[sociate] The Californization of the world?

  • From: "Jerry Michalski" <jerry@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Sociate News" <sociate@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 7 Jun 2003 11:57:03 -0400

Excellent, speedy talk at PlaNetwork this morning by GBN's Peter Leyden, in
which he outlined the results of GBN's most recent Global Scenarios cycle,
which they repeat every five years and will soon be available as a book.

The two axes in this scenario logic are centralized/decentralized and US
cultural and economic power, which leads to the following four quadrants
(clockwise from the upper right): New American Century [yep] (centralized,
increased US global influence); Adaptive Strain (decentralized, increased US
influence); Creative Disorder (decentralized, decreased US influence); and
Eurasian New Deal (centralized, decreased US influence).

The quadrant Peter believes is playing out is Adaptive Strain, which he
nicknames The Californiaization [sic] of the World. Trends start in
California, he claims, then play out across the US (and, by implication, the
world). Witness the Reagan Revolution, presaged by then-ultra-conservative
Kevin Phillip's 1969 book The Emerging Republican Majority and still in peak
form. As evidence that a counter-swing is now in motion, Leyden points to
The New Republic writer John Judis' new book The Emerging Democratic
Majority, the rising sentiment in favor of sustainable policies and the fact
that California has Democrats in charge now from top to bottom (among other
pieces of evidence). That's too brief a treatment of what Peter said, but
it's a start.

Having just lived briefly in Hong Kong and tasted a little of what China is
doing, I am unconvinced that Adaptive Strain/Californization takes enough
into account the power of Asia, and the potential synergies of tighter
relationships between Europe and Asia. I tend to think the major tension is
between the upper right quadrant (New American Century) and the lower left
(Creative Disorder), and I hope Creative Disorder is the path we take.

posted by Jerry Michalski at 2:58 AM

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