Politics Magazine

The Flip Side of Globalisation

Posted on the 02 May 2013 by Thepoliticalidealist @JackDarrant

I dedicate this post to a friend who is taking part in a very important meeting today.

Earlier this week, I theorised that climate change and the scarcity of fossil fuel resources might, in the coming decades, encourage countries to move towards industrial self-sufficiency and reduce wage competition for lower-paid jobs. In fact, a sophisticated, modern form of protectionism might eventually replace economic globalisation- but the worldwide sharing of ideas is a positive phenomenon which is certain to continue. With the Internet facilitating the meeting of cultures; the decline of ‘casual’ and hardline xenophobia; and a growing appreciation of foreign media, there is a definite assimilation of lifestyles and ideas, particularly in the western world.

In many ways, we are witnessing unprecedented social progress. Undoubtedly there are rich traditions and practices that are being lost, though such is the direction of history. However, as long as language barriers and geographical distance remain issues, the notion of a world culture is one that will never be realised.

It is normally futile to predict the future. But consideration of the possibilities is interesting if not useful. So let me raise an alternative scenario: cheap, eco-friendly superfast travel solutions are created and become widely used. The BRIC nations become classified as developed while industry moves to the last remaining LEDCs. Could the likes of Britain withstand international competition in every sector but internal services and still remain a wealthy state that provides all with an acceptable standard of living? No. It simply couldn’t. No individual country could opt out of the surging inequality that extreme tax and regulation competition.

Theoretically, we’d see wealth concentrated so effectively in the hands of a small nationless elite that investment in industry, technology and services is reduced. Consequently, there would have to be global co-ordination of fiscal and monetary policy to initiate the first redistribution of wealth in favour of ordinary workers for about a decade. Remember the Bretton Woods system of exchange controls? It’s proof that the international community has co-operated effectively before and will do so again.

In conclusion, globalisation will either slow down, or it will reach its zenith in political union. Now is the time to ask ourselves difficult questions about the shape we want the world to take.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog