For a number of years doubts have been cast on the existence of the Atlantic Ocean. In a reversal of standard tectonics, many in North America and some in Europe now believe that continents are converging. A specific version of this tendency is the assumption often heard that economic and cultural phenomena are leading to a sort of lopsided convergence. Lopsided because in this view of things America is not going anywhere, while contemporary Europe is swimming as fast as it can to get to the other side.
The argument usually goes that while European frills are certainly nice as long as they can be afforded, everyone knows that sooner or later one does have to modernize, and that all liberal capitalism everywhere modernizes or progresses according to a blueprint stored somewhere in a vault labeled G8. This geo-economic law is often thought to be as immutable as any in science, and although the op-ed experts who purvey the law rarely stop to define 'modern' or 'progress', and (...)