Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Bad People are in the Gap

About 1947 statisticians said that 94% of the wealth of the world was in the good ole USA, and 6% of the people (or something like that).

I was a young man, but I knew that couldn't go on-. Today the $30/hr auto worker is employed at '$10/hr or so, and the Mexican people, who used to live on about a dollar a day is now making $3/hr in an American factory. But the factories are moving to China where the labor may cost only $1/day. So proceeds globalization, fiercely debated in recent years and no doubt in years to come.

Quoting (paraphrasing!) Barnett again:

The core: the 'civilized world' (the globalized world), connected with communication, transportation, commerce, and rules of procedure generally respected.

The gap: call it the Wild West of the 21st century, where 'justice' comes out of the mouth of the (21st century) six shooter

The U.S. military has become the sheriff, involved in beaucoup police actions-- in Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, and a host of other places scattered over the world-- no, the gap. (This has already happened!!). The big wars are said to be in the past. (Unfortunately IMO Barnett has not dealt adequately with the present war in Iraq.)

When it comes to other things-- like the U.S. budget and deficits, the shortage of troops, etc. Barnett seems myopic; he doesn't seem to deal with them.

He has a vision of bifurcation of the war machine into a powerful army for the 'big wars' (hopefully not ever coming), and what he calls the System Adminstrator, with the kind of people who know how to wage peace (great shortage of them in Iraq, although Barnett did mention that in his 2004 book). They know how to bring 'law' in places where it's an unknown quantity. Then connection (globalization) can occur, raising their lot and quelling their discontent.

A neat scheme and optimistic vision of the future where the towns of the Wild West are encouraged to choose order over chaos, and replace violence with discipline, and consequent prosperity.

That would happen when these countries become connected.

I wish!


david said...

So does this guy have any suggestions for how we get there from here?

Larry said...

Yes, he does, David. I've been thinking about posting his suggestions; they appear in his sequel to The Pentagon's New Map. It's called Blueprint for Action.

I had in mind to post on some of "his suggestions", but I just found this post on his blog, which will probably do better than anything I could write.

forrest said...

Does it occur to anyone that this guy is utterly blotto out of reality?

Chomsky's view--that these "unconnected" regions are really connected by theft and "our" corrupt client tyrants fits the phenomena I know better. Do we get most of the loot by being good? Or does our "sheriff" just support gangs that give us our cut off the top?

Larry said...

The least you could say about Barnett is that he's crazy like a fox. I'd be happy to be 'blotto' if I could write a best seller.

If you're familiar with "the phenomena I know better", I'd be happy to read about the details.