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Pondering the universe


Globalisation is not bad in itself

The problems with globalism have largely resulted from it being used by corporations creating inequality for economic exploitation.

Throughout history, wars have resulted in the winners plundering the assets of the losers, along with taking large tracts of their land. Usually the bulk of the booty went to the winning nation's rulers, or at least into the public coffers. The wars were for the benefit of nations, even if the wealthy benefitted the most.

The United East India Company (Dutch) and the British East India Company marked the dawn of corporations doing the exploitation rather than governments, even though their governments largely supported and protected them. The latter sold drugs in China to fund their tea operations in India, creating mass addiction and corruption to the point that the Chinese revolted, only to be defeated by the British. This was transnational exploitation by non-governmental entities, and set the precedent for the current economic exploitation by modern corporations.

With many European governments actively supporting the exploitation of their colonies, and then facilitating favourable trading policies for their corporations when ending their political colonialism, wide scale worker exploitation and rampant corruption resulted in the near bankrupting of many ex-colonial governments. This resulted in having to be bailed out by transnational trade organisations that extorted further hardship for their citizens and economies.

Modern globalism relies upon the much lower wages of those in the poorer ex-colonies to lower their cost while selling their goods at much higher prices to those in countries where wages are higher, and so maximising their profits. Global corporations leverage cost disparities around the world at each stage of manufacturing to maximise bargaining power and thus gain higher profits. This results in substantially excess transportation leading to much greater pollution than needed.

It is this exploitation that gives globalisation a bad name and creates and furthers inequality between nations, as well as the abandonment of industries in nations that formerly kept wealth within them, leading to greater inequality within those nations. All round, a profoundly destabilising influence on nations and their peoples, while those few who really benefit keep their profits in tax havens, property and artworks. Without a change to the operation of this regime, inequality will only get worse.

People have skills that suit them to being better at producing some goods. Some countries have climates that favour production of some foods. However, a lot of what we need or want relies upon manufacturing and so can be done anywhere in the world. There are economies of scale, but above a certain scale, those become less significant, meaning that those products that are wanted by many in a nation could reasonably be made there, so minimising the pollution from transportation while providing an income for its citizens.

The significant factor preventing such a more equitable arrangement is the difference in wages, and that largely results from the historical exploitation within poorer nations. The obvious solution is to bring all nations to the same standard of living, and that would tend to make producing goods far away from the consumers more costly, solely due to the increased transportation costs. What stops such equitable global thinking is the nationalism that wants to favour one peoples over others.

Having global equity would reduce the amount of migration as people would not be desperately fleeing from economic and political exploitation, but choosing to visit or live in other places because they are interested in them. Overall there would be a lot more economic and societal stability. The obvious requirement is that people would have to think globally, and be less concerned about being selfish because they are fearful of losing out to others.

Of course, the level of conspicuous consumption of the richer nations cannot scale to the whole world, so people in those countries would have to moderate their lifestyles. However, if they are not driven by the false imperatives drummed into them by the advertisements and political manipulations of those exploitative corporations requiring excessive wealth, people may well want for less, and prefer to be happier having comfortable, but modest, lives instead of stressful status-driven ones.

We will not have a better world until we let go of selfishness at an individual and national level. Our survival and the planet depends upon it. Countries are a pyramid belief scheme, so the more we see ourselves as global citizens, the more we are basing our lives on the reality of the earth and its health, rather than the delusion of national identity. Then we will also be less susceptible to being manipulated by those who seek to divide us for their own greed.

  • β€’Degrowth – the only alternative
  • β€’Reversing climate change
  • β€’Nationalism creates inequality
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