More precisely, 'global thinking' has taken on the contours of a dictum, one pushed and promulgated by our current totalitarian rulers who demand individuals disregard the reality of the personal and local in favor of the unreality of the impersonal and global.
Smith's post is a must-read, especially now in this time of 'pandemic crisis' when it appears all possible 'solutions' must come packaged within the framework of 'global thinking.'
Although I have for many years taught a college course on World Regional Geography, I have never once admonished my students to “think globally.” This is because no individual is capable of a global thought that is not either commonplace, fatuous, arrogant, tyrannical or false, and even the brightest college students are not exempt from this this humiliating truth.
And this is not all. No individual is capable of a serious global thought, but neither are global thoughts needed from any individual. Every faraway place you might think of is well supplied with people just as intelligent and well-meaning as you are, and these people are far, far more intimately acquainted with local circumstances. If the apparent problems of that faraway place were susceptible to the solutions that occur to you while you are swinging in your hammock, or smoking your pipe, or astonishing your friends with your intelligent compassion, they would long ago have been solved in precisely that way.
“Thinking globally” is a vice, not a virtue, and we are none of us obligated to think or act otherwise. “Global thinkers” pride themselves on entertaining thoughts that are either commonplace, fatuous, arrogant, tyrannical or false, and they betray a profound contempt for the capacity of foreigners to manage their own affairs. Indulgence in these vanities requires them to shirk their real duties to their families, vocations and local communities. Therefore, you should not fall for the flimflam of these moral poseurs who, like Dickens’ Mrs, Jellyby, have “a curious habit of seeming to look a long way off. As if . . . they could see nothing nearer than Africa!”
Read the rest here.