Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Steynian thoughts on which to dwell

Mark Steyn, on the proximity of danger (bird flu, radical Islam) in a globalized world:

In a globalised economy, the anti-glob mob and the eco-warriors want us to worry about First World capitalism imposing its ways on bucolic, pastoral, primitive Third World backwaters. But globalisation cuts both ways, and the peculiarities of the backwaters can leap instantly to the First World - just because someone got on a plane. Indeed, when you look at it that way, the biggest globalisation success story of recent years is not McDonald's or Disney, but Islamism: the Saudis took what was 80 years ago a severe but obscure and unimportant strain of Islam practised by Bedouins in the middle of a desert miles from anywhere and successfully exported it to the heart of Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Leeds, Buffalo. It was a strictly local virus, but the bird flew the coop. And now, instead of the quaintly parochial terrorist movements of yore, we have the first globalised insurgency. What's the bigger threat? A globalisation that exports cheeseburgers and pop songs or a globalisation that exports the fiercest and unhealthiest aspects of its culture? Far too many American conservatives still think the dragons are at the far fringes of the map - that, in the 21st century, America can be a 19th-century republic untroubled by the world's pathogens because of its sheer distance from them. But, in an age of globalised proximity, all of us in the modern multicultural West are like Lincoln on the steps of the Capitol that Saturday morning: the world is in the room with us.
As always with Mark Steyn, there's more, which you can read here.