So much for cultural imperialism

Tyler Cowen has a good piece in the New York Times today about American cultural exports. He makes one particularly imprtant point:

“Culture is not a zero-sum game, so the greater reach of one culture does not necessarily mean diminished stature for others. In the broad sweep of history, many different traditions have grown together and flourished. American popular culture will continue to make money, but the 21st century will bring a broad mélange of influences, with no clear world cultural leader.”

Indeed. The cultural effects of the Indian diaspora, for instance, have yet to be seen in the US, but they will be. Look, for instance, at the UK, where curry has become the national dish and TV programs such as The Kumars at No. 42 blend British and Indian sensibilities. Who knows, perhaps cricket will take off again in the USA, over a hundred years after the game essentially died off. And that would be a true melange – a British game exported to India then imported to the US.