The popularity of The X-Files in the 1990s seemed to reflect a growing cynicism about the U.S. government. Perhaps the TV show’s most extraordinary message is that the public figures seen in Washington, D.C., who seem to represent the nation-state in all its flag-waving glory, are much less consequential than the operatives of obscure government agencies.

Other Independent Review articles by Paul A. Cantor
    Spring 2007   Economic and Cultural Globalization