Read the business pages and you’ll find with liquid clarity that we have indeed been immersed in the much-vaunted Pacific Rim Century for some time (actually forever if you forget the what they force-fed you in world history class). Whether its the recent recall of toxic Barbie Dream Houses made in China or the pressure on Steven Spielberg to relinquish his role as artistic advisor to Olympics sponsor China for its support of the Sudanese mass murderers in Darfur, its hard to ignore what happens around the Pacific any more.
In fact, here is where the Great Game of Geopolitics (not to be confused by Parker Brothers or Mattel products or Xbox games of global domination) will be defined; Here not in the Atlantic is where will be decided the fate Of América.
Consider this piece from the right wing, Moonie-owned Washington Times about the “increasing concern” in Washington about Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar satellite project which, the story tells us, will allow the Chavez Administration to “develop an integrated ground- and space-based air defense — presumably against the United States.”
While interesting to note the fantastical hypocrisy of the Bush Administration – the same guys who’ve spent billions building their own failed and unproven Star Wars satellite air defense system, more indicative of the hemispheric zeitgeist is that you can cut the word “China” from the article and paste “United States” as you wax nostalgic for US preeminence in 20th century, the “American Century.”
Further illustrating that everybody’s fortunes fall and rise with the ebb and flow of Pacific power, is the political-economy of pop-ups. Before I could even start reading the Washington Times story on their website, I was forced to watch two pop-ups, one chock-full of Pier One Imports products (some of which will also be joining Barbie and her lead-toxic Dream House on the dung heap of recalled merchandise) from sweatshops in Asia and the other promoting Intel microchips also produced there.
Whether or not we know or act on it, Pacific Rim dynamics determine with increasing intensity what we play with, who we play with and who will rule the world. So, embrace the Pacific Rimmer within.