I promised the ‘secret to surviving globalisation.’ Here it is: keep your head down, your mouth shut, and your feet moving. What do I mean? I played baseball in Albert Park yesterday for the first time in almost fifteen years. It seemed like a good way to celebrate Thanksgiving, to do something with an American flavour.
I could barely suppress my sense of self-righteousness and entitlement at playing the game with a group of Australians. I grew up with the game, dreamed about playing, and still watch it regularly over the Internet. But the world has caught up with America and age has caught up with your editor, who repeatedly failed to keep his head down on ground balls that slipped through the legs (between the wickets). My swings were feeble and awkward and I woke up with a sort right arm and a badly bruised ego.
The truth is, the Australians fielded, hit, and threw a lot cleaner than I did, even accounting for a lot of rust. And this is a good reminder. It turns out that you’re not automatically better at something just because your country invented it, or once dominated it. Just ask the English cricketers!
To survive globalisation, you have to keep working to stay competitive, not rely on past accomplishments. You have to learn to eat food you don’t recognize, and discover the word for antacid in whatever language is spoken where you find yourself. And you can’t relax, even if you’re right at home, seemingly far away from the troubles of the Mid East, the rise of China, or the North American winter. The trade winds of globalization never die, and they are everywhere. Holding on to symbols, like a kangaroo, for instance, isn’t a competitive strategy. It’s nostalgia.
Here’s some reader mail about yesterday’s column and Doug Casey’s anarcho- libertarin position on the State and War. Some light weekend political philosophy!
“Agree with Doug that all wars on anything are disasters, but only for us lumpen who pay for it, not for the recipients of these grand programs.
Imagine a Pentagon, CIA, arms industry, security companies, gov. departments, analysts, working groups on(you name it)……. without a war on terror – their job would be simply boring – what would they do all day???
Or the drug dealer – his margin would simply collapse without a proper war on drugs – he’ll be out of a job and at the poverty line instead of shopping at tiffanies. And what would he do all day when there is no one to out fox or to bribe, no money to launder…… but with all those do goodies out there he only needs to commission a study that the war on drugs is progressing and he’ll keep his job and margins intact.
Thanks for always entertaining and enlightening comments,
Have fun and keep smiling
Thanks Herbert. You keep smiling too.