Creative Destruction: How Globalization Is Changing the by Tyler Cowen

By Tyler Cowen

A Frenchman rents a Hollywood motion picture. A Thai schoolgirl mimics Madonna. Saddam Hussein chooses Frank Sinatra's "My method" because the subject music for his fifty-fourth birthday. it's a general that globalization is subverting neighborhood tradition. yet is it aiding up to it hurts? during this strikingly unique remedy of a fiercely debated factor, Tyler Cowen makes a daring new case for a extra sympathetic knowing of cross-cultural exchange. inventive Destruction brings now not stale suppositions yet an economist's eye to endure on an age-old query: Are industry trade and aesthetic caliber acquaintances or foes? most of the time, argues Cowen in transparent and lively prose, they're associates. Cultural "destruction" breeds no longer inventive loss of life yet diversity.Through an array of colourful examples from the parts the place globalization's critics were so much vocal, Cowen asks what occurs while cultures collide via alternate, no matter if know-how destroys local arts, why (and even if) Hollywood video clips rule the realm, no matter if "globalized" tradition is dumbing down societies in all places, and if nationwide cultures topic in any respect. Scrutinizing such manifestations of "indigenous" tradition because the metal band ensembles of Trinidad, Indian handweaving, and track from Zaire, Cowen unearths that they're extra bright than ever--thanks mostly to cross-cultural trade.For the entire pressures that industry forces exert on person cultures, variety usually raises inside society, even if cultures turn into extra like one another. alternate complements the diversity of person selection, yielding sorts of expression inside of cultures that flower as by no means ahead of. whereas a few see cultural decline as a half-empty glass, Cowen sees it as a tumbler half-full with the stirrings of cultural brilliance. no longer all readers will agree, yet all will need a say within the debate this unparalleled booklet will stir.

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The same logic that accounts for the fragility of a culture also 20 T H E R O L E S O F W E A LT H A N D T E C H N O L O G Y shows how and why a culture can become so dynamic. Complementarity implies that a culture can respond positively to new ideas and technologies, often in explosive fashion. Adding a single piece to the puzzle can make all the other pieces far more valuable. Foreign cultures commonly adapt new ideas and technologies in ways that their trading partners had never anticipated, which is precisely the theme of this chapter.

It creates a plethora of innovative and high-quality creations in many different genres, styles, and media. 19 Nonetheless, an informed cosmopolitanism must be of the cautious variety, rather than based on superficial pro-globalization slogans or cheerleading about the brotherhood of mankind. Throughout the book we will see that individuals are often more creative when they do not hold consistently cosmopolitan attitudes. A certain amount of cultural particularism and indeed provincialism, among both producers and consumers, can be good for the arts.

17 Can Wealthier Societies Afford the Arts? Under one complaint, wealth is bad for many forms of the arts. Artists and artisans from the poorer countries supposedly give up their creative endeavors once their society becomes rich and commercializes. 18 In reality, economic growth usually leads to a reallocation of creative activity to the dynamic and growing artistic sectors, rather than the death of the arts. The poorer countries in the world have virtually exploded with creative art, music, and literature in the twentieth century.

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