What follows is an old Facebook post (2015) that illustrates in greater depth my concern about the globalist agenda prior to the 2016 election.

In 1969, a few months after graduating from high school, I flew to Europe, where I spent several months exploring by thumb and by train. Of all the countries I traveled through, my favorite by far was Greece. It was a beautiful land with its own distinct culture. The old Mediterranean peasant world still had a strong presence, which made a big impression on me. The Greeks in general were extraordinarily friendly, openly curious about people from other countries, and generous. One day, at an outdoor market I asked a farmer if I could buy an orange. He seemed puzzled and asked, “One kilo?” “No, one orange,” I said. He frowned and shook his head. No, he wasn’t going to sell me just one orange. He gave it to me. One of the special aspects of Greece, especially Crete, was the sense of timelessness—by which I mean I had little awareness of being in a particular historical era. Visually, everything was distinct. As Henry Miller said of Crete in The Colossus of Maroussi, “You see everything in its uniqueness—a man sitting under a tree: a donkey climbing a path near a mountain: a ship in a harbor in a sea of turquoise: a table on a terrace beneath a cloud.” I’d already begun my lifelong loathing of modernity—the tawdry commercialism, superficial relationships, the hustle—and I loved Greece for the slow pace of life and its beauty. Living life was more important than business. (It’s pitiful that people who believe life should be beautiful are regarded now as romantics. It’s a symptom of how lost we’ve become.)

In 2007 I returned to Greece to do research for my book Street Song. I wasn’t expecting it to be the same, but the degree of change was startling. Everything that I loved about Greece was gone. It had lost that special sense of timelessness. Greece had become a resort for wealthy northern Europeans and Americans. And the Greeks themselves had become sullen. All they wanted was your money. It took me a few days to figure out exactly what had happened: globalization. Greece was now just an outpost on the international corporate circuit. One day I tried to talk to a Greek about it, and he blew me off. He was gruff and uncommunicative. I finally did talk to a Greek about it, a man who owned a laundromat and spoke English. He agreed with me—very passionately—that something had gone very wrong in Greece. All anybody did was work and work, and they were all unhappy about it. They all believed that they had no choice. Much of their work consisted in serving the fat Germans who lounged about on the beaches and treated them like serfs.

There is a lot of anger directed at Greece in the Western World because of the new government’s threat to default on its debt. A tremendous amount of pressure is being put on them to stay the course of austerity and to open the doors wider to those who have no interest in Greece other than to rape and pillage. I, for one, hope they can resist. If it means default, then bless them. The insane, pointless workaholism of the Germans and Americans goes against the character of the Greeks—against the character of human beings, really. We are not designed to live this way and we’re heading for a nervous breakdown.

America, Germany, and England as well as some other countries have declared to the rest of the world that globalization is the only way to go, that every country must be part of it or it won’t survive. No one is given a choice. The global economy is very clearly a great evil to me. It’s tawdry and shallow. We’ve gone far beyond any level of comfort that we actually need, and yet we’re still not satisfied. Our levels of anger and frustration grow continually because materialism can never satisfy. Something is going to bring the whole thing down one day. I think of the bankers as drug dealers. They try to get you hooked and then send in their enforcers if you don’t pay up. It’s probably too much to hope that a default by Greece would begin the unraveling, but it would be most appropriate if it did. The Western World’s enshrinement of rationality and logic began in Greece, and it is rationality and logic that has led to the horrific level of materialism that we live by today. If Greece can begin the process of the collapse of that system—which must collapse for the world to survive—it will be one of those beautifully ironic moments that history sometimes serves up.

13 Comments

  1. Wow, I am amazed at this post and totally agree. We seem to have lost a love of the different and want to force everyone into one mold. How sad.

  2. Humans are born with an overdeveloped skill (understanding, self-knowledge) which does not fit into nature’s design. The human craving for justification on matters such as life and death cannot be satisfied, hence humanity has a need that nature cannot satisfy. The tragedy, following this theory, is that humans spend all their time trying not to be human. The human being, therefore, is a paradox. – Peter Zapffe

    1. Author

      I’m reading a book right now, a collection of sermons, I guess you’d call them, by Bodhidharma who was the man who brought what was to be called Chan Buddhism (Zen in Japan) from India to China. I read a lot of these kinds of books and have for decades. I think their understanding of our nature is superior to the understanding of Western philosophers, whose work is almost entirely speculative. We are part of nature but we fall prey to delusion. What Zappfe considers overdeveloped strikes me as underdeveloped. Our understanding and self-knowledge fall short because they’re abstract rather than immediate. We can’t understand these things by thinking about them. We have to go inside and manifest them.

  3. Do not search for the truth;
    only cease to cherish opinions.

    1. Author

      I agree with this. But it’s an extraordinarily fine point and easy to fall off to the side of it.

  4. “Those who suffer the terrible agonies of hell see seething cauldrons and white-hot furnaces. Craving ghosts see raging fires and pools of pus and blood. Fighting demons see a violent battle ground of deadly strife. The unenlightened see a defiled world of ignorance and suffering–all thorns and briars, stones and worthless shards—from which they turn to seek the Land of Purity. Inhabitants of the Deva realms see a wonderful land of brilliant lapis lazuli and transparent crystal Adherents of the two vehicles see a realm of transition on the path to attainment. Bodhisattvas see a land of true recompense filled with glorious adornments. Buddhas see an eternal land of tranquil light. How about you Zen monks? ‘What do you see?'” – Hakuin

    1. Author

      What does a Zen monk living in Nagasaki see when they drop an atom bomb?

  5. I do not know. What do you see?

    1. Author

      I see a world in a lot of trouble and we need to make a whole-hearted effort to save it.

  6. They, that unnamed ‘they,’ they’ve knocked me down but I got up. I always get up-and I swear when I went down quite often I took the fall; nothing moves a mountain but itself. They, I’ve long ago named them me. – Gregory Corso

    1. Author

      One day many years ago, I was walking down Grant Avenue here in North Beach and saw this guy coming toward me who was consistently a big hassle. As soon as I saw him I spontaneously started crossing to the other side of the street. Around the middle of the street I stopped and said to myself, “My god. I’m crossing the street to avoid Gregory Corso.” He was the one who got me to accept bohemian poetry when I was a teenager. But since encountering him in the flesh, I’d stopped seeing him a as a poet. He’d become trouble, someone to avoid.

      1. “He’d became trouble, someone to avoid.” – Mark Bittner

        Please overlook my old man’s tardy reply.

        “Aspirants belonging to the first rank recognize the Buddha’s great power, observe his precepts and, by utilizing the power of the vow working in themselves, gain birth in his pure land. But that is not a real pure land, only a provisional manifestation of one. The reason aspirants seek it is because they have not seen into their own true nature, hence do not know that ignorance is in itself the fundamental wisdom of the tathagatas, and are thus still subject to the working of causation. This is the simple principle from which “The Amida Sutra” is expounded.” – Hau-yen Ho-lun

        “In the morning our eyebrows meet; in the evening we brush shoulders. What do I look like?” — Daito Kokushi

      2. “He’d became trouble, someone to avoid.”

        “A buddha is someone who finds freedom in good fortune & bad.” From “The Bloodstream Sermon” — Bodhidharma

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