Covid-19 sounds the death knell to globalisation
The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a body blow to globalisation, which has been the dominant theme driving economic relations between countries.
For a while, it has been irresistible. Driven by commercial interests, it has forged interrelationships between countries that have seen all barriers between countries crushed as movement in trade, investments, people and technology became strongly integrated, and fused into one seamless global economy.
It finally morphed into an ideology, bereft of any underpinnings of cost/benefit analysis for countries, and any naysayers have been pilloried and shouted into silence.
But in the last decade, people across the world have started rebelling against it.
Globalisation has spawned a global political elite completely disconnected from the concerns of their people.
Reaching for ever greater control of power and resources, they have pushed their people under the bus.
Swathes of populations across the world have become marginalised, and impoverished, shunted aside by globalisation’s elitist construct.
Globalisation has created huge inequalities both within countries and regions even as global wealth exploded.
Globalisation has seen the growth of huge multinational conglomerates that are answerable to no national authority, capable of manipulating and corrupting the global investment and financial system to pay minimal taxes, and circumvent national regulatory requirements. For globalists, things could not have been better.
Until the coronavirus gate-crashed their party. The pandemic has brought to the fore most powerful downside of globalisation.
The first is the flipside of air travel. Within two months, the virus had spread from its origins in Wuhan, China, to the rest of the world.
Second has been the critical shortages of essential life-saving medical equipment.
With supply chains severely disrupted, and manufacturers who make these supplies closed, countries have faced severe shortages resulting in deaths of thousands.
Those who could have resorted to re-purposing existing factories to produce these essential supplies.
Thirdly, least cost production that was the driver for globalisation has huge hidden costs. Countries are going to spend trillions in stimulus packages to revive their economies.
The cost of global economic output that has been lost to the pandemic is not going to be quantifiable.
Fourth, one rogue nation can destroy humanity! All this because of a virus that was facilitated by the existing full integration between countries to go round infecting the world almost unhindered.
Countries are learning very painfully that “cheap is expensive.” Decades of savings countries thought they were making through least cost production have been wiped out by lost economic output and stimulus packages to support and revive their economies. And then factor in all the unnecessary deaths.
Worldwide, countries are coming to a new awakening. There will be no more open borders. New travel protocols will be established based on perceived risk of infectious diseases in countries.
Production for critical and nationally strategic supplies will be domesticated. Countries will support local manufacturers to do so.
The word, “subsidy,” which globalists had tuned into a dirty word, is making a comeback big time.
The new mantra will be to safeguard jobs at home and minimise disruptions.
All these are the very antithesis of globalisation. Globalisation, as an ideological tool for a global elite to dominate the world, is dead.
However, countries still need each other. What is dead is the monolithic global hegemony run by political and economic elites and their surrogates.
As the world restarts, countries will first make a determination of what is strategic and in the national interest, ring fence that, and cede what is non-strategic into an international basket.
This new international basket will have a whole new set of rules to participate. Call it the new World Trade Organisation.
International co-operation will now be based on responsible behaviour by countries, and mutually shared values. —[email protected]