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jerryking : parochialism   7

Open books, open borders
OCTOBER 20, 2017 | FT| Janan Ganesh.

The globalised Booker also confirms this medium-sized country’s knack for cultural decorations — degrees from its universities, air time on the BBC — that are coveted worldwide. The unfakeable emotion from Saunders and Beatty upon receipt of the prize was a larger compliment to Britain and its soft power than a Booker for one of its own would have been.....There is a strategic imperative to open up that goes beyond the aesthetic one. As the gap narrows between the superpower and the rest, it becomes more important for America to understand the outside world. Better foreign news coverage can help, but mere politics is downstream of culture. The real prize is to comprehend another country’s thought patterns, speech rhythms, historic ghosts and unconscious biases — and these seep out from the stories it tells and the way it tells them....Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker cites the spread of literacy as a reason for the long-term decline of human violence. To read another person’s story is to end up with a larger “circle of sympathy”. But even if America’s concern is the narrowest raison d’état, rather than world peace, it would profit from reading beyond its borders.

The minimum return is that more American readers would have more fun. The headiest writing tends to come from places that are ascendant enough to matter but raw enough to retain some measure of dramatic chaos: 19th-century Britain and Russia, mid-20th-century America, and now, perhaps, early 21st-century Asia. It is not just in economics that protectionism stifles.
books  cosmopolitan  cross-cultural  cultural_products  empathy  fiction  George_Saunders  Janan_Ganesh  literature  Man_Booker  middle-powers  national_identity  novels  open_borders  open_mind  parochialism  prizes  protectionism  reading  soft_power  storytelling  United_Kingdom  writers 
november 2017 by jerryking
Caribbean food seems to be the latest cultural commodity available for plunder
October 1, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | ANDRAY DOMISE.

.....Diluted and stripped of its ancestral link to survival and resistance, with "modern twists" added to improve our base and unenlightened cuisine, Caribbean food seems to be the latest cultural commodity available for plunder......Dozens of amazing Caribbean restaurants have lived out their quiet struggle in Toronto for decades, dotting the landscape throughout the inner suburbs in Scarborough, Rexdale, and Eglinton West. There's Rap's, the jerk chicken and patty shop where my mother would take me for lunch after a haircut at Castries barbershop. There's Albert's, a landmark at the corner of St. Clair Avenue and Vaughan Road. And there's the world famous back-ah-yard restaurant The Real Jerk, owned by Ed and Lily Pottinger, who have dealt with the worst of neighbourhood gentrification and real estate discrimination that Toronto has to offer.....But the concept of an "amazing Jamaican restaurant in Toronto," proffered by a restaurateur who has visited my ancestral home a few times, and who intends to package the culture in a fashion true to the brand of a downtown gastro-chain doesn't fill me with hope.
Caribbean  cuisine  cultural_appropriation  Toronto  food  Andray_Domise  exploitation  appreciation  restaurants  restauranteurs  inner_suburbs  parochialism 
october 2017 by jerryking
Political leadership in the Caribbean –
Feb 05, 2017 Features | Kaieteur News | By Sir Ronald Sanders.

The aspirations of today’s Caribbean leaders are no different to Castro’s; their circumstances are different. Caribbean economies are small and, when there is an economic downturn or some major calamity in the countries with which we trade or from which our foreign investment comes, our economies become constrained. It’s not that the leaders would not like to do better, they are operating in restricted circumstances, and they do the best they can. They have no champion as Castro had with the Soviet Union.
But, they miss opportunities by not doing more together. .....CARICOM is a valuable tool for the advancement of the Caribbean people and for Caribbean countries individually and collectively. Unfortunately, since independence, a kind of false nationalism has crept into our psyche; one which, in some cases, cannot admit to being as much a citizen of the Caribbean region as a national of a country within it. Part of the reason is that leaders don’t give effective leadership on this issue.....In almost every Caribbean country, there exists an anathema to migrants from other Caribbean countries, displayed particularly at Airports where Caribbean people face discrimination.......There has not been sufficient advocacy of Caribbean integration by the leadership of the region to help people to understand that, whether or not we came in the same ship, we are now in the same boat and that boat is in turbulent waters. All of us in that boat have to row it together, if not we will sink together....The point is that our circumstances are such that we need each other; no single country in the Caribbean – none, not Trinidad and Tobago, with its oil and gas resources, not Guyana with its vast land and natural resources, not Jamaica with its large population can survive on its own.
The world is tough, and it is only by the marrying and integrating of our resources at all levels that we can hope to do better. If we continue to let integration languish, I am afraid we are writing our own suicide drama and we are acting it out. We have to overcome it. And, political leadership matters – from governing and opposition parties alike.............
leadership  politicians  Caribbean  Caricom  missed_opportunities  parochialism  competitiveness_of_nations  nationalism  integration  loyal_opposition  small_states  human_psyche 
february 2017 by jerryking
Britain resigns as a world power
May 21, 2015 |The Washington Post | Fareed Zakaria
"I was struck by just how parochial it has become. After an extraordinary 300-year run, Britain has essentially resigned as a global power.

Over the next few years, Britain’s army will shrink to about 80,000."... Why does this matter? Because on almost all global issues, Britain has a voice that is intelligent, engaged and forward-looking. It wants to strengthen and uphold today’s international system — one based on the free flow of ideas, goods and services around the world, one that promotes individual rights and the rule of law.

This is not an accident. Britain essentially created the world we live in. In his excellent book “God and Gold,” Walter Russell Mead points out that in the 16th century many countries were poised to advance economically and politically — Northern Italy’s city-states, the Hanseatic League, the Low Countries, France, Spain. But Britain managed to edge out the others, becoming the first great industrial economy and the modern world’s first superpower. It colonized and shaped countries and cultures from Australia to India to Africa to the Western Hemisphere, including of course, its settlements in North America. Had Spain or Germany become the world’s leading power, things would look very different today.
geopolitics  E.U.  foreign_policy  internationalism  international_relations  middle-powers  parochialism  Fareed_Zakaria  Walter_Russell_Mead  books  United_Kingdom  London  cutbacks  BBC  cost-cutting  cosmopolitan  David_Cameron  leadership  globalization  retreats  superpowers  international_system  forward_looking  rule_of_law  drawdowns  industrial_economy  punch-above-its-weight 
may 2015 by jerryking
The parochialism of Little Canada is killing us
Dec. 17, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | Jeffrey Simpson. Big
Canada can be Ottawa acting alone, or Ottawa acting in harmony with
provinces, or the provinces working constructively together. There’s no
“one size fits all” definition of Big Canada in such a sprawling,
diverse country.

Little Canada is easy to define: parochialism working against other
parochialisms, or parochialism sharpening itself by working against
Ottawa, with provincial politicians appealing to the lowest common
denominator of local prejudices.

In a hypercompetitive international world, the internal dynamics of
Little Canada are a recipe for a slow, debilitating slide toward
complacency, irrelevance and mediocrity. There are, alas, on the
political and economic landscape of contemporary Canada, plenty of
preachers of Little Canada but no one articulating and defending a
vision of Big Canada.
Jeffrey_Simpson  op-ed  parochialism  one-size-fits-all  Canadian  prejudices  Canada  complacency  irrelevance  mediocrity 
december 2010 by jerryking
U.S. business leaders finally getting that international feeling
Dec. 10, 2010 | G&M | CHRYSTIA FREELAND...After a century
when succeeding in the U.S. was the surest route to commercial success,
the country’s best businessmen and women have realized that the way to
win is to go global....in the U.S. just 10 % of Fortune 500 chiefs were
foreigners. Now that the American century is over, however, U.S. biz
leaders are catching on fast. A sign of the times was the recent
decision by Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone, to move to Paris for
3 to 6 mths. next year...Like Blackstone, GE is moving its chiefs to
where the action is: Last month John Rice, a GE vice-chairman, was
reassigned to Hong Kong, where he will oversee non-U.S. sales, mktg.
& operations....the shift of U.S. capital and American capitalists
outside the country will further polarize an already bitter national
debate. By 2012, Americans won’t just be arguing about tax breaks for
millionaires, they’ll be targeting the millionaires who spend six months
a year in Paris or Hong Kong.
globalization  Chrystia_Freeland  Blackstone  Fortune_500  parochialism  GE  Stephen_Schwarzman  CEOs  leadership  cosmopolitan 
december 2010 by jerryking
China, the World's Capital - New York Times
May 22, 2005 | NYT | by NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF. Supremacy,
particularly for individual cities, is fleeting. What can NYC learn from
a city like Kaifeng? (1) The importance of sustaining a technological
edge and sound economic policies. Ancient China flourished partly
because of pro-growth, pro-trade policies and technological innovations
like curved iron plows, printing and paper money. But then China came to
scorn trade and commerce, and per capita income stagnated for 600 yrs.
(2) The danger of hubris, for China concluded it had nothing to learn
from the rest of the world - and that was the beginning of the end. I
worry about the U.S. in both regards. Our economic management is so lax
that we can't confront farm subsidies or long-term budget deficits. Our
technology is strong, but American public schools are 2nd-rate in math
and science. And Americans' lack of interest in the world contrasts with
the restlessness, drive and determination that are again pushing China
to the forefront.
Nicholas_Kristof  China  China_rising  New_York_City  hubris  parochialism  insularity  impermanence  restlessness  public_schools  incurious  ignorance  second-rate  America_in_Decline?  U.S. 
march 2010 by jerryking

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