The world needs saving. Serious threats are beginning to plague the globe. Not only are there the usual international conflicts like the ones surrounding Russia and ISIS, but there are larger, more overarching problems such as global climate change, overpopulation and the depletion of the world’s resources that need to be dealt with swiftly.
The fate of humanity depends on the solving of these problems. These problems are potentially solvable, but without a more globally focused mindset. Especially for problems like global climate change, there’s little we can do.
Though the world is more together now than it ever has been before, the common mindset is still thinking as individual nations. There needs to be a purposeful change in thinking that results in a unified globe. That change does not mean giving up national boundaries, it means giving up blind nationalism. Prime examples of nationalism’s dangers are shown during WWI. National alliances contributed to massive war, the biggest conflict that the world had ever seen up to that point. Without nationalism, the forces that began the war might never have materialized.
Right now, the world needs fixing, but no nation is willing to step up and solve all of its problems, because they’re dealing with their own. Japan is still dealing with the containment of radiation from Fukushima. Fukushima should not be treated as a national problem. It is a global problem, one with effects that are widespread.
Right now the United States is spending upwards of $530 billion annually on military defense with few real threats to defend against. Environmental spending on the other hand is around $8 billion. Clearly there is a perception that our greatest threat is an international attack – the government spending makes that clear – but in reality all of humanity is threatened by the global crises. There has been partial effort to become globally united; organizations like the United Nations, World Trade Organization (WTO) and International Money Fund (IMF) are prime examples for a more unified globe. While they have flaws, promoting involvement in these institutions will move individuals away from thinking in increasingly outdated nationalistic terms.
Nations cannot think like independent bystanders anymore. The problems that plague the world are far too tremendous to be taken on unilaterally. Would everyone switch to a global mindset though? The reason why a global mentality is possible is because it feeds into a human desire to progress and win.
Sure, there are different ideas of what progress is, but with a global mentality the popular idea will prevail and a majority will benefit. America is an extremely prideful nation, during the colonization of the entire country the will to grow and thrive as a nation was immense. When the shift to thinking as a whole globe takes place and our whole species becomes united, the same ferocity to thrive will come into fruition. When the global mentality becomes the standard way of thinking then true progress can be made.
Collegian Columnist Troy Wilkinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.