Posted by: Sam Carson | 25 February, 2007

Rear-View Mirror Ideas 2: The Real World

In the last post I wrote about the collision between new ideas and old concepts. This post is the second of three that I have broken up because long blog posts suck. I used the example of the music industry to show how an old, stable, and profitable business model had not innovated with its market and was now an old system in a new world, the same concepts work in politics.

In politics the Iraq war and the “War on Terror” are fine examples of poorly tested theory, short term memory, and ideologically drunken blundering. It is hard not to see Bush foreign policy as a car wreck held together with the duct tape of PR and neocon think tank Krazy Glue.

An essential reason for each of these policies has been for the old-guard Cold War graduates to re-instate the nation state security system (particularly the United States) after years of new-world globalization. They are bothered by events like the formation of European Union as a power, rise of the Asian Tigers and China, and the impossibly normative communication explosion of the Internet. For the powerful elite, globalization comes with digestion issues.

The terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 are immediate reasons for the “War on Terror” certainly. My argument is that this was not the only way to react. The reaction we saw was to drive American thinking back into “US vs. them” nation state thinking. This was important for the old-guard way of thinking. Driving the world back into a comfortable world-view.

The discussion that surrounds the “culture wars”, rise of religion, global warming and intelligent design debates, gay marriage, Wal-Mart and the global corporation, the “War on Terror” and Iraq war is very much new ideas versus old concepts. Globalized new ideas react to old images of stability.

The problem is the future is inevitable. You cannot put a cap on the information pipeline that is the Internet. You cannot send global migrations home again. Globalization is not a movement, it is not an event. It is the name for what happens to the world when the sky is full of 747s and intercontinental phone calls cost pocket change.

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