The collapse of the Doha round of trade talks this week was the first time since World War II that an effort to liberalize global commerce has failed. The talks went south not because they lacked support, writes David Brooks, but because Indian and Chinese politicians were afraid of antagonizing their small farmers. It's only one example, writes the New York Times columnist, of a new age of "globosclerosis."
"In a de-centered world," says Brooks, "all it takes is a few well-placed parochial interests to bring a vast global process tumbling down." It's not just Doha: from genocide in Darfur to meltdown in Zimbabwe to the accelerating climate crisis, global action has been deficient as small blocs derail the world's general interest. John McCain's proposal for a League of Democracies might be a step forward, but still, globosclerois might be here to stay.