This is an old article I wrote in February 2005 in reflection to an article written by Charles Krauthammer.
The article titles
Shock and awe: In sorrow and glory we find our common humanity.
Response to Charles Krauthammer
You are right, community building effort from the top such as the Olympics is perhaps not as successful as some hoped. This is no news. Even the powerful Soviet’s effort to wash away ethic, religious, national difference of its people in favor of “the soviet man” has fail too. After soviet dissolved and half a century of Soviet effort, conflicts still break out on the ethnic, religious and national fault line. If the Soviet has problem creating a new identity of “the soviet man”, what are the chance for the weaker Olympic body and the United Nations.
Communities are not build overnight, it takes time and it usually come from the bottom. This is especially the case when the project is to build a grand community that encompasses the human race. Recognition of equality that is needed for community building has only slow begun after the Second World War in the form of decolonialisation. And it is only one and half decade ago since the humanity has made up after almost half a century of ideological rife between East and West. So really we could only start building the grant community after the Cold War. Which is still completely ignoring the current clash between radical political Islam and the apparently secular America and its allies.
Nonetheless the unprecedented generosity shown at the wake of tsunami disaster is en encourage sign, thanks to modern communication technology that insert live miseries into peoples home and modern transportation that allows foreigners all over to be in vicinity of tsunami’s awe, summoning more shocks around the world. Building community awareness. Publicized instance like the September 11th remise people that the welfare of not just your countrymen but also strangers half a global away will have impact on their lives.
Less noticeable at the grassroots, the movement of people is breading a new generation of people who has grown up in multiple countries whose identity are less categorized by their they country of birth, ethnicity, or the citizenship they hold but something that is less clear, member of humanity perhaps.
Romans don’t wake up one day and find them salves Italians. People of nations take time for them to forgo their pity national diversion. Green aliens would speed things up, but for now TV and cheap air travel is just as good.