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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 10:32 AM
Original message
The World Grown Smaller: Wealth Holds No Allegiance
Edited on Sat Apr-09-11 10:35 AM by Tom Rinaldo
I remember all the optimistic visions of our future generated by the first photos taken by NASA of "Spaceship Earth". No borders could be seen dividing one branch of the human family from another. With the overall advance of technology it became common place to say that the world is shrinking, we were ceasing to be separated from one another by vast spaces or unbridgeable cultural differences.

Not so long ago the concept of a homeland held near universal meaning. It was rare for even the wealthiest in the world to dismiss the importance of a homeland literal place where their physical well being was rooted and protected, and where stability was deemed important enough to support social contracts addressing the economic interests of those far less fortunate than them. It was a form of life insurance in a way, a hedging of their bets, and in return they got domestic security and active cooperation pursuing their foreign interests, often militarily.

"Foreign", "Domestic", those words increasingly have little meaning for multi-national corporations. In a world where borders are losing their significance, home is where their capital is, and patriotism fast becomes obsolete. For many of the world's richest citizens, America has treated them well. No doubt it will always hold fond memories for them. But they are now packing up to move out. The mantle of empire is shifting off of American shores and they are not waiting for the shift to be complete. There will always be some wealthy individuals held back by the sway of nostalgic emotions who will remain attached to this soil. There are less of them every decade.

The time is past for the wealthy to worry about repairing America's infrastructure or investing in its future. It is cheaper to build modern new infra structure from scratch in lands where labor is dirt cheap. The time is past for them to worry about the future skill set of America's middle class. Even as a smaller percentage of their overall population, the middle classes growing in India and China will soon dwarf the American middle class in numbers, and that is where their growing markets lie.

The wealthy class in America is focused now on maximizing their short term profits from all of their American investments. They are shifting their new investments elsewhere. And they are approaching the early edge of the next stage of their evacuation, stripping bare anything left of value here that isn't firmly fastened down. The systematic looting of America is virtually upon us.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. I wonder where they plan to live when they've destroyed us?
Fat locusts.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. They won't settle anywhere
They will live on a "virtual yacht" and dock wherever it is most convenient. They won't be rooted in any state.
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Initech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #1
20. It seems Dubai is where most of the wealthy is planning to flee.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. I think those plans have changed.
Dubai is not the great hope of billionaires anymore.
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Scuba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
2. Nations are only an illusion in the global corporatocracy. n/t
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
4. You make a VERY important point
that many would do well to comprehend. The very wealthy are not "just like us with more money." Their socialization is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

Tante K
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Their clan is trans national
Their peers are those who move in the same circles. Their loyalties are with those who have mutual and complimentary interests.

Obviously this is a generality - but it is as accurate as generalities tend to be, allowing for individual exceptions.
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
5. And neither should the working class.

It was obvious to Marx that Capital knows no borders, neither should we.

Workers of the world, unite!
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. What has changed is that capital has even less need now...
...for territorially defined safe harbors than in prior decades and centuries.

Many wealthy people still have patriotic impulses, and some even act on them, but few will fall on a patriotic sword when their economic interests call them elsewhere.
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conspirator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
8. I know of businessmen who in fact live on the go on their private jet nt
Edited on Sat Apr-09-11 12:43 PM by conspirator
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NCarolinawoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
9. Just look at Geitner's biography--spent most of his formative years abroad,
attending exclusive schools in India. Then on to an exclusive school in Tailand.

Oh, he finally came back to the good old USA to attend Dartmouth (it was a family tradition, after all). Then it was off to Peking University.

So I ask myself, how much did he learn of AMERICAN history to the point where he could actually "feel" it? How much did he develop an affinity to the PEOPLE here, or develop an affinity to the LAND?

The guy couldn't even remember that he was suppose to to pay taxes!!! :grr:
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Adsos Letter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
10. 25 years ago Robert Bellah addressed the very subject of your OP
Edited on Sat Apr-09-11 01:18 PM by Adsos Letter
in his Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life, With a New Preface http://www.amazon.com/Habits-Heart-Individualism-Commit...

His new preface (from the 2007 edition) gives a lengthy account of insights gained from observation of the globalization that has occurred in the quarter-century since the works initial publication.

Bellah's opening chapters also give an excellent discussion of the transformation from communal to individualistic ideology in early America.

He spends a good deal of time addressing the very issue you raise: that globalization and wealth have created new cohorts whose interests are no longer associated with specific American communities, but with a class/interest-based international community, whose interests do NOT include the health of US communities.

If you haven't already done so, check it out! I don't agree with some of his solutions, but his argument is spot on with what you are addressing in your OP.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Thanks for this lead
I knew nothing about him but now I am interested in what he has to say,
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Jmaxfie1 Donating Member (707 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-11 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #10
25. I just added it to my Amazon wish list. Also, I know that name from...
something else. I know I have read about him some where, just can't place it. I hate when that happens :)
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Adsos Letter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-11 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. He was the first to coin the term "American civil religion:"
Edited on Sun Apr-10-11 01:37 PM by Adsos Letter
(from Wikipedia):

"According to Bellah, Americans embrace a common "civil religion" with certain fundamental beliefs, values, holidays, and rituals, parallel to, or independent of, their chosen religion.This belief system has historically been used to attack nonconformist and liberal ideas and groups.


"Civil religion is neither bona fide religion nor ordinary patriotism, but a new alloy formed by blending religion with nationalism. If civil religions were bona fide religions then one would expect to find a soft side to them, teaching love of neighbor and upholding peace and compassion. But this is not the case.Stjepan Mestrovic

Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_civil_religion
___________________________

"...blending religion with nationalism." There's the disaster I think we're facing with the rise of the current move toward dissolving Church/State separation. This is why, while I enjoyed Bellah's Habits of the Heart I disagreed with many of his proposed solutions, especially when it involved the conscripting of religion, a proposal he deemed "problematic" given America's commitment to Church/State separation; an understatement if I ever heard one. :)
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Adsos Letter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
11. Oh, almost forgot...and K&R!! for insight into a fundamental problem.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
12. YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU... WILL... ATONE!
Apropos: Rest in Peace, Sidney Lumet.

Arthur Jensen: You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won't have it! Is that clear? You think you've merely stopped a business deal. That is not the case! The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity! It is ecological balance! You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU... WILL... ATONE! Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale? You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state, Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that... perfect world... in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock. All necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel.

Howard Beale: Why me?

Arthur Jensen: Because you're on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.

.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Or, in other words
"Resistance is futile".
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Not what I believe, of course... it's from Network (1976), the speech by the...
CEO of the conglomerate that owns the Network, who is angry at Howard Beale for his TV antics ("I'm mad as hell and I won't take it any more!"). It was the attitude of the ownership class then, and remains so today.

Prescient? Hell, timely then and still timely today.

I remembered because today the death of Sidney Lumet is in the news.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. It is still very timely
Sometimes it seems the Borg are also :)
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #12
21. ''I'm a man without a corporation.''
Oh yeah.
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
15. The words foreign and domestic belong in the ashbin of history.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. But let it be so for all people
Currently only the rich can easily transcend borders, most people are forced to make a go of it within the borders of their birth - or pay a severe price to leave them.
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. I agree. Making the NAU a reality will go far in achieving this.
Edited on Sat Apr-09-11 01:44 PM by RB TexLa
From there you can see a common market of the Americas. Both of these would be a big push for the world to follow suit.
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Jmaxfie1 Donating Member (707 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-11 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #19
26. Not saying I'm against it...
yet I'm a little skeptical. I'm just afraid big business would use the opportunity to drive down wages. Then again I only have read a little about it. Any good info would be appreciated.
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
22. Global Corporate Feudalism
Nation-states are but a nuisance with their quaint little laws that must be circumvented (at enormous strain on profits!), pesky protectionists and gatekeepers that demand ever larger bribes and kickbacks. Alas...

:sarcasm:

As intranational feudalism was once overcome, maybe a way out of global feudalism will be found as well someday.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-11 12:42 AM
Response to Original message
24. Thomas Jefferson: "Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on..."
"Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains."

Noblesse Oblige? Feh.

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