Chinese society is racing forward, but the traditional pillars of individual identity -- the family and the nation -- remain robust. It remains a society of "belongers." Outsiders are, now and forever, outcasts.
In the end, Shanghai's World Expo was not an international event. It was orchestrated as a domestic power display, in the same vein as the country's 60th anniversary military parade and this fall's Asian Games.
Turning the State Department's functions over to Beltway bandits is not in the interest of the American people. And with each USA Pavilion faux pas, Clinton's argument for privatizing public diplomacy is growing weaker.
The US Pavilion offers no vision of the future. Like so many of the busted malls at home that it so closely resembles, the US Pavilion is fragmentary and momentary, not the beacon of hope the Expo hosts expected.