File spoon-archives/postcolonial.archive/postcolonial_2003/postcolonial.0309, message 78


Subject: RE: Call Centers
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 12:06:46 -0500


Malini,

It is in the second chapter from Power Politics.

Best,
Kanishka

> ----------
> From: 	Malini Schueller
> Reply To: 	postcolonial-AT-lists.village.Virginia.EDU
> Sent: 	Wednesday, September 17, 2003 11:12 AM
> To: 	postcolonial-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu
> Subject: 	Call Centers
> 
> Does anyone happen to have a citation for the Arundhati Roy article in 
> which she criticized US companies with call center operators from India? 
> Any articles dealing with the issue would be helpful.
> Thanks a lot,
> Malini
> 
> 
> 
> 
> At 03:52 PM 5/6/03 +0000, you wrote:
> 
> > From the Chronicle of Higher Education.....
> >
> >Cultural Globalization Is Not Americanization
> >By PHILIPPE LEGRAIN
> >
> >"Listen man, I smoke, I snort ... I've been begging on the street since I
> 
> >was just a baby. I've cleaned windshields at stoplights. I've polished 
> >shoes, I've robbed, I've killed. ... I ain't no kid, no way. I'm a real
> man."
> >
> >Such searing dialogue has helped make City of God a global hit. A 
> >chronicle of three decades of gang wars, it has proved compelling viewing
> 
> >for audiences worldwide. Critics compare it to Martin Scorsese's
> Goodfellas.
> >
> >If you believe the cultural pessimists, Hollywood pap has driven out
> films 
> >like Cidade de Deus, as it is known in its home country. It is a
> Brazilian 
> >film, in Portuguese, by a little-known director, with a cast that
> includes 
> >no professional actors, let alone Hollywood stars. Its focus is not a 
> >person at all, but a drug-ridden, dirt-poor favela (slum) on the
> outskirts 
> >of Rio de Janeiro that feels as remote from the playground of the rich
> and 
> >famous as it does from God.
> >
> >Yet City of God has not only made millions at the box office, it has also
> 
> >sparked a national debate in Brazil. It has raised awareness in the
> United 
> >States, Britain, and elsewhere of the terrible poverty and violence of
> the 
> >developing world. All that, and it makes you wince, weep, and, yes,
> laugh. 
> >Not bad for a film distributed by Miramax, which is owned by Disney, one 
> >of those big global companies that globaphobes compare to cultural
> vandals.
> >
> >A lot of nonsense about the impact of globalization on culture passes for
> 
> >conventional wisdom these days. Among the pro-globalizers, Thomas 
> >Friedman, columnist for The New York Times and author of The Lexus and
> the 
> >Olive Tree (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999), believes that globalization
> is 
> >"globalizing American culture and American cultural icons." Among the 
> >antis, Naomi Klein, a Canadian journalist and author of No Logo (Picador,
> 
> >2000), argues that "the buzzword in global marketing isn't selling
> America 
> >to the world, but bringing a kind of market masala to everyone in the 
> >world. ... Despite the embrace of polyethnic imagery, market-driven 
> >globalization doesn't want diversity; quite the opposite. Its enemies are
> 
> >national habits, local brands and distinctive regional tastes."
> >
> >Fears that globalization is imposing a deadening cultural uniformity are 
> >as ubiquitous as Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and Mickey Mouse. Europeans and 
> >Latin Americans, left-wingers and right, rich and poor -- all of them 
> >dread that local cultures and national identities are dissolving into a 
> >crass all-American consumerism. That cultural imperialism is said to 
> >impose American values as well as products, promote the commercial at the
> 
> >expense of the authentic, and substitute shallow gratification for deeper
> 
> >satisfaction.
> >
> >City of God's success suggests otherwise. If critics of globalization
> were 
> >less obsessed with "Coca-colonization," they might notice a rich feast of
> 
> >cultural mixing that belies fears about Americanized uniformity.
> Algerians 
> >in Paris practice Thai boxing; Asian rappers in London snack on Turkish 
> >pizza; Salman Rushdie delights readers everywhere with his Anglo-Indian 
> >tales. Although -- as with any change -- there can be downsides to 
> >cultural globalization, this cross-fertilization is overwhelmingly a
> force 
> >for good.
> >
> >The beauty of globalization is that it can free people from the tyranny
> of 
> >geography. Just because someone was born in France does not mean they can
> 
> >only aspire to speak French, eat French food, read French books, visit 
> >museums in France, and so on. A Frenchman -- or an American, for that 
> >matter -- can take holidays in Spain or Florida, eat sushi or spaghetti 
> >for dinner, drink Coke or Chilean wine, watch a Hollywood blockbuster or 
> >an Almodvar, listen to bhangra or rap, practice yoga or kickboxing, read 
> >Elle or The Economist, and have friends from around the world. That we
> are 
> >increasingly free to choose our cultural experiences enriches our lives 
> >immeasurably. We could not always enjoy the best the world has to offer.
> >
> >Globalization not only increases individual freedom, but also revitalizes
> 
> >cultures and cultural artifacts through foreign influences, technologies,
> 
> >and markets. Thriving cultures are not set in stone. They are forever 
> >changing from within and without. Each generation challenges the previous
> 
> >one; science and technology alter the way we see ourselves and the world;
> 
> >fashions come and go; experience and events influence our beliefs; 
> >outsiders affect us for good and ill.
> >
> >Many of the best things come from cultures mixing: V.S. Naipaul's 
> >Anglo-Indo-Caribbean writing, Paul Gauguin painting in Polynesia, or the 
> >African rhythms in rock 'n' roll. Behold the great British curry. Admire 
> >the many-colored faces of France's World Cup-winning soccer team, the 
> >ferment of ideas that came from Eastern Europe's Jewish diaspora, and the
> 
> >cosmopolitan cities of London and New York. Western numbers are actually 
> >Arabic; zero comes most recently from India; Icelandic, French, and 
> >Sanskrit stem from a common root.
> >
> >John Stuart Mill was right: "The economical benefits of commerce are 
> >surpassed in importance by those of its effects which are intellectual
> and 
> >moral. It is hardly possible to overrate the value, for the improvement
> of 
> >human beings, of things which bring them into contact with persons 
> >dissimilar to themselves, and with modes of thought and action unlike 
> >those with which they are familiar. ... It is indispensable to be 
> >perpetually comparing [one"s] own notions and customs with the experience
> 
> >and example of persons in different circumstances. ... There is no nation
> 
> >which does not need to borrow from others."
> >
> >It is a myth that globalization involves the imposition of Americanized 
> >uniformity, rather than an explosion of cultural exchange. For a start, 
> >many archetypal "American" products are not as all-American as they seem.
> 
> >Levi Strauss, a German immigrant, invented jeans by combining denim cloth
> 
> >(or "serge de Nmes," because it was traditionally woven in the French 
> >town) with Genes, a style of trousers worn by Genoese sailors. So Levi's 
> >jeans are in fact an American twist on a European hybrid. Even 
> >quintessentially American exports are often tailored to local tastes. MTV
> 
> >in Asia promotes Thai pop stars and plays rock music sung in Mandarin.
> CNN 
> >en Espaol offers a Latin American take on world news. McDonald's sells 
> >beer in France, lamb in India, and chili in Mexico.
> >
> >In some ways, America is an outlier, not a global leader. Most of the 
> >world has adopted the metric system born from the French Revolution; 
> >America persists with antiquated measurements inherited from its 
> >British-colonial past. Most developed countries have become intensely 
> >secular, but many Americans burn with fundamentalist fervor -- like 
> >Muslims in the Middle East. Where else in the developed world could there
> 
> >be a serious debate about teaching kids Bible-inspired "creationism" 
> >instead of Darwinist evolution?
> >
> >America's tastes in sports are often idiosyncratic, too. Baseball and 
> >American football have not traveled well, although basketball has fared 
> >rather better. Many of the world's most popular sports, notably soccer, 
> >came by way of Britain. Asian martial arts -- judo, karate, kickboxing --
> 
> >and pastimes like yoga have also swept the world.
> >
> >People are not only guzzling hamburgers and Coke. Despite Coke's ambition
> 
> >of displacing water as the world's drink of choice, it accounts for less 
> >than 2 of the 64 fluid ounces that the typical person drinks a day. 
> >Britain's favorite takeaway is a curry, not a burger: Indian restaurants 
> >there outnumber McDonald's six to one. For all the concerns about
> American 
> >fast food trashing France's culinary traditions, France imported a mere 
> >$620-million in food from the United States in 2000, while exporting to 
> >America three times that. Nor is plonk from America's Gallo displacing 
> >Europe's finest: Italy and France together account for three-fifths of 
> >global wine exports, the United States for only a 20th. Worldwide, pizzas
> 
> >are more popular than burgers, Chinese restaurants seem to sprout up 
> >everywhere, and sushi is spreading fast. By far the biggest purveyor of 
> >alcoholic drinks is Britain's Diageo, which sells the world's
> best-selling 
> >whiskey (Johnnie Walker), gin (Gordon's), vodka (Smirnoff) and liqueur 
> >(Baileys).
> >
> >In fashion, the ne plus ultra is Italian or French. Trendy Americans wear
> 
> >Gucci, Armani, Versace, Chanel, and Herms. On the high street and in the 
> >mall, Sweden's Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) and Spain's Zara vie with America's
> 
> >Gap to dress the global masses. Nike shoes are given a run for their
> money 
> >by Germany's Adidas, Britain's Reebok, and Italy's Fila.
> >
> >In pop music, American crooners do not have the stage to themselves. The 
> >three artists who featured most widely in national Top Ten album charts
> in 
> >2000 were America's Britney Spears, closely followed by Mexico's Carlos 
> >Santana and the British Beatles. Even tiny Iceland has produced a global 
> >star: Bjrk. Popular opera's biggest singers are Italy's Luciano
> Pavarotti, 
> >Spain's Jos Carreras, and the Spanish-Mexican Placido Domingo. Latin 
> >American salsa, Brazilian lambada, and African music have all carved out 
> >global niches for themselves. In most countries, local artists still top 
> >the charts. According to the IFPI, the record-industry bible, local acts 
> >accounted for 68 percent of music sales in 2000, up from 58 percent in
> 1991.
> >
> >One of the most famous living writers is a Colombian, Gabriel Garca 
> >Mrquez, author of One Hundred Years of Solitude. Paulo Coelho, another 
> >writer who has notched up tens of millions of global sales with The 
> >Alchemist and other books, is Brazilian. More than 200 million Harlequin 
> >romance novels, a Canadian export, were sold in 1990; they account for 
> >two-fifths of mass-market paperback sales in the United States. The 
> >biggest publisher in the English-speaking world is Germany's Bertelsmann,
> 
> >which gobbled up America's largest, Random House, in 1998.
> >
> >Local fare glues more eyeballs to TV screens than American programs. 
> >Although nearly three-quarters of television drama exported worldwide 
> >comes from the United States, most countries' favorite shows are
> homegrown.
> >
> >Nor are Americans the only players in the global media industry. Of the 
> >seven market leaders that have their fingers in nearly every pie, four
> are 
> >American (AOL Time Warner, Disney, Viacom, and News Corporation), one is 
> >German (Bertelsmann), one is French (Vivendi), and one Japanese (Sony). 
> >What they distribute comes from all quarters: Bertelsmann publishes books
> 
> >by American writers; News Corporation broadcasts Asian news; Sony sells 
> >Brazilian music.
> >
> >The evidence is overwhelming. Fears about an Americanized uniformity are 
> >over-blown: American cultural products are not uniquely dominant; local 
> >ones are alive and well.
> >
> >With one big exception: cinema. True, India produces more films (855 in 
> >2000) than Hollywood does (762), but they are largely for a domestic 
> >audience. Japan and Hong Kong also make lots of movies, but few are seen 
> >outside Asia. France and Britain have the occasional global hit, but are 
> >still basically local players. Not only does Hollywood dominate the
> global 
> >movie market, but it also swamps local products in most countries. 
> >American fare accounts for more than half the market in Japan and nearly 
> >two-thirds in Europe.
> >
> >Yet Hollywood's hegemony is not as worrisome as people think. Note first 
> >that Hollywood is less American than it seems. Ever since Charlie Chaplin
> 
> >crossed over from Britain, foreigners have flocked to California to try
> to 
> >become global stars: Just look at Penelope Cruz, Catherine Zeta-Jones,
> and 
> >Ewan McGregor. Top directors are also often from outside America: Think
> of 
> >Ridley Scott or the late Stanley Kubrick. Some studios are foreign-owned:
> 
> >Japan's Sony owns Columbia Pictures, Vivendi Universal is French. Two of 
> >AOL Time Warner's biggest recent hit franchises, Harry Potter and The
> Lord 
> >of the Rings, are both based on British books, have largely British
> casts, 
> >and, in the case of The Lord of the Rings, a Kiwi director. To some 
> >extent, then, Hollywood is a global industry that just happens to be in 
> >America. Rather than exporting Americana, it serves up pap to appeal to a
> 
> >global audience.
> >
> >Hollywood's dominance is in part due to economics: Movies cost a lot to 
> >make and so need a big audience to be profitable; Hollywood has used 
> >America's huge and relatively uniform domestic market as a platform to 
> >expand overseas. So there could be a case for stuffing subsidies into a 
> >rival European film industry, just as Airbus was created to challenge 
> >Boeing's near-monopoly. But France has long pumped money into its
> domestic 
> >industry without persuading foreigners to flock to its films. As Tyler 
> >Cowen perceptively points out in his book Creative Destruction: How 
> >Globalization Is Changing the World's Cultures (Princeton University 
> >Press, 2002), "A vicious circle has been created: The more European 
> >producers fail in global markets, the more they rely on television
> revenue 
> >and subsidies. The more they rely on television and subsidies, the more 
> >they fail in global markets," because they serve domestic demand and the 
> >wishes of politicians and cinematic bureaucrats.
> >
> >Another American export is also conquering the globe: English. Around 380
> 
> >million people speak it as their first language and another 250 million
> or 
> >so as their second. A billion are learning it, about a third of the 
> >world's population are exposed to it, and by 2050, it is reckoned, half 
> >the world will be more or less proficient in it. A common global language
> 
> >would certainly be a big plus -- for businessmen, scientists, and
> tourists 
> >-- but a single one seems far less desirable. Language is often at the 
> >heart of national culture: The French would scarcely be French if they 
> >spoke English (although Belgian Walloons are not French even though they 
> >speak it). English may usurp other languages not because it is what
> people 
> >prefer to speak, but because, like Microsoft software, there are 
> >compelling advantages to using it if everyone else does.
> >
> >But although many languages are becoming extinct, English is rarely to 
> >blame. People are learning English as well as -- not instead of -- their 
> >native tongue, and often many more languages besides. Some languages with
> 
> >few speakers, such as Icelandic, are thriving, despite Bjrk's choosing to
> 
> >sing in English. Where local languages are dying, it is typically
> national 
> >rivals that are stamping them out. French has all but eliminated
> Provenal, 
> >and German Swabian. So although, within the United States, English is 
> >displacing American Indian tongues, it is not doing away with Swahili or 
> >Norwegian.
> >
> >Even though American consumer culture is widespread, its significance is 
> >often exaggerated. You can choose to drink Coke and eat at McDonald's 
> >without becoming American in any meaningful sense. One newspaper photo of
> 
> >Taliban fighters in Afghanistan showed them toting Kalashnikovs -- as
> well 
> >as a sports bag with Nike's trademark swoosh. People's culture -- in the 
> >sense of their shared ideas, beliefs, knowledge, inherited traditions,
> and 
> >art -- may scarcely be eroded by mere commercial artifacts that, despite 
> >all the furious branding, embody at best flimsy values.
> >
> >The really profound cultural changes have little to do with Coca-Cola. 
> >Western ideas about liberalism and science are taking root almost 
> >everywhere, while Europe and North America are becoming multicultural 
> >societies through immigration, mainly from developing countries. 
> >Technology is reshaping culture: Just think of the Internet. Individual 
> >choice is fragmenting the imposed uniformity of national cultures. New 
> >hybrid cultures are emerging, and regional ones re-emerging. National 
> >identity is not disappearing, but the bonds of nationality are loosening.
> >
> >As Tyler Cowen points out in his excellent book, cross-border cultural 
> >exchange increases diversity within societies -- but at the expense of 
> >making them more alike. People everywhere have more choice, but they
> often 
> >choose similar things. That worries cultural pessimists, even though the 
> >right to choose to be the same is an essential part of freedom.
> >
> >Cross-cultural exchange can spread greater diversity as well as greater 
> >similarity: more gourmet restaurants as well as more McDonald's. And just
> 
> >as a big city can support a wider spread of restaurants than a small
> town, 
> >so a global market for cultural products allows a wider range of artists 
> >to thrive. For sure, if all the new customers are ignorant, a wider
> market 
> >may drive down the quality of cultural products: Think of tourist 
> >souvenirs. But as long as some customers are well informed (or have "good
> 
> >taste"), a general "dumbing down" is unlikely. Hobbyists, fans, artistic 
> >pride, and professional critics also help maintain (and raise) standards.
> 
> >Cowen concludes that the "basic trend is of increasing variety and 
> >diversity, at all levels of quality, high and low."
> >
> >A bigger worry is that greater individual freedom may come at the expense
> 
> >of national identity. The French fret that if they all individually
> choose 
> >to watch Hollywood films they might unwittingly lose their collective 
> >Frenchness. Yet such fears are overdone. Natural cultures are much 
> >stronger than people seem to think. They can embrace some foreign 
> >influences and resist others. Foreign influences can rapidly become 
> >domesticated, changing national culture, but not destroying it. Germans 
> >once objected to soccer because it was deemed English; now their soccer 
> >team is emblematic of national pride. Amartya Sen, the Nobel
> prize-winning 
> >economist, is quite right when he says that "the culturally fearful often
> 
> >take a very fragile view of each culture and tend to underestimate our 
> >ability to learn from elsewhere without being overwhelmed by that
> experience."
> >
> >Clearly, though, there is a limit to how many foreign influences a
> culture 
> >can absorb before being swamped. Even when a foreign influence is largely
> 
> >welcomed, it can be overwhelming. Traditional cultures in the developing 
> >world that have until now evolved (or failed to evolve) in isolation may 
> >be particularly vulnerable.
> >
> >In The Silent Takeover: Global Capitalism and the Death of Democracy
> (Free 
> >Press, 2001), Noreena Hertz describes the supposed spiritual Eden that
> was 
> >the isolated kingdom of Bhutan in the Himalayas as being defiled by such 
> >awful imports as basketball and Spice Girls T-shirts. Anthony Giddens,
> the 
> >director of the London School of Economics and Political Science, has
> told 
> >how an anthropologist who visited a remote part of Cambodia was shocked 
> >and disappointed to find that her first night's entertainment was not 
> >traditional local pastimes but watching Basic Instinct on video.
> >
> >Is that such a bad thing? It is odd, to put it mildly, that many on the 
> >left support multiculturalism in the
> >
> >West but advocate cultural purity in the developing world -- an attitude 
> >they would be quick to tar as fascist if proposed for the United States
> or 
> >Britain. Hertz and the anthropologist in Cambodia appear to want people 
> >outside the industrialized West preserved in unchanging but supposedly 
> >pure poverty. Yet the Westerners who want this supposed paradise
> preserved 
> >in aspic rarely feel like settling there. Nor do most people in
> developing 
> >countries want to lead an "authentic" unspoiled life of isolated poverty.
> >
> >In truth, cultural pessimists are typically not attached to diversity per
> 
> >se but to designated manifestations of diversity, determined by their 
> >preferences. "They often use diversity as a code word for a more 
> >particularist agenda, often of an anti-commercial or anti-American 
> >nature," Cowen argues. "They care more about the particular form that 
> >diversity takes in their favored culture, rather than about diversity
> more 
> >generally, freedom of choice, or a broad menu of quality options."
> >
> >Cultural pessimists want to freeze things as they were. But if diversity 
> >at any point in time is desirable, why isn't diversity across time? 
> >Certainly, it is often a shame if ancient cultural traditions are lost.
> We 
> >should do our best to preserve them and keep them alive where possible.
> As 
> >Cowen points out, foreigners can often help, by providing the new 
> >customers and technologies that have enabled reggae music, Haitian art, 
> >and Persian carpet making, for instance, to thrive and reach new markets.
> 
> >But people cannot be made to live in a museum. We in the West are forever
> 
> >casting off old customs when we feel they are no longer relevant. Nobody 
> >argues that Americans should ban nightclubs to force people back to line 
> >dancing. People in poor countries have a right to change, too.
> >
> >Moreover, some losses of diversity are a good thing. In 1850, some 
> >countries banned slavery, while others maintained it in various forms.
> Who 
> >laments that the world is now almost universally rid of it? More 
> >generally, Western ideas are reshaping the way people everywhere view 
> >themselves and the world. Like nationalism and socialism before it, 
> >liberalism -- political ideas about individual liberty, the rule of law, 
> >democracy, and universal human rights, as well as economic ones about the
> 
> >importance of private property rights, markets, and consumer choice -- is
> 
> >a European philosophy that has swept the world. Even people who resist 
> >liberal ideas, in the name of religion (Islamic and Christian 
> >fundamentalists), group identity (communitarians), authoritarianism 
> >(advocates of "Asian values") or tradition (cultural conservatives), now 
> >define themselves partly by their opposition to them.
> >
> >Faith in science and technology is even more widespread. Even those who 
> >hate the West make use of its technologies. Osama bin Laden plots 
> >terrorism on a cellphone and crashes planes into skyscrapers. 
> >Antiglobalization protesters organize by e-mail and over the Internet.
> Jos 
> >Bov manipulates 21st-century media in his bid to return French farming to
> 
> >the Middle Ages. China no longer turns its nose up at Western technology:
> 
> >It tries to beat the West at its own game.
> >
> >True, many people reject Western culture. (Or, more accurately, 
> >"cultures": Europeans and Americans disagree bitterly over the death 
> >penalty, for instance; they hardly see eye to eye over the role of the 
> >state, either.) Samuel Huntington, a professor of international politics 
> >at Harvard University, even predicts a "clash of civilizations" that will
> 
> >divide the 21st-century world. Yet Francis Fukuyama, a professor of 
> >international political economy at the Johns Hopkins University, is
> nearer 
> >the mark when he talks about the "end of history." Some cultures have 
> >local appeal, but only liberalism appeals everywhere (if not to all) -- 
> >although radical environmentalism may one day challenge its hegemony. 
> >Islamic fundamentalism poses a threat to our lives but not to our
> beliefs. 
> >Unlike communism, it is not an alternative to liberal capitalism for 
> >Westerners or other non-Muslims.
> >
> >Yet for all the spread of Western ideas to the developing world, 
> >globalization is not a one-way street. Although Europe's former colonial 
> >powers have left their stamp on much of the world, the recent flow of 
> >migration has been in the opposite direction. There are Algerian suburbs 
> >in Paris, but not French ones in Algiers; Pakistani parts of London, but 
> >not British ones of Lahore. Whereas Muslims are a growing minority in 
> >Europe, Christians are a disappearing one in the Middle East.
> >
> >Foreigners are changing America even as they adopt its ways. A million or
> 
> >so immigrants arrive each year (700,000 legally, 300,000 illegally), most
> 
> >of them Latino or Asian. Since 1990, the number of foreign-born American 
> >residents has risen by 6 million to just over 25 million, the biggest 
> >immigration wave since the turn of the 20th century. English may be 
> >all-conquering outside America, but in some parts of the United States,
> it 
> >is now second to Spanish. Half of the 50 million new inhabitants expected
> 
> >in America in the next 25 years will be immigrants or the children of 
> >immigrants.
> >
> >The upshot of all this change is that national cultures are fragmenting 
> >into a kaleidoscope of different ones. New hybrid cultures are emerging. 
> >In "Amexica" people speak Spanglish. Regional cultures are reviving. 
> >Repressed under Franco, Catalans, Basques, Gallegos, and others assert 
> >their identity in Spain. The Scots and Welsh break with British 
> >monoculture. Estonia is reborn from the Soviet Union. Voices that were 
> >silent dare to speak again.
> >
> >Individuals are forming new communities, linked by shared interests and 
> >passions, that cut across national borders. Friendships with foreigners 
> >met on holiday. Scientists sharing ideas over the Internet. 
> >Environmentalists campaigning together using e-mail. House-music lovers 
> >swapping tracks online. Greater individualism does not spell the end of 
> >community. The new communities are simply chosen rather than coerced, 
> >unlike the older ones that communitarians hark back to.
> >
> >Does that mean national identity is dead? Hardly. People who speak the 
> >same language, were born and live near each other, face similar problems,
> 
> >have a common experience, and vote in the same elections still have
> plenty 
> >of things in common. For all our awareness of the world as a single
> place, 
> >we are not citizens of the world but citizens of a state. But if people 
> >now wear the bonds of nationality more loosely, is that such a bad thing?
> 
> >People may lament the passing of old ways. Indeed, many of the worries 
> >about globalization echo age-old fears about decline, a lost golden age, 
> >and so on. But by and large, people choose the new ways because they are 
> >more relevant to their current needs and offer new opportunities that the
> 
> >old ones did not.
> >
> >The truth is that we increasingly define ourselves rather than let others
> 
> >define us. Being British or American does not define who you are: It is 
> >part of who you are. You can like foreign things and still have strong 
> >bonds to your fellow citizens. As Mario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian
> author, 
> >has written: "Seeking to impose a cultural identity on a people is 
> >equivalent to locking them in a prison and denying them the most precious
> 
> >of liberties -- that of choosing what, how, and who they want to be."
> >------------------------------------------------------------------
> >Philippe Legrain is chief economist of Britain in Europe, the campaign
> for 
> >Britain to adopt the euro. He has been special adviser to the head of the
> 
> >World Trade Organization, and trade and economics correspondent for The 
> >Economist. He is the author of Open World: The Truth About Globalisation 
> >(Abacus, 2002, with an American edition expected early next year from
> Ivan 
> >R. Dee).
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >_________________________________________________________________
> >On the move? Get Hotmail on your mobile phone http://www.msn.co.uk/mobile
> >
> >
> >
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> 
> 
> 
> 
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