The Foolishness of Anti-Globalism

IN FOCUS, 17 Dec 2018

Leonardo Boff – TRANSCEND Media Service

15 Dec 2018 – An anti-globalist wave is breaking out around the world. This is perhaps one of the most regressive and absurd things in the world today. There was certain anti-globalism, fruit of the protectionism of several countries, but it was not a threat to the general and irreversible process of globalization. That wave was adopted for his political platform by Donald J. Trump who, according to Economics Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, is one of most stupid Presidents in North American history. The same can be said of our recently elected President, the former captain Bolsonaro and his secretaries of State and of Education, deniers of this phenomenon, which only prejudiced and uninformed persons cannot see.

Why is this a senseless blunder? Because it contravenes the logic of an uncontrollable historical process. We have reached a new phase in the history of the Earth and Humanity. So let’s see: thousands of years ago, human beings, who arose in Africa, (all of us are Africans) began to disperse throughout the vast world, beginning with Eurasia and ending in Oceania. By the end of superior Paleolithic, some forty thousand years ago, human beings already occupied the whole planet, with about one million people.

Since the XVI century the return of the diaspora began. In 1521 Fernão de Magalhães accomplished the first journey around the planet, proving that the Earth is round. Any place can be reached from anywhere else. The European colonialist project westernized the whole world. Great networks, especially commercial, connected everything. This process started in the XVII century and continued through the XIX century when European imperialism, with sword and musket, subjected the whole world to its interests. We, of the Far West, were born already globalized. The movement grew in the XX century, after World War II.

At present, it was realized when Internet social networks, at the speed of light, connected everyone, and the economy took this process into account, especially through the “great transformation” (K. Polanyi), the transition from a market economy to a market society. Everything, including even the most sacred of truths and religions, was reduced to merchandise. Karl Marx in his book, The Misery of Philosophy (1847) called this “the general corruption” and “universal venality”.

Globalization, which the French prefer to call, with good reason, planetization, is an undeniable historical fact. We all find ourselves in the same place: planet Earth. We are in the tyrannosaur phase of globalization, that is being formed under the sign of the worldwide integrated economy, as voracious as the largest of the dinos, the tyrannosaur, for being profoundly inhumane regarding the poverty it causes and the absurd accumulation it allows.

We have already entered the human-social phase of globalization, due to some factors that have become universal, such the UN, OMC, FAO, and others, human rights, the democratic spirit, the awareness of a common destiny as Earth-Humanity, and of being Homo Sapiens Sapiens and Demens, a single species.

We already sense the dawn of the echozoic-spiritual phase of globalization. The integral ecology and life in its diversity, and not the economy, will be central. The reverence before all of creation and the new appreciation for the Earth, seen as Mother and a living super Organism that we must care for and love, are profoundly spiritual values. The idea is growing that we are the portion of the living Earth that with a high degree of complexity started to feel, to think, love and to venerate. Earth and Humanity form a single entity, as the astronauts have well testified from their space ships.

The moment has come, as paleontologist and scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin prophesied in 1933, when “the age of nations has passed. If we do not want to die, it is time to shake off old prejudices and build the Earth”. She is our unique Common Home, the only one we have, as Pope Francis emphasized in his encyclical letter On the Caring for the Common Home. (2015). We do not have any other.

We are hearing strange prejudices from future power holders and secretaries claiming that globalization is a communist plot to dominate the world. They are those who, according to Chardin, do not take the time to build the Common Home, but who become prisoners of their petty minded small world, their tiny brains lacking of light.

If they cannot see the new shining star, the problem is not with the star, but with their blind eyes.


Leonardo Boff is a Brazilian theologian, ecologist, writer and university professor exponent of the Liberation Theology. He is a former friar, member of the Franciscan Order, respected for his advocacy of social causes and environmental issues. Boff is a founding member of the Earthcharter Commission.


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