A Journey From Colonization to Globalization and Towards Slowbalisation
A journey from colonization to globalization and towards slowbalisation
Colonization is the policy of a foreign regime seeking to retain its authority over other people or territories, generally with the aim of opening trade opportunities. The colonizing nation seeks to benefit from the colonized nation. In this regime, colonizers imposed their religion, economics, and medicinal practices on the natives. Some historians argue this was a positive move toward modernization, while others refute this theory. Most of refuters are Europeans who were actually colonizers. Colonialism is largely regarded as a relationship of domination of an indigenous majority by a minority of foreign invaders for their own interests. Globalization is also known as Neocolonialism, postmodern imperialism, or neo-imperialism and capitalism which apparently shows the process by which businesses or other organizations develop international influence or begin operation on an international level. But in reality it is the practice of using capitalism, globalization and cultural imperialism to influence a developing nation by direct military control (imperialism), indirect political control (hegemony) or indirect economic control through international monetary agencies and multi-national companies (MNCs). So, in true words, globalization has benefited developed nations at the expense of developing nations by using a handsome terminology of globalization and modernization. Slowbalisation, a new pattern of world trade that is characterized by a snail pace growth, reduction in foreign direct investment (FDI), unresolved trade disputes, geo-political tensions, lingering bank loans and protectionist policies in the United States. In short, slowbalisation is pattern of shifting the world from international cooperation to regional cooperation and this regime shift has occurred at very slower pace.
The history of colonialism is very long but here we discuss from 19th century when European colonialism regime started working on political grounds under the cover of trade. Western colonialism in 19th century by Europe was the joint public-private venture. The English, French and Dutch governments granted effective trade monopolies to joint-stock companies such as the East India Companies and the Hudson's Bay Company. In 1617 the East India Company had been given permission by the Mughal emperor Jahangir for trade in India. Gradually, in 1717, the Company's increasing influence led the de jure Mughal emperor Farrukh Siyar to grant them duty-free trade in Bengal. The Nawab of Bengal Siraj Ud Daulah, the de facto ruler of the Bengal province, opposed British attempts to use these permits. This led to the Battle of Plassey in 1757, in which the armies of the East India Company, led by Robert Clive, defeated the Nawab's forces. This was the first political foothold with territorial implications that the British had acquired in India. Clive was appointed by the Company as its first Governor of Bengal in 1757. This was combined with British victories over the French at Madras, along with wider British successes during the Seven Years' War, reduced French influence in India. After the Battle of Buxar in 1764, the Company acquired the civil rights of administration in Bengal from the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II; it marked the beginning of its formal rule, which was to engulf eventually most of India and extinguish the Moghul rule and dynasty itself in less than a century. The East India Company monopolized the trade of Bengal. They introduced a land taxation system called the Permanent Settlement which introduced a feudal-like structure in Bengal. By the 1850s, the East India Company controlled most of the Indian sub-continent, which included present-day Pakistan and Bangladesh. Their policy was sometimes summed up as Divide and Rule, taking advantage of the enmity festering between various princely states and social and religious groups. The first major movement against the British East India Company's high handed rule resulted in the Indian Rebellion of 1857, also known as the "Indian Mutiny" or the "First War of Independence". After a year of turmoil, and reinforcement of the East India Company's troops with British soldiers, the Company overcame the rebellion. The nominal leader of the uprising, the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, was exiled to Burma, his children were beheaded and the Moghul line abolished. In the aftermath all power was transferred from the East India Company to the British Crown, which began to administer most of India as a colony; the Company's lands were controlled directly and the rest through the rulers of what it called the Princely states. There were 565 princely states when the Indian subcontinent gained independence from Britain in August 1947. The policy and ideology of European colonial expansion between the 1870s (opening of Suez Canal and Second Industrial Revolution) and the outbreak of World War I in 1914 are often characterized as the "New Imperialism." The period is distinguished by an unprecedented pursuit of what has been termed "empire for empire's sake," aggressive competition for overseas territorial acquisitions and the emergence in colonizing countries of doctrines of racial superiority which denied the fitness of subjugated peoples for self-government. The colonial map was redrawn following the defeat of the German Empire and the Ottoman Empire after the First World War (1914–18). Colonies from the defeated empires were transferred to the newly founded League of Nations, which itself redistributed it to the victorious powers. During the 1920 and 1930s Iraq, Syria and Egypt moved towards independence, although the British and French did not formally depart the region until they were forced to do so after World War II. Anticolonialist movements had begun to gain momentum after the World War I (WWI: 1914-1918) and decolonialization started after Second World War (WWII: 1939-1945). In 1945, the United Nations (UN) was founded when 50 nations signed the UN Charter, which included a statement of its basis in the respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples. Colonialization had some benefits such as technological development and modernization in the world but it destroyed the world more than benefits as during this world faced two drastic wars and on the other side, colonizers destroyed colonies in politically and economically.
The regime of hegemony was over now European companies needed new markets to sell their manufactured goods and for buying raw material for their industries. For this, in 1945 first they set up World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) for liquidity of funds and then General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1947 which was a legal agreement between many countries, whose overall purpose was to promote international trade by reducing or eliminating trade barriers such as tariffs or quotas. These new organization helped industrial revolution a lot. After three to four decades, in the early 1980s recession in the United States began in July 1981 and ended in November 1982. One cause was the Federal Reserve's contractionary monetary policy, which sought to rein in the high inflation. In the wake of the 1973 oil crisis and the 1979 energy crisis, stagflation began to afflict the economy. The solution to come out of this recession was to find out new markets and non-resistant production. In 1995, world powers setup a new organisation to fully come out of recessionary trap, named as World Trade Organization (WTO). The World Trade Organization is an intergovernmental organization that is concerned with the regulation of international trade between nations. This organization made the world a global village through free trade regime. A time period from 1990 to 2010, is considered a peak time of globalization in which distance between people and nations reduced through massive technological development which reached from developed nation to developing nations though Transnational Companies (TNCs). The development has occurred all over the world though TNCs’ foreign direct investment, foreign portfolio investments and free trade. Again just like colonization, globalization is not a bed of roses, it has also damaged the world. It has increase the gap between haves and haves not due to capitalization, due to increase in wealth terrorism funding increased in the world and investment on arms and nuclear assets also increased. Another dark side of this sugar coated growth and development is that it had damaged the developing countries with short term benefits and long term demerits such as out flow of wealth, threat to local production and control of economy though international monetary organizations which is well described by John Perkins in his book ‘Confessions of an Economic Hitman’. So, again this new regime has few merits with long-lasting demerits.
After 2007-08 recessions the regime of globalization in the international economy began to change at slower pace. Capitalistic system is the humanity’s greater invention brought us tremendous economic growth and wealth as before globalization worlds’ GDP per capita was $100 and today it is $14000 and by 2025 it will reach $55000. The digital transformation is a recombination of many inventions and will fundamentally change the way we manufacture, work, live, travel and shop. A digital nervous system of 1 trillion sensors provides us with a continuous stream of real time data, resulting in many new insights. But the current capitalism of greed needs amendment as the Panama Papers illustrated; the rich and Multinational Companies (MNCs) evade taxes while the middle classes and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) foot the bill. As once owner of Cartier, Johann Rupert said that “how is society going to cope with structural unemployment and the envy, hatred and social welfare? We are destroying the middle classes at this stage and it will affect us. It’s unfair. So that’s keeps me awake at night’. At the same time governments have to spend at least 20% of their budget on security due to geo-political tensions, mass migration, the revolt of the poor and the war economy that will arise in the near future leading to the Israelization of the world. That is why, tax evasions and tax havens will become a thing of the past and block chain technology and fintech will change the role of financial industry. Sometimes we need to change to remain ourselves as it is better to light a candle than complain about the dark. The power of the region makes comeback due to DIY-CAPITALISM and the rise of SWISS style bottom-up democracy. Strategically, massive migration of people from war torn countries to developed and affluent nations is also a major reason of slow growth. In history mass migration led to the fall of Roman Empire.
The transformation of globalization into slowbalization is occurring due to rise of economic nationalism, increasing local production and decreasing world trade. Only data and money are increasingly globalized. Globalization has slowed from light speed to a snail’s pace in the past decade for several reasons. The cost of moving goods has stopped falling. Multinational firms have found that global sprawl burns money and that local rivals often eat them alive. Activity is shifting towards services, which are harder to sell across borders: scissors can be exported in 20ft containers, hair stylists cannot. And Chinese manufacturing has become more self-reliant, so needs to import fewer parts. Trade war has also started between China and USA as both nations has imposed tariff on each other’s imports. Chinese investment into Europe and America fell by 73% in 2018. The global value of cross border investment by multinational companies sank by about 20% in 2018. The new world will work differently. Slowbalisation will lead to deeper links within regional blocs. In Asia and Europe most trade is already intra-regional, and the share has risen since 2011. Asian firms made more foreign sales within Asia than in America in 2017. As global rules decay, a fluid patchwork of regional deals and spheres of influence is asserting control over trade and investment. The European Union is stamping its authority on banking, tech and foreign investment, for example. China hopes to agree on a regional trade deal this year, even as its tech firms expand across Asia. Companies have $30trn of cross-border investment in the ground, some of which may need to be shifted, sold or shut. All these changes are setting the pace for new regime. Education will become top of the bill again, leading to entrepreneurship. An energy revolution has also begun, now cheap energy will be delivered through innovations in areas such as Thorium MSR Plants, Solar Energy and Geothermal Energy. Multiple generations of families live together again, as they did in the past, and informal care will become a new norm. In a time of self-determination, living and dying with dignity will become a norm, and the last pill will be easily available. Now world is realizing that swimming against the tide is the only way to reach the source of the river.