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Trading ‘Globalization’ for ‘Interdependence’

by John Brian Shannon | August 19, 2016

Globalization has done much to lift the total GDP of many nations, except that inequality has increased by orders of magnitude (even within rich countries) due to the sloppy and sometimes corrupt implementation of the thing we call Globalization.

Read the prescient 2014 article by the New York Times’ Neil Irwin You Can’t Feed a Family With G.D.P.

‘Interdependence’ would be a better catchword to replace the word ‘Globalization’.

‘But aren’t they the same thing?’ some might ask. Well no, they’re not.


Globalization can best be described as ‘having the ability to export to other countries in exchange for goods or currency (and only if we must) accept goods from other countries, and pay for them in goods or currency.’

Economic Interdependence

Whereas Interdependence could be described as ‘mutually beneficial trade between nations, where each block of transactions can be recorded as a ‘Win-Win’ for those trading partners.’


Yes, it’s a bit more complicated than just dumping your stuff in another country and getting the loot. (Globalization in a nutshell)

But if each block of transactions were properly engineered to produce the Win-Win result from the beginning, we wouldn’t have the follow-on effects of Globalization to deal with — inequality and the ‘trickle-up economy effect’ whereby in 2016 the 1% own 50% of the world’s total wealth and by 2030 will own 76% of the world’s wealth, and financial crises and trillions (globally) paid by taxpayers in corporate welfare over the postwar period, mountains of debt that will never be repaid, and deteriorating democracies as corporations take the reins from governments, and if TPP isn’t stopped soon the corporations will be taking governments to court for lost profit opportunities due to governments following the instructions of voters!

Originally, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was a great agreement designed to make North America more competitive vis-à-vis the other continents — but it was badly implemented by mediocre minds — which resulted in it being spoken of in the same tone of voice reserved for other words deemed filthy, such as that ‘Globalization’ word.

In regards to such agreements, it seems that no matter how noble and exceptional the original agreement (with the exception of the Montreal Protocol) it seems that proper implementation of these agreements fail. see; Kyoto Accord, see; hundreds of unfulfilled UN resolutions, etc.

But one step better than enforcing the terms and conditions of globalization’s international trade agreements, would be to have ‘Interdependence’ become the new catchword thereby superceding (Canadian spelling) Globalization.

Civilization must always advance.

That doesn’t mean that gadgets become more sophisticated (although some might think that’s the whole point of it) what it means is that our thinking must advance — all those shiny gadgets are merely a consequence of that higher thinking, not the purpose of it.

Our thinking about governance could move forward by a quantum leap if we’re advanced enough to grasp it.

Globalization = The ability to dump our goods in other countries and get loot for it, is one thing.

Interdependence = Ongoing, engineered agreements between nations (bilateral, trilateral, multi-lateral, as the case may be) where each agreement must result in a ‘Win-Win’ for each of the participant nations or there’s no signing ceremony.

Do you see the difference?

The difference is a more civilized world, fewer socio-economic problems generally and less inequality specifically, and fewer conflicts.

The reason we no longer live in trees and eat bananas is that we can grasp larger concepts; Hence, here we are, today.

The questions; Is this it? Is this who we are? Is Globalization our highest accomplishment? Or are we a people capable of better-yet?

Time will tell.


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