"Capitalist production has unified space, breaking down the boundaries between one society and the next. This unification is at the same time an extensive and intensive process of banalization. Just as the accumulation of commodities mass-produced for the abstract space of the market shattered all regional and legal barriers and all the Medieval guild restrictions that maintained the quality of craft production, it also undermined the autonomy and quality of places. The homogenizing power is the heavy artillery that has battered down all the walls of China."
- Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle, 1967
The irony is that the system that eroded provincialism is the system that provincialism's greatest defenders are now (and have been since at least Reagan) championing to resurrect some imagined form of isolation, traditional culture, and racial homogenization. Because the system they're using to achieve their ends is designed to do the opposite, it will never work. Boosters of a retreat to localism will end up even more the brunt of capitalism's cruel joke. The other irony, from the other side of the political spectrum, is that many who purport to resist capitalism joy in reproducing the concept of, as well as real manifestations of, local, territorially-defined culture, i.e. the Romantic "patchwork." This is visible more than anywhere in elite food consumption culture, where distinction comes from an authenticity that is almost always tethered to landscape. Enough already, terroir. You can't be multicultural at home, then align your own cultural status to a practice everywhere else that reinforces the provincialism that horrifies you most.