Is globalization going in reverse?

Alex Steffens at World Changing thinks so, expanding on a NY Times article. The rising price of oil, possibility of supply chain reduction, the coming tax of levy on carbon, and the collapse of the Doha trade talks are all helping the rein in the excesses of globalization. And that’s probably a good thing.

One point is probably worth making in conclusion: because communications technologies are (comparatively speaking) dematerialized, a reversal in material trade patterns almost certainly would not also mean a reversal in intellectual trade patterns — rising oil prices or climate change won’t shut down the web or stop Bollywood from making movies or prevent innovators from licensing their ideas in other countries. In fact, it might be that expertise, innovation and culture will flow more freely in a world where goods flow more slowly. We might actually grow more interconnected in a world where supply chains shrank.

One comment

  1. I know I’ve said this before, but it fits here: globalization isn’t going anywhere. As fuel prices rise, it’ll be harder to sell cheap plastic goods from China in rural towns throughout the world. But like it or not, the internet makes globalization at a basic level inevitable.

    At the same time, thanks to peak oil & rising energy costs, localization is also inevitable. And that IS a good thing, since community focus is the only way out of many of the problems we face.

    So if globalization and loicalization are both growing, what’s shrinking? The nation state, as you’ve pointed out a number of times, is becoming hollowed out and less important. Interestingly, Toffler predicted this twenty years ago.

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