Thursday, November 29, 2012

The thing about globalization that is surprising, in retrospect, is how few people saw it was a kind of imperialism

Not that it's over, but I think we have a resurgence of power blocs that has made the traditional notion of a pure neoliberal globalization obsolete. But, the thing is, globalization in the eyes of its defenders always had two parts: First off, factories would be going overseas, but then those factories would be commanded by the "Creative Class", comfortably living in the United States and Europe.

Robert Reich, who has now become a socialist of sorts, in his "The Work of Nations", outlined very clearly a pyramid where the creative, first world Americans, were at the top of the heap as Symbolic processors, manipulators, basically people who do stuff with ideas and then get other people to realize them in practice, in the third world. We in the first world were thought to have miraculously transcended the need for manufacturing work and could now retreat into rarefied fields where we would all have flex time schedules and weekend blow jobs at Esalen after the workshops.

Of course, most of the United States was not, and to the extent that we're still living in a similar paradigm, still is not, benefitting from all of this. The "Creative Class", so called, was always small, and most likely will always be small, as opposed to the amount of people who actually make things.


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