the world in a teacup
Easy reading is damn hard writing
Nathaniel Hawthorne. 1853
A fresh look at a global world. Through the writer’s eye.
The world looks dour at this point in a global world where near-200 countries are digitally connected while socially they are a hodge-podge of cultural levels from traditional to avante garde and even “woke.” That range of complexity applies not only to the near-200 countries but to the thousands of subgroups within them. To an internationalist writer grounded in classics as rounded out by United Nations breadth, such a world is a workable new frontier.
Like any major milestone for humanity such as industrialization, the global digital age is both a blessing and a threat. Like always, humans negotiate the terms of the transition.
Only humans have the ingenuity to fuse new tools with the old. They do this not with the brain alone as modern Artificial Intelligence aims to do, but by the processes of the entire system from body to mind and soul. This human element is the part of global relations that internationalism promotes.
Internationalism posits that every person matters in a global digital world and that humans experience the world from the persomal to local and national levels. With internationalism, awareness expands to the global level of near-200 countries..
That might seem like a tall order right now, especially to small countries that are little more than names on the global map. It may even seem undesirable to many as giant corporations bulldozeBut internationalism holds that the most aggressive corporations and the most totalitarian of regimes can be made tractactable if those adversely affected are given agency, a voice and a way to in which they can influence the course that opressors of any sort would impose on them.
About this Site
Helen Fogarassy was born into Communist Hungary and became a child refugee when her family fled after the failed revolution against Soviet oppression. She lived briefly in Austria, grew up in the US Midwest and as a New Yorker has a 20-year asociation with the United Nations, including in Somalia. Writing is the device that links all those spheres.
Contrary to social postings heavy with emojis, the art of writing matches ideas with just the right words. Across cultures, the exchange is is a rich opening for errors, misunderstandings, clarifications and rephrasings until understanding is reached. The process calls for a commitment to the process until mutual satisfaction.
As part of its evolution, this website invites writers at all levels of the craft to share views and experiences about their place in the world. Language irregularities are a delight and emojis are fine. Just give us a shout-out from where you are.
The World Now As Is
The current world of near-200 countries is bursting at seams sewn sewn into it after the Second World War. That was when the world decided to stabilize under threat of annihilating itself with the nuclear bomb.
New boundaries were drawn for the world’s trouble spots. There would be no more colonialism and countries would not invade each other. The United Nations was set up as a forum for nations to settle disputes. Financil institutions such as the World Bank were established to reduce the great disparities in wealth that lead to armed conflict. The basics for great global development were put in place and they worked until they remained hidebound while the world changed rapidly.
At this point, the world’s near-200 countries have many options on how to move forward in a glabal digitally connected world. Most belong to one or multiple regional organizations. Those countries make decisions in line with the group’s broader aims. Some countries remain defiantly isolationist, most notably North Korea. But that is not much different from isolationist individuals the world over, includingthe world leading US. But most countries like most people are socially minded and peer pressure is a big factor in obying the international laws they agree upon at the United Nations.
International law is the foundation for all national laws. The United Nations Charter imodeled after the US Constitution is the basic legal document that all countries have agreed to as they spellout democratic principles. However, the Charter allows great leeway in how countries implement the laws. Recently, countries have also backslid in honoring the democratic principles they have agreed to. None have openly violated international law until Russia recently invaded Ukraine.
While all countries either condemned the action or stayed neutral , the newly formed multi-continental BRICS (Brazil,Russia, India, SAfrica) declined to censure Russia for ongoing violations of International law in Ukraine. Instead, six new members were invited to join (Saudi Arabia, Iran,Ethiopia, Egypt,Argentina,UAE). It remains to be seen how qickly the international community can bring Russia to heel and restore Ukraine’s rightful sovereignty.
Writers have a leg up in the current global world of misinfo, disinfo, propaganda and downright deep fake non-info.-As the saying goes, “truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense.” Fiction is a correlation of a truth between author and reader. The truth strikes a note of recognition in both, much like a musical chord.
To a writer, the message of a lying autocrat has an entirely different resonance from that of an earnest democratic leader. If the facts are wrong, media amplification will wholly distort the message. The writer remembers that it made sense, the ideas matched with the words and struck the chord in the hearer. As American Hemingway put it, writers need a 100% foolproof bulls*t detector to be effective in their work.
Further, writers take a broader view of events and human relations than most people. Writers are interested in nuances and patterns of similrity that are beyond the interest of most. Writers are connoisseurs of human experience as reflected by the interplay of thought, word and action. As such, they are an indispensable factor in navigating the malleable reality of a digitally connected world manipulated for political purposes.
Like politicians, writers are captives of public sentiment in their drive to achieve their aims. The writer’s aim is to communicate the experience of life as lived. That of the politician is to win the right to tell people how to live. Journalists and news reporters are critical for keeping politicians on the right track. Writers are essential for helping people appreciate what they have and for motivating them to take action when needed.
Warming to Internationalism
Internationalism is an attitude, a way of looking at events in a broader orbit than one is used to. It is an awareness that the world is made up of just 200 countries, each with a personality just like one’s own. More complicated, of course.
Given the conflicts raging in the world today, internationalism may seem like a utopian dream. But most of the conflicts boil down to a few basic causes. Internationalism looks at them and points to ways of finding common solutions tailored to individual national needs. Internationalism does this be showcasing countries in a regional context that ties into the whole of global society. It eases the globalization fears of cultural annihilation.
Internationalism holds that in a global world it’s not necessary to like everone else. Indeed there may be personal or cultural antipathies and even hostilities. But all people and cultures deserve due respect. Physical violence at any level is taboo. Arts including sports are promoted as legitimate outlets for aggression.
The world is obviously global and digitally connected. Some may deny the situation or say it doesn’t affect them. They are enttled to the view just as are climate deniers and flat-earthers still afraid of falling off the edge. But the world moves on and in a global world that can happen in many ways.
Great strides have been made since WWII in reducing inequities that lead to armed conflict. Yet the conflicts continue to erupt because the global governance order is stuck on an outmoded model in dire need of upgrade. Like a rutted airport runway staffed with five traffic controllers empowered to cancel each other in the limited range of their province, the robust ideal of the United Nations has grown sclerotic, its arteries hardened.
Internationalism can fix the problem by sneaking up on it. Instead of butting heads in the vaunted UN diplomatic arena, countries and regions can do their homework first to make a powerful impact ion the global stage.
Internationalism holds that a country’s economy is an outgrowth of its governance, economic structure and civic sectors participating in a cultural context. In simple terms, a healthy cultural life is vital to the stability of both government and economy.
Like individuals, countries have an inherited cultural DNA influenced by its current environment. The global digital age has swept the world rapidly in a matter of mere decades, Cultural DNA is often washed out in the global flood. The arts as the repository of cultural wisdom are the restorative. In particular, the process of writing preserves the essence of a culture in a rapidly changing world.
Free-floating anxiety is a term for a sense of unease about uncertainty. Indeed, ideas and events can be fleeting, ephemeral in the digital age. The process of writing fits ideas with the best possible words. They are preserved forever in the classical works produced in every corner of the world, to be consulted and updated to reflect the impact of progress over centuries and millennia.
In short, the digital medium is great for rapid-fire range. It is an open invitation for fakery and scams. Durability is reliable andreassures. It commands respect and calls for more thought and work. Commitment to the agreed upon written word is sacred.
The Internationalism Bottom Line
Thousands of sub-cultures live within the umbrella culture of the world’s near-200 countries. They are all united by one common element. Respect for the rule of law.
Even dictators of sliding democracies conduct their affairs by providing paper cover for nefarious deeds.s. Russia did it that way until it openly flouted international law by invading Ukraine and continuing to violate the law with impunity.
.The last such violation led to the decisive Second World War. The ability of the world to avoid such a conflagration is a testament to the instruments in place since then. Messy, convoluted and humanly flawed as they are, the institutions have held thanks to adherence to their principles by people of integrity, not all the world’s people or countries but enough of a majority to keep the process going. That is the essence of the democracy that Ukraine is fighting for with the aid of Allies who value the principles.
All the world was drawn into the brutal armed conflict of the Second World War. This time around, Ukraine is shouldering the responsibility of protecting democratic freedoms on behalf of the whole world at a great human cost..Global geopolitics feed into this nexus of contention over rule of law. They radiate out worldwide wherever vestigial nneocolonialists place a footprint in their latest guise.
In the modern world, the rule of law begins at the Ubited Nation where laws are formulated and articulated. The process of implementing those laws at the national level by near-200 countries is laborious , complicated and excruciatibgly slow. But regional groups ease the process, as ECOWAS is doing in the spate of African countries experiencing coups lately. Pooling resources and intel to sort actors and actions.
The internationalist attitude turbo charges such protective mechanisms for democratic freedoms within national governmental constraints. The rule of thumb there is this. All near-200 nations of the world have agreed in writing to abide by the democratic principles of the United Nations Charter. While great leewayis allowed for working those principles in the national legislation of near -200 countries, the basic commitment is still binding and all nations must comply with international standards. Sanctions for non-compliance is an evolving field of international law that is part and parcel of the internationalist plan of action.
However large or small, however sophisticated or nativist, each of the world’s near-200 countries is powered by people. Rich or poor, they have the same psychological make-up shaped by ever broader social circlesthat in however small a way bear their imprint. Big crook or small, all miscreants are social misfits stuck at a primitive level of development.
Despite shortcomings, the Freudian model of psychological development is fairly widely accepted. A person is made up of three parts controlled by three parts of the brain. The id is the oldest, most primitive part, seat of basic drives and raw emotions. The ego is the sense of self, the socialized version of the id. The superego in the highest, most developed brain areas are the seat of ideation, imagination and higher aspirations for social good. Cultures and governmental systems can be conducive to fostering any of three levels of behavior either tacitly or by default. So can institutions or, businesses or any human-based social construct.
A tyrannical regime that maintains power for self-propagation relies on lower brain functioning of its society. Cronyism, corruption, deceit and fear are a few of its modes of operation. Without the adaptation enabled by higher brain functioning, these regimes remain limited in the tools available to maintain social order. In a global digital world full of information flow, repression becomes increasingly the last resort in a feedback loop of escalating anxiety and stress.
By contrast, democracies are based on the highest superego ideals that national egos achieve to a wide range of levels depending on how well the democratic process functions. By definition, democracy is “rule by the people.” That means that a healthy democracy needs the engagement of its people in institutions subject to routine maintenance like any system. There is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine in democracy.
If the Freudian model of the human psyche is correct, then democracy is the only way for any individual anywhere to acieve full potential. As babies we all start out at thr lowest id level and are nurtured into socialized adulthood into thr self-sustaing ego level. That’s when we put legs on our superego ambitions for the greater good. Nice plan, infinite variations.
Superego ideals can start formulating from earliest babyhood on but they must be organic, originating from the individual human system itself. Social engineering experiments such as the Russian Soviet system of assigning social roles early in line with social needs have been colossal failures. The subjects simply don’t develop the libido, life force drive to be effective. They don’t interact with their environment enough to be fully responsive to new events in a process nearest to godliness called creativity.
That creativity can be thwarted, twisted and even killed by bad parenting or social circumstances. Conversely, the creative drive can be boosted and maximized by education and social engagent, including in the political process safeguarding the democracy that cultvates, nurtures an promotes it. Internationalism points the way
Elements of Internationalism
If the Freudian model of the human psyche holds and radiates out society-wide, then the primitive id level of meeting basic existence needs passes with nurture to the national ego level of functionality and starts working toward higher superego ideals. In short, dirt poor poverty anywhere in the world’s near-200 countries is a drain on the global population as a whole. While great progress has been made in eradicating it since the Second World War, Internationalism calls for more.
“Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink” is a poetic line describing msailors marooned at sea. In the global digital world of near-22 countries the lin describes those unable to access the vast amount of resources available at all levels of social development from the poorest to the most wealthy.
Those basic building blocks of internationalism are portable modules from one developmental level to another. They include communication of information, opening access channels and supporting governance structures that promote rather than repress development of the individual.
These elements of internationalism are already established and active. They need only to be consolidated, organized, streamlined and most importantly, embraced and implemented as a practicable way forward for a peacefully prosperous world.
Internationalism presumes that people at large want to live satisfying lives, whether through happiness, dedication to duty or the pursuit of some socially beneficial aim. Living a life of crime or being a social pariah may have its perks to some, even to way too many in some circles, but it most likely isn’t very satisfying from an overview angle. Even hardened dictators can’t be very satisfied with a bottom line concern of merely staying alive. however fulfilled is the base need to see ememies suffer. So if satisfaction is the aim, what stands in the way?
Generalizing from conflicts now flaring all over the world, nearly all have common causes that boil down to blockages. Frustrations boil over when people have no agency to satisfy basic needs whether for physical survival or ego growth. These in turn are due to crossed circuits in information flows. Some are intentional, others due to history, situation or circumstance. I
Internationalism offers a cross-cutting solution to these situations. It is based on promoting agency, voice and stake for people in life, community, country and greater wotld..
All the elements for an internationalist attitude are already in place. They are disjointed, haphazard and defensively isolationist against the prevailing perceived global standard of a Western bias. In fact, from an internationalist perspective, those Western presumed prevailing force is composed of separate elements as diverse as the rest of the world. To a large extent, that’s the universal handicap of outmoded stereotyping at work.
While it is true that a Wester bias prevails in the world today, it is also true that the grounds for that bias are eroding but they are failing to register in the global zeitgeist , or consciousness. In simple terms, people the world over don’t know that the West is not the paradise it is still presumed to be, nor are the emerging parts of the world as hopeless as they appear to be. This, in essence, is a major driver in the number one cause of conflict today, the forced migration of people due to political instability as exasperated by climate change crises.
Internationalism holds that a country’s all-important economy is an outgrowth of its government and its society, which in turn is made up of its cultural and commercial sectors. In an internationalist global world, those three elements are kept in balance by big and small countries joining forces to solve global challenges while nations at home work to optimize coherence between commerce and culture for maximal economic growth. That schema has major implications for conceptualizing national conflicts in a global context.
Countries in trouble are on a fool’s errand if they try to handle internal conflicts on their own. Hostilities spill over, illicit global traffickers are on the prowl for their network, the country suffers brain-drain while also earning ill-fame on the global stage. The internationalist alternative is to use existing mechanisms to make the country a viable environment where native citizens have a stake in the country’s growth.
Giving people stake in their country begins with giving them a voice. a voice, an affirmation of respect that is essential for human well-being. In the most repressive government systems, that voice may be underground and connected to outside sources. But people will stay at home if they have a say in their future instead of besuffering hopelessly.
The power of a voice short-circuits grievances to keep them from boiling over into violemce. That holds true for immigrants in host countries and for minorities lost or oppressed among larger population. Given a voice, they enrich national cultures before they become raucus or worse. Nevertheless, a major current challenge that cannot be cured by giving people a voice is that of threats to cultural integrity.
A classic work on prejudice published in the 1950’s noted that most cultures welcomed newcomers up to a point and then grew hostile when the culture itself was threatened. The all-embracing democratic ideal is under stress in most stable established democracies where immigrants in large enough numbers are making a significant impact on the host culture.
The internationalist approach is to improve home conditions to reduce involuntary migration. After that, resources aboud if only they can be accessed.
The Internationalist Structure
The tools for achieving such social fluidity are obvious. One is to increase information flow. The other is to facilitate access to getting seen on the global stage. That, in turn, is achieved by activating, cohering and building on structures and channels already in place.
Alliances, partnerships and networks are key to the global coherence needed for an internationalist mindset. In effect, seeing the world as a dynamic, interactive mosaic is the only solution to the nationalism, isolationism and hostility now rendering the world a rag-tag wilderness. Granted that a multitude of forces profit from a disjointed world, their ventures don’t bode well for a viable future. Clearly stated affiliations counter them.
Stating the obvious for emphasis, groupings at any level pool talents. Carefully managed, they promote problem solving. At wider regional and international levels, they reduce the cultural clashes now plaguing the world. By airing challenges faced, they dispel the biased notion that migration and immigration are a problem only for rich countries. Likewise, brain drain does not improve the lot of any country in distress.
In fact, most stereotypes about cultures are highly erroneous generalizations. Given a voice, people can correct many of these and defuse situations before they explode. Likewise, give countries a voice and they can fix problems before their citizens become political refugees. Finally, give regions a voice and there won’t be massive violations of international law as is happening now in Ukraine.
Bridging Cultural Divides
Internationalism calls for an educated global public. That doesn’t mean a world full of Harvard scholars. It means integrating currently disparate fields such as academics, industry, politics and media. Where the United Nations is involved in social development, its vast store of information can be made user friendly. Academic and scholarly papers don’t need to be stored in ivory towers. Turned user friendly, they can inform farmers and shoppers about the products used, That closes up a big gap in the global urban-rural divide.
Translating the arcane and esoteric into useful everyday language is done through cooperation and collaboration. It cannot be done without explicit political will for reducing disparities between rich and poor at every level, from local to national and inernational.
International news organizations already cover world news, mostly in the form of covering political upheavals and natural disasters. Internationalism aims to dig deeper into cultural phenomena largely through “spiral” networking.
For example, a UN Agency recently released an in-depth report on violence around the world. The Gerrman DW picked up the report and rendered it readable for the general public. The British BBC in turn made a broadcast version, which made the information available to Americans whose broadcast media would have overlooked the report. Viewer feedback informs programming, which gives all parties a sense of agency, participating in a process.
The value of human agency cannot be overstated in the global world interconnected through technology. By targeting professional information for the person with a modicum of curiosity about others beyond their social circle, internationalism promotes a sense of useful, personal purpose That empowers people the world over to make use of evolving opportunities.
Building on Cultural Memory
The classics are the anchor for a flighty digital age.
Super critical for a global digital world is respect for ancient wisdom and art. It is all-inclusive and universal, deeply satisfying to those in all cultures growing bored with the latest tech toys. Dusted off and restored with context, ancient wisdom unites the world and iys generations. It also underlies many internationalist tenets.
“Do no harm” and “live and let live.” are two of them. “Catch-22” is another, It is a famous term for an impasse, as in “be successful, get investors.” When success is in a digital form, an Aesop fable issues the warning about killing the goose laying the golden egg. “Fool’s gold is a useful term to remember in a fake or deep-fake info world. “Look before you leap” may be old hat but it cuts through some fantastical conspiracy theories gone viral.
When it comes to information, “spiral” is better than “viral.” The process is more intereting, satisfying and enduring. In business and in matters of social status, internationalism holds that cooperation yields better results than cut-throat competition.
Money and Value
Currently, money seems to be the bottom line in all human interaction from personal to national and international levels. Indeed, aside from ascetics content with bare bones as a way to spiritual purification, everybody likes money and it h the world over despite the olds a charm for rich and poor alike despite the fact that in a global digital world, money holds only a tangential relationship to true value.
internationalism holds a very pragmatic view of money. Money may not be everything and it may not be the root of all evil, but it sure does obscure social ills that don’t get addressed.
All the money in the world won’t build a country’s infrastructur overnight and there is many a slip twixt the cup and the lip, as the saying goes. Apply that to the investment of developmend funds and implementation. Plenty of opportunity fror countries to learn together.
At the other end of the scale is the world leading US, which has become a highly “litiginous” society. “So sue me,” is the pat defense against any complaint. The cvil legal process that awards mone for for an offense is often the most expeditious way of addressing deep social wounds. In that way, the victim is compensated, society is split between guilt free and resentful while the wound continues to fester.
Internationalism pierces through the money camouflage to look at how government and society affect the economy. Again taking the world leading US as a paradigm, the land of opportunity just recently almost collapsed the global economy in a political shoot-out over culture war issues. The motto of the Silicon Valley global tech center is”fake it ‘needs an internationalist attitude to avoid becoming a plutocracy controlled by til you make it,”
The chipper quip covers the true reality of high drug dependence, alienation and violence in the society. It also hides the economic reality of a high failure rate. An example is a recent run on the Silicon Vallet Bank. A rumor sparked panic and the government leaned on other banks to bail out the little banking maverick. When the dust settle, the mega-bank Chase snapped up the distressed little bank assets as a windfall.
More than any other, the US beacon of democracy needs an internationalist attitude to avoid slipping into a plutocracy where unregulated tech giants decide what news items “we the people” read and which jokes will be repeated ad infinitum based on the number of “likes” or emojis registered in previous runs. The height of social developmen to date can climb higher than a stale joke if the US learns from others as it is doing with Ukraine.
The Ukraine Culture Daisy-Wheel
Ukraine sparked a global reckoning when it chose to side with democracy over whatever plans Russia had for it. Ukraine’s moral integrity won the heart of America just when a reminder was needed because the land of immigrants was a mishmash of vague cultural misperceptions..
The young America with a short cultural resume has a romance with freedom and a mortal fear of anything that smacks of social cooperation, lumped in the general parlance as Communism. In fact, internationalism assauges this fear.
In Communism like the social system in China, the state owns commerce and individuals are cut down to size if they grow big enough to threaten state ownership, primarily through partnerships with ooutside, more permissive actors. Democracy, on the other hand, is a very flexible social economic system.
Democratic social economic systems run the gamut between independence and government control. It range from the free market systems of countries like India with little government oversight to the democratic socialism of most European countries.
That broad range of democratic economic systems is the internationalist venue. cy is the venue. All the world benefits when the world leader US signs on, especially the leader itself.
Again, in internationalism the economy is an outgrowth of the social fabric, formulated and writ large on the global stage by government, commerce and civil activity. In internationalism, outliers to the rule of law don’t die or get killed.. They are squeezed out of competition by partnership and coalition building.
Alliances have been formed from time immemorial but partnerships have become critical as the world has grown global since the Second World War. Almost all countries are party to treaties at the multi-party, regional and international levels. Businesses, civic groups and organizations are all subject to the treaties made by the governments of their countries. Needed now are cross-cultural partnerips, a key component of internationalism.
In short, by its fierce protection f its national identity, Ukraine reaffirmed for all near-200 of the world’s countries the sanctity of their own national heritage and integrity. While Ukraine’s Allies were the major democracracies of the world, Ukraine’s appeal for the support of all the world’s countries gained global respect. With time and trust, fence-sitting admirers may come out and voice support for Ukraine while also respecting the sanctions imposed for the restoration of international rule of law.
International organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetar Fund play a major role in hlping countries emerge onto the global stage are involved with financing of development, Concerned with economics, the staff of these groups have a limited introduction to the culture where they work. The same holds true for military staff of countries taking part in peace-related operations. The resultant culture clashes can undermine the effort. Internationalism addreses these factors It also provides coherence for such operations. That translates into a reduction of the dreaded red tape.
The Summary Case for Internationalism
In sum, internationalism holds that the trifecta of good governance, private enterprise and citizen awareness leads to a national culture of profit hand in hand with social responsibility. It posits that work for the public good is profitable and not just charity.
Making a profit out of social good is a radical concept for an American to conceive. It is the brainchild of a seasoned immigrant who sees Ukraine as a turning point in world relations. The dynamic there serves as a prototype for integrating needs and strengths of East and West for mutual benefit, including by transcending limitations of stereotypes.
Ukraine came under attack for the democratic right to determine its own future. Ukraine’s courage, diplomatic smarts and media savvy took the world by surprise. Material aid poured in to help Ukraine defend itself. Throughout the bloody conflict, those two strands of dynamism worked in a synergy that propelled momentum like the revving of an auto engine. By now, aid to Ukraine includes planning for rebuilding even as the conflict continues.
Hungarian-born American writer Fogarassy rose instinctively to Ukraine’s cause when Russia attacked. She was born into communism and has a career-long association with the United Nations. Her work centers on the human element in every situation. The attack on Ukraine hit her personally through both life and career.
As an immigrant raised in the affluent US, Fogarassy was vaguely aware of a European sensibility that was slightly out of step with American peers. The relative sophistication gave her a degree of cache in some circles. In others, it earned her a snub as if considered pretentious. Only at the UN did she discover how low on the status totem pole Eastern Europeans were considered to be. And beneath that status were 150 other countries.
The NATO allied defense of Ukraine brought that journey full circle for Fogarassy. The US had just suffered a near coup, it needed its European allies. Eastern Europeans shouldered the brunt of the immigration work, Western Europeans pried open their purses to the tune of Pied Piper US while the rest of the world watched placidly as all-white Russia beat up on all-white Ukraine. History played a big role in how the world let Russia get away with systematically violating international law. Fogarassy had the institutional experience to take note.
For Fogarassy, the Ukraine defense brought out the best of the West. It also revealed Ukraine as the lynchpin for Eastern Europe and Euurasia to be the mediators in bridging the global East-West, North-South divides. This is done by pubic-private partnerships within cultural norms. International rule of law is the blueprint implemented according to national laws and cultural norms. Again, broad personal experience is key to the insight.
Much of the nationalist fervor now sweeping the world stems from countries facing global challenges alone. Technology has united the world, introduced progressive ideas that captivate some and shock others, both within countries and from one to another. Ambitious leaders capitalize on such social schisms to divide and conquer. The strategy folds neatly into an existential dilemma for humans from time immemorial, freedom versus social conformity.
Institutional memory in the form of history and classics are indispensable for resolving that age old conflict in a global digital world. Fogarassy’s own country is a case in point about what happens without it.
Light of a Destiny Dark is a real life novel about Hngary durubf the Second World War followed by Communism. The novel is aleavened for of the memoir that served as the basis sanitized to make it palatable for a modern audience. The memoir was entitled BehindGod’s back. That’s how dark that period was for Eastern Europeans and former repubics. That anybody would want to bring back that period was shocking. So was the backsliding of democracy in that birth country coupled with its support of Russia in its assault on Ukraine.
In that continuing cascade of shocks, Fogarassy has found it incredible that her adoptive country is backsliding in democracy. She attributes the entire phenomenon as the short-sightdness that comes from isolationism and a neglect of onstitutional memory. On a global scale, it makes a case for a measured global programme for immigration, one that avoids geographic pitfalls and oversaturation by immigrant populations.
Migration and climate change are just two of the global challenges whose sollutions depend on on the wisdom of institutional memory. Declarations and resolutions of common purpose ease national burdens. Since much of the groundwork is already laid in narrow orbits, all that’s left is to consolidate through political will and recruit both private sector and civil society to implement according to the rule of law.
Crime control is actually quite cost-effective at the global scale. Most major crimes today cross borders and they all lead to empty national coffers.
Just like legitimate commerce, trafficking of illegal substances, goods or peple are all dependent on supply and demand. They are also cross-cutting, involving finance and corruption. Countries now struggle with these challenges either alone or in disjointed , poorly coordinated segmentsof the overall problem. a global approach eases national burdens. The same holds true of world phemomena covered by disaster preparedness schemes and relief efforts such as the US FEMA.
All such international approches to global challenges are cohering to society at the national level. When implemented on a national blueprint, they bring together and provide opportunities for all segments. Most critical for a healthy world society, the arts move into a dual role as both aesthetic and functional for routine enrichment. That means rewarding and valuing aspects of life that make life worth living beyond material necessities and symbols of status. On a global scale, plenty of job creation opportunities, including those involved in monetizing programs and enforcing the rule of law.
To recap the concept of internationalism since digital information doesn’t penetrate the human brain like hard print, internationalism is a no-brainer for a global world. It is a simple idea obscured flickers and fears. Global society is inundated fast moving information that has no time to sprout before it dies It all happens so fast that continuity with the past is severed.
As US president Biden points out, the world is at a flection point. Industrialization since the 1800’s has created global environmental problems that are in urgent need of global solutions. At the same time and intimately tied to that situation is the nuclear threat introduced by the Second World War. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has occasioned the social inflection point for global society today. Will the international rule of law hold beyond this point?
Internationalism is grounded in the international rule of law implemented nationally by countries in line with their own laws and social norms. Conflicts between the two are resolved by diplomatic and legal means within cultures made aware of rights and responsibilities through a spiral media feed that gives situations a longer life span than a single news cycle. This calls for an internationalist mindset that moves beyond sensational to newsworthy. If news also spirals from academics to the common reader, say, and then from local to regional and into the global mainstream, there is no end to newsworthy coverage.
There is virtually no aspect of human life in the global digital world that is not shared by all the world’s near-200 countries. Differences are enormous but they are variations and differences in degree and not substance. Attitudes and legal norms range from rproscriptive to progressive in matters such as religious practice and race relations, but conflictscan be resolved before the boil into violence if all parties are given a voice.
Further, internationalism holds that all near-200 countries are worthy of equal respect in context of the present global heirarchy. To level the playing field in that context, little countries have options for growing in power on the global stage. One is to make a mark in a regional group. Another is to make a partnership with a mentor country.
Still another way for little countries, or people within their countries, to make their mark on the global stage, is to circmvent established protocols within the rule of law. That is the way that Arabic became the sixth official language at the United Nations. Unable to achieve the aim in New York, Arabic countries relocated and won their campaign in Geneva.
In internationalism, countries like people have character and so do their businesses. They showcase that character at the United Nations, a major tool developed after world War II as a forum for resolving conflicts. Based on the US Constitution, the UN Charter has produced all the elements needed for a coherent global society. Unfortunately, like many great innovations including the digital age of technology, the global UN structure is a wilderness until the rule of law tames it into usefulness. At the UN, that process has been hogtied for 70 years by an inability to adapt to the technological pace.
Basically, five permanent members of the UN Security Council have the final say in telling states what to do to short-circuit or resolve armed conflict. Those five are the US, UK, France, Russia and China. Those were the victors of the Second World War and the composition is highly out of tune with the modern global world. Numerous proposals for amending that power structure have failed to pas and they are still on the table. With Russia now a rogue state due to its blatant violations of international law in Ukraine, the political will to make the change can come with a push from the little “we the peoples” of the UN General Assembly..”
Those “we the peoples” of the UN ambit are the target audience for Fogarassy’s work. Always a theme because of her experience as a refugess immigrant across three cultures at a formative age, she grasped the power of that voice during a UN assignment at the cusp of the digital age.
During the US/UN intervention in Somalia known as UNOSOM in the mid-1990’s, Fogarassy was recruited by the UN as a creative writer to promote the peace process in a country fallen into anarchy.. On the agends were a number of peace conferences complete with collaterals such as t-shirts and posters.
Also as Editor-in-Chief of a Weekly and related radio broadcasts. Fogarassy wrote articles based on stories brought into an enclosed compound by Somali reporters., or former clan liaison runners for the US Army. The target audience was vast. It included local Somalis and clan leaders, international UN personnel, UN HQ and UN Missions around the world
On that mission, opportunities for errors, falsehoods, accusations and repercussions were rampant. They were able to be worked out IF all parties were willing.
That was a big “if” and a big unknown that took every human skill of the five senses plus intuition and experiential wisdom to verify. Even then, cross communications can fail because of human limitations in the patience needed for the process of achieving a new understanding. That is the skill that Fogarassy continually perfects as a writer. It is where the creative process meets its greatest challenge in the digital age.
As recounted in her Mission Improbable: the world community on a UN compound in Somalia, the intervention in Somalia started with a bang and ended as a flop for the same reason that success in defending Ukraine against Russia is threatened. The fire of initial enthusiasm for a cause peters out without immersion in the process going on. Noone knows that reality better than a writer going through the agonies of producing a novel
The institutional experience of creative writing using evolving tools from long-hand through digital publication is priceless in Fogarassy’s view.. The value of having mastered the process before technology scrambled it was reflected in her experience with her print staff in Somalia.
A nomadic culture with an oral tradition, Somalia’s written language was adopted only in the mid 1900’s. By the intervention some decades later, the Somalis were an astute quick learn with print room computers. However, they were at a dead loss if anything went wrong. An international with more experience came in and explained the process of how the computer worked. That began a whole new proces of Somalis learning to troubleshoot from each other. That entire series of interactive processes seems missing in the current culture of the wprld tech leading US as evidenced by the development of this website itself.
The millions of Google listings for web designers,developers, promoters and marketers is daunting. That’s just a mall sampling of the resources promising millions of customers for a small fee that jumps by the minute during first contact for adjacent products needed to start the traffic flowing.
Meanwhile, web content finds no takers if the product is less concrete than a pair of shoes. Book and product marketers know nothing about the other’s niche. Of the few pioneers willing to take a stab at marketing a concept and books together, political material of any sort is prohibitive. The others have fizzled in the challenges of design, social media, subsidiary partners and monetization. Intellectual property righs seem to have stumped attornets and Google business listings have no categories related to creative ventures of any sort.
The US is recovering better than other economies after Covid and yet opinion polls show that people don’t feel better. Pundits ascribe this malaise to the kitchen table issue of continued high inflation. Realistically, however, how good can a society feel about itself if its creative, artistic sector is negated? Royalties for books are nearly nonexistent when Amazon sells resales and illegal PDF versions online. Hollywood actors have joined screenwriters in a strike to gain fair compensation for streaming and AI profits go to management, whose attitude is that creatives are “unrealistic” in demanding compensation for an item that belongs in the corporate profit column.
An African proverb says “No money, one problem. Much money, many problems.”
In standing up to illegal Russian aggression, Ukraine shows the world how money can reinforce democratic values such as courage, creativity, tenacity and dignity in securing needed help. Ukraine inspired others to help so that all gained in a win-win collaboration that serves as a model for others coming into more money.
Surely the world leading US can do better in organizing and allocating the wealth it already has instead of exhausting its “we the people” with new gimmicks that leave them empty, deflated and hankering for virtual realities and conspiracies that make them murderous. A wider orbit will help. Ukraine offers the opportunity for the US to renew and upgrade its cultural self with an internationalist attitude in a global world.
Again to recap for emphasis, the US was recovering from its own first experience with an attempted coup, the US led the effort to assist Ukraine in defending itself. Figuting that the restless US would peter out and the alliance would collapse, Russia has prolonged its assault with an increased intensity of war crimes while brandishing its nuclear threats. The senseless suffering of the Unkrainian people has hit Hungarian-American Fogarassy hard. So has the fact that her depth of feeling is so out of step with her fellow Americans and birth-relative Hungarians alike.
The feeling is not new to Fogarassy, whose work was often deemed too “colorful” for the American market. But it was that color she always wanted to add into the menu for the land of immigrants. The hope is that Ukraine can be the bridge between rich America in need of a deeper soul and spirited Ukraie, willing to die for American values as an ideal. Toward that end, all donations to this site until Russia leaves Ukraine will be dedicated to the front line soldiers defending Ukraine and democracy against lawless oppressio.
Fogarassy’s latest book-length published work is a series of think pieces entitleds America Votes Obama to Biden Past Trump: a kaleidoscopic view of the Trump phenomenon. The more accurate subtitle is a Hungarian-American view of the Trump phenomenon. The change in emphasis reflects the large degree of change in world history since the book was first publised in 2021.
Written over a period of 15 years, the book looks at America through the global lens during the first quarter of the 21st century. One reviewer described the book as “a fresh look at a troubling time in American history.” A Trump supporter in an oral communication described the book as “enjoyable.”
For Fogarassy the writer, “enjoyable” is the operative word for any work intended to attract general interest. It is a blend of easy identification with characters and story line combined with the challenge of new ideas through words.
Her Midas Maze, for example, is a fun novel about the oppressive reach of global bureaucracy. The novel centers on a Chilean UN Ambassador married to a zany American journalist cum UN newsmonger. As in her Mission Improbable about Somalia, the Midas Maze is a romp through the sprawling network that is the world’s biggest bureaucracy.
Ultimately, internationalism aims to promote the wisdom of Einstein in relation to a global world. “Everything should be made as simple as possible but no simpler.”
Highly independent, Fogarassy is a member of the Author’s Guild and of Poets & Writers. She has been widely published in print and on the web. She is listed in numerous Who’s Who’s. Among her top honors is a Certificate of Excellence presented to her by the Somali print staff of the UNOSOM mission in Somalia.
Finally, this is an interactive site in perpetual development. Check back for updates in line with comments as they come in,
Results so far indicate that many visitors welcome a site that is taking shape in plain view rather than springing up fully formed. The process is a bit like getting dressed in public but the opportunity to encourage newcomers to the digital age at a global level is at the heart of internationalism. We encourage “we the peoples” to launch sites and learn from each other in developing them for either profit or cultural enrichment.
Early results also indicate that there is indeed widespread interest in the internationalist perspective. It is worldwide, from European countries ton out to Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Australia. Soth America shows interest and even the go-it-alone US has a healthy showing among visitors. Technical reach beyond current limitations is a priority.
To sum it all up, the most profit comes from good management of a product in a cultural context. Where the product is the sum population of planet earth within that cultural context, the potential profit is limitless.
All visitors to this website are invited to be stakeholders in the new global internationalism campaign. Investments in the form of comments and donations are both welcome. They both contribute to building a more powerful campaign ans a more enjoyable we experience.