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Are we globalising or localising?

Are we globalising or localising? Main image: Kubko, Shutterstock.com
Written by Chris Skinner

Brexit and Trump prove that the world is not globalising. It’s localising. Chris Skinner dreams of a connected and integrated world.

I consider myself a citizen of the world. I guess that’s because I fly around so much. Everywhere I go, I find the same thing: warm, fantastic people who welcome me like a brother and complain about the idiot running their country. This is common to every country, just that some idiots are more extreme than others, which is why the people suffer while those in power gain. That is our way of life.

However, as a citizen of the world, I underpin that statement with the fact that the world has globalised. We are all networked. We can all connect, online, non-stop in real-time. We can all connect by jumping on a cheap flight that spans countries, continents and the world. The world is connected and integrating. That is one of my dreams.

I dream of a connected and integrated world because, if we’re all connected and if we can all talk, we start to understand each other. Talking breaks down barriers. If we can all understand that we are all the same – just people who want good lives for ourselves and our families – and that we’re all run by idiots, then maybe we can do things differently.

That’s why I don’t think we will ever see another world war. We see wars, sure, but they’re localised. Over time, based on current trends, wars will dissipate and gradually disappear. Over time, based on current trends, we may even end up with a united world. A world united on technology networks, where everyone can connect and transact and talk. If we all talk, we become one world. Yay!

But dream on, Chris.

Yeah, I’m smoking the wrong stuff and believing my own small world. Brexit and Trump prove that the world isn’t globalising. It’s localising. The person on the street doesn’t want big government. They want local government. They don’t want open borders and free migration, they want walls and security. We don’t trust each other, we only trust ourselves.

I’m a little bit disappointed with this view of the world but can understand it, as there are those of us who are global and those of us who are local. The majority of the world is local. The majority of the world isn’t jet-setting and travelling non-stop. They stay in their towns and villages and have their family around them. I guess I’m an exception in that I’ve seen most nooks and crannies of the world’s big cities and therefore have a different view of the world. That view is based on almost every country being formed of migrants.

Europe has seen mass migration in the past 50 years since the European Union was formed. America is built by migrants. Singapore is full of expats, and many other countries have a diversity of population that shows this world is global. It’s not global.

So we have this friction between rejecting globalisation and our connected world and those who want to protect their borders and try to shut down these connections. Which will win? What’s right? Who’s wrong? Is there a right and wrong?

I have no idea, but what I do know is that the more we connect, the more we know, the more we relate to each other, the more peaceful we become. If we dream of world peace, then we must dream of a connected, globalised world. That’s my view anyway. Let’s see what happens.

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– This article is reproduced with kind permission. Some minor changes have been made to reflect BankNXT style considerations. Read more here. Main image: Kubko, Shutterstock.com

About the author

Chris Skinner

Chris Skinner is an independent commentator on the financial markets through the Finanser, and chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club, which he founded in 2004. He is an author of numerous books covering everything from European regulations in banking through to the credit crisis, to the future of banking.

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