Paying attention to globalism

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Story by Mitchell Brown, for The Muleskinner
recently had a shocking moment on campus.
During my feature writing course, the instructor took the class to an archival room on the second floor of the JCK library.
The room contained a massive collection of preserved back issues of Central’s student publications.
I started looking through laminated newsprint from the early 80s, and I was surprised by some of the content.
One opinion piece from a 1983 issues of The Muleskinner caught my eye– it was about the U.S. invasion of Grenada, a rarely disused historical footnote.
I wonder if the piece was an accurate sample of where students’ heads were at the time.
When I first started contributing to the voices section, I came in with a plan to focus on serious national and international issues. I wanted to add something that I wasn’t seeing.
Last year, while taking mass communication law, the professor asked why The Muleskinner doesn’t focus more on international issues.
One student, from another major, answered with, “maybe, they don’t have time.” His comment led me to believe he probably didn’t know much about my chosen profession.
Anyone who is serious about his or her craft is willing to stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning working on it. Burning the midnight oil is part of the game with journalism.
So why should students in Missouri pay attention to international issues? Because in the age of globalism, the regional, national and international are being intertwined.
Globalism is a paradigm in which political influences are played out on the entire world’s stage.
But globalism isn’t just political; it’s also economic, cultural and social. If you’ve made friends with international students, you are involved in globalism.
If you buy cheaply made foreign manufactured goods at Wal-mart, you are participating in globalism. If you use the Internet, you are also participating in globalism.
The Internet is probably the biggest factor in spreading globalism on a social level. I don’t live in England, but via the click of a mouse, I can watch BBC news programing. I can’t think of a single aspect of life, and that includes professional life, that’s not affected by globalism.
The globalist paradigm makes it difficult for nations to operate in an insular state when an increased interconnectedness between nations is now common place.
In a global market, knowledge of international issues becomes essential. This paradigm shift is not a problem for me. I’ve always liked learning about other countries and cultures.
A lot of my international student friends are often surprised when I display knowledge about the history, systems of government or dominant religion of their homelands.
I’ve been greeted with responses of “How do you know about the Ayatollah Khomeini? He’s been dead for years.” and “Hey man, you really know a lot.”
I think their surprise stems from encountering so many students who are unaware of international issues.
The student who complains about not understanding American politics would be lost in the woods trying to follow the political happenings of another country.
The developing of a global awareness is not just a matter of cultural enlightenment; it also serves a pragmatic purpose.
In a number of fields, if an applicant has studied abroad, done an internship overseas or can speak another language, his or her file is likely to be bumped up to the top of the heap.
When students choose to ignore international issues, they are placing themselves in a position in which they run the risk of falling behind in a global market.