It is a commentary of the left and right that global markets are rendering national economies ungovernable. Unconstrained markets are said to increase wealth while polarizing its distribution and destroying political authority.
Most global thinkers are not yet clear about what a truly global economic system would look like. Who makes what where and how much do they pay the less fortunate to make it? We are currently experiencing the greatest currency turmoil of modern times and we are proving that globalization is a myth that serves neither the interests of business or labour. More than ever before, the effective governance of the world’s economy requires nation states to relinquish authority to regional and international bodies. This will not be easy and will require at the very least, a more outward looking attitude from our politicians and informed publics.
What does this mean for us? After all we are a long way from anywhere you might ask. What kind of alliances and collaborations should we seek? The shift in economic power eastwards, which is keenly felt by all those in the West currently, represents an opportunity for New Zealand to define its terms of trade quite differently. Looking eastwards for us is simply to the north and our ability to play a role on the Pacific Rim has never been more promising.
God forbid we entrust our national economy in the hands of pure banking people and their theories. What makes the concept of globalization so concerning, at least in its purest forms, is that it denies the possibility of governance at all. It's a myth and not sustained by the evidence to date.
The nation-state continues to be the main way to legitimize us and identify emotionally. Both alone and in concert with others, the nation state can still guide economic forces. Globalization is the ideology of the pessimistic era, which leaves us standing helpless before the future.
Deciding on what kind of economy we want and setting about achieving it in the way which best suits us means adding more value and avoiding the whims of a commodity exchange for raw materials. Losing the sovereignty in our companies, and the ownership of our land will simply mean we become someone else's branch office. It's baloney to think we are heading towards one big bloc of nations in a borderless environment. I for one still want my street corner dairy and the news and views of my community devoid of Rupert Murdoch's reach.
There will always be room for a local story.