Some historians claim that centuries ago, Aztec rulers performed rituals of mass sacrifice at the Temple of the Sun at Teotihuacan. The priests and the ruling class tore out and consumed the beating hearts of thousands of slaves and prisoners culled from weaker peoples in “flower wars.”

Today, globalization is on the verge of bringing a slightly different kind of temple to Teotihuacan. The locals are protesting this development as an affront to the area’s historical integrity, but given Wal-Mart’s record, I think the corporation could credibly argue continuity with ancient tradition.