What I Did On My Summer Globalization
When Adam Smith wrote An Inquiry into the Nature and the Causes of The Wealth of Nations in 1776, he was prescient, his timing was perfect. Yet having a mortal view and lifespan, he did not live to write The Wealth of Corporations. Smith's philosophical opus anticipated the rise of richer nation-states, sentiment-based revolutions, the democratic impulses and industrial interests which would take progressive consequences and sweep them across a chastened and unequal world.
The developments Adam Smith documented ushered in a time we know as Colonialism, when royal power in the West was obliged, bought off, and eclipsed. By business, which became richer than monarchies, and took control of law. Going forward into a post-Colonial age, the full outcomes are not yet sorted out, not yet clear. What is clear? Corporations reign supreme, are more important than old nation-state structures, and the citizens of those nations who have not sworn fealty to corporations are getting bad deals. They're unarmed and unhappy.
Conflicts are spilling out into wars with competing, resistant but unorganized social structures, and the wars will be most difficult to contain. Most of us have more in common with families in Iraq, Georgia, or the Pakistan than we do with our leaders. We stand on a defining, self-interested precipice, and it's anybody's guess who will end up controlling the heavy weapons. A recent timeline:
July 1-2: Georgia-Ukraine-Azerbaijan-Moldova (GUAM) Summit in Batumi, Georgia.
July 1: "US-GUAM Summit" on the sideline of the official GUAM venue.
July 5 -12: Russian Defense Ministry hold War Games in the North Caucasus region under the codename "Caucasus Frontier 2008".
July 9: China and Kazakhstan announce the commencement of construction of the Kazakhstan-China natural gas pipeline (KCP).
July 15-31: The US and Georgia hold War Games under the codename Operation "Immediate Response". One thousand US servicemen participate in the joint exercise.
August 7: Georgian Ground Forces and Air Force Attack South Ossetia.
August 8: Russian Forces Intervene in South Ossetia.
August 14: Signing of US-Polish Agreement on the stationing of "US Interceptor Missiles" on Polish Territory.
August 16, Pakistan: the military has stayed in those defensive positions but aerial bombing and artillery barrages have been used to literally depopulate Bajaur and areas of the adjoining agency of Mohmand. After more than two weeks of indiscriminate attacks against alleged militant positions, it is estimated that 300,000 people have been forced to flee from their homes—a significant proportion of the population in the areas not under government control.
August 18, Pakistan: Musharaf resigns