Friday, May 09, 2008


B. Delong quotes a post from James Poulos that strikes me as common sense:

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...

This view contradicts the average "proponents" of globalization as an economically inevitable, scientifically incontrovertible and longitudinally beneficial process(1). If one sees and empowers globalization as a dynamic and more or less democratic process, then I think Poulos has hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately, the Fareed Zakarias (and the majority of pro-globalization forces) tend to speak in the most utopian and abstract ways about globalization and it is from this that they promote a program, not a process. The key words here are "adoption" (democratic) and "à la carte" (signaling mutual benefit and optimization of comparative advantage).

Unfortunately, it is much easier to find globalization's dreamers in our public discourse than it is those who have serious critiques and who can speak to its upsides and downsides, for there are both.

(1) JMK: In the long run, we're all dead.