TED Conversations

Dean Salzberger

Lead Israel

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Can we abolish nationalism and live in a globalized society?

The holocaust is an integral part of education in Israel. And for years Israeli students are attending programs and are going to Poland to learn and go through an emotional process, which usually ends in an educational message. Some messages are Zionist, some talk about democracy and humanity; others grow nationalization in students and encourage them to join the army.

A lot of years have passed since the holocaust and it seems people are starting to forget around the world. The world turns more and more extreme and nationalism grows like a disease. I never truly understood why Palestinians and Jews cant live in the same land [and no, I do not discount this conflict like many people in the world do].

And I assume most of you here are global minded humanists, but don’t think racism and hatred is only among us silly Middle Eastrens, your cultures and you and I personally tend to generalize groups with out even noticing.
That’s thought led me to a kind of depression. All my family died in the holocaust for what? For the countries to continue hating one another?
I know this banal statement directly leads you to think im some kind of a weirdo not practical hippi, and believe me; im not.

But I would like you to the following question in a creative and original way [“this is human nature and we cant do nothing about it” is not an answer].

Can the world live with out extreme nationalization, with out borders, with out hatred between different groups? Can the world be fully globalized?

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  • Jan 14 2012: i agree(with rhona)- "life can be a positive experience for everyone" establishing this planet and its resources as "the common heritage of every person on earth"(jacque fresco). would be a step in the right direction. everyone deserves the necessities in order to survive. eliminate the monetary system and start a resource based economy. the "keeping up with the jones" mentality will disappear and automatically you eliminate a large portion of crime. human nature is not real. babies are not born with hate in their heart. it is learned behavior and we can fix that. but not until everyone erverywhere come to the realization that we ALL are human and we ALL have basic needs that need to be met to survive and therefore we are ALL created equal on the most basic level.
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    Jan 12 2012: Few ordinary people get the chance die "for" something. Most people die "because" of something. Such a terrible personal family history is a tragedy. It must be a constant source of pain for you and others who also have suffered similar agony. I don't believe it is human nature. On the other hand, it is possible even today to find ideologies which lead to the outcome of death and tragic loss. It used to be said that the world was getting smaller, because of the ease of travel and the speed of communications. But the tensions brought about by the pressures of increased populations and limited resources continue to motivate people to seek answers in the traditional ways of solving problems, including ideologically justified violence which drive people's further and further apart.
    Perhaps you see a globalized society as the answer to these problems. In the view of the science fiction series Star Trek, you are correct. On the other hand we have Atlas Shrigged, Brave New World, and A Clockwork Orange.
    I would continually advocate humanism, liberty and peace, while avoiding the historical process of aggregating more and more power, both economic and political, into fewer and fewer hands.
    The world is suffering at present from too much power used for purposes not in the public interest.
    Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Seek not to govern the world. Rather, seek to govern your own heart.
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    Jan 10 2012: While the modern nation state is relatively new, tribalism seems to be part of human nature.

    From the nuclear family, extended family, friends, and multiple other dimensions of tribalism including the nation state.

    I note when a nation state includes regions with historically multiple ethnicities or tribes there are often problems.

    Suggest the nation state will be around for quite some time because (1) Power systems, political and economic systems - government tax etc are entrenched in nation states (2) underlying tribalism (3) Impracticality of one world government representation, effective government etc. (4) Basic selfishness/self preservation - people in rich countries don't want to be swamped by people from poor countries (5) Diversity in values/law/social and cultural norms seem to relatively enduring.
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    Dec 20 2011: Sure. Just as soon as we graduate to a globalism mentality. Life won't be any more free like that. It is just a larger form of control. I was taught never to trust and always fear all the "isms"
    But I am definitely supporting any movement away from nationalism, But, I will probably bail before it reaches glaobalism.
  • Dec 16 2011: Yes, I also believe this to be possible. However, I believe it would take a population reduction in the order of 1 / 10,000 of what it current is should be enough. If you reduce the population of the earth to about 700,000 from the current 7 billion, the resulting group would be small enough to be cohesive. Anything larger than that and you risk spliting in to factions.
    Either that or you have to find an "empathy gene" and make sure eveyone has it or institute draconian psychological examination of everyone to weed out the racist, bigots, sociopaths, psychopaths and all the other unproductive parts of our nature that have never been excluded by evolution.
  • Dec 16 2011: Yes. Life can be a positive experience for everyone. Our generation can be the one that re-programs ourselves with a positive orientation to people, to life. Let's let go of all ancestral negative brainwashing and program ourselves to live in accordance with our highest awareness of what is right. Let's just stick with positive everything only always. We have the freedom and the power to speak positive words only all day today. We have the power and freedom to commit multiple positive acts all day long today. Our words, our acts will ripple throughout our lovely universe thereby co-creating the joyous life experience we treasure......for all. Let's do it. HAPPY TODAY!