Economic globalization means making money everywhere from everything off of everyone. Anything goes. Global commerce never stops. As Wall Street opens in New York, workers in Sydney close a busy day by watching paint dry while French investors eagerly gather round a mechanic changing a flat tire. Now Im riding on a train to downtown Tokyo still thinking about the human significance of the global economic order. Naturally I cant help wishing for the inevitable bone ugly bankruptcy followed by the total collapse of this highly complex system not that Im a Marxist or a Nazi or part of some arcane religious cult. But before that happens we have to carefully consider the constituents, world markets and transnational corporations, international economic institutions like the IMF, the WTO and Burger King, borderless and containerized shipping and branding, the regional trading systems, monetized debt, downsizing and transferring good jobs to lousy Third World hell-holes then shipping back tons of useless crap to LA and London where teenagers line up to buy ripped jeans and bags of stupid hiphop junk. Countries used to have their own national economies at least I think they did, which lasted until the 1980s when Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan sat down to a working breakfast of hot buttered scones and soft boiled eggs, now members of Zimbabwes burgeoning middle class drive around with the top down while American workers are getting fired left and right like the former Communist China where leaders arrange Tupperware parties and drive tanks over unarmed student demonstrators. What really gets my goat is when some corporate flack comes on CNBC Business News and starts blaming government for economic instability or low growth or high unemployment huge deficits phony balance sheets tainted meat failing schools or unintended acceleration when all along its been some crooked corporate dickwads, the so- called invisible hand. God knows politicians are bad enough and Neoliberalism is rooted in the classical liberal, not conservatives who were Tories, ideals of Adam Smith and Herbert Spencer who said the fittest would naturally rise to the top like Texas where the Mexican drug cartels preach the natural efficiency of free market competition and also advocate the elimination of barriers to imports. I cant help wondering if semiotics is a real science or if our Hopes For The Future are permanently dashed by the new global economy which doesnt care about people, I know thats a terribly leftist cliché but what else can you say, just like when someones hairs not working or someones singing didnt do it for Simon so he says youre off the show, which is not just another form of Americanization imposed on the rest of the world which is itself experiencing awful stresses because of economic globalization. Tokyo, Tuesday, 03/16/10