How to discuss global issues without “triggering” a negative dogmatic reaction

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.








About GlenAnderson 1515 Articles
Since the late 1960s Glen Anderson has devoted his life to working as a volunteer for peace, nonviolence, social justice, and progressive political issues. He has worked through many existing organizations and started several. Over the years he has worked especially for such wide-ranging goals as making peace with Vietnam, eliminating nuclear weapons, converting from a military economy to a peacetime economy, abolishing the death penalty, promoting nonviolence at all levels throughout society, and helping people organize and strategize for grassroots movements to solve many kinds of problems. He writes, speaks, and conducts training workshops on a wide variety of topics. Since 1987 he has produced and hosted a one-hour cable TV interview program on many kinds of issues. Since 2017 he has blogged at He lives in Lacey near Olympia WA. You can reach him at (360) 491-9093