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I don't know if Globalisation was ever decentralised - it was always directed from Imperial, Colonial, Neo-colonial or corporate centres.

And there were always intermediaries - be they traders, local puppet regimes doing their imperial master's bidding but also extracting "value", banks etc. - wherever there were large scale or remote transactions where it was not easy for parties with complementary interests to do direct business with each other and have that business guaranteed in some enforceable way.

That is perhaps what the internet HAS changed - the ability to cut out the middleman by enabling greater access to information and greater direct connectivity - although some kind of enforceable contract law is still required where these direct relationships break down.

There have also always been social/family/local relationships that were not mediated by money or zero sum calculations of self-interest.  These were generally on a smaller, less organised scale, and could be subordinated/destroyed by the use/abuse of power.  Thus Thatcher had to get rid of the unions because they were often based on social, political and ideological relationships and "distorted" the market.

However it could be argued that the EU is an attempt to express such relationships on a larger scale in an attempt to avoid total domination by the economic.  What is so corrosive about the US political culture is that even politics has been subverted by the primacy of the private profit motive.

It's time I got out of this game....

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 16th, 2008 at 08:11:45 AM EST
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