PHOENIX, ARIZONAToby Harshaw,Letters Editor THE NEW YORK TIMES New York, NY
Subject: A letter to the editor re. the editorial, "Could This Be the New World?," Dec. 27, 1999
Dear Mr. Harshaw,
The answer to the question which Robert Kaplan's Dec. 27 OpEd poses - "Could This Be the New World?" -is: It could. But it won't. That's because your OpEd contributor makes a classic "faux pas" of amateur soothsayers. He uses the past to predict the future.
Kaplan says, for example, that, "cities have been with us since the dawn of civilization." From which historical fact he makes a giant leap into the abyss of Hegelian dialectic "while the future of the city is not in doubt "
Really? Why not? Because Kaplan says so? "Simon says," too. But who's listening, except for kids and morons?
Ancient cities were built to keep the outsiders out, as evident by the walls and moats which surrounded them. Modern cities were built to facilitate a concentration of the work force required to operate the industrial era's factories and offices. In today's and tomorrow's information-driven world, both raison d' êtres for the cities' existence will have disappeared. And silicon will have returned man back to nature (which is what this author said in a 1983 forecast - see "Death of the Corporation", July 1999).
Of course, that may come as a shock to modern urbanites, like Kaplan - inmates of the steel, glass and concrete industrial era asylums - the multi-story, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic melting pots from which multinational companies have been drawing their dumbed down workers. But a trend away from that is a breath of fresh air for the rest of the humanity. Millions have already voted in favor of it by moving from such cities into the Sun Belts of America and the world.But Kaplan is still half-right in his half-baked, but wholly politically correct, forecast of the "New World." Nation-states as we know them will disintegrate in the 21st century (see "When Cultures Collide...", Aug. 1996). Only not the way he would wish them to. They will implode along the demographic lines, leaving in their wake small, but culturally and ethnically homogeneous states (for more on that, check out the "Taming the Russian Bear", April 1995).
That's bad news, of course, for multinational corporate dinosaurs and their "PC" media and political proxies. But it's great news for mankind and free spirit.
P.S. By publishing Kaplan's off-key, yet self-serving piece, the Times has clearly shown its readers for what side it is rooting - for its advertisers, the multinationals, not for the free spirit of its readers. But even if that's the case, how can you excuse your U.S.-centric myopia? Someone from Exxon-Mobil, IBM, GM or JP Morgan should give Kaplan, the Times' OpEd editor and your art director a geography lesson. It's truly amazing that your map of the future "New World" does not include London, Paris, Moscow, Beijing, Sydney, Toronto or Tokyo among the great cities of the world. Yet it does show Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Phoenix, Tucson, Eugene, Portland and Seattle. How much more jingoistic can you get? It's a wonder you didn't stick the New York City Hall flag on top of your "New World" globe. Or are you saving that for the late city editions?
Also, check out... Toward a new Multipolar World in the New Millennium, NWO "Liberals" Cancel Christmas, Stitching Together the New World Order Flag, Chinese Embassy; Slovakia; bin Laden and Bosnia, Criminals Return to Scene of Their Crimes, "Buchanan Jumps GOP Ship," "Services-based Economy Means Cheaper Labor," Truth in Media Statement on the Kosovo War, "Wither Dayton, Sprout New War?", "On the Brink of Madness", "Tragic Deja Vu's," "Seven U.S. Senators Suggest Ouster of Milosevic", "Biting the Hand That Feeds You", "A Balkan Affairs Potpourri", "Put the U.N. Justice on Trial", "International Justice 'Progresses' from Kidnapping to Murder", "Milosevic: 'A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery'...", "Kosovo Lie Allowed to Stand", "New World Order's Inquisition in Bosnia", "Kosovo Heating Up", "Decani Monastery Under Siege?", "Murder on Wall Street", "Kosovo: 'Bosnia II', Serbia's Aztlan", "What If the Shoe Were on the Other Foot?", "Serb WW II General Exhonerated by British Archives," "Green Interstate - Not Worth American Lives", "An American Hero or Actor of the Year?" (A June '95 TiM story) and/or "Clinton arme secrètement les musulmans bosniaques", "Kocevje: Tito's Greatest Crime?", "Perfidious Albion Strikes Again, Aided by Uncle Sam", "Lift the Sanctions, Now!" (1993)
Or Djurdjevic's WASHINGTON TIMES columns: "Chinese Dragon Wagging Macedonian Tail," "An Ugly Double Standard in Kosovo Conflict?", "NATO's Bullyboys", "Kosovo: Why Are We Involved?", and "Ginning Up Another Crisis"