Hey, I hope that your new year is starting off in just the right way, as a follower of the Way of Jesus in this changing world in which we live. Over the Christmas break I read a few books, one of which was Tom Friedmann's "The Lexus and the Olive Tree." Friedmann wrote this book in 1999 and 2000, and since it deals with globalization, you'd think it was a little out of date in a post 9-11 world. But it is definitely not! (Friedmann has also written "The Earth is Flat" in 2005, and it is also a great book. I don't know of anyone who has a better grasp on how the world is changing than Friedmann, regardless of whether you agree with his positions or solutions.
"The Lexus and the Olive Tree" posits that globalism has replaced the Cold War as the dominant philosophy in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. It is a different worldview, with different relationships and values than in the Cold War era. That Cold War time featured 2 dominant world powers (the US and the USSR) who balanced each other out. The rest of the world more or less picked a side and hung out with one of the big boys. But now, there is only one superpower (the US), and the real "hero" that most of the world wants to be associated with is what Friedmann calls "the Herd", the financial decision-makers of the world. Everything has become for many people about entering the global market and competing in a global world. He uses the desire for a Lexus to represent this philosophy.
But there are also those who still want their own culture, their own language, their own way of life. They resent the way that the Herd makes homogeneity more valuable than uniqueness and tradition. They still want their olive tree.
Is there a world where you can have both the Lexus and the olive tree?