My son has raised the question, with me, of whether a universal commercial culture is evolving without our noticing it.
I have strongly rejected the Lefty European idea of the end of nationalism and the emergence of a global polity. That is mushy thinking that ignores the cohesion, uniqueness and vitality of nation states.
But a different kind of culture may be emerging globally. A modern commercial culture.
- Most of the world has encountered movies, television, even a single television show, NCIS.
- Most of the world wears similar clothing and much of the world wear similar footwear.
- A great deal of the world recognizes the technology associated with airplanes, combustion engines, metallurgy, thermometers, glass and metal cooking objects.
- Electricity and various combustible gases are ubiquitous.
- The same is true of pens and writing instruments, as well as watches and clocks.
- Today, even portable computers and cell phones are widely known as are automobiles, trucks, bicycles, farm equipment and motorcycles.
What distinguishes a third world urban scene from Des Moines is the absence of paved streets, lack of recently painted buildings and missing drainage systems.
Trade and commerce seem to be understood everywhere with markets, standard fixed pricing and currency. The Phillips Global Currency (Visa and MasterCard) are nearly universal.
One of the most unusual phenomenon is the global presence of hotels and restaurants. These are very recent, only one century old, in most of the developed world. Fairly clean and sanitary.
The same is true for some sports such as soccer and swimming.
Writing, reading and math are becoming normative and expected nearly everywhere. Yoga and martial arts, too.
All of these phenomenon are able to exist in societies that are tribal. Maybe we have a low grade of commerce worldwide which will slowly expand and bring some of the main modern commercial attributes with it: meritocracy and openness.