12/11/2012 07:33 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Globaloney, 19th Century Edition

Everyone knows we live in a brave new world of globalization.

And like a lot of things that everyone knows, it isn't so.

Not only was the globalization of the late 19th century, with formal colonial empires spanning the world, just as profound as today, it generated a similar class of professional sophists to justify it all.

Think Thomas Friedman and his ilk are original? Think again. I just discovered a most amusing clip from the BBC TV production of Anthony Trollope's 1875 novel The Way We Live Now, a startlingly modern satire of corrupt yuppies in Victorian London.

See below:

Free trade didn't work out too well for Britain, which had risen to power as a protectionist nation and began to decline after embracing free trade, as I've written here.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.