Globalization, shoe on other foot?
Upton defines the ‘antichrist’??
Why use such tricky redefinitions of a term of common usage, instant chaotification.
Globalization is no doubt problematic, and the destruction of traditional cultures is certainly open to challenge. But how is Islam exempt here? Islam is one of the premier globalization legacies of world history, and its destruction of traditional cultures is a distant memory in the homogenization by massacre that we have forgotten.
Globalism and One World Government, in my opinion, are not the system of Antichrist, though they are among the factors which will make that regime possible. I believe the system of Antichrist will emerge—is in fact emerging—out of the conflict between the New World Order and the spectrum of militant reactions against it.
In Jesus’ time, the One World Government was the Roman Empire. The Zealots were the anti-Roman revolutionaries and/or militias. Jesus was careful not to be drawn into making statements which would compromise the Zealot cause and make him appear as a Roman collaborator. But he also related to Roman military officers, and toadies of Rome like the Jewish tax collectors, in ways that scandalized many Jewish nationalist patriots. He emerged from the common people oppressed both by Rome and by the colonial Jewish ruling classes who did Rome’s dirty work, and he denounced those sectors of the ruling class—the Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians—who made common cause with the Empire, while speaking no word against the Zealots and Essenes, who did not. But he did not identify with the violent “vanguard” who acted in the people’s name. So we can say that if Christ worked to avoid being identified either with the Roman Empire or with its militant opponents, by the same token we should be careful not to strictly identify Antichrist either with One World Government or with anti-globalist terrorism. Together they will provide the milieu out of which he will emerge; but just as Christ avoided being claimed by either party because it was his mission redeem not the Jews alone but all humanity, so Antichrist will “play both sides against the middle” in the latter days to build his power over all aspects of the human soul. Antichrist is not primarily the enemy of democracy or national autonomy, in other words, but of Humanity itself, considered as made in the image and likeness of God. In its deepest essence, the battle between Christ and Antichrist is not between freedom and tyranny (though where true freedom is, the Antichrist cannot come), nor between traditional religious bodies and secular society (though the field of this conflict may, at least in some cases, be closer to the real war), but that between the sacred presence of God in the human heart, and the sacrilegious violation of that presence: “When ye therefore shall see the Abomination of Desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth, let him understand), then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains” (Matthew 24:15-16).
Globalism is in the process of destroying all traditional and national cultures, undermining and compromising all traditional religious forms. But to simply oppose all planning and action on a global scale is also problematic. The ironic truth is that given globalism, we need globalism. If business is international, unions must be international too, or wages might eventually be driven below the subsistence level everywhere. If epidemics are global, public health efforts must cross national boundaries. If pollution is global, efforts to limit it must be global. If crime is global, the police must be also. If “emerging” nations and terrorist gangs develop weapons of mass destruction, efforts must be made to limit their spread. We have no choice but to try and manage the earth on a planetary level. But the struggle to accomplish this is itself producing ambiguous results. If the powers that be can use environmentalism, public health efforts, armed peacemaking and the war against international crime, terrorism and the drug trade to further consolidate their power, they will. Or rather, they are. Anyone who opposes the effort to save the environment or cut into the international drug trade or limit the possibility of nuclear terrorism is working against the best interests of humanity and the earth. But anyone who identifies with these efforts or places his or her hopes in them is deluded. The earth cannot be managed on a planetary level because the forces of globalism which aspire to do the managing—global business and finance in other words, followed and not led by the trend toward political unification—are the same forces which are creating these problems in the first place. The global spread of industry and exploitation of resources—originated and presently driven, despite the communist interlude, by trans-national capitalism—are the origin of environmental degradation. By destroying traditional subsistence economies and proletarianizing labor—helped greatly in this by the brutal collectivization of agriculture, at the expense of tens of millions of lives, in communist Russia and China—by exploiting cheap labor and threatening national and religious cultural identities, the forces of global capitalism have themselves created the global underground trade in drugs, weapons, endangered animal species, slaves….all monuments to the entrepreneurial spirit. Only a One World Government could possibly limit the destructive power of these international economic forces. But when and if such a government emerges, even though it may have some mitigating influence on global disasters, it will be the agent of these forces, not their adversary.
Politics is the art of the ephemeral. Whatever of human value is gained through political action is temporary, ambiguous and corruptible. This is the nature of time and history—of matter itself. Action for social justice, action to save the environment are laudable. Every person who can avoid being crushed by circumstances without becoming an exploiter and oppressor of others is a blessing to the race. Every species which can be saved from extinction remains as an incomparable mirror of one unique aspect of the Divine nature, and may (or may not) add to the biodiversity available in the next cycle of terrestrial manifestation, since we can’t absolutely know whether or not the end of this aeon must entail the total destruction of all life on earth, or even all human life; all we know is that it will be the end for “us.”
But the battle against Antichrist is on a different level. Though for some it may include a political expression, it is essentially spiritual. “My kingdom is not of this world.” It is a struggle to save, not the world, but the human soul—starting, and finishing if necessary, with one’s own.