I’ve spent so long dealing with the world opening up, and travelling it, that I find the developments of recent times saddening.
First, the globalising world started to creak and break in the 2010s thanks to the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) that began in 2008.
Second, the integration of countries and economies started to break apart in 2016 when Britain walked away from Europe, some say thanks to the Russians and social media.
Third, the trade wars and sabre rattling that the Trump administration introduced to irritate China, Europe, Canada and other nations with tariffs on trade.
Finally, the coronavirus that appears to be the straw to break the globalisation back and return us to full localisation and local lockdowns.
In fact, racism and white supremacy and prejudiced views seem to be back at the fore, more so than I can ever remember. I was raised in a world that was integrating and opening. We were fed up with wars and hate. We believed in peace and love.
Imagine all the people … living for today
We saw the airlines allowing access and most countries welcoming the foreign tourists. It is good for their economies.
Then the internet brought us closer together and we are all talking in real-time somewhere, somehow.
I love this. I love, love, love, loved this.
But now I worry whether my love of this is in the past tense. I loved this.
Is the world breaking apart? Are we returning to local interests and global hate? Is the future going to be determined by your heritage, religion, wealth and skin colour, as it used to be, or could this change, as it seemed to be?
I ask such questions as I heard a rumour the other day – unsubstantiated – that any book or writing by a British author would now be banned in China. If true, the Chinese will miss a huge access to views of the world that are both beautiful (John Milton), insightful (William Shakespeare) and eye opening (Stephen Fry).
I’m not being an arrogant Brit here, but I heard this news as my newest book, Doing Digital, highlights the strategic importance of China Merchants Bank as did my last book – Digital Human – highlight the influence of Ant Financial.
Anyone who reads my blogs knows what a fan-boy I am of Chinese innovation and entrepreneurialism.
Equally, I deal with Russia and Russian banks often. I deal with Iraq and Middle Eastern companies all the time. I’ve been to places some would never go … and usually find our impressions are created by a media who wrote-off these countries years ago, and yet these countries have progressed, renewed and refreshed.
Travelling through Africa, South America, India, Asia and West Asia (who said Middle East?), I’ve discovered that all the countries I have visited in my life are exceptional, beautiful, amazing, warm, welcoming and intriguing. I cannot remember ever going to a country that I found boring or hateful.
I’ve found in all countries that all of humanity is the same. We all have a very basic need for love. We have a very basic need to have family and friends. We just want enough to have a decent life, and to be loved by our family and friends, and to look after our family and friends. That’s what we all want. This is the basic need of humanity.
Unfortunately, you then have people who run these countries who don’t want this. They want power. They are politicians, dictators, kings and presidents. They don’t care about the people who want to look after their family and friends; they want more power, through hate and war.
It is the leaders who create this belief that you cannot trust other peoples and other nations, and it is the propaganda of only allowing the leaders’ views and no balance that creates such fear and hate.
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom