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What makes this period of globalization special? The world has been fairly global merchant-dependant since the Phoenicians. One of the differences I see is the rise over the past 40 years or so of the multinational firm, one of the most recent examples of which is Daimler-Chrysler. These are companies for which the nation-state is a nuisance and to which they owe no loyalty, unlike the great Dutch and British trading companies (read 'Nathaniel's Nutmeg', by giles Milton, an excellent account of British-Dutch rivalry in the spice trade). Thus, they can not be completely controlled by any one nation (I recall Mobil acting against putative national interests during the '73 Arab oil embargo), notwithstanding France's recent moves to prevent Marks & Spencer from closing its failing stores there. How does all this play out on the international economic stage? Dunno, but I do believe that uninational action is becoming increasingly futile in dealing with these global enterprises. And it is becoming increasingly difficult for nations to insulate themselves, a trend which has been developing since before the Great Depression. I think that economic crises of the 19th century were more national than international. Schvitz
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