David Brooks: Globalism Goes Viral

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A single global response would produce a uniform approach. A decentralized response fosters experimentation.

The bottom line is that the swine flu crisis is two emergent problems piled on top of one another. At bottom, there is the dynamic network of the outbreak. It is fueled by complex feedback loops consisting of the virus itself, human mobility to spread it and environmental factors to make it potent. On top, there is the psychology of fear caused by the disease. It emerges from rumors, news reports, Tweets and expert warnings.

The correct response to these dynamic, decentralized, emergent problems is to create dynamic, decentralized, emergent authorities: chains of local officials, state agencies, national governments and international bodies that are as flexible as the problem itself.

Swine flu isn’t only a health emergency. It’s a test for how we’re going to organize the 21st century. Subsidiarity works best.

Read the whole column.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationHealth & Medicine* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General

4 Comments
Posted April 29, 2009 at 9:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

“Subsidiarity works best.”  How very Windsor Report-ish of him!

April 29, 9:40 am | [comment link]
2. Jeffersonian wrote:

“Subsidiarity works best.”

Yeah, that’s why Dave is such a fan of federal preschool programs.  Because Heaven knows communities couldn’t possibly do it on their own.

April 29, 10:20 am | [comment link]
3. mari wrote:

Mexico hasn’t acted fast, the swine flu outbreak was first found there on February 22nd, in a small village, near a pig farm owned by one of President Calderon’s friends. The villagers have demanded that the pigs on this farm be inspected, tested to find out, and then something be done to staunch the spread, yet the government has refused to do so. Articles by the Mexican and now foreign press are documenting this, and reporting it. Mexicans are being denied health care, they are denied even those ridiculous masks that don’t really protect the healthy, as one breaths around the mask, not through them. A New Zealand newspaper just yesterday confirmed these and other facts, including a mention of a factory owned by Smithfield Farms (the US ham company), where sick workers are complaining because they are not able to see a doctor, as the local hospitals and doctors are turning them away, and the government is ignoring requests for masks and any help at all.

I’m sure Obama and the incompetent Janet Napolitano are more concerned about Smithfield Farm’s and other such examples of outsourced manufacturing, suffering a minor loss if a ban on Mexican pork were to be implemented, the way every other country in the world has. Were the US to impose such a ban, and inform Mexico that it would not be lifted until Mexico, which is the 14th wealthiest country in the world, with zero national debt, got it’s house in order used it’s resources to provide medical care for it’s citizens who are sick, and to test that pig farm, and deal with any infection so as to end the crisis as soon as possible. Our government could tell Smithfield Farm’s and other such companies that if they want the ban lifted, then they should pressure Calderon to honor his obligations to his people, by acting responsibly. That is the decent, and humane way to handle this, and any true Christian would demand that our government behave in this way.

Brooks cares about one thing only, denying us our civil rights protections, and government putting corporate and foreign interests first instead.

April 29, 12:46 pm | [comment link]
4. Katherine wrote:

mari, once again, this virus, whatever its origin, is not being spread by infected meat.  It’s being spread by people coughing and sneezing on each other.  You are arguing that because you believe that one Mexican pig farm is the source of this virus, ALL Mexican pork producers should be punished by the loss of their jobs and livelihoods.  This is unjust.

Even without swine flu, anyone handling raw pork, or raw chicken, beef, eggs, fish, or any other raw meat, should carefully wash hands and all kitchen surfaces and cook the product to the recommended temperature.  If you do this with pork, it won’t give you flu or anything else.

The sources I’ve read say the Mexican government is handing out masks to the population like candy.  Apparently your sources disagree.  Believable medical authorities in the U.S. are saying that handwashing is the single best flu preventive measure (that, and not rubbing your face with your hands until you wash or use the hand sanitizer).

April 29, 1:16 pm | [comment link]
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