While we sadly spend the early days of 2017 battling an effort by our new national leadership to put America First and close off our society, we should be reminded that global community is nothing new (nor is the reaction against it). Reading today in The Birth of the Modern by Paul Johnson, the British historian who is also a conservative, I encountered this description of the world in the early 19th century, which description arose out of a discussion of Western European trade relations with China:
Such cultural confrontations were inevitable as trade spread across the world and increasingly rapid and reliable forms of transport annihilated distance. Perhaps the most important single aspect of modernity was the way in which, almost imperceptibly, mankind was transforming itself into a single global community, in which different races and civilizations, now touching at all points, simply had to come to terms with each other. These frictions were usually solved by debate and agreement, with both sides recognizing the mutual advantage of peaceful conduct.
He does go on to point out that war did erupt and an unfortunate East-West divide was created which persists.
But I'm drawn to this idea of the global community as "the most important single aspect of modernity." Should we then conclude that Trump is an anti-modernist? A reversion to a more primitive pre-modern worldview?