domenica 16 marzo 2008

John Ralston Saul, The End of Globalism

Grand economic theories rarely last more than a few decades. Some, if they are particularly in tune with technological or political events, may make it to half a century. Beyond that, little short of military force can keep them in place.

The wild open-market theory that died in 1929 had a run of just over 30 years. Communism, a complete melding of religious, economic and global theories, stretched to 70 years in Russia and 45 in central Europe, thanks precisely to the intensive use of military and police force. Keynesianism, if you add its flexible, muscular form during the Depression to its more rigid postwar version, lasted 45 years. Our own Globalisation, with its technocratic and technological determinism and market idolatry, had 30 years. And now it, too, is dead.

Of course, grand ideologies rarely disappear overnight. Fashions, whether in clothes or food or economics, tend to peter out. Thousands of people have done well out of their belief in Globalisation, and their professional survival is dependent on our continued shared devotion to the cause. So is their personal sense of self-worth. They will be in positions of power for a few more years, and so they will make their case for a little longer. But the signs of decline are clear, and since 1995 those signs have multiplied, building on one another, turning a confused situation into a collapse.

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