THE DREAM OF UNITY

By William Markiewicz

Obama inspires the American crowds with his slogan of change and unity for the nation. This slogan is not new. It electrified the masses to unite -- Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia after WWI, right wingers for Hitler calling Austria, ďone people, one country, one fuehrer.Ē In "Till Eulenspiegel," the union of Wallonia and Flanders as Belgium was exalted. The Scandinavian countries passed a time of union. We also recall the United Arab Republic, between Egypt and Syria. Of course I donít remember all the calls for unity in world politics but I donít think Iíd be wrong in saying that few survived and among those that continue there is no promise of stability. United religions developed various branches and sects. Nostalgia for unity sooner or later breaks down facing the hardship of reality. Letís see what happens to Serbia and Montenegro; people exactly the same ethnically, linguistically, religiously, separated because of geographic and historical particularities. In biblical times, the Holy Land divided into Judea and Israel; rigorously equal religion and origin didnít help. Coming back to our times and reality, the US is a country of immigrants. We can say the same about Latin America but it didnít imitate North America which is not a multitude of states. Brazil apart, Latin America, united by the Spanish language and Creole origins, still remains separate countries with their own particularities. Canada remains separate from the US despite similitude of immigration and culture. Some argue that Canada may gravitate toward the USA, and Australia, a scarcely populated continent like Canada, can become a pole of attraction for the overpopulated Asian continent. In those cases, it will be not so much about union as about absorption of the semi empty chunks of the earth. Personally, I am not opposed to union, on the contrary; I live in a multicultural society which I find more diverting than homogenous societies. Only, knowing human nature and maybe not only human, as, for various reasons, all the living species like to concentrate in their own areas, I remain suspicious of long lasting unity. Itís too early to predict the future of the multicultural giants of today. Just as our planet, no matter how solid it looks, remains vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis, so the cracks in our economy caused by political or climatic turmoil may shake the sturdy looking social structure. We, or our descendants, may face cataclysmic changes. Even if universal love inherited from Hippy songs prevailed for ages in all societies, I would advise that everybody, individually and collectively, be prepared for lean years ahead.

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