Globalization Version 2.0: Are we ready yet?
Nasir Ahmad Dar
The world we are living in is changing rapidly. We usually get to hear that 20th Century was so remarkable that it saw the advancement in science and technology more than the entire human history had witnessed.
But, for me, the last two decades of 21st Century have surpassed those advancements in science and technology and taken humanity very far. The human population has grown manifold but so have the number of brains and thus the number of ideas to alter the contemporary way where the science has taken a very rapid shift towards an impeccable turnaround. The change hasn’t happened in science and technology only but we have seen drastic changes in geo-politics as well.
What is Globalization Version 2.0?
As far as the basic definition is concerned Globalization version 2.0 is the growth of new world order. But that is not all. This term has far more influence then the word itself. The new world that is evident in front of us has changed a lot in last two decades and we are surely going to see new changing coming forth in the next decades. These would be the changes which were elusive, otherwise. The changes which will make new kingdoms, the changes which will bring in new players, the changes which will change the way we think and the changes will be disastrous, if not taken care of.
Globalization started with the abrupt advancements in the 20th century in science and technology. Globalization, as we all know, means the world where all people are connected. The faster transport in the form of fast trains and airplanes are two of the major reasons for the accomplishment of the globalization while the internet turned out to be the game changer and the last nail in the coffin.
The connectivity around the world grew so much that people have been able to connect to their kith and kin around the globe within seconds. People are travelling all around the world within months while returning back and enjoying their work and household activities easily.
The travel among countries was once a cumbersome affair but now it has changed and now people travel around countries in no time. The social media has brought people much closer. The citizens of this world are now aware of everything happening in any corner of the world. The news, sports, entertainment and foreign education is just one click away now. But all of this is the Globalization 1.0. But now the Globalization 2.0 has started to take over.
Globalization 2.0 is not concerned much about the advancement in science or the technology but it is concerned more about the backdrops and consequences of the Globalization 1.0. There is no taking back the fact that the Globalization 1.0 was a remarkable achievement in the history of human existence but it had some severe effects on the world we live it.
The cities got polluted, the countries went to wars, the world was flooded by ammunition and nuclear warheads and the environment degraded catastrophically. The world we are living in has started to see the impact of the Globalization 1.0 but, unfortunately till now, we cannot see many positives. Now the question is what major changes can we expect in Globalization 2.0?
Here are the major changes we are already looking at and those which we are going to see in near future.
The majority of 20th Century was covered with lethal wars including two world wars and some other major wars fought for different reasons. The loss of humans and economy in those wars was callous. After World War II we had two blocs which ruled the world. But with the disintegration of erstwhile USSR there has been just one global leader and that is USA.
America has been more or less dictating the terms around the globe. It has ties with almost all the major nations in the world. Its fundamental concept of capitalism is now embraced by all countries partially or completely. But as we begin just third decade of the 21st century we can see major changes taking place. USA still holds a strong say in the affairs of the world but it has started to get isolated. Isolation for USA may be too optimistic or too pessimistic term, depending upon the lineage towards USA, but we can see USA’s hegemonic dominance being challenged with absolute vehemence.
China is one of the countries which have risen from its ruins to challenge the mighty American Empire. Gone are the days when USA unilaterally ruled the decisions taken by UN or UNSC. In last two months only, we have seen USA getting cornered in UNSC by countries like Iran. China is openly showing teeth to US while as Russia is dormant but a very dangerous volcano. It would make sense to say that we are no more living in a world with just one bloc.
Muslims hold a quarter of the world population. However, things haven’t been as huge, for Muslims, as their numbers. The Muslim world has been left disgruntled by never ending wars in recent times choreographed by the west. However, things have started to change now. It seems like the Muslims have started garnering self-awareness. Leaving a few spineless Muslim countries aside, majority of them have started to challenge the world order of present. Islamic population now wants to get rid of hate and barbaric torture embarked upon them. It is of no surprise that the Muslim countries have now started to create new bloc altogether. With Turkey steering the show, the lesser known Islamic countries have started to rise to the occasion behind the mighty powers of Turkey.
I am no expert of Economics but I can understand the basics of the way it works. The twentieth century’s major highlight was the cold war between USA and USSR bloc. This war was mainly based on the economic ideologies. USA sponsored capitalism while as the communist country USSR fought to establish a socialist world. However, at the end it was capitalism which came out triumphant. Although socialist economies or partially socialist countries still exist but their impact on global economy is near to nothing.
However the beginning of the 21st century saw the disadvantages of the economy of Globalization 1.0. The humungous economic depression of 2008 is just an example. Since then the world has changed a lot. In Globalization 2.0 the macro part of the world economy is unstable with direct economy on micro economy.
We have a lot of examples to go by. The GDP stats of the first quarter of 2020 have been released recently and the results aren’t encouraging at all. The fact that a country like India has seen a contraction of 23% of its GDP tells us a lot about the instability in the global economy which we all are going to see in regular interval while going forward towards 2030. It is estimated that India will take, at least, 2 more years to be back at 2.5 trillion dollar economy which India had in the month of March 2020. The situation is similar in all the countries except China. Many people may say that this is because of the lockdowns to combat the deadly COVI-19 but that can easily be rebutted by the fact that India’s GDP growth stood at just 3.5% before the lockdown, even after so many alterations in the statistics by the current incumbent government.
The digital economy, changes in notes, fluctuations in oil prices, instability in major countries and an ever growing human population has put the world economy at a threat of continuous fluctuations. This is an alarming scene for the lower and middle class of the world. The third world nations are now under a serious threat of either getting extinguished or getting owned by countries like China. We are going to see a lot of this in near future.
Politics at National Level
There was a time when countries cherished democracy. The concepts of freedom of speech, constructive criticism, liberty, fraternity and cooperative federalism were adored by the leaders at country level all across the globe. But now things have changed.
Now the world has started to shift towards an unusual but frightening era of “Nationalism”. Being a nationalist is not a problem until you start hating other countries. This is the world where we are living right now. The ruling parties all across the globe have started to lure their voters by slogans of making their respective countries great again. This has led to immense hate among people of different countries. The fact that one country leader blames other nations for his own failure has created a world full of hate, vengeance and fake nationalism. This has created an excruciating threat to the security of people, especially the minorities of those countries. This is something we are going to see a lot now. The countries like USA, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, Turkey and all the European countries have started to get engulfed into the vicious and diabolical of nationalism. These countries once cherished democracy but now the democracy in these countries has started to die a slow death. The world we live in now filled by totalitarian and autocratic governances. The worst part is that the people, with all the knowledge and information under their disposal, are falling prey to this propaganda. This situation is intimidating for the fact that the world with just one Hitler followed by blind Germans saw a massacre of 6 million Jews and played a vital role in manoeuvring the two world wars which saw millions of deaths but now we have totalitarian and supremacist leaders in all corners of the world. The situation so dire, that the very existence of the humanity is under threat.
While the world may be heading towards a dangerous world there is still some good news coming for us. The development of vaccines, the treatment for deadly diseases, the faster travel and sustainable development make us optimistic for a better future. Let us hope that we see a peaceful world and our upcoming generations get to inhale clean air and enjoy green pastures along with clean water.
(The writer is associated with Youth Parliament of Jammu and Kashmir)