… is from page 102 of Martin Wolf’s splendid 2004 book, Why Globalization Works:
The arrival of the potato, tomato, tobacco and maize in Eurasia was as significant as the arrival of coffee, wheat and the horse in the Americas. China received maize, peanuts and the sweet potato in this exchange. Subsequently rubber went to Malaya and coffee to Brazil. This was globalization indeed. Compared to the impact of the post-Columbian exchange in Europe (and, for that matter, of its import of coffee, tea, sugar and the croissant), what is significant about Starbucks and McDonald’s?
DBx: Many opponents of free trade and globalization mistakenly think themselves to be unusually ethically and intellectually refined when they protest against ‘cultural imperialism’ or against what they portray as the ‘artificial’ spread of products and commercial processes across political boundaries. In fact they are self-indulgent virtue-signalers whose uninformed signaling impresses only those who are equally uninformed.