things: religion, ideology, race, and resources. How many pointless wars were fought because of these unnecessary divisions? These wars breed hatred. Hatred that is passed down by blood and forged by conflict. Is today any different?
I propose a lemma: that an earth where every nation of the world was unified into one cohesive whole would be several times stronger than the current earth. This seems to be a conjecture that most students of history would agree upon. Especially for those growing up on an American curriculum. What did that segregated snake cartoon from colonial times represent? What did that fallen pillars cartoon portray? The strength of unity. So, would it be a stretch to take it a step further? To ask what if the entire race of humanity could take the universal concept of unity and act upon it on the international level? And it is here where we encounter problems.
What are the shackles inhibiting nations from dropping their guards and merging? It’s the exclusive identity that’s been forged for decades (centuries or millennia for some). It’s differences in culture, tradition, ideology. Plus historic conflict and competition over resources. Those five things. Five looming mountains suppressing humanity’s rapid advancement into a new age of exploration and expansion. However, with the advent of the internet, it seems that these ‘mountains’ are becoming more and more illusionary.
In the Age of the Internet, the concept of ‘nations’ is archaic, barbaric. In the past, it is simply not feasible for the common/majority of people of different kingdoms, empires, countries, tribes, etc. to communicate and understand each other’s cultures with high efficiency. In fact, it would be rare for more than 70% of a civilization to be literate in their own language. With the addition of interference from authoritative bodies on the spreading of “dangerous” ideas, understanding between people of different backgrounds is an impossibility.
Globalization and the internet changes everything. Today, children grow up playing with other children across the globe. Platforms like Youtube, Discord, Twitch, Twitter, etc. have facilitated the evolution of a new embryonic culture—the Internet Culture. The Meme Culture. The younger generation of every country are able to laugh and cry together on the internet—to even trust each other on some level. For example, I can trust that the South Korean kid that I crushed in League of Legends yesterday night would not launch a nuke or other offensive on my location.
This culture on the web seems so disconnected with the wars and conflicts that their respective leaders are embroiled in. The nature of the relationship between soldiers and the people who they are supposed to protect has been changing ever since the 19-20th century. It used to be that the common people knew what their brave soldiers were fighting for. It used to be that the majority of people support their courageous heroes back home. In the US, it seems that ever since the Vietnam War, citizens are less and less sure about what exactly their soldiers fought for. In fact, I would wager that a majority of US citizens today don’t even know how exactly the American forces are distributed across the world and the reason behind the deployment.
By and by, these exclusive national identities can’t hold up with the times. I’m a Chinese-American. I love America because it’s the most accepting nation of all - home to a melting pot of diverse cultures. But I also hate America because it doesn’t appear to do a good job of dissolving the mixture well. I love China because it’s my heritage and I have a lot of my family living there. But I also hate China because of its strict disciplinary and dictoriarial tendencies. When tensions arise between the two, I feel confusion. Like, “why does this need to happen?” A good 30% of students attending CMU are Chinese nationals. I have Chinese friends and we’re left standing around, scratching our heads. We didn’t support these rising sparks.
In the end, we just blame Trump. Anyway, it is time to start asking questions. Those five mountains—however illusionary—are still very real. I guess one avenue to strike them down would be a globalized education curriculum but I really don’t have a clue. I do know; however, that if this idea that we could be one nation of humanity is spread, I’m sure that some expert policy makers, economists, and other experts from multiple nationalities might feel like doing some research and maybe even draft a template of what such a government would look like. Humanity is either standing on a precipice looking down at nuclear annihilation, climate change, exceeding biocapacity, or humanity is standing in an observatory looking up at our real destination: the stars beyond as one nation of humankind. I mean, can you imagine what aliens are thinking looking at us? “Haha, these idiots are still pew-pewing each other on a mote of dust.”