On David Brin's "The Transparent Society"
The Past Is Not Dead, It Is Not Even Past: Torture Edition

James Poulos Fears the Black Helicopters

He does not want to see Fareed Zakaria ascend to the Secretary-Generalship:

James Poulos » Deconstructing Globalization: The United States has already succeeded in globalizing the world — by globalizing American culture. What Zakaria wants, I think, is for the United States to succeed at the new task of globalizing itself.... Not a single proponent of globalizing America is against maximizing migrant labor among the lower classes and maximizing math and science among the upper classes. My distaste for migrant labor and the hegemony of engineers, each taken separately, is already almost incalculable because of my judgments about what ruins a healthy republic. Taken together, these two great prescriptions for globalizing America fill me with something I must quickly laugh off as paranoid rage.

Everywhere I turn some bold-faced name is guzzling this kool-aid.... I’m content for America to continue in its capacity as globalizer. I’m much less sanguine about America becoming a globalizee. This isn’t just because I’m a nationalist; it’s because I’m convinced that the United States has, and depends upon, a globally unique system of government which is itself dependent upon America’s unique geopolitical, cultural, and religious heritage. The maintenance of that heritage demands a conscious effort not to regularize the American workforce into a system of migrant drones at the bottom and civil engineers at the top....

Probably the most grievous error of the pro-globalization crowd is its intransigent comprehensiveness fetish: globalizing America hasn’t meant making foreign countries ‘more like the US’ in some kind of holistic, across-the-board fashion; it’s meant exporting the things about America that work, that can travel, that are fungible and useful and beneficial in different cultural contexts. (Yes, this is an incomplete and too-happy picture of what’s happened. But I’m identifying the good so I can contrast it better with the bad.) Globalization, in its natural, uncontrolled diversity, will be and should be an irregular process in which countries pragmatically adopt and appropriate a la carte things from elsewhere that work for them...

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