THE EDITOR: Fifty-four per cent of citizens in democracies believe their voice doesn’t have an impact on political decisions, and 64 per cent think their government doesn’t act in their interest, Democracy Perception Index 2018 – a survey conducted by Dalia Research, Alliance of Democracies and Rasmussen Global – found.
Human beings view the world with a narrative and for decades the majority of the world believed it would become more globalised and liberal democracy would improve the quality of life of everyone.
A lot of people no longer believe in that story and its causing social and political upheaval globally and locally. Locally, inequality has increased and a lot of people are living in subhuman conditions.
The election of US President Donald Trump, the yellow vest movement in France, Brexit and many government corruption scandals in TT and other Caribbean countries are manifestations of people’s dissolution with the present political architecture.
The increase in exclusive nationalism is ironic because to solve our local problems, such as unemploynent and poverty, requires global collaboration. To create jobs in our economy we either increase foreign investment, increase tourism or increase exports. Developing a calculus that increases our influence in the international community is prudent.
The first country in history was Egypt (3100 BC). Besides political considerations, management of the Nile, which is vital for the survival of its populace, was only possible under a nation instead of separate tribes.
The problems such as climate change, nuclear weapons proliferation and technological disruption cannot be solved by any one country. For example, the ethics of artificial intelligence in warfare needs to be agreed by all nations. Artificial intelligence has the potential to be more distructive than nuclear war.
The future political order must be global but will only occur after a global catastrophy. The irony is the people and nations who benefit the least from the current international and local orders will continue to suffer.
We cannot go back to the 1950s with exclusive nationalism but inclusive nationalism – from nationalism for 1.2 million to internationalism for eight billion people.
As Independence Day nears, we must have national dialogue that’s not parochial but must be meaningful with the intent to fight for implementation of progressive policies.
BRIAN ELLIS PLUMMER