Reforming church, culture and our city

Reforming church, culture and our city

Posts Tagged ‘globalization

Pax Facebook

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A good friend of mine Jason Lau has put down his thoughts on the challenges of globalization as we compare our world to the 1st C Roman world. Check out his thoughts on “Pax Facebook – A new global world order on an iPhone

Have just realized that some of you can’t get to his note if you’re not his friend on Facebook and have reproduced Jason’s note here – my guest blogger, Jason Lau on Pax Facebook 🙂

Globalisation and a new world order on an iPhone, how did we get here? And what does it all mean?

I had a good discussion with our church leaders and pastor tonight about growing the church, and how we can live out Jesus’ command and mission for the church in a global, urban and post-secular world.

The conversation also got me thinking although we live in a very different world to 1st Century A.D. Rome, how similar the different times are. The paradigm gets bigger as our world gets smaller. Globalisation has made this all possible.

In a lot of ways, we are like Rome was. Rome controlled the ancient civilised world and established its ‘Pax Romana’. The Roman Empire lived in a time of ‘relative peace’ between 27 B.C. and 180 A.D. Using its military power connected by it’s famous Roman roads to make sure it was able to stamp it’s authority and control. These same roads connected cultures and economies. People of different nations were able to intermingle, different ethnic cultures were crossing boundaries, and it became a flourishing cosmopolitan economy. It also was a time when it was accepted that it was a pluralist society.

Similiarly to Rome, we live in a very cosmopolitan city, or even global , where there is ‘relative peace’ among a pluralistic society. Our global networks pave roads which connect our cultures and economies. The world economy ‘controls’ this world through it’s global financial networks. Now we see a massive shift in people of different nations who are able to intermingle instantly across the globe. Different ethnic cultures are blurring boundaries and creating fusion sub cultures, and it became a flourishing cosmopolitan economy. We are also in a time when it is accepted as a result of the infusion of cultures, that we live in a pluralist society.

In the 20th Century, there were other lesser instances of this historical model. Firstly the the UK established its ‘Pax Britannica” through global colonisation, then the United States established it’s ‘Pax Americana’ through spreading its influence through its massive defence network. Furthermore, the US established its form of democracy as its template and using both as a net to establish its economic power. Both models were much more ‘uniform’ than the Roman model.

However, the US also spawned the Internet from a defence network called ARPA in the 1960-60s. The late 20th Century also saw the growth of the international air travel network. These two factors I believe are the two key foundations of making true globalisation possible.

We are seeing a 21st Century resurgence of the Roman model on a global scale. These days our countries connect and control people and economies using the new roads, based on our global networks.

The scariest feeling I had of globalisation was my first experience of using my Blackberry overseas. The fact that I could step off a plane in Singapore, and talk to someone in Sydney to continue my job and check my e-mails as if I had never left. The feeling was eerie.

And that’s why I say the Smartphone in my hand is a symbol of globalisation.

However, in a lot of ways, the ‘global village’ is more like a set of global hubs where they are so connected, physical boundaries don’t matter much any more. Urban hubs and lifelines of our networks are focussed on the key life lines of the economy, like New York, Tokyo, Singapore, London, Sydney etc. And ironically by far, these cities in a lot of ways are far more connected to each other in the new global world much more than even to some major cities in the countries themselves!

So it’s no wonder that we might laugh about regional Australia, but it is actually a big problem not having them connected with the new roads properly. They become global back waters. Longer term they will be severely disadvantaged and more disconnected from this new world order.

Anyway, some thoughts I thought I was share. I actually haven’t fully absorbed how a more connected ‘global urban village’ on Facebook that I can connect to on my Windows Mobile Smartphone (unfortunately no iPhone for me) really means yet, but guess that’s a story for another day… Jason Lau (guest blogger)

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Written by eugenehor

July 24, 2008 at 2:36 pm