Harlan Ellison on Globalization (1969–1970)
“We seem to find ourselves in the midst of a revolution. It’s a revolution of thought that’s as important and as upending as the Industrial Revolution was, sociologically speaking.
We’re coming into a time now when all the old ‘-isms’ and philosophies are dying. They don’t seem to work anymore — all the things that mommy and daddy told you and told me were true, were only true in the house — the minute you get out in the street they aren’t true anymore. The kids in the ghetto have known that all their lives, but now The Great White Middle Class is learning it, and it’s coming a little difficult to the older folks, which is always the way it is.
We’re no longer just Kansas, or Los Angeles, or New York — it’s the whole planet now. They got smog in the Aleutian Islands, man. They got smog in Anchorage, Alaska. They got smog at the polar ice caps, can you believe it? Smog at the polar ice caps… There’s no place you can go to hide anymore. So the days of thinking that the Thames, or the English Channel, or the Rocky Mountains was going to keep you safe from some ding-dong on the other side doesn’t go any more. A nitwit in Hanoi can blow us all just as dead as a nitwit in Washington.
And so we’re beginning to think of ourselves not as just an ethnic animal, or a national animal, or a local or family kind of animal — we’re now a planetary animal. It’s all the dreams of early science fiction coming true. Slowly, and with great pain, the world is beginning to think of itself as ‘Earth-men,’ and it’s kind of startling to see it happening because its coming out of pain, and blood, and fire — but I guess thats where all important revolutions come from.”
— Harlan Ellison