specific cultural or political identity andnis formed and distinguished merely bynits possession of the skills and its adherencento the ideas that define the “West”nin the abstract sense in which ourncontemporaries use the term.nIt also means that what is expandingnin power over the non-“Western” worldnis not a political or cultural unit, as innhistorical imperialism, but the elite itself,nthat it is the elite that is the imperialnpower and not the nations and culturesnof Europe and America. And, finally,nwhat that means is that the elite itself isnin the process of disengaging from thenunderlying territorial cultural and politicalnunits of the geographical West and isnbecoming an independent entity, endowednwith global power.nZbigniew Brzezinski, in his 1970nbook Between Two Ages, which is ankind of blueprint for the New WorldnOrder, almost explicitly acknowledgesnthis point. “Today,” he wrote,nwe are again witnessing thenemergence of transnationalnelites, but now they arencomposed of internationalnbusinessmen, scholars,nprofessional men, and publicnofficials. The ties of these newnelites cut across nationalnboundaries, their perspectivesnare not confined by nationalntraditions, and their interests arenmore functional thannnational. . . . The creation ofnthe global information grid,nfacilitating almost continuousnintellectual interaction and thenAdrertise In,,.npooling of knowledge, willnfurther enhance the presentntrend toward internationalnprofessional elites and towardnthe emergence of a commonnscientific language. . . . This,nhowever, could create andangerous gap between themnand the politically activatednmasses, whose “nativism” —nexploited by more nationalistnpolitical leaders — could worknagainst the “cosmopolitan” elites.nThe disengagement of multinationalncorporations, the defining structures ofnthe “Western” economy, from theirnhost cultures is now obvious and openlynacknowledged. In 1989, the presidentnof NCR Corporation remarked that “Inwas asked the other day about UnitednStates competitiveness and I replied thatnI don’t think about it at all. We at NCRnthink of ourselves as a globally competitivencompany that happens to be headquarterednin the United States.”nMore recently, even as OperationnDesert Storm was saving one Arabnnon-country from the clutches of another,nthe Washington Post reportednthat Saudi Arabia’s Prince AlwaleednBin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud hadninvested some $590 million innCiticorp, described by the Post asn”America’s largest banking company.”nThat description was subtly correctednby Citicorp’s executive vice president,nThomas E. Jones, who announcednthat “We don’t view ourselves as just anU.S. bank. The fact that the guynhappens to be Saudi is neither here nornC U IT UnPlace your adveilisement vithin”it’hc;;page’sj0is^6ne of;.nAmerica’s 1 eadin’g culturaL’aiid -i’ntellectual^uMica- ;?,•,;ntions. Our dedicated readership, aincompromisi.ng ‘neditorial content, and award-winning.grapliicsnpi’ovide an unequalled advertlSlng^oppo^tunlty.^n10/CHRONICLESnFor your free’informat-ioiT.,pacKet-,pleasencontact Leann Dob,bs or .nCathy Corson at 815/9’64’;5p54. .nnnthere.” It may be neither here nornthere to Mr. Jones whether he gets hisnorders from New York or Riyadh ornwherever the prince and his seraglionhappen to be taking the waters thisnweek, but it might matter to Americansnthat decisions about their jobs, livingnstandards, and even their political andncultural future will be settled there —nnot here.nNot just the corporate elite, ofncourse, but also cultural and politicalnelites are disengaging themselves fromntheir host cultures, which they regardnas impediments to their interests andnuniversalist ideology. Such mundanenconcerns as the “national interest” andnloyalties to specific cultural institutionsnand ways of living (especially if they’ren”Eurocentric”) restrict what the elitencan do and compete with the power ofnthe bureaucratic conglomerates innwhich it is lodged — multinational corporationsnas well as international organizations,nfoundations, and “multiversities”nwhere any suggestion of Eurocentricnloyalty is severely punished.nThe goal of the elite is the extirpationnof the roots of cultural distinctivenessnsuch as family, community,nsexuality, ethnicity, and religious identitynand their replacement by a cosmopolitannethic of “humankind” administerednby the elite’s own bureaucraticncolossi.nAll the chest-thumping and hornblowingnby Middle Americans last winternin the wake of the devastation of thenIraqi army may, therefore, have beennsomewhat misplaced. Every Americannought to be relieved that the countrynwon, rather than lost, the war, that thenconflict lasted so briefly, and that so fewnof their countrymen died in it after all.nBut what really triumphed on the banksnof the Euphrates, where some ofnhistory’s eariiest empires were born, wasnhistory’s latest heir to the imperial purple.nThe heir is not the AmericannRepublic, the American nation, or evenna Pax Americana. What was born lastnwinter, to paraphrase Voltaire, was neithernPax nor Americana, but the imperiumnof a deracinated new class of globalntechnocrats who know little about peacenor America and who despise the realnAmerican and Western civilization asnmuch as they scorn the Moslem andnArabic cultures that they claimed to benliberating.nn