Mar 3, 2007

I'm often convinced the true defining conflict of the 21st century

Will not be that of Islam versus Judeo-Christian states, or that of liberal democracies versus terrorism and dictatorships, but of the free market against the state.

There are many reasons for this, not least that the decentralized nature of groups that states seem to fight (the Iraqi insurgency, Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Niger Delta rebels et al) are in effect trans or sub national states, with their own criminal economy, operating in areas where there is no established government control. Organized crime, terrorism and guerrilla wars overlap and threaten to challenge the state as an institution for supremacy. This is the flipside of globalization - powers well beyond state control have been unleashed and there is very little chance of closing Pandora's box.

I've commented on the philosophical similarities between the current free-market apostles and Communists before, so I won't repeat that here. But, as you may recall, the Berlin Wall was often taken as a sign of the inherent contradictions of Communism? What does it mean then if walls are being built by India, the USA, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Pakistan, Kuwait and numerous "failed" and autonomous regions of the world?

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