I grew up in a village, miles from the nearest town. I moved to a city in the north after university and then to London for work. I enjoyed my work and yearned to travel. Luckily, my work allowed me to travel. I’ve been to more countries than I care to mention but then, back then, we didn’t care about the environment and emissions.
Then the internet arrived. The internet allowed us to virtually travel and virtually connect. Thing is, that led to more physical travel and physical connection. It ended up that we travelled non-stop, worldwide, to virtually and physically network.
Alongside this, a global media network arose that was both governmental and democratic. The democratic social media spreads fake news, as does the governmental mainstream media. But it keeps you informed of global developments non-stop 24*7.
There’s then a demand for national borders, nation states, domestic rules and constitutional action. There’s a demand for conforming with religions and regulations, with leaders no longer viewed as trusted and states that are no longer respected.
In fact, during my life, it’s been interesting to see things that were more respected – governments, law, religion – losing traction, whilst things that were least respected – celebrities, commentators, friends – becoming our major influence.
Add on to this that we get global news fed to us, and we have become a global community of connected people.
Some will say that we are becoming more localised, with Brexit and Trumpism being cases in point. We are becoming more local, rejecting globalisation and internationalism and wanting localisation and isolation. I don’t buy it.
During my life, there’s been an inexorable movement to move beyond borders, to integrate nations and nationalities, to accept diversity and difference, to become a global village.
In fact now, as we become a multiplanetary species (if Elon Musk gets his way), it makes far more sense to say that I am a citizen of Earth, rather than saying I’m a European or a Brit. I’ve no idea if people will get that message. For example, I’ve stayed indoors for a year and am nowhere near global. Nevertheless, I’ve stayed indoors for a year Zooming and Teaming the world. I am globally connected.
Similarly, the argument around cryptocurrency is that we need to decentralise and democratise the network and the currency of the network. Statists, central banks, governments and borders no longer matter. Sure, I can push back on that argument, but I can argue both ways.
On the one hand, I believe in the power of government; on the other hand, I believe that the power of government can be the network.
It’s a weird juxtaposition.
Yet, by the time my children are old, it would not surprise me if we are Earthians dealing in commerce with Martians; we are a global village of peoples who are integrated, open, democratised and civilised between all ethnic groups, religions, beliefs, colours of skin and gender.
I hope it will be that way anyway, as isn’t that the way it should be?