Amblin’ Alameda: Like It Or Not, We’re All In This Together

Amblin’ Alameda: Like It Or Not, We’re All In This Together

Morton Chalfy

The political world seems nearly equally divided between the “Every Man For Himself” crowd and the “We’re All In This Together” group. The arguments run the short gamut from “no freeloaders need apply” to “we’re all made in the image of the Maker.” The “no freeloaders” seem to be masking strains of racism, homophobia and naked greed with patriotism of the rankest sort and the “image of our Maker” folks are seen to be extending help even to the most miserable of fakers. Not much common ground to be found.

Away from politics the situation of humanity here on Earth is clearer and more straightforward. We share one atmosphere, one ocean and one set of continents. The same forces of gravity and temperature play equally over the globe and new strains of disease hop across man-made barriers with ease and aplomb. A virus that arises in the heart of China can affect people, pigs or poultry all around the world in very short order. From this point of view it is obvious that we are all in this together.

But there is another point of view, that of the technological, scientific and cultural society we live in globally. Human life now depends on commerce, at least trade, to move the necessities from the points of production to the places of consumption. Consider that ships don’t move without a global support system of harbors, docks, weather satellites, insurance, trade agreements and security. Nor do planes fly without the same factors. Public health depends on global cooperation as does agriculture, education, research and exploration.

In fact, the number of organizations formed to enhance and enable global cooperation is in the thousands. That is outside the purviews of “official” mechanisms for cooperation such as the United Nations and all the regional groups and cartels. Oil, that most contentious of the necessities, has produced one significant association after another.

The world can’t work any longer without the cooperative global associations in the fields of business, government, science and technology. We now live in an era when everyone has to be accounted for and taken into consideration. Continued failure to do so is counter-productive as it leads to challenges of all sorts ranging from suicide bombers to striking bus drivers.

We may not like entire classes of people, even continents full, but ignoring them and their desires can no longer be sustained. The elites seem to cooperate with very little problem when it comes to protecting their money and power but cynically whip up frenzy in their populations by blaming any problems on “outside agitators.” When you can’t play the game without an opponent you have to provide a seat at the table for everyone.

Discussion, debate, wrangling over lawsuits and endlessly arguing over every gored ox is frustrating, time consuming and as ugly as sausage-making and seems much messier than the “clean” decision to go to war. In a rational world the bumpy path to cooperation is the only road our grandchildren and their grandchildren will be able to choose if our civilization isn’t to be burned to the ground.