23 February, 2006

Snow Crash--Or How I Lied

I didn't mean to lie. I just didn't realise that I would have more to say. Not that it matters in the great scheme of things, because what I think about the operation of the major theatres of the world has really proven to not matter in the least. People still go to prison for years and have their homes seized because they choose to cultivate illegal plants. Yet we will hand the keys to our front doors--and by extension a vast majority of economic well-being--to just any guy with a company. I worked for an importer for several years, and wasn't a big fan of the idea of the Ports being managed by anyone outside the government. When I first heard about it the infrastructure of the ports from a man I worked with I was floored. I had just assumed that being ports of entry and all that the government was in charge. Hah! Naive girl.

Yes, I'm a libertarian. But that's the thing. There are things I think are the business of the government and things that I think are NOT the business of government. What you grow, what you smoke, who you sleep with and what you watch are not the government's business. Protecting the safety of the nation is. Face it. Ports have dual duty. Because we are a vastly more "butter" nation than "guns" right now, the ports are vastly more Butter in nature. That in no way alleviates them of their Guns responsibility. A port of entry is still a strategic asset. Contracts should be awarded solely to U.S. firms on that basis alone. Sure, these other fellows may run crackerjack operations.

I. Don't. Care.

Israel has a great army. I still wouldn't outsource our armed forces to the Israelis. Britain once had a great navy. I don't know anymore, because I don't follow the Navy. But I still wouldn't outsource our seafaring operations to them.

In Neal Stephenson's excellent Snow Crash he describes a near future where the U.S. is a loose confederation of corporate fiefdoms. Stuff like this port deal continues to convince me that Stephenson's world is frighteningly prescient. Everything will one day be a business, we'll cease to have any pride in ourselves or our workmanship, and the only voice individuals will have is inside a computer-networked Metaverse.

Yeah. Like that'd ever happen.

1 Comments:

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