During a recent peace vigil in downtown Olympia, I held a sign: “New treaty prohibits nuclear weapons.” A pedestrian came along and struck up a conversation. We talked for about 20 minutes about a wide range of issues.
One of his recurring points led me to post this message to my blog.
Many people in the peace movement want to transcend narrow nationalism and affirm “world citizenship.”
The person I talked with kept expressing disagreement with the “globalists” who want to dominate the world. In our conversation I got him to clarify that what he was opposed to was “global capitalism,” but he kept using the term “globalists.” He kept saying that George Soros and Davos and the elitists who want to run the world for their own benefit.
I did NOT mention “world citizenship,” because I sensed that he would not be mentally open to the concept.
Here is a take-away from the conversation. Let’s be careful about how we express our global peace values – without “triggering” people who have a political (and rhetorical) bias against “globalists.” What WE are urging is NOT what he or the right-wing “anti-globalists” are opposing.
Let’s take care in framing our “world citizenship” concept in ways that will NOT fall into the rhetorical pitfall that has become widespread. Let’s steer clear of “triggering” our dogmatic opponents. Let’s figure out ways to express our values in ways that the general public — including people who are not part of the peace movement — would find themselves agreeing with?
Even if we don’t recruit right-wingers into our movement, we can at least avoid having them misunderstand our proposal and bad-mouth us.