In Defense of Globalization

By Jagdish Bhagwati | Go to book overview

19
And So, Let Us Begin Anew

The German poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote:

All of you undisturbed cities, haven't you ever longed for the Enemy?

He sought the force that would break the routine of our bourgeois lives, the “husk that blocks anything fresh from coming in.” But he searched within:

I live my life in growing orbits which move out over the things of the world. Perhaps I can never achieve the last, but that will be my attempt.

I am circling around God, around the ancient tower, and I have been circling for a thousand years, and I still don't know if I am a falcon, or a storm, or a great song. 1

The critics of globalization think of themselves as breaking the husk too: they seek to wake us from what they see as our complacency and to disturb our comfort with the process of globalization. But they would replace Rilke's life in “growing orbits,” a spiritual pilgrimage into our inner space, with a secular journey into the outer space of public action.

Public action, however, will not succeed unless it reflects not only passions but also reason. Reason and analysis require that we abandon the conviction that globalization lacks a human face, an assertion that is tantamount to a false alarm, and embrace the view that it has one. Public action must reflect that change in assessment, and I have sketched here the elements of such appropriate governance. The rest is up to the reader.

-265-

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