A thought that has occurred to me in this age of immigration and refugees fleeing from here to there is the nature of why they come.
Economic opportunity is a strong motivator. Fleeing from war and violence and war an even stronger one. For some perhaps it is just opportunity in general; for others a chance to live their lives as they see fit (instead of as their government or culture).
As I pondered the reason that migration happens even within nations that are neither at war or nor in significant disaster - such as our own migration from where we grew up to where we now live - I was struck by the fact that in some ways they are not different: economic opportunity or way of life or just general opportunity can move people from one location to another.
But in each and every one of these examples, the place to which you are going is the item of importance. The place that you came from does not have a great deal of relevance at all. In many cases, we tend to no longer think of it at all, or just nostalgically.
But that is part of the larger problem.
The current U.S. President's phrase of "Make America Great Again" has been either inspirational or a mockery, depending on which side of the political spectrum you fall. Setting aside politics for a moment, what is the conceptual problem with the concept of making something great - or great again?
Take Mexico, our immediate neighbor to the south, which is certain parts is horribly littered with crime and economic impoverishment and almost outright civil war. The things that motivate her citizens to come - Jobs, safety, security - are something that no-one can really argue against. But my question is simply this: what if we could make Mexico great?
Yes, I understand there are pretty significant obstacles (the drug trade that is largely supported by the U.S. comes to mind [which we have to address] as does an economy that could use significant assistance in developing). But would it not be worthwhile to spend the sort of time and effort and resources on this as to the other sorts of things we spend our money on?
Why not make Great Britain great again? Or Canada? Or Rwanda? Or Peru? Or anywhere, really?
Some might accuse of me of participating in nationalistic jingoism. That is not the point at all. I would argue that a country can be great - confident in culture, supportive of its citizens, with a thriving economy - and not go to war to do it. But it takes work - hard, long work, and a belief that such a thing is even possible. It also requires a believe in and commitment to the place you are it, a faith that it can be better - and the ability to communicate that belief and motivate with it.
So I suppose here is my challenge to all those argue that only through submission to the whole of World Government can we achieve greatness: if we have not been able to do it on a national level, whatever would convince us we could do it on an international level?
Instead, might we not consider just starting with making where we are great? And then branching out from there?