Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I understand the argument against nationalism when talking about progress and innovation, but I think there are reasons beyond nationalism to hope that when the future arrives on our doorstep, it doesn't come stamped "Made in China".

The US economy is hurting right now in part because we're one of the last industrialized nations to take on universal health care. We lost the lead, and it's costing us. But that is still, of course, something of a nationalistic argument.

The Internet was, for the most part, a creation of the United States (yes, the web was invented in Switzerland), and its infrastructure is resistant to centralized control, including censorship. If it had come out of any other culture, I'm not sure it would have the same anarchical, democratizing effects.

On the other hand, an energy technology developed in Brazil might have more resistance to corporate control than one developed in the U.S., so maybe we should just relax and let the rest of the world do the heavy lifting.

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