Editors' Pick: Originally published March 22.
A tragedy like what happened in Brussels earlier today, where dozens of people have been killed in a series of terror attacks, can seem senseless. The sad truth is that it's not senseless. There is a very clear agenda at play here and a large part of it is stopping the progress of civilization, progress that is rooted in the spread of people, ideas and capital.
The question we must ask ourselves then is, will this kind of behavior put a stop to the globalization of trade and finance? Will it end the movement of people, ideas, and progress?
All of civilization's answer to this should be a very definite, "No, it will not!"
On the side of terror and ending progress is bombs, violence and fear. But on the side of progress is the most powerful force in the history of humanity: information.
The one constant in the history of the world is that information grows and spreads. Some people have slowed down this process or postponed it for a while. But, information growth and spread eventually wins out, and continues to progress throughout the world.
Right now, although they use modern information technology to benefit their cause, most terrorists and those whose will to power has them forming caliphates and other forms of medieval control over people, are a reaction to the growth and spread of information.
The growth and spread of information threatens the control that some people have over other people. The growth and spread of information brings new ways of life into areas where that information was absent before. It shows us how to do new things in new ways. It allows power to spread more evenly throughout the world. It allows for the creation of a new world.
Almost everyone, to some extent, resists this spread of information. People generally like the way things are, the habits we have formed, the daily pattern of life. And, therefore, everyone fights against change in their own ways.
But, the growth and spread of information forces us to change, to make things differently, to share things with others, to learn more about our world and how to live in it, and to expand our ability to appreciate and cherish the human dignity of other people. Change can be painful, especially for individuals, but it is often a force for good and, anyway, is inevitable.
Everyone, every family, every community, every nation, every culture has to find its own balance between the change that is inevitable and the pace at which that change takes place. This is the hard part: finding the right balance and maintaining it.
The growth and spread of information is always challenging this balance and the speed at which change takes place.
Let us hope that, if anything, the threat to the growth and spread of information, as represented by the attacks in Brussels today, just brings closer together those who accept and work with this advancement of information. If anything, it makes the growth and spread of information just that much more inevitable.
Even in the so-called "dark ages" information grew and traveled, just as did finance and trade. Looking ahead, it is inconceivable to me that we are in for any more "dark ages." Those who are intent on keeping the world from progressing don't have a chance.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.