Inside America: The Rise and Fall of An Empire

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The arrival of the credit card nation in America with ATMs and digital shopping had taken just thirty years to materialize. As the plastic money culture of debt and consumption began to go global, fierce resistance to it began to develop among many other countries. The idea of a debt-driven society began to find many critics. In 1997, the collapse of Asia's economy had real-life consequences for many people who did not live in cyber-space. The subsequent collapse of the Russian economy a year later further increased concerns that the global economy was standing on weak foundations.

By the final year of the Nineties, the first serious protests against globalization erupted in Seattle, during the World Trade Organization meetings. The protests rapidly became a media event to many people's surprise. The concept of globalization became a hot issue that would not go away. Enviornmentalists and trade unionists had formed a new alliance to protest the effects of the Post-industrial society on a global level.

The health of the planet could no longer be segregated from the emerging global consumer market and a new debate about how to allocate global resources was now urgently called for. But who would make these decisions and how would the debate be framed? The global media was now part of the global market and its values were dictated by those who controlled the global economy. America was now seen as the center of the new global order that had emerged after the end of the Cold War. Most Americans were unaware of this new development. But, they would soon get a rude awakening.

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