Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
It is because older narratives about how the world works have broken down and no longer adequately make sense of how the world works. This process is, at root, I think a result of economic and technological changes, which have in turn broken down older community structures.

The manifestations of this are numerous:

  • The collapse of socialism as a credible intellectual alternative to capitalism, especially in western countries (and I would count myself in this category - if I had lived 30 or 40 years ago, I would have probably been a socialist. Today, I think socialism can't work.)
  • In the third or "developing" world, the rapid disruption of previously quite isolated rural modes of living and the susequent mass migration to megalopolises - Cairo, Mexico City, Manilla, Baghdad, Lagos, etc. - all places where fundamentalist religious has taken off in one form or another)
  • the breakdown of the European "social capitalism" model and the subsequent malaise afflicting countries like France, Germany, and Italy
  • in the United States, the collapse and offshoring of almost the entire manufacturing base, with the subsequent decimation of numerous inner-cities and the formation of minority ghettos
  • in general, an astonishing mobility of capital, facilitated by legal changes, but most importantly, by technological changes
  • while technology has given capital an advantage, it has also spurred a perhaps historically unprecedented round of migrations from third world to first world societies as well.

This is a start. Perhaps I should make this a diary as well : )
by Ben P (wbp@u.washington.edu) on Thu Mar 2nd, 2006 at 06:59:59 PM EST
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