Provincialism is impossible an era where the idea of nationality has dissolved. Provincialism positions a particular regional center against a larger, multiple regional “center.” This was possible in a time when there were nations and capitals.
Although we retain the shell of our former capitals, such as New York, as a media capital and Washington DC as a political capital or in Europe, the political/cultural capitals of London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, the action seems to have spread to out as to regional centers. This is not say that the physical, organizational capacities of former capitals have vanished (yet); clearly New York, as one center among hundreds of centers, culturally dominates the other centers.
I have hopes for a regionalism structured around the physical presence of people in conjunction with their nonphysical interests. I can’t help but think this makes for a more cosmopolitan community in part because individual obsessions give individuals access to a very limited, specialized group (discourse community) in the nonphysical world, where passage and entrance into such a community is only possible because of individual geekiness in certain areas; in turn, the individual becomes a vector for the transmissions of specialized ideas transmitted into the physical / real world community, that is the regional community. In it’s own way, the very global nature of access to a such limited audiences with a select system of values provides its own form of close minded system (provincial) even though participants in, for instance, a Web based community on digital typography might have participants from all over the globe. In turn, individual participation in physical communities exposes people to other vectors of thought they would not otherwise discover. The arbitrary nature of physical connection then becomes a useful frame to discover new ways of thinking. The inflexibility of the physical frame superimposed on the very fluid nature of Web based international relationships actually helps spread information and creates a tension between the two ways of thinking and being that provides contrast (meaning) to their operation.