A couple of weeks ago I was sitting outside the Mezquita Catedral at Cordoba and looking around at all the tourists. Most of the people under thirty were wearing tee shirts and jeans and without hearing their voices it was difficult to work out where they came from. We see similar uniformity globally nowadays, homogenization has been most rapid in the EU but it can also be found in Baku or Phnom Penh.What has happened? The answer is straightforward, the International Order, that system of trade and governance set up by the victorious allies after WWII, has finally triumphed. Given that most international trade is managed by Multinational Corporations this also means that the Multinationals and International Banks have triumphed. The triumph of the Banks and Multinationals was handed
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What has happened? The answer is straightforward, the International Order, that system of trade and governance set up by the victorious allies after WWII, has finally triumphed. Given that most international trade is managed by Multinational Corporations this also means that the Multinationals and International Banks have triumphed. The triumph of the Banks and Multinationals was handed to them by the International Order.
As part of global homogenisation fashions have stalled. There is now little variety of fashion from Moscow to Buenos Aires. Architecture has stalled, from the flame towers of Baku to the Shard in London the same architectural practices quote for work. Music has stalled, production pop has only the smallest of changes from year to year. Literature has stalled, the most acclaimed novels dwelling on identity politics wherever they are written.
There have been revolts against the International Order, some lethal such as where the need for female participation has caused violent unrest in Islamic countries and some calm such as where the Internationalisation of production has led to Brexit and then to Trump, but it is not clear whether these can roll back the tide of International Homogenisation.
Remain voters in the UK are clearly supporters of the International Order. They focus on the rights and profits of Multinational business and demand the free movement of their labour. They sit outside the Mezquita in Cordoba proud of the uniformity of dress and behaviour, happy that Unity leads to this.
Leave voters in the UK are in two main groups, those who feel oppressed by the Internationalisation of production and people such as myself who believe that the International Order is damaging culture, the diversity of the economy and the environment on a global scale.
What troubles me is that in 20 years time we will still find our summer cities populated by people in the same tee shirts and jeans. We will still be shopping out of town with our "Heritage" towns preserved as museums and living towns gone. We will be plugged in to our personal, networked society and entirely deaf to the plight of our actual neighbours although easily touched for donations to corporate causes. We will have become Human Resources in a world governed by Multinational Companies.
The International Order has grown. The Multinationals now control significant parts of the media and largely cover Identity Politics rather than real issues. They preach hateful reactions to hateful actions without inspecting causes or solutions. The objective is to suppress discontent rather than fix it. Western Corporatism will be indistinguishable from Chinese Capitalism within decades if it is not stopped.
The interventions by Multinationals are little covered and where they are reported are dressed up as wonderful:
In my personal life I have seen few examples of Leave supporters being exclusive or hateful towards Remain supporters but the media covers the very occasional public "hate" events that can be linked to Leave as typical of all. On the other hand I have seen numerous instances of Remain supporters mocking and excluding Leave supporters at work and in their personal relations. Respect for opponents and diversity of beliefs and cultures is not on the Remain agenda. There is no two way division in our society but there is a corporate power composed of Big Business and the Public Sector and its supporters that imagines itself leading humanity to a stultifying, disastrous Unity.