Independence used to be the ticket for liberty. But today, security and freedom, whether it's in the Arab Spring, whether it's in Iraq or whether it's right here in the United States, means working cooperatively and interdependently with others.
McWorld is a product of popular culture driven by expansionist commerce. Its template is American, its form style. Its goods are as much images as matériel, an aesthetic as well as a product line. It is about culture as commodity, apparel as ideology. Its symbols are Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Cadillac motorcars hoisted from the roadways, where they once represented a mode of transportation, to the marquees of global market cafés like Harley-Davidson's and the Hard Rock where they become icons of lifestyle.
I divide the word into learners and nonlearners. There are people who learn, who are open to what happens around them, who listen, who hear the lessons. When they do something stupid, they don't do it again. And when they do something that works a little bit, they do it even better and harder the next time. The question to ask is not whether you are a success or a failure, but whether you are a learner or a nonlearner.
When it comes to acid rain or oil spills or depleted fisheries or tainted groundwater or fluorocarbon propellants or radiation leaks or sexually transmitted diseases, national frontiers are simple irrelevant. Toxins don't stop for customs inspections and microbes don't carry passports. North America became a water and free-trade zone long before NAFTA loosened up the market in goods.
The real lesson of 9/11 that I think we have still to learn is that this is a world of interdependence, in which all of the challenges of environment and climate change, of jobs, of disease, of war and terrorism, are cross-border problems that cannot be met one nation at a time.
Consumer sales depend on the habits and behaviors of consumers, and those who manipulate consumer markets cannot but address behavior and attitude. That is presumably the object of the multibillion-dollar global advertising industry. Tea drinkers are improbable prospects for Coke sales.
By the laws of the land, people who come looking for jobs in America are illegal. But by the laws of economics, they are following the logic and laws of economics when they leave Guatemala and go to Mexico, leave Mexico and come to the U.S., leave Africa and go to Spain and Europe looking for jobs.