We all know about the word eco-system – must have heard about it the first time in our science classrooms but we see it all around us in different hues and forms. A government collecting taxes from its citizens and then giving it back to the society in the form of better life by creating more jobs and infrastructure is one eco-system. An educational institution collecting fee from its students in return of an education which would in turn develop them into economically independent citizens is another eco-system. A customer of a business organization paying for the products and services which in turn creates employment and therefore more consumers in the economy creates an eco-system which makes this world wake up and sleep every 24 hours.
Such is Life – its not a solo game. Everything is interdependent and everyone is a conduit for the Divine force which makes this world tick. Yet there may be some who may believe that a nation can be made great again by erecting walls on their borders. Some may believe that they can become more powerful by controlling sea and land routes while some may believe that they can become more prosperous by concentration of resources to themselves and the cartel around them. Globalization wasn't invented in the post-world war II era. It was a natural outcome of a more liberal open border policy regime pursued by the war torn western world which triggered cross border trade and immigrations from have nots to haves in its most natural form. It helped them rebuild their economies with the conquered axis power nations rising to the league of top 4 richest in a matter of a few decades. Germany and Japan had no chance if America wouldn't have allowed their auto industries give its very own home grown auto giants a run for their money. In return Americans got to drive cheaper but better engineered cars on their post war freeways. America didn't become Cuba who shut its doors to the world losing out on both freeways and the choice of Toyotas or Mercedes Benz for its citizens. Fidel Castro was a Hero for many and admired for his fearlessness not scared of the Gorilla standing next doors. Despite the absolute power that he enjoyed whole his life he left his fellow countrymen poorer than what he had inherited.
Ignoring this history the world of 2016 witnessed a definitive shift towards protectionism in the garb of nationalism. Whether its Brexit, the Turkish coup or the US elections it saw the ascendency of a Me First mindset. Conventional liberal brand of politics saw getting replaced by son of the soil rhetoric and disruptive closed mindset. Even our very own son of the soil entrepreneurs got swept by the protectionism Tsunami with a call for attracting the foreign capital but not companies. Is this the beginning of the end of globalization and seeds are being sown for the 3rd world war as sceptics may read it. Well only time can tell us that but logically this can't last very long in the face of the very essence of any eco-system which is interdependence.
World has changed fundamentally post 2008 financial crisis. After two decades of US led growth followed by growth driven by excess liquidity post millennial most of the western world has struggled to keep pace with the expectations of its people. This had its fallout on the emerging markets as well, China included, which thrived on the global consumption by becoming the factory for the world. Growth in the rest of the emerging markets has been fairly spiky marked by low growth and high inflation thanks to prevalence of deep rooted corruption in these nations. This resulted in the richer nations finding it difficult to hold on to their affluence while poorer nations finding it hard to lift their citizens out of poverty. This coupled with the emergence of ISIS morphing into global terrorism and triggering migration crisis couldn't have helped more in accentuating fear across the board.
World is far more restless today than it ever was which is showing across as a common thread of conventional centrist politicians losing their jobs to disruptive politicians closer to either extreme right or extreme left. Most of these are seen as outsiders who could be change agents for the system which needs to be hauled. While some may succeed everyone may not since every disruption may not lead to a new world order but could turn out to be a terrible accident as well. However, beauty of any self-sustaining eco-system is that it evolves by learning from both its hits and misses. Accordingly, we may be going through a mid-air turbulence but eventually the underlying innate desire of the human life in pursuit of prosperity and happiness will pull out the world to a safe landing.
So friends on this optimistic note let's close the very eventful 2016 and welcome 2017 which can be even more eventful but all that we need to do is just tighten our seat belts and not shake our faith. Even if it's a hard landing we shall land and too safely.
Signing off for 2016 with warmest wishes, love and affection for a wonderful 2017!