The Effects of Globalization

Bruce Sterling brings up a subject that's dear to me, the effects of globalization, in last month's Wired Magazine. He starts by saying:
Cheap flights and ubiquitous worldwide communications are the stuff of globalization. Ready travel lets people oppressed at home taste the joys of free society, while the Net exposes them to the ideas and customs underpinning that social order. The effect is viral, spreading liberal values and economic growth to benighted dictatorships and hopeless pits of poverty.
But, then goes on to bring up some thoughts by Chris Parry, a Falklands vet, the former commander of HMS Fearless, and a current British intelligence officer.
During a recent briefing at the time-honored Royal United Service Institute – the oldest military think tank in the world, founded in 1831 by the Duke of Wellington – Parry imagined a future, circa 2030, in which the war on terror is still rolling along and the terrorists are winning. He describes a world so ripped up by nets and jets that sovereign nation-states like the UK are collapsing economically, politically, even physically. Then there are the people of that future, who hop from country to country and bear allegiance to none. “Globalization makes assimilation seem redundant and old-fashioned,” he noted, pointing out that, rather than dissolving into the melting pot of their host nations, immigrants are increasingly maintaining their own cultural identity. Jets and nets make this possible. “Groups of people are self-contained, going back and forth between their countries, exploiting sophisticated networks and using instant communication on phones and the Internet.” The result, Parry says, is “reverse colonization,” in which the developing world’s teeming masses conquer Western nations, as surely as the Goths sacked Rome.
With this thesis, these two innovations [nets and jets] might also be an imminent menace to Western civilization. I couldn't agree with Parry more. He may be a little dracronian, but his views, I believe, are directionally very relevant. Traditional states & international policies have to evolve to accomodate these changing times...
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