News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Globalization at Davos and the Chinese Puzzle Box

Friday, January 27, 2006

Globalization at Davos and the Chinese Puzzle Box

In the global market, the economic empire has no central node but is a distributed network of nodes spread across the globe. While at the moment the US is the seat of military might, the economic empire is virtual--as such, it can and will change centers of gravity as the markets open up and capital begins pouring in from previously closed markets. ...

Once China becomes the central staging point in the future of economic and military might, you can be assured that capitalist leaders like Microsoft, GM, Wal-Mart, and other companies will simply pack up their bags and move there. While individual capitalists may have sentimental attachments to state-side locales, eventually capiatalistic logic will determine how, when, where, and why they locate their headquarters. The empire of the future, like the army of the future, will be a virtual one.

The radical Islamist, Sayyid Qutb, wrote that capitalists have no homeland. I have had some experience of this working for a stock trading company. They had accessed numerous overseas trading systems and were continually working to provide computer access to newer markets.

As US hegemony increases and restrictions on capital loosen in third-world countries, fates of nations will simply depend on their continued discipline in conforming to US-dictated trade agreements. Where this discipline breaks down, you will find American corporate security and intelligence firms working to undermine the political situation in the capitalists' favor.

Reporting from the grand economic summit at Davos, Switzerland, David Ignatius writes :

Davos has come to symbolize the dominant force of our time -- the wealth-creating, job-destroying whirlwind of the global economy. Each year I come here I marvel at the reach and leveling power of this economic hurricane. There are more Chinese, Indians and Arabs every year, and less of an American presence. U.S. investment banks, technologists and venture capitalists may have spawned the globalization movement, but it has now floated free. The dealmakers come from all over the world. The one thing they seem to have in common is that nearly all were educated in the United States. That may not be much comfort if you work at an assembly plant in Dearborn, but at least America still does one thing well: running universities.
Ignatius believes that America will be saved from the winds of the economic maelstrom in its educational system. There is no reason to buy into this optimism, however. Knowledge is as portable and trans-spatial as capital.

What Ignatius does not get into is the way that the modern work place destroys more than traditional belief and cultural systems. It also destroys the possibility for any ethical individual to arise. In the type of conformity required in the global marketplace, such niceties as ethics will simply equate to what gets the job done. Within the restricted confines of employment, humans will simply become resources whose overall goal is to make sure the part of the machine they take care of does not break down.

With the type of controlled society that the Chinese have created, social and cultural conformity ensures that there are more workers who understand nothing but their place and ask few questions. In return for a guaranteed place in society, along with a share of the products of that society, they will not have expectations for anything above and beyond the social benefits.

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