Blackrock’s Larry Fink said it: Globalization is dead. Covid and the Crimea did the thirty year project in.
The beginning of the end of the globalization project has its roots in the first Gulf war, a war Chinese military cadres studied closely. The prosecution of modern warfare, they summarized, had been irrevocably altered with the use of remote-controlled drones in the field of battle. Furthermore, war was no longer gamed by immediately identifiable opposing forces, but rather had become asymmetric; it ceased to be an arms race per se, but a many-armed race — some transparent, yet affective in the long game. And it’s the long game played by China (covertly) and Russia (now overtly) that’s put democracies on the ropes.
China, thanks to investment from the West, is about to pull the plug because it can, with a huge internal market and a burgeoning middle class to buy all the stuff China can make. What’s more the West trained legions of young Chinese engineers and scientists these past few decades. And China’s best & brightest are returning home to build the new China dream. They have jumped (or are jumping) technological levels of discourse. Democracies, meantime, have been hobbled — deliberately so — to protect intellectual property that may have exceeded its shelf life, or by way of activists, for example, bent on the hubris of saving the planet.
Should China decide to dump the oodles of US dollar assets it owns, well… that would be interesting.
Russia with an Olympic handshake in February, cut a deal with China. A deal that seems to be holding (regardless of the details being fuzzy). Later in the month, an invasion and war in Ukraine. China doesn’t seem to give a damn worth mentioning.
The hegemony of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency is in play, exacerbated by what could well be a heinous plan cooked up by the brain trust that is Putin & Xi. The end goal is to have a northern sea lane trafficking Chinese and Russian and Indian goods, supplies, and peoples living along the way in a very different arctic that proposes to take shape over the next few decades.
Canada is not even in the game. And there’s no reason to think we will be anytime soon. We may well be another Ukraine proxy and proof-of-concept. Or maybe not.
One thing is certain: globalization and the cheap goods we enjoyed as an outcome of the project will give way to internal markets, higher costs, and… REPAIR SHOPS.
What we once threw away because it was too expensive to fix and much cheaper to replace will mark a return to concepts of thrift and value in accordance with a carbon-footprint-like map of the expected life cycle of a product (much like old Volvo cars were designed to last thirty years way back when).
Repair shops. Thrift. And less junk.
Perhaps this is where all the belligerents in the religion of save-the-planet & free-marketers & freedom from ‘woke’ thought can agree…
This column is the consensus opinion of the writers Donna Kennedy-Glans & Don Hill. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to BEYOND POLARITY — scroll down on your phone or tablet, or look to the right in the panel beside this post. Enter your email to FOLLOW, a wheel spins, hamsters get fed.