Countries are the new soccer clubs

In a time of globalization with challenges that society and technology bring, never seen before, we cling to concepts of the past. We are "covering the sun with a sieve".

Brexit surprised me, no doubt. I have no answers for emigration, wars, or economic problems. It just seems to me, however, that at a time when the world is globalizing and where collaboration is essential, we are trying to use past and regional solutions for future problems. Perhaps this is not the best strategy.

The principle of communicating vessels says that two cups connected at the base will transfer liquid between them until both have the liquid at the same level (in equilibrium). It is similar to the principles governing the market, and supply and demand. If the Chinese are willing to work cheaper than Americans, labor mobility would cause the Chinese to emigrate to the United States until wages were equal in the two countries.

Borders are a way to close this communication and artificially control the quality and way of life in each country. There are many types of borders, physical, to control people and goods, fiscal, to control money flows, etc. The problem is that no matter how much populism, borders don’t work as they used to. In a mostly service economy, with technology that increasingly allows remote work, not letting people into the country does little good. Control through the tax and financial system also no longer works, as transactions can take place in currencies like bitcoin, outside the control of any one country. The legal systems are out of step with the technological developments of recent years, and even more so when we think of those to come.

What law applies when North Korea doesn’t like a Sony movie (it happened with “The Interview”) and destroys that company’s computer system? Who does Sony appeal to? Is it an act of war? Or in the case where betting is forbidden in one country and people bet on online sites located in other countries? Not to mention topics that can profoundly transform humanity and have to be controlled, such as genetic engineering or artificial intelligence.

We’re scared about terrorist attacks, but we don’t pay as much attention to the far more destructive potential of cyber attacks. More than 100 people (which is a tragedy) we may be talking about millions.

We live in a society controlled by the media, like Hollywood, and we are losing focus on what is the priority.

Given the evolution of the world, the concept of country has less and less meaning, and is used to exacerbate a patriotism that justifies the protection of certain interests. The Brexit, or the very campaign of some politicians are examples of this. The strategy used is the same as for a soccer club, where the focus is emotional rather than rational. These strategies were explained at the Hague tribunal by Goebel, Hitler’s propaganda minister, and have been used throughout history by all type of leaders and factions.

A global world needs global oversight and global order. We have created the tools that have allowed us to globalize but we have not created the control measures. What’s more, we try to navel-gaze and build walls of shame again to close off countries. Our governments must understand the importance of these issues and act.

In a time of globalization with the challenges that society and technology bring, never seen before, do we cling to concepts of the past? We are “covering the sun with a sieve”.

David Bernardo
David Bernardo
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