According to President Putin liberalism is obsolete. According to others so is globalisation, the in notions are popularism and nationalism of the inward looking kind.
Some of this was explained in a very interesting book called “ The Levelling’ by Michael O’Sullivan. He predicted a polar realignment with three key political and economic poles; a China centric Asia, the EU and the USA with middle sized or middle income countries like Britain and Russia struggling to find their position and relevance. Not something I guess Putin would have agreed with .
O’Sullivan also said – this was in 2019, that the new political reality might see a realignment of politics in favour of new and emerging initiatives like Change UK – that went well. But I can forgive him that, 2019 was not the most predictable of years .
He also based a lot of his rationale for the fall of globalisation on the increased financialisation of debt with Central banks pumping money into economies and wealth inequality as one of the key side effects of globalisation. I disagree with some of the key conclusions but the discussion it raises is interesting .
You will see this if you are kind enough to read anything that I pen. I will, always value Science , Economics and Politics but it is human behaviour that scientists, economists and politicians regularly forget to assess balance and understand while creating their neat convenient and sometimes wrong strategies and interventions. Human beings are inconvenient.Just when you think you understand us we do something different .
COVID 19 possibly teaches this better than most .
Nature abhors a vacuum, and if in this interlinked and connected world you try to pretend that the political and social inconvenience of a globalised world isn’t there then that is what you are trying to create; a vacuum.
The absolute collapse of every financial market across the world is indicative of this. They followed each other within minutes, knocking vast sums off the value of nearly every household name bringing companies and economies to their knees. As we sneezed the financial markets caught something far more impactful than the common cold.
Capitalism is currently on hold while we are in international local down to prevent the complete grip of the disease. ( Not global lock down; some countries cant afford it, Korea were cleverer than us and Alexander Lukashenko the President of Belarus thinks you can cure it with Vodka.)
And now we see the key architects of the attempted fall of globalisation and liberalism on TV. Putin looking as shaky as he has ever looked, frankly spooked, and Trump looking bemused, a look to his credit, he really has owned.
Meanwhile our own Government has put the political car in reverse gear in a way that would make the presenters of Top Gear gasp at its audacity.
NHS debt paid off, massive investment where before it was questioned, effective nationalisation of the Railways. Much of the workforce financially supported by a Conservative Government in a way that would have caused Tony Benn and Michael Foot let alone Corbyn to assume it was April Fools Day.
Suddenly at the stroke of a pen we are not a “ hostile environment” for immigration. Tough to be hostile when the entire country is, amongst others , clapping those people you would wish to be hostile towards every Thursday night .
Irritatingly, inconveniently many of those people would fail proposed immigration tests, who knew a lorry driver or a shelf stacker or a ward orderly could be a key worker? But if you live your life such that these people are invisible to you why would you see them?
Suddenly too, we are listening to “experts” daily , twice a day if you happen to be in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland as we are told in no uncertain terms what the consequences of a “ what would the bloke in the pub say” approach could do to us and our loved ones.
All because of a nasty little pathogen. Personally I see Brexit as a political pathogen but that is just me and a discussion for another time.
With apologies to the Romans ’ What have Globalisation Liberalism and Experts ever done for us?”
I sense we are beginning to understand .
If not, then there is always Vodka.