Catalina Londoño Gómez 10º D
When during the 14th century, the luxury that was Chinese silk began to be transported within Europe, creating what would be one of the first international trades not one person could have predicted the impact such a great power would have over our world. Because the ability to have an international good at arm’s reach, to taste the flavors that characterized other countries right outside our home and being able to experience culture without even leaving our couch, because all these incredible experiences would soon enough prove to be addictive for all whom had the chance to perceive even a glimmer of its splendor.
Fast forward to the nineteenth century, and along with the first industrial revolution came the first wave of globalization, enamoring all those who had the chance to benefit from it, but slowly leaving behind those who could not manage to keep up. Iron, textiles, industrial technologies, for the first time, having an international market almost all demands could be met with thousands of products. Trade grew in a 3%, growth rates propelled from 6% to 14% by the end of The World War I, and almost every industry thrived in its capability to create wealth. Ironically, just like industries grew, most industrialized countries found their workers had been walking on a tight rope. Realizing that even when a global standard of production amounts was to be met, their jobs weren’t to increase but to be replaced, by industrialized machinery or foreign imports.
However, globalization was not even close to its peak. Around the end of The World War II came another chance for growth tailored to the development of our global economy, this was globalization’s second wave. This time however, after the Iron Curtain fell globalization truly reached its ability to reach the entire globe. Free trade agreements surrounded, practically, the whole world and this time around it seemed like it could last forever. But it did not end there, because one last time, around the 2000’s would come a wave, that just like a tsunami seemed to spread enormous distances, washing out everything that crossed its path. And like before, globalization grew and influenced economies, cultures, and lifestyles everywhere it went, except this time, with the internet to aid, there was no stopping it.
Now 2020 has come, a year full of adversities and with a pandemic in course, a stopwatch that forced the entire world to slow its pace. The world’s cry for help, our health at risk and frontiers closing, alliances breaking. All at once the world changing. The question is, against all odds, will globalization thrive? Or will it drown, a consequence of its huge waves?
I believe that globalization, like most things in the world, will run out of the fuel that’s pushing it. Since the beginning of the pandemic, it’s been proven again and again that we have to learn how to respond to global threats as a whole. Yet, it is not something that we can achieve any longer. See, New Zealand had a quick and effective response, ensuring the wellbeing of its citizens and having only 2324 cases, 25 deaths but being today COVID-19 free. So why couldn’t other countries ally and try to find ways to resolve this huge problem as a whole?
With almost every obstacle that has been embedded in the way this year, we’ve isolated a bit more, or so I believe. With trade closed off, traveling of limits, social interactions restricted, with every country living in its own way. We’ve been granted a sneak peek at what life will be like if globalization comes to an end. Many researchers believe that with the end of globalization, will come the end of an era, and I agree. I think we’ve been living so many years running through the motions, that we’ve forgotten that globalization doesn’t only influence economy. Because it doesn’t, it has a huge impact environmentally, it affects culture, and markets. It is a running curse that was set never to stop but is just this once running out of oil.
So, I don’t mind it coming to an end. I think the world need to stop what it’s doing and rectify its wrongs. It needs to stop ignoring all the warning signs. It needs to stop turning a blind eye to the red flags, like an awestruck girl who refuses to see the truth. And although it might be hard to envision, I can clearly see what a world where we finally learn to think before we act will look like. Locally sourced products, abiding to environmental laws, consumption cultures reducing. The world is changing, and if we give it the chance, maybe this time it will be for good.