By Tarun Meena*
From fighting with wooden sticks to carrying guns in school, humans evolved. Centuries of technological advancement has made the world more connected and integrated than ever. As the age of IoT dawns upon us, humans can expect numerous unimaginable experiences moving forward. With the escalating innovations in the field of AR/VR, even video calls can be expected to go out of style and overshadowed by calls using holograms. Technology is helping people compensate for the real distance with virtual screen-time. But, I wonder, in times when millions can rally to Greta Thunberg’s climate cause across the globe, why do we still feel the need to isolate ourselves by drawing imaginary lines, or real ‘walls’, on our motherland ‘the Earth’?
This growing interdependence of earthlings has been termed ‘Globalization’, being brought about by increased cross-border migration, trade, investments, and information. Most of the products and services that we have today are the result of Globalization that began centuries before the word was even coined. The professional, elitist and capitalist classes have all gained and are gaining tremendously. More importantly, millions of unprivileged people were also lifted out of poverty in the process. But Globalization also seems to magnify large-scale problems, like rapid deforestation for industrial land, leading to increased greenhouse gas emissions (Global Warming). A recent skirmish also comes to mind. The concepts of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ or ‘Vocal for Local’, that the Indian government is promoting, implicates a sense of nepotism (favor ‘ours over theirs’). The central government is selling the idea that certain products can be and thus, should be discriminated against based on their origin. How can the world move towards inclusivity when the idea of privileging domestic products and marginalizing high quality, low-cost international products is seen as an act of nationalism? This concept gives me Deja Vu; what about you?
One side of the coin says that Globalization evokes certain reactionary movements that reinforce parochial differences among people. In response, communities tend to focus on favoring one’s own ethnic, racial, national, or language group. The other side suggests that Globalization strengthens universal attitudes by weakening the relevance of ethnicity, language, locality, or nationhood as a source of identification. Therefore, the increasing network of people worldwide is forcing people to disregard the traditional rules of identity and become more inclusive. Each hypothesis seems correct in its own standing, but conservatives’ reactionary movements to favor their community are generally regressive and at the expense of others’ peace. Whereas, I believe that the inclusive reaction of the alternative hypothesis leads to equality and progress. Let’s term the community against trading and immigration as ‘Anti-globalists’. The Anti-globalists are making it clearer and clearer that they see the world as ‘us vs them’. Figuring that they won’t raise barriers to trade and immigration using outdated methods, they are evolving. Despite being against technological advancement, they are incorporating technology in their methods to spread misinformation campaigns and gain popular support.
Thus, Globalization has been a constant cause of geopolitical conflicts, nations trying to compete to claim economical and technological superiority. It’s not just about India vs. China. It’s also about the politicians trying to manipulate and brainwash brilliant young minds to work for their supreme leader’s legacy. Competition is supposed to be a progressive phenomenon, but enmity based on hypothetically-drawn geographical boundaries seems counterintuitive. There is a famous quote by Albert Einstein, “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.” I believe humanity’s 55 minutes of mulling over Globalization’s problem is over. Human cooperation and trust is needed to overcome these problems.
Is complete Globalization, i.e., ‘Internationalization’ of humanity the right path to follow at this moment? Imagine a hypothetical world of 50 countries. Let’s suppose that all countries have equal population and enough number of people such that the number of globalists and anti-globalists are in same proportion (‘law of averages’). Let the number be N. Who will have the higher bargaining power a community of 50 * N /2 = 25N demanding/aspiring peace, tranquility and inclusion, or the 50 uncooperative communities trying to get the better of one another? I was baffled by Far-right Indian citizens’ uproar over Justin Trudeau’s support for Farmer’s right to protest. Indian government criticized his remarks and called the Canadian envoy terming them unwarranted and illegal involvement in internal matters. Maybe after internalization, authoritarian governments won’t get away with large-scale human rights violations citing some ridiculous arguments.
*Pursuing MBA (2nd year) from IIM A. This article was inspired by a talk I had with Mr. ID Khajuria, President of International Democratic Party), Jammu & Kashmir. During the session, he was advocating a joint India-Pakistan administration for Jammu and Kashmir