This is really not just about 9/11, it's about the internet

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by SharonR, Sep 10, 2002.

  1. SharonR

    SharonR New Member

    If you don't think things can be accomplished if a group of people are insistent on doing something, read this carefully.
    You will come to realize how the world has changed thru communication. We have that powerful opportunity to make a difference, and see that Dr's and pharmaceutical research company's take us seriously. There has always been power in numbers.
    Smiles
    SharonR


    Sept. 11 — Since last Sept. 11, New York Times foreign affairs columnist
    Thomas Friedman has traveled the globe writing about attitudes toward the
    U.S. and world reactions to the war on terror. In his new book,
    “Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11th,” he
    compiles his experiences and explains the many challenges facing freedom
    and democracy. Read an excerpt, below.

    Longitudes and Attitudes by Thomas Friedman
    Other books by Thomas Friedman


    PROLOGUE: THE SUPER-STORY
    I am a big believer in the idea of the super-story, the notion that
    we all carry around with us a big lens, a big framework, through which we
    look at the world, order events, and decide what is important and what is
    not. The events of 9/11 did not happen in a vacuum. They happened in the
    context of a new international system — a system that cannot explain
    everything but can explain and connect more things in more places on more
    days than anything else. That new international system is called
    globalization. It came together in the late 1980s and replaced the
    previous international system, the cold war system, which had reigned
    since the end of World War II. This new system is the lens, the
    super-story, through which I viewed the events of 9/11.
    I define globalization as the inexorable integration of markets,
    nation-states, and communication systems to a degree never witnessed
    before — in a way that is enabling corporations, nation-states, and
    individuals to reach around the world farther, faster, deeper, and cheaper
    than ever before, and in a way that is enabling the world to reach into
    corporations, nation-states, and individuals farther, faster, deeper, and
    cheaper than ever before.
    There are several important features of this globalization system,
    different from those of the cold war system, which are quite relevant for
    understanding the events of 9/11. I examined them in detail in my previous
    book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, and want to simply high-light them
    here.

    The cold war system was characterized by one overarching feature —
    and that was division. That world was a divided-up, chopped-up place, and
    whether you were a country or a company, your threats and opportunities in
    the cold war system tended to grow out of who you were divided from.
    Appropriately, this cold war system was symbolized by a single word —
    wall, the Berlin Wall. One of my favorite descriptions of that world was
    provided by Jack Nicholson in the movie A Few Good Men. Nicholson plays a
    colonel in the Marine Corps who is the commander of the U.S. base in Cuba,
    at Guantánamo Bay. In the climactic scene of the movie, Nicholson is
    pressed by Tom Cruise to explain how a certain weak solider under
    Nicholson’s command, Santiago, was beaten to death by his own fellow
    marines. “You want answers?” shouts Nicholson.

    “You want answers?” “I want the truth,” answers Cruise. “You can’t
    handle the truth,” says Nicholson. “Son, we live in a world that has
    walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do
    it? You? . . . I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly
    fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that
    luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know — that Santiago’s
    death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while
    grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the
    truth because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you
    want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.”
    The globalization system is different. It also has one overarching
    feature — and that is integration. The world has become an increasingly
    interwoven place, and today, whether you are a company or a country, your
    threats and opportunities increasingly derive from who you are connected
    to. This globalization system is also characterized by a single word —
    web, the World Wide Web. So in the broadest sense we have gone from an
    international system built around division and walls to a system
    increasingly built around integration and webs. In the cold war we reached
    for the hotline, which was a symbol that we were all divided but at least
    two people were in charge — the leaders of the United States and the
    Soviet Union. In the globalization system we reach for the Internet, which
    is a symbol that we are all connected and nobody is quite in charge.
    Everyone in the world is directly or indirectly affected by this
    new system, but not everyone benefits from it, not by a long shot, which
    is why the more it becomes diffused, the more it also produces a backlash
    by people who feel overwhelmed by it, homogenized by it, or unable to keep
    pace with its demands.
    The other key difference between the cold war system and the
    globalization system is how power is structured within them. The cold war
    system was built primarily around nation-states. You acted on the world in
    that system through your state. The cold war was a drama of states
    confronting states, balancing states, and aligning with states. And, as a
    system, the cold war was balanced at the center by two superstates, two
    superpowers: the United States and the Soviet Union.

    The globalization system, by contrast, is built around three
    balances, which overlap and affect one another. The first is the
    traditional balance of power between nation-states. In the globalization
    system, the United States is now the sole and dominant superpower and all
    other nations are subordinate to it to one degree or another. The shifting
    balance of power between the United States and other states, or simply
    between other states, still very much matters for the stability of this
    system. And it can still explain a lot of the news you read on the front
    page of the paper, whether it is the containment of Iraq in the Middle
    East or the expansion of NATO against Russia or the rising power of China,
    counterbalanced by Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.
    The second important power balance in the globalization system is
    between nation-states and global markets. These global markets are made up
    of millions of investors moving money around the world with the click of a
    mouse. I call them the Electronic Herd, and this herd gathers in key
    global financial centers — such as Wall Street, Hong Kong, London, and
    Frankfurt — which I call the Supermarkets. The attitudes and actions of
    the Electronic Herd and the Supermarkets can have a huge impact on
    nation-states today, even to the point of triggering the downfall of
    governments. Who ousted Suharto in Indonesia in 1998? It wasn’t another
    state, it was the Supermarkets, by withdrawing their support for, and
    confidence in, the Indonesian economy. You also will not understand the
    front page of the newspaper today unless you bring the Supermarkets into
    your analysis. Because the United States can destroy you by dropping
    bombs, but the Supermarkets can destroy you by downgrading your bonds. In
    other words, the United States is the dominant player in maintaining the
    globalization game board, but it is hardly alone in influencing the moves
    on that game board.

    The third balance that you have to pay attention to — the one that
    is really the newest of all and the most relevant to the events of 9/11 —
    is the balance between individuals and nation-states. Because
    globalization has brought down many of the walls that limited the movement
    and reach of people, and because it has simultaneously wired the world
    into networks, it gives more power to individuals to influence both
    markets and nation-states than at any other time in history. Whether by
    enabling people to use the Internet to communicate instantly at almost no
    cost over vast distances, or by enabling them to use the Web to transfer
    money or obtain weapons designs that normally would have been controlled
    by states, or by enabling them to go into a hardware store now and buy a
    five-hundred-dollar global positioning device, connected to a satellite,
    that can direct a hijacked airplane — globalization can be an incredible
    force-multiplier for individuals. Individuals can increasingly act on the
    world stage directly, unmediated by a state.
    So you have today not only a superpower, not only Supermarkets, but
    also what I call “super-empowered individuals.” Some of these
    super-empowered individuals are quite angry, some of them quite wonderful
    — but all of them are now able to act much more directly and much more
    powerfully on the world stage.

    Osama bin Laden declared war on the United States in the late
    1990s, and after he organized the bombing of two American embassies in
    Africa, the U.S. Air Force retaliated with a cruise missile attack on his
    bases in Afghanistan as though he were another nation-state. Think about
    that: on one day in 1998, the United States fired 75 cruise missiles at
    bin Laden. The United States fired 75 cruise missiles, at $1 million
    apiece, at a person! That was the first battle in history between a
    superpower and a super-empowered angry man. September 11 was just the
    second such battle. Jody Williams won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for
    her contribution to the international ban on land mines. She achieved that
    ban not only without much government help, but in the face of opposition
    from all the world’s major powers. When she was asked, “How did you do
    that, how did you organize one thousand different human rights and arms
    control groups on six continents?” she had a very brief answer: “E-mail.”
    Nation-states, and the American superpower in particular, are still
    hugely important today, but so too now are Supermarkets and
    super-empowered individuals. You will never understand the globalization
    system, or the front page of the morning paper — or 9/11 — unless you see
    each one as a complex interaction between all three of these actors:
    states bumping up against states, states bumping up against Supermarkets,
    and Supermarkets and states bumping up against super-empowered individuals
    — many of whom, unfortunately, are super-empowered angry men.


  2. SharonR

    SharonR New Member

    If you don't think things can be accomplished if a group of people are insistent on doing something, read this carefully.
    You will come to realize how the world has changed thru communication. We have that powerful opportunity to make a difference, and see that Dr's and pharmaceutical research company's take us seriously. There has always been power in numbers.
    Smiles
    SharonR


    Sept. 11 — Since last Sept. 11, New York Times foreign affairs columnist
    Thomas Friedman has traveled the globe writing about attitudes toward the
    U.S. and world reactions to the war on terror. In his new book,
    “Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11th,” he
    compiles his experiences and explains the many challenges facing freedom
    and democracy. Read an excerpt, below.

    Longitudes and Attitudes by Thomas Friedman
    Other books by Thomas Friedman


    PROLOGUE: THE SUPER-STORY
    I am a big believer in the idea of the super-story, the notion that
    we all carry around with us a big lens, a big framework, through which we
    look at the world, order events, and decide what is important and what is
    not. The events of 9/11 did not happen in a vacuum. They happened in the
    context of a new international system — a system that cannot explain
    everything but can explain and connect more things in more places on more
    days than anything else. That new international system is called
    globalization. It came together in the late 1980s and replaced the
    previous international system, the cold war system, which had reigned
    since the end of World War II. This new system is the lens, the
    super-story, through which I viewed the events of 9/11.
    I define globalization as the inexorable integration of markets,
    nation-states, and communication systems to a degree never witnessed
    before — in a way that is enabling corporations, nation-states, and
    individuals to reach around the world farther, faster, deeper, and cheaper
    than ever before, and in a way that is enabling the world to reach into
    corporations, nation-states, and individuals farther, faster, deeper, and
    cheaper than ever before.
    There are several important features of this globalization system,
    different from those of the cold war system, which are quite relevant for
    understanding the events of 9/11. I examined them in detail in my previous
    book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, and want to simply high-light them
    here.

    The cold war system was characterized by one overarching feature —
    and that was division. That world was a divided-up, chopped-up place, and
    whether you were a country or a company, your threats and opportunities in
    the cold war system tended to grow out of who you were divided from.
    Appropriately, this cold war system was symbolized by a single word —
    wall, the Berlin Wall. One of my favorite descriptions of that world was
    provided by Jack Nicholson in the movie A Few Good Men. Nicholson plays a
    colonel in the Marine Corps who is the commander of the U.S. base in Cuba,
    at Guantánamo Bay. In the climactic scene of the movie, Nicholson is
    pressed by Tom Cruise to explain how a certain weak solider under
    Nicholson’s command, Santiago, was beaten to death by his own fellow
    marines. “You want answers?” shouts Nicholson.

    “You want answers?” “I want the truth,” answers Cruise. “You can’t
    handle the truth,” says Nicholson. “Son, we live in a world that has
    walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do
    it? You? . . . I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly
    fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that
    luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know — that Santiago’s
    death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while
    grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the
    truth because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you
    want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.”
    The globalization system is different. It also has one overarching
    feature — and that is integration. The world has become an increasingly
    interwoven place, and today, whether you are a company or a country, your
    threats and opportunities increasingly derive from who you are connected
    to. This globalization system is also characterized by a single word —
    web, the World Wide Web. So in the broadest sense we have gone from an
    international system built around division and walls to a system
    increasingly built around integration and webs. In the cold war we reached
    for the hotline, which was a symbol that we were all divided but at least
    two people were in charge — the leaders of the United States and the
    Soviet Union. In the globalization system we reach for the Internet, which
    is a symbol that we are all connected and nobody is quite in charge.
    Everyone in the world is directly or indirectly affected by this
    new system, but not everyone benefits from it, not by a long shot, which
    is why the more it becomes diffused, the more it also produces a backlash
    by people who feel overwhelmed by it, homogenized by it, or unable to keep
    pace with its demands.
    The other key difference between the cold war system and the
    globalization system is how power is structured within them. The cold war
    system was built primarily around nation-states. You acted on the world in
    that system through your state. The cold war was a drama of states
    confronting states, balancing states, and aligning with states. And, as a
    system, the cold war was balanced at the center by two superstates, two
    superpowers: the United States and the Soviet Union.

    The globalization system, by contrast, is built around three
    balances, which overlap and affect one another. The first is the
    traditional balance of power between nation-states. In the globalization
    system, the United States is now the sole and dominant superpower and all
    other nations are subordinate to it to one degree or another. The shifting
    balance of power between the United States and other states, or simply
    between other states, still very much matters for the stability of this
    system. And it can still explain a lot of the news you read on the front
    page of the paper, whether it is the containment of Iraq in the Middle
    East or the expansion of NATO against Russia or the rising power of China,
    counterbalanced by Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.
    The second important power balance in the globalization system is
    between nation-states and global markets. These global markets are made up
    of millions of investors moving money around the world with the click of a
    mouse. I call them the Electronic Herd, and this herd gathers in key
    global financial centers — such as Wall Street, Hong Kong, London, and
    Frankfurt — which I call the Supermarkets. The attitudes and actions of
    the Electronic Herd and the Supermarkets can have a huge impact on
    nation-states today, even to the point of triggering the downfall of
    governments. Who ousted Suharto in Indonesia in 1998? It wasn’t another
    state, it was the Supermarkets, by withdrawing their support for, and
    confidence in, the Indonesian economy. You also will not understand the
    front page of the newspaper today unless you bring the Supermarkets into
    your analysis. Because the United States can destroy you by dropping
    bombs, but the Supermarkets can destroy you by downgrading your bonds. In
    other words, the United States is the dominant player in maintaining the
    globalization game board, but it is hardly alone in influencing the moves
    on that game board.

    The third balance that you have to pay attention to — the one that
    is really the newest of all and the most relevant to the events of 9/11 —
    is the balance between individuals and nation-states. Because
    globalization has brought down many of the walls that limited the movement
    and reach of people, and because it has simultaneously wired the world
    into networks, it gives more power to individuals to influence both
    markets and nation-states than at any other time in history. Whether by
    enabling people to use the Internet to communicate instantly at almost no
    cost over vast distances, or by enabling them to use the Web to transfer
    money or obtain weapons designs that normally would have been controlled
    by states, or by enabling them to go into a hardware store now and buy a
    five-hundred-dollar global positioning device, connected to a satellite,
    that can direct a hijacked airplane — globalization can be an incredible
    force-multiplier for individuals. Individuals can increasingly act on the
    world stage directly, unmediated by a state.
    So you have today not only a superpower, not only Supermarkets, but
    also what I call “super-empowered individuals.” Some of these
    super-empowered individuals are quite angry, some of them quite wonderful
    — but all of them are now able to act much more directly and much more
    powerfully on the world stage.

    Osama bin Laden declared war on the United States in the late
    1990s, and after he organized the bombing of two American embassies in
    Africa, the U.S. Air Force retaliated with a cruise missile attack on his
    bases in Afghanistan as though he were another nation-state. Think about
    that: on one day in 1998, the United States fired 75 cruise missiles at
    bin Laden. The United States fired 75 cruise missiles, at $1 million
    apiece, at a person! That was the first battle in history between a
    superpower and a super-empowered angry man. September 11 was just the
    second such battle. Jody Williams won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for
    her contribution to the international ban on land mines. She achieved that
    ban not only without much government help, but in the face of opposition
    from all the world’s major powers. When she was asked, “How did you do
    that, how did you organize one thousand different human rights and arms
    control groups on six continents?” she had a very brief answer: “E-mail.”
    Nation-states, and the American superpower in particular, are still
    hugely important today, but so too now are Supermarkets and
    super-empowered individuals. You will never understand the globalization
    system, or the front page of the morning paper — or 9/11 — unless you see
    each one as a complex interaction between all three of these actors:
    states bumping up against states, states bumping up against Supermarkets,
    and Supermarkets and states bumping up against super-empowered individuals
    — many of whom, unfortunately, are super-empowered angry men.