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Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets by Lila Rajiva, Will Bonner

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Chapter 10. The Flat Earth Society

He can't even find the earth on the globe.

Doug Ferrari, comedian

Each time we look, our favorite columnist's favorite oeuvre is way ahead of our Empire of Debt in the rankings. We see people reading The World Is Flat numbly on airplanes. We see it stacked up like waffles at the entrances of B. Dalton's and Barnes & Noble. And what earnest business executive has failed to read at least enough of it so he can talk about globalization unintelligently? For a long time, we couldn't bring ourselves to read the book, but finally we did. As expected, it is suitable only for children … and only for them to sit on or club each other over the head with.

Thomas Friedman's opus claims that information technology and American‐style capitalism (to say nothing of the protection racket run by the empire's military forces) have connected the world so much that the Renaissance discovery by Columbus that the world is round has given way to the postmodern discovery by Friedman that it is really flat.1 Now we all play on the same level field of global commerce. We all wear the same clothes (business suits for adults, Che T‐shirts for the young); talk the same language (English); share the same political ideology (humbug democracy); and worship the same God (mammon).

We are all one: one people, one world, with one idea—to get rich. And in this new flat earth, we can all get rich, too. It is as if the world had been flattened into a kind of United States of Earth, ...

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