Thomas L. Friedman uses analogies and figurative speech in his essay, “Prologue: The Super Story,” to better convey his message that in the post-cold war era, globalization is the new big thing. This paper will serve to define the figurative term “Electronic Herd”, and suggest what type of engaged, positive social interaction they make in the world of globalization.
Friedman defines the global marketplace as the “Electronic Herd,” full of often anonymous stock, bond, and currency traders, multinational investors all inter-connected by the web. Friedman compares these investors moving money between different countries and companies to a herd of cattle following their food source. This herd gathers in the key financial centers around the world, and can have the power to create, or destroy markets almost overnight. With this analogy, Friedman explains the connection between nations and supermarkets. Friedman doesn’t get into great detail about admission to this herd, but one would assume that it comes at a price. Another thing to be concern about is that once you join the herd you better deliver because if your country is seen to be at all weak on any part of it, you might get cast out.
“The Electronic Herd” is a major player now in globalization, and you better embrace the herd and its mandated discipline style, or you’ll be off the range. The “Electronic Herd” takes into account the actions and reactions of others, so it is engaged in social action just not always in a positive way.
Friedman, Thomas L. "Prologue: The Super Story." Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World after September 11. New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2002.